Ielts Test Practice  
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This Ielts resource actually improves your reading score...

One Ielts resource often overlooked is that of identifying a writers opinion.

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Ielts Resource

To begin with, an opinion is someone's belief or view. Opinions differ from facts in that they can not be proven true. Opinions may also change over time, while facts do not.

Example: Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.

The example above is both provable and unchangeable. Therefore, it is a fact.

Example: Computers will revolutionize education.

Changeable? yes. The word revolutionize is too strong. Certainly computers have changed education but will they revolutionize?... What about provability? How can the above statement be proven? We can see that the second example above is an opinion and not a fact.

So, how can you determine the difference between a fact and or an opinion? This can be tricky because many people state opinions as if they were, indeed, facts. Since Ielts reading passages are academic texts, they will contain both facts and opinions.

What are you required to do?
You will be presented with a list of statements that either agree or disagree with the views or claims of the writer. You will have to chose 'yes', ‘no’ or ‘not given’.

If the statements you read have factual information, you will be asked if the statements agree or disagree with the information from the text. In this case you will have to determine if the answers are 'true', 'false' or 'not given'.

Example Yes, No, Not Given

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer of the text?

History of Academic Journals

Among the earliest research journals were the Proceedings of meetings of the Royal Society in the 17th century. At that time, the act of publishing academic inquiry was controversial, and widely ridiculed. It was not at all unusual for a new discovery to be announced as an anagram, reserving priority for the discoverer, but indecipherable for anyone not in on the secret: both Isaac Newton and Leibniz used this approach. However, this method did not work well. Robert K. Merton, a sociologist, found that 92% of cases of simultaneous discovery in the 17th century ended in dispute. The number of disputes dropped to 72% in the 18th century, 59% by the latter half of the 19th century, and 33% by the first half of the 20th century. The decline in contested claims for priority in research discoveries can be credited to the increasing acceptance of the publication of papers in modern academic journals.

The Royal Society was steadfast in its unpopular belief that science could only move forward through a transparent and open exchange of ideas backed by experimental evidence. Many of the experiments were ones that we would not recognize as scientific today — nor were the questions they answered. For example, when the Duke of Buckingham was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on June 5, 1661, he presented the Society with a vial of powdered "unicorn horn". It was a well-accepted 'fact' that a circle of unicorn's horn would act as an invisible cage for any spider. Robert Hooke, the chief experimenter of the Royal Society, emptied the Duke's vial into a circle on a table and dropped a spider in the centre of the circle. The spider promptly walked out of the circle and off the table. In its day, this was cutting-edge research.


if the statement agrees with the views of the writer


if the statement contradicts the views of the writer


if you can not say what the writer thinks about this


Publication of Academic Journals was popular in the 17th century


Unicorn horn acts as an invisible cage


Increased publication of Academic Journals has brought about a decline in simultaneous discovery disputes


All experiments conducted by the Royal Society were non-scientific

Example True, False, Not Given

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text above?

In boxes 5-9 on your answer sheet write


if the statement agrees with the information


if the statement contradicts the information


if there is no information on this


The Duke of Buckingham wasasked to bring the Unicorn horn for the experiment.


Anagram announcements were thought of by Isaac Newton


Anagram announcements ensured everyone would know who discovered what


Robert Hooke was committed to scientific experiments

The above Ielts resource is designed to help you understand this section of the test. Notice that there are two distinct types of knowledge being tested here. If the statements agree or disagree with the text and if the statements are true or false with regard to what is stated in the text.

If you are looking for another Ielts resource page based on the reading comprehension section of the Ielts test, click on the preceding link.

If you would like to return to the page that has links to all of the Ielts resource pages including the Ielts Academic Reading Module, click on the preceding link.

***Ielts Resource Answers  = 1 no, 2 yes, 3 yes, 4 not given, 5 ng, 6 ng, 7 false, 8 ng