[General] Yes/No/Not given question in the Reading section of IELTS

kasamb

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Hello,


I'm really sorry about posting the question hier. I just didn't find a better place to do it.
My question is related to the IELTS Reading section.


The statement is "Thirty per cent of deaths in the United States are caused by smoking-related diseases" and I should answer "Yes", "No" or "Not given".


A part of the text says "Smoking, it is believed, is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths from cancer".


The right answer is "No" and I don't understand why. As for me, it should be "Not given", since theoretically all deaths might be only from cancer and in that case the statement would be true. I mean, the text doesn't say anything about how many deaths in the US are caused by smoking-related diseases. Or is it just the format of the test, that if a statement and one of the sentences in the texts are similar, but the meaning is not the same, then it should be "No"? Then I don't really like the test :).


Thank you
 

teechar

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As for me, it should be "Not given", since theoretically all deaths might be only from cancer
Do you honestly think that's logical, especially for a country with a substantial population like the US?
 

kasamb

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Do you honestly think that's logical, especially for a country with a substantial population like the US?

It's IELTS, we need to use only information from the text. The text doesn't say anything about the population of the US and it doesn't matter what I think because the only thing that matters is what the text says or doesn't.
 

teechar

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Even so, do you think it's logical to think that people in any country only die from cancer?
 

jutfrank

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You're absolutely right, the answer is Not Given.

The text doesn't say anything about how many deaths are caused by smoking-related diseases. All we know is that smoking is responsible for 30% of the deaths of one of those diseases, i.e, cancer. (That is, if we are to assume that all kinds of cancer are counted as smoking-related diseases.)

There's no mention of figures for all the other smoking-related diseases, so there's no way we can know. As you say, if all deaths were from cancer, then the answer would be Yes, but although that is logically possible, it would be a serious error to interpret the text as implying that to be the case. I don't see how the answer is No. For me, it's a clear Not Given.
 

kasamb

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Yeah, I have no right to be sure, that there is no country in the world, where people would die from no other SMOKING-RELATED DISEASE than cancer. Yeah, they might die from other diseases as well, but those are not related to smoking.
 

Tdol

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As for me, it should be "Not given", since theoretically all deaths might be only from cancer and in that case the statement would be true

That simply is not plausible- people die of many other things, so it's more of a fiction to try to justify an answer than a theory. Every day people die in accidents, kill themselves, have heart attacks, etc.
 

kasamb

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Yeah, in my sentence that you quoted I indeed didn't write everything right, but it's about the task and it's solution rather than about what I said. It's not about all diseases and other causes of death, but only SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES!
 
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