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Describe a competition that you took part in

IELTS Cue Card Question 32 With Model Answer: 

Describe a competition (e.g. TV, college/work or sports competition) that you took part in.

You should say: 
  • what kind of competition it was and how you found out about it
  • what you had to do
  • what the prizes were
and explain why you chose to take part in this competition.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Sports competitions are one the great sources of joy and enjoyment. Both the participants and the spectators enjoy the competitions and sometimes the events are telecast live on television channels and even some multinational and corporate companies sponsor for the program in exchange for their advertisements.
When I was in college in Massachusetts, I used to play basketball for my college team. Actually, I was fond of the sports due to its nature and mostly the dribbling attracted me most. When I watched the sports on television, I started nurturing the dream to be a basketball player like the players on the television. After my admission at the college, I joined the basketball team and suddenly the team was invited to participate an inter-college basketball championship competition. So, accordingly, our team started preparing for the upcoming competition. At first, I was advised to play at the point guard and then was shifted to the centre for my extraordinary height (I am 6’3”) among the other players of the college team.

Basketball is an interesting sport and the players are assigned to hit the basket of the opposition to make scores. So, I was assigned to shoot the basket of the opposition as much time as I could. I also took assistance from the other mates of my college team. But it was not easy for us to make scores. Most of the players of the opposition team were highly skilled too like us. They defended almost every attempt of us in the first half of the game. But we finally scored 15 points while they were only nine. But they tried their best to win the competition and made some fouls in favour of us. For the fouls, we got three free shots at the basket which ensured our victory. Interestingly, I took the free shots and scored three goals within one and a half minute which inspired my teammates greatly. As a result, we were the champion of the competition.
The prizes of the competition were the most attractive things in the entire event. Each of the participants was awarded a classic basketball medal made with gold and other material while the champion team was awarded a large trophy and that is kept in a caring condition at our college compound. Moreover, the participants were awarded gift vouchers worth $200. The prize-giving ceremony was held in a festive mood and the participating college authorities delivered their speeches and also vowed to hold such competitions again and again. I have kept my medal at my home, safely, and even in my current days I check the medal and remember the happy moments I had in my college days. 

Basketball was a charming sport for me from my early days and I started playing the game with my friends in my school. Since the school had no such team to play basketball, papa told me that he will allow joining the basketball team when I will be at college. When I joined the college team, the instructor was happy seeing me and he liked me most for my height and capability to dodge the opponents with the ball. So, when the invitation for participating at inter-college competition arrived, I did not miss the chance.

Model Answer 2:
Participating in competitions is really wonderful. The enjoyment doubles if you can win in the competitions. I can remember such an event in my office where I stood first in a table tennis completion. Thank you for asking such an interesting matter to describe.

From my university days, I was fond of indoor games and sports. As part of recreation, I used to take part in table tennis. So, I am highly expert in this indoor game. I work at a multinational organisation here in Colombo, Sri Lanka and the company is headquartered in Malaysia. To motivate the employees, the company organises some annual sports events. I took part in the competition but only became successful in the table tennis. Since I was an expert player of the game, nobody could stand before me during the competition. It was a glorious victory for me. The regional president of the company awarded me with prizes. 

The competition was declared and I enlisted myself for chess, card games and table tennis. The completion was held for two days (on the weekends). I was unable to shine in chess and card because I do not have much idea about them. But I tried my best to survive in the games and finally, I was defeated. When the table tennis round began, I performed very well in the preliminary stages. Gradually, I moved to the next rounds and appeared in the final. The table tennis final competition was an exciting event for everyone. In fact, all the employees turned into two sides. One part of them was supporting me while the other side was supporting my opponent. So, there was a sense of rivalry between the groups. But later, when I won the match, everyone appreciated me for my success. Actually, they were amazed at my table tennis skills.

The prizes of the competition were fabulous. Each of the competitions had attractive prizes. I won the first prize for table tennis and a certificate of appreciation. The prize that I received was a LED television set of a reputed brand. The certificate was issued by the company and signed by the governing body president wishing my success ahead. I was highly glad about the prize and certificate. In fact, I have received the prize after a long time. I won prizes in my school, college and university days. But after entering the profession, I did not have many chances to win such a grand prize. Besides, the prizes that I received before were small and medals made of gold and silver. Those are still in my collection. But the LED television was the greatest of them. I am happy with the prize.

I have not been in practice of table tennis. When I was a student, I used to play table tennis for at least an hour a day. But with the engagement of my occupation, I hardly can manage time. Though there are options for table tennis in my office, I cannot practice there. In fact, I am unable to arrange times for practice. But when the annual competition was declared, I practised a lot in the office and finally won the victory. I decided to take part in the competition to check my skills. I wanted to know if I am like before or need any modifications for myself. It was a test for me as well. Crossing all the barriers, I became the winner. I am grateful to my company for such an interesting competition.

Idea Generation for this cue card topic: 

This cue card asks you to describe a competition you took part in either in a television programme, in your college, office or a sporting competition. So do not talk about a competition that you only watched. You should start the cue card answer by saying that "Whenever I think about a competition that I took part in, the inter-college debate competition pops up in my mind. It was so important for us to win this competition and the struggle that I had to go through is the main reason I will never forget it." Then say a bit more about the competition like when you took part in it, what type of competition it was, why it was important for you to win, who was with you, what challenges you had to face to take part in this competition, what was your part in the competition and about the prizes of this competition. Finally, give more details about why you took part in this competition and how you felt about it.

Following are some of the competitions that you can talk about for this cue card topic: 

1. A debate competition you participated in your college.
2. A debate competition in television.
3. A quiz competition in television.
4. A reality TV show you took part in.
5. A football tournament in your college/ university.
6. Chess competition.
7. Any national sporting competition.
8. College entrance exam competition.
9. Getting top grade in school.
10. A talent contest.
11. Inter-college gaming competition.
12. Computer programming contest.
13. Best photography competition in college.
14. An assignment submission competition.
15. Science fair competition in school.
16. Art competition in college.
17. Competition for sales target in office.
18. The best employee of the month competition in a workplace.
19. Winning an election in college.
20. Bicycling competition.
21. Race competition in college.
22. Story writing competition in college.

Part 3 - Detail discussion / Two-way discussion:

Competitions in school:

Q. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?
A. Competition is the process to move ahead with the contemporary situations. It helps to inspire people on performing something very special so that they could be the best or the winners. Luck has nothing to do here. Sometimes the school teachers use competitions as a class activity for their students with the view to improve them in their studies. When there is a competition, the students will be more eager to study and the hard labour will bring their victory. They will be considered as special students than others. Competition among the students helps to bring a positive change inside them. A competitive attitude is a must to shine in future and if the sense could be grown from the tender age, undoubtedly they will be successful in the upcoming days. Therefore, competition is considered as a part of teaching.

Q. Do you think it is a good idea to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?
A. Prizes are always inspiring. It is a kind of recognition for someone’s work or labour. It helps to get encouragement to perform better. Prizes build confidence among the winners. When the winners do not get something after their hard work, they gradually start losing interest over the issue. Consequently, their performances fall to a great extent. By the same way, when there is a competition at school, the children should be given prizes. The prizes help to raise their confidence level and they could get inspiration too for winning the next competition. By this way, they will be getting stronger day after day to battle and survive in the future days. 

Q. Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?
A. Currently, the schools in different areas try to beat one another in term of good scores performed by the students. In my days, the competition was not so available because the number of schools for the young children was few. But in the current days, with the advancement of time, commercialization has taken place in the schools and thus the authorities are trying to attract students and motivating the parents to admit their kids into the school. But if the overall performances of the school are not considerable, the parents turn reluctant to seek admission of their kids. So, commercialization is a potential ground for the schools for the young and they try to compete with the other institutions. But in my childhood days, we did not experience such competition rather the schools tried to inspire us in having a better performance than others so that we could build a better future.             

Sporting Competitions:

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?
A. Training is a must to master any specific skill or art. It is the gateway to learn and earn skills to be applied in real life. It is the way to make them aware of the certain issue so that they could perform well during the competition. Intensive training helps to perform the skills by closing the eyes and comfortably. When the training is provided, the trainees are armed with the necessary visible and invisible tools and use those when necessary. They achieve the right skills and techniques with the exercise. Moreover, they attain physical flexibility to perform the task which is impossible for the untrained people. But intensive training has some disadvantages too. It does not allow the young sports athletes to go outside of the training zone. The chances of socialisation decreases and sometimes they may get a serious injury during the training. 

Q. Some people think that competition leads to a better performance from sports stars. Others think that it just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?
A. Competition helps to build confidence among the sports star and thus they get more inspiration to win the next match or event. Moreover, when they are inspired, they perform better. It arouses the inside spirit among the sports star to gain in the competition and earn fame in their specific sporting arena. But there are some other schools that are on the view that competition leads the players to insecurity. This idea is not a worthy one to pay attention. If a player has enough training and practice over his/ her respective sport, it is not supposed to feel insecure during the competition. The issue of insecurity may arise only if there is the lack of practice or training of the player. But usually, the players practice more than before during the beginning of a competition.

Q. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?
A. Competition is part and parcel of sports and sporting events. If there were no competition, the sporting events would have lost their appeal. So, a player needs to be competitive. But I do not think that a player has to be too competitive in sports. Sometimes the willingness of higher competition creates rivalry which leads to damage to career. So, being too competitive is not the way to be the best; rather practising more and more will help in gaining the best skills to be the best in the sport. When people take preparation for a competition, they lose the common sense to behave naturally and thus the enmity begins which may lead to real life issue too. So, I think it is not possible to be too competitive and if there are chances to be so, one should leave it for a growing career.        

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