A YES/ NO/ NOT GIVEN task is pretty similar to a T/ F/ NG task. You are going to be given a number of statements and you are going to decide whether these statements agree with the text (YES), disagree with the text (NO), or there is no such information in the text (NOT GIVEN).
You have to be able to distinguish different ideas and views in the text. So, you are obviously going to ask me “What’s the difference?” Actually, the only difference here is the symbol or word you use in order to answer the questions. In the previous task we examined, you will use T/F/NG and in this task you will use Y/ N/ NG.
However, I want to stress something important in relation to both tasks. The question in the instructions is going to be as follows: “Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading passage 1?” You will answer YES/ NO/ NOT GIVEN if it is a Y/N/NG task and TRUE/ FALSE/ NOT GIVEN if it is a T/F/NG task, respectively. Yet, this might not always be the case. Sometimes, in the instructions they may ask you to answer the questions according to the writer’s views and opinions:
YES: if the statement agrees with the writer’s claims
NO: if the statement contradicts the writer’s claims
NOT GIVEN: if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks
In this case, you answer taking into account only the views of the writer—no one else’s views that may appear in the text—and you accordingly answer Y/N/NG if it is a Y/N/NG task or T/F/NG if it is a T/F/NG task.
This is one of the reasons I keep telling you to read the instructions very carefully so as to know exactly what you need to do. ALWAYS do that in every task. Once, one of my students out of haste went on and completed a Y/N/NG task but answered using T/F/NG symbols. As you can tell, the whole task was taken wrong (except for the correct NG answers) even if he had answered some or all of them correctly. Be very careful with the instructions.
Let’s look a Y/N/NG task as an example:
Questions 23 – 26
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading passage 2?
In spaces 23 – 26 below, write
YES if the statement agrees with the writer’s claims
NO if the statement contradicts the writer’s claims
NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
23 Neural prosthetic implants aim at compensating for a variety
of disabilities that affect the human nervous system.
24 Research programs aimed at epileptics have already started.
25 Neuroscientists are optimistic for the cure of cancer too.
26 Engineers play a significant role in the interdisciplinary
research and development of neural prosthetics.
• Read the instructions carefully. In this example, they ask you about the opinions of the writer: you should take into account only the writer’s views in order to answer the questions.
• The information of the statements will appear in the text in the same order as the order of the statements in the task.
• Underline key words or—better yet—words and phrases that cannot be paraphrased. In the above task, for example, “neural prosthetic implants” and “neuroscientists” cannot be easily paraphrased.
• Remember that answers Y/N/NG will all be used at least once. If you complete the task and you haven’t used one of them, check it out again because something must have went wrong.
If you prefer to watch the video lesson, here you go: