I have been taking IELTS mock exams recently on a website. (The tests are probably taken from Cambridge textbooks).
So I have 2 points I may disagree with in the Reading section.
I had to choose whether certain statements TRUE, FALSE or NOT GIVEN
Question 19 statement says China has more citrus pests than any other country in the world.
I chose NOT GIVEN
And in the text it goes like this:
Citrus fruits evolved in the Far East and the Chinese discovered the delights of their flesh early on. As the ancestral home of oranges, lemons and pomelos, China also has the greatest diversity of citrus pests. And the trees that produce the sweetest fruits, the mandarins – or kan – attract a host of plant-eating insects, from black ants and sap-sucking mealy bugs to leaf-devouring caterpillars. With so many enemies, fruit growers clearly had to have some way of protecting their orchards.
While the authors of this website say that the correct answer should be TRUE, and referring to the sentence in bold in the quote as a proof.
My position of understanding is as follows:
Statement 1: China has more citrus pests than any other country in the world.
Statement 2: China also has the greatest DIVERSITY of citrus pests.
Two statements don’t carry same meaning for following reasons:
Let’s say, China has the greatest DIVERSITY of citrus pests, like 10 TYPES of citrus pests. Assume 10 is the highest number of DIVERSITY in the world. But, there is one citrus pest of each type in China. How many pests we will have in total? 10!
On the other hand, let’s say England has only one TYPE of citrus pests. England has a hundred of citrus pests of ONE TYPE only.
On diversity levels, China has greater number of pests than England has, sure. But when it comes to overall amount of citrus pests, regardless of their diversity, England has it more than China.
So the problem is: Q19 says “China has more citrus pests than any other country in the world.” NOT MORE DIVERSE
As long as I understand, the answer should be NOT GIVEN.
WHat should the correct answer be — TRUE, FALSE, or NOT GIVEN?
Tests which require a “true / false / not given” answer should not be ambiguous, nor should they require students to make assumptions…
If the examiners wanted to know what students could “infer” from the given text, they would not have asked for a “true / false / not given” answer.
A person’s ability to differentiate between “most diverse” & “most numerous” is a credit to their understanding of the language & to their intelligence…
Teachers who put ambiguous questions in “yes / no” type tests are either ignorant or sadistic.
Regarding the question quoted by Isakov-U, the correct answer would be (/ should be) “not given”.