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Home Answering True/False Questions
How Can I Answer True/False Questions Better? Print E-mail
IELTS - IELTS Listening Test

How Can I Answer True/False Questions Better?This section will help you to answer ‘True/False’ questions better by showing you how to look for ‘traps’ in the test.
 
Problem: Many candidates expect to hear the answer as it is written in the True/False statement.

For example:

Statement:  
There are six children in John’s family.
Tapescript: 
I’ve got six children in my family.  

It isn’t likely that you will hear the answer as it appears in front of you on the question paper, although there might be one or two easier questions like this. The people who write the exams often put in ‘traps’ to mislead you and to try to get you to answer the question incorrectly.  

For example:  

Statement: 
There are six children in John’s family. 
Tapescript: 
John’s got four kids, hasn’t he ?...Or is it five ?...no, no, I forgot Sara is the youngest yes, five and Sara.  

So, if you answer the question too quickly, you will get the answer wrong. Also, you don’t hear the exact number ‘six’.

The above example is of a question that is ‘True’. Look at the same question, but where the answer is ‘False’:

Statement:
There are six children in John’s family.  
Tapescript: 
John’s got six kids, hasn’t he?...Yes, six ?...no, no, I forgot – it’s Tony. 
 
Who’s got six – John’s got three. 

Here, you hear the same number as in the statement three times before you hear the correct one. So, again, answering too quickly will mean it is wrong.   
    
Have a look at these other ‘traps’ that you can get in True/False questions.

i) Changing the modifier only

Statement: 
All students have to register before 08 August. 
Tapescript: 
Most students have to register before 08 August. 

Answer: False

ii) Changing the answer twice.

Statement: 
Peter decides to go to the cinema. 
Tapescript:
PETER: Let’s go to the cinema, there’s a new film on.  
 
JANE: I’d like to go to the theatre instead to see the play.  
 
PETER: OK, that’s fine, we’ll go to the theatre. 
 
JANE: Great, thanks, oh no – maybe the cinema would be better.
 
PETER: OK – the cinema it is then
 
JANE: Are you sure?  
 
PETER: Yes, sure. No, the theatre – definitely!

Answer: False

iii) Using words that mean the same (synonyms)

Statement:
All students have to register before 08 August. 
Tapescript: 
All students have to enroll before 08 August. 

Answer: True

iv) Using opposites (antonyms)

Statement: 
Robert is very upset. 
Tapescript:  
I’m worried about Robert, he isn’t happy at all these days. 

Answer: True

v) Changing the wording

Statement: 
You have to pay on or before 08 August. 
Tapescript: 
You can’t make payment after the 7th of August. 
                                                                                                              
Answer: False

Tip: You can practice True/False listening questions in a variety of published IELTS preparation books available from many bookstores. When you check your answers, don’t worry about why the answers you got wrong  are different from the correct answers, but think about the reasons why you got them wrong – was it because of any of the ‘traps’? This way you can be more careful next time.

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