Yes No Not Given and Multiple Choice

In the final lesson of the course you will learn how to approach and answer two more question types.

 

Yes/No/Not Given Questions

 

This type of questions requires you to think about the views of the writer.

You will be given a number of statements. You have to decide if these statements agree with the writer’s views. The statements follow the same order as the information in the passage.

Sometimes the writer’s view is stated directly, but sometimes it is implied (the view is in the text, but not written in a direct way). Careful! The writer’s opinion might not be the same as the facts, or the writer may present an argument that he/she disagrees with. Also, the writer’s opinion might be different from yours.

How is this different from true/false/not given questions?

In true/false/not given questions, we only need to find and compare the information in the text with the statement.
In yes/no/not given questions, we need to find and compare the information in the text by deciding if the writer agrees or disagrees with the information. This makes this question type a little more difficult for some students.

IELTS Tutors Tips

 

Step 1: Read the instructions carefully.
Step 2: Skim through all the statements to get an idea of the views you will need to look for.
Step 3: Read the first statement again carefully. Note the main point or opinion in the statement. Underline the key words.
Step 4: Skim the passage to find the part which refers to the point/opinion in the statement.
Step 5: Read this part very carefully. Compare the writer’s view with the statement. If the statement agrees with the writer’s view, write Yes on your answer sheet. If the statement contradicts the writer’s view, write No. If the writer doesn’t give an opinion which agrees or disagrees with the statement, write Not Given.

 

Exercise 1

Skim the text then answer the questions below.

Your school days are the best days of your life is a saying that everyone is familiar with, whether they agree with it or not. However, recent research has uncovered the disturbing fact that around 1 in 8 young people suffer from a mental disorder of one type or another. The research, funded by the National Health Service (NHS), on a group of 9000 school-age young people found boys to be more at risk of mental health problems until the age of 11, when the rate became the same for both boys and girls. After the age of 17, girls were found to be more at risk with the staggering figure of 1 in 4 girls in this age range having suffered from some kind of mental disorder.

Apart from parents, it is teachers who are the adults that spend the most time with the UK’s youngsters. Teachers groups suggest social media, pressure from exams, economic austerity and gender expectations are all to be blamed for the mental health problems of British children. Teachers’ leaders say they feel overwhelmed and cannot cope with the extent of the problem. Sarah Hannafin, for instance, of the head teachers’ union NAHT, said, “There is a crisis and children are under increasing amount of pressure … Schools have a key role to play and we are doing what can, but we need more funding”. In an ill-advised move, the government has reduced funding for counsellor and support services precisely at a time when money for children’s wellbeing is needed. A further issue is that year after year, the government is placing more importance of exam grades than on student well-being and so the amount of pressure is increasing on young people.

Children have just one childhood and one education – when it’s gone, it’s gone, and so proper solutions must be found to this problem and fast. One teachers’ group which unites teachers from all over the UK stated last year that “we are failing an entire generation of young people.” The group presented recommendations aimed at changing school culture with a switch of focus from exams to wellbeing, an essential step to reduce student stress. Moreover, they made a number of well researched suggestions aimed at reducing the harmful impact of social media, a factor which NHS research puts alongside exam pressure as one of the most dangerous for young people. Recommendations include lessons on safe use of social media and individual counselling for those being bullied.

It is clearly time for the government to wake up, take notice and present concrete plans for how they will tackle the problem. They must listen to teachers and reduce exam overload and find a way to combat cyber bullying and the other complex problems arising from social media.

Do the following statements agree with the information in the reading passage?

Write:

Yes if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
No if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
Not Given if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

 

1. Your schooldays are the best days of your life.
2. Reducing support for counsellors and support services has had a positive impact.
3. In order to deal with mental health problems, school culture must change in the UK.
4. Social media is a leading cause of mental health problems amongst the young and there is nothing which can be done about it.
5. The problem of youth mental health is likely to get worse before it gets better.
6. The government should be responsible for creating plans to deal with mental health problems amongst the youth.



Answer Explanations

  1. This is a common saying but the writer does not say if he/she agrees with it or not.
  2. The writer describes this as ‘ill-advised’ meaning it was a bad decision.
  3. The writer agrees with this. He/she calls it ‘an essential step’. ‘Essential’ means something that must happen.
  4. The writer disagrees with this statement as he/she states ‘the group made a number of well researched suggestions aimed to reduce the harmful impact of social media, a factor which the NHS research put alongside exam pressure as one of the most dangerous for young people, including lessons on proper use and individual counselling for those being bullied’.
  5. The writer doesn’t make this prediction. There is no information given about this.
  6. The statement paraphrases (uses different words to say the same thing) the text – ‘It is clearly time for the government to wake up and take notice and present concrete plans for how they will tackle the problem’. Use of the word ‘clearly’ shows it is a strong opinion of the writer.

 

A Common Error

Many students write true or false instead of yes or no. If you do this, you will lose points. In the IELTS test, always follow the instructions.

Multiple Choice Questions

In this type of question, you will be given a ‘stem’. This may be an incomplete sentence or a question followed by three or four options. Often several of the answers use vocabulary from the text and so seem like the correct answer. These are called distractors; they are a trick to stop you from getting the correct answer. Read both the question and the text carefully to answer multiple choice questions.

The questions may require you to

  • have an overall understanding of the main points of the passage
  • have a detailed understanding of particular points
  • identify facts or opinions in the passage

IELTS Tutors Tips

 

Step 1: Skim all the questions briefly to get an idea of the topics which you will need to look for.
Step 2: Read the first question again carefully. Underline the key words. Is the question asking you for a particular detail that you need to find in the passage? Or is it asking you for an answer which requires an understanding of the whole passage?
Step 3: Locate the answer by skimming/scanning the passage in the appropriate manner. Then read carefully to find the answer.

Exercise 2

Let’s use the method above on the following multiple choice questions.

1. Boys at primary/elementary school age were…
A) more at risk than girls of the same age
B) less at risk than girls of the same age
C) equally at risk as girls of the same age
2. The percentage of girls who suffered from mental health problems in the oldest category was…
A) 25%
B) 33%
C) 75%
3. Teachers suggest that…
A) there is one main cause of mental health issues amongst the nation’s young
B) mental health problems amongst the nation’s young are not a new issue
C) there are a number of causes for the mental health problems suffered by the nation’s young
4. The text is concerned with….
A) the improvement of education in the UK
B) the mental health of young people in the UK
C) UK government plans to deal with problems on social media



Answer Explanations

  1. The text states ‘boys to be more at risk of mental health problems until the age of 11’.
  2. The text uses the phrase ‘1-in-4 girls in this age range having suffered from some kind of mental disorder’. This is a vocabulary question as ‘1-in-4’ is 25%.
  3. The text states ‘Teachers groups suggest social media, pressure from exams, economic austerity and gender expectations are all to be blamed for the mental health problems of British youngsters’.
  4. This question requires you to have an understanding of the whole text. Obviously, education, the government and social media are mentioned in the text but these options are distractors. The real focus of the article is the mental health of young people in the UK.

In this course we have given you strategies to understand new vocabulary and methods to answer different question types that appear in the IELTS test. The most important thing to develop now is a desire to read. Find a source of English texts that you enjoy reading (we’ve already mentioned magazines such as National Geographic and news sites like The Guardian) and read every day. This will improve your grammar and vocabulary while also teaching you important information about the current state of the world and the different perspectives people have.

Reading can really open your mind to all sorts of interesting ideas and amazing stories. It is a skill for life, not just for tests!

 When you are ready, let’s complete the final test of the course.

Extra IELTSTutors.org practice lessons based on the British Council test: Making Time for Science, The Triune Brain, Helium’s Future up in the Air.