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Describe a pleasant surprise you had

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 242 with Model Answer:

Describe a pleasant surprise you had.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • why you were surprised
  • who was/were there with you
and explain how you felt about it.

[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:
Surprises are always pleasant and in fact, the surprises are made to make the people feel amazed. Commonly the surprises are made by the near and dear ones and for my case, it was the same. I was given a bicycle on my success in the year ending exam.

It was in December when the year ending exams usually held in the University of Macedonia in Greece. I am a graduate level student here under the course – Economics and passed the second phase of the course. Generally, the exams are supposed to be held in the beginning of the last quarter of the year but in last year, there were some unintentional delays and the authority could not take the year ending exam in the pre-set time. So, the exam was held in December. When the result was published, I found that I stood first in my department and everyone praised me highly. But I know that the result could have been better if I studied a bit attentively. Due to my outbound nature, I could not concentrate on my studies regularly. It was the difference of a half mark with the contestant who stood second in the exam.

I was surprised as my dad had bought me a bicycle so that I could attend my college comfortably. Usually, he drops me to the college by his car and my mom often brings me home when the classes are finished. But this time, I think they want me to be self-reliant and thus they have brought me the bicycle. In fact, I had no idea that I would be presented with such a tremendous gift. My parents have always advised me to be attentive to my studies and sometimes my dad has also guided me on some complex issues related to my course. But none of them had hinted about such a pleasant surprise for me. I think they had planned it before but did not share it with me lest I lose interest on my studies. I did not have the slightest idea that I was going to have the bicycle. So, when I received it from my parents, it was really surprising to me.

Often my friends come to visit me but my parents have not invited them yet. But this time, before presenting the surprise, they invited some of my intimate friends to our residence. Then my parents had talks with them over different issues, inquired about their parents, studies, and their aims in life and much other matter. They passed for around one hour by this way. I was unaware that my parents are having some tricks with me. By the time I understood that they are hiding something to me because they do not have enough time to spend with my friends and when they come to our home, they directly enter into my room. But on that day, the events were different. A festive mood was prevailing in the air. Suddenly I heard a knock on the door and opened. To my surprise, it was the deliveryman with a bicycle in his van. Then my dad received the bicycle and presented me that before everyone present there including my friends and some of our relatives.

The feelings were pleasant. In fact, I have never felt so glad in my life after having the bicycle. It was the recognition of my hard work. I know I am not a very good student or meritorious like the other students of my university, but the merit I own is not applied properly. My respected teachers are on the view that I could do much better than my current result if I work more and be attentive on my studies instead of my outgoing feature. Of course, the event was highly pleasant for me as everyone endorsed me for my sincerity with the study and they also advised me to more hardworking so that I could also be on the top in the upcoming exams. But I was not listening to their advice as my mind was overwhelmed with the presence of the bicycle. In fact, I was flying high with the bicycle. Many of my friends own a bicycle and now I would be able to compete with them in the bicycle race.

Sample Answer 2:
My classmates and friends celebrated my birthday last month and it was a pleasant surprise for me. In fact, I was really glad about the event. None of them showed the slightest hint that they were going to celebrate the day. Thanks for the question. Now I will describe the entire event here.

I was born in the mid of June. And I celebrate the day amid festivity. But unluckily, I have to pass the day out of the home. I am an international student in Greece and thus need to pass the day without my family. But this year, I was greatly surprised with the event that was arranged by my friends and classmates here.

I was surprised for some reasons. The most important thing was that I did not disclose my birthday date with anyone. But somehow they managed it. And I think they came to know about this from my facebook account. So, it was a surprise for me when they brought a birthday cake in the class. At first, I did not understand that the cake was bought for me. But when they unpacked the cake and asked me to blow out the candles, I was really surprised. They also brought some light snacks for everyone in the class. 

It was a kind of small party at the class marking my birthday. So, every one of the class attended the function. I cut the cake after the classes were done. One of our teachers was present in the event. It was a surprise for me that every one of the class had contributed to get the cake and arrange for the other snacks. Even I also had to contribute to the event. When Sam asked me to give him some money the previous day for a special reason and later he explained that they were going to hold a party in the class. So, he needs contribution from every one of the class.

I was highly glad about the event. In fact, I have never celebrated my birthday amid such festivity. When I am at home, my mom prepares a cake for me at home and sometimes she also invites our relatives. But this time it was completely different and unusual for me. I did not have the idea that the cake would be a large one. Moreover, the attractive presents from my classmates and friends also surprised me. I was feeling lucky when every one of them started singing the birthday song. To be honest, it was the very best birthday of my life. I thanked them all for the beautiful arrangement. But none of them explained how they knew about my birthday. It is still a mystery to me.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a pleasant surprise you had." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue cards topics as well:
  • Describe a memorable event in your life. 
  • Describe a celebration or party that you remember. 
  • Describe an event when you were surprised. 
  • Describe a party you were invited. 
  • Describe a party you enjoyed a lot. 
  • Describe a recent happy event.  

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