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Cue Card Topics from Recent IELTS Exams:

The second section of the IELTS Speaking test is called "Cue Card" or "Candidate Task Card". In this section, the examiner gives the test-taker a topic that comes with 4 related questions. The candidate has 1 minute to think and make notes about what he/she is going to talk, and then 1 to 2 minutes to talk about the topic. If you follow the questions that come with the topic, you should end up delivering an answer which is organised or coherent. However, you are not bound to answer all the questions that come with the topic.  

Many students find this section challenging as they find brainstorming, making some notes and then actually talking about the given topic for about 1-2 minutes a tough nut to crack. They sometimes find a topic much challenging if they have to use their imagination to make a story about the topic. But a little confidence and practice can make them ready to face the challenge and virtually talk about any topic they are given. 

Many test-takers are also afraid of unknown topics. So for them, it is advised to look at some recent Cue Card/Candidate Task Card topics and brainstorm as much as possible to think about what they are going to talk about if they are given these same topics. This way, they would not only gain confidence but also get ready to talk about unknown topics as well. 

We will list several cue card topics here which are taken from recent real exams, as well as suggestions for the upcoming tests so that you can practice well. Please do not try to memorise the answer of any cue card topic as it would only make your answer worse and decrease your band score. 

For any difficult topic, please brainstorm and prepare an answer. If you share this answer, we will correct it and publish the modified version with your credentials on our website. Post your answer here as a comment.

The following Cue card topics are taken from the recent IELTS exams. It will help you to get ideas about the recent topics in the IELTS test. For the answer of any Cue card, click on the link provided below the topic. We would love to hear from test-takers who have taken tests lately. If you have recently taken an IELTS test, please add the Cue Card topic you were given in your exam in the comment section. We believe that Sharing is Caring!

# 1. Describe an expensive hobby you can’t pursue daily.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • why it is expensive
  • why you wish to pursue it
and explain when you are planning on doing it in the near future.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 2. Talk about something you were disappointed about.

You should say:
  • what it was about
  • when it happened
  • why it disappointed you
and explain how you felt about it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 3. Describe a national day in your country.

You should say:
  • what day it is
  • how it is celebrated
  • what the historical significance of this day is
and explain how you feel about this day.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 4. Describe an interesting place in your hometown.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • where it is
  • what it is famous for
and explain why this place is interesting in your opinion.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 5. Describe a prize you have won.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • what you had to do to win it
  • how many other competitors were there
and explain how you felt after winning it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 6. Describe a feature of your personal character that you find important.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • why is it important to you
  • What difference it makes in your life
and explain why it is important to you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 7. Describe a rule you did not like in school.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • how others thought about this rule
  • have you ever violated this rule
and explain why you did not like this rule.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 8. Describe a difficult choice you had to make in your life.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • when you had to make it
  • how it affected your life
and explain why this was a difficult choice to make.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 9. Describe a garden you remember visiting.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • what it looks like
  • what people usually do there
and explain why you remember it.

# 10. Describe a television programme you watched and did not enjoy.

You should say:
  • what this TV programme was
  • where and when you watched it
  • what it was about
and explain why you did not enjoy it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 11. Describe a writer you would like to meet.

You should say:
  • who the writer is
  • what you know about this writer already
  • what you would like to find out about him/her
and explain why you would like to meet this writer.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 12. Describe a festival that is important in your country.

You should say:
  • when the festival is celebrated
  • what people do during this festival
  • what you like or dislike about it
and explain why this festival is important in your country.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 13. Describe a time when you forgot something important.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • what you forgot
  • how you managed the situation
and explain how you felt about it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 14. Describe a person who likes to travel by plane.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • how you know this person
  • where this person travels to
and explain why this person likes to travel by plane.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 15. Describe a day when you thought the weather was perfect.

You should say:
- where you were on this day
- what the weather was like on this day
- what you did during the day

and explain why you thought the weather was perfect on this day.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 16. Describe a long walk you ever had.

You should say:
  • when this happened
  • where you walked
  • who you were with
and explain how you felt about this long walk.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 17. Describe an unforgettable advertisement (that you saw or heard).

You should say:
  • what kind of advertisement it was
  • what the content of the advertisement was (or what product or service was advertised)
  • where you saw or heard it
and explain why you think this is an unforgettable advertisement.
Click here for the answer to this cue card 

# 18. Describe an important historical event in your country.

You should say:
  • when it happened
  • what happened
  • who the most important people involved were
and say why it is important to the history of your country.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 19. Talk about an important day in your life.

You should say:
  • when this day was
  • where you were and what happened
  • if you were alone or with others
and explain why this day was important to you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card
 

# 20. Describe a historical place you have been to.

You should say:
  • what kind of place it is
  • what it looks like
  • where it is
and explain how the place is related to history.
Click here for the answer to this cue card 

# 21. Describe a house or apartment you want to live in.

You should say:
  • what it would look like
  • where it would be located
  • what facilities this would have
and explain why you want to live there.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 22. Talk about something you or someone you know collects.

You should say:
  • what you or this person collects
  • how the collection is stored
  • how quickly the collection is growing
and say what kind of person would enjoy collecting that thing, and why?
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 23. Describe something enjoyable you can do on a computer.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • what equipment or software you need to do that
  • why and how often you do it
and explain why you enjoy doing this on a computer.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 24. Talk about a musical instrument you would like to be able to play.

You should say:
  • what musical instrument it is
  • what it looks like
  • what it sounds like
and explain why you would like to be able to play it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 25. Describe your favourite place to eat out.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • what kind of food it serves
  • what the decor is like
and explain why it is your favourite place to eat out.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 26. Talk about something you like doing during the winter.

You should say:
  • what you do
  • where you do it
  • what clothes or equipment you need
And explain why you like doing it during the winter.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 27. Talk about a sport or exercise that you do for fitness.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • wow often you do it
  • why you do it
and explain how this activity or sport helps your fitness.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

28. Describe a situation when you were late.

You should say:
  • what the event was you were late for
  • what the reason was for being late
  • how you felt about it
and explain how you managed even after being late.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 29. Describe a person who you believe dresses well.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • what kind of dresses he/she wears
  • how you know him/her
and explain why you think this person dresses well.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 30. Describe a place that has a special meaning to you.

You should say:
  • what kind of place it is
  • where it is
  • what it looks like
and explain why this place has a special meaning to you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 31. Talk about a part of your city that is changing.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • how  it is changing
  • why it is changing
and describe how you feel about the change.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 32. Describe a TV or radio presenter you like.

You should say:
  • what program he/she presents
  • how often you watch/ listen to him/her
  • what s/he does or talk about
and explain why you like this TV or radio presenter.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 33. Describe a decision which you have made that you feel was wrong.

You should say:
  • what the decision was and why you made that decision
  • how long it took to realize that it was a wrong decision
  • why you think it was a wrong decision you made
and explain how you would alter that decision if you could.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 34. Describe your favourite means of transport.

You should say:
  • what is it
  • when and how often you use it
  • why you use it
And explain why it is your favourite transport.
Click here for the answer to this cue card


# 35. Describe your ideal home or place to live.

You should say:
  • where it would be
  • how big it would be
  • what it would contain
and explain why this kind of accommodation would attract you so much.
Click here for the answer to this cue card


# 36. Describe an item of clothing you purchased that you didn’t like.

You should say:
  • what the clothing is
  • where and why you bought it
  • what colour and style it is
and explain why you didn’t like it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 37. Describe an important decision you have made.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • why you made it and how important it was
  • whether it was a good decision or not
And explain what effect that decision had on you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card 

# 38. Describe someone you know who is a good teacher.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • how you know him/her
  • what kinds of subjects they teach
and explain why this person is good at teaching.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 39. Describe a photograph you have taken yourself which you particularly like.

You should say:
  • what the picture show
  • when you took it
  • why you took it
and explain why you particularly like this photograph.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 40. Describe an important technological advancement in your country.

You should say: 
  • what it is
  • how it happened
  • how long it took
and explain what effect it has had on people in your country.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 41. Describe your favourite way to relax.

You should say: 
  • what is it
  • how effective it is for you
  • when and how you relax.
and explain why you like this way of relaxation.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 42. Describe a relative/ friend/ family member who you think is similar to you.

You should say: 
  • who is he/ she
  • what he /she does
  • what others think about him/her
and explain how he/ she is similar to you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 43. Describe an app you use on your mobile phone.

You should say:
  • what it is
  • how you use it
  • what benefits do you get
and explain why this mobile app is important to you.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 44. Describe a time that you and your friend had a disagreement.

You should say:
  • when this happened
  • who you disagreed with
  • what you and your friend argued about
and if you two solved the disagreement in the end. 
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 45. Describe a photograph you have taken yourself which you particularly like.

You should say:
  • what the picture show
  • when you took it
  • why you took it
and explain why you particularly like this photograph.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 46. Describe a situation when you had to be nice to someone you dislike.

You should say:
  • who this person was
  • why you do not like him/her
  • what happened
and why you still had to be nice to him/her.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 47. Describe someone you know who is a good teacher.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • how you know him/her
  • what kinds of subjects they teach
and explain why this person is good at teaching.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 48. Describe a time when you got lost.

You should say: 
  • when and where it happened
  • who was there with you
  • how you felt when you got lost
and explain how you eventually found your way.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 49. Describe a job you would like to have.

You should say: 
  • what it is
  • why you would like to have this job
  • what skills you will need to do this job
and explain why you want to have this job.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 50. Describe something kind that someone did for you.

You should say: 
  • who this person was
  • where and when it happened
  • what s/he did for you
and explain how you felt about it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 51. Describe a place you went to which was full of colours.

You should say: 
  • where it was
  • why you went there
  • what you did there
and explain why you think that place was made so colourful.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 52. Describe an unusual building you have visited.

You should say: 
  • where it is
  • what it is used for
  • what it looks like
and explain why you think it is unusual.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 53. Something you borrowed from your friends or family.

You should say: 
  • what it was
  • when you borrowed it and from whom
  • why you borrowed it
and explain why it was important for you to borrow it.
Click here for the answer to this cue card

# 54. Describe an important social change in your country.

You should say: 
  • what it was
  • how it happened
  • how long it took
and explain the effect it has had on people in your country.
Click here for the answer to this cue card


Expected Cue Card Topics for August 2020 - December 2020

1: Describe a place where you can read and write. [Model Answer]
2: Describe an event/incident/situation when someone apologized to you. [Model Answer]
3: Describe a change that will improve your local area. [Model Answer]
4: Describe a dream place or a dream home that you’d like to live in the future. [Model Answer]
5: Describe a time when you were excited and happy about something. [Model Answer]
6: Describe an interesting conversation you had with someone. [Model Answer]
7: Describe an occasion when the weather forced you to change your plan.
8: Describe a toy you enjoyed the most to play with when you were a child. [Model Answer]
9: Describe a colourful place you have visited and liked.
10: Describe a historical building you have visited recently. [Model Answer]
11: Describe something that you borrowed which was useful to you. [Model Answer]
12: Describe a goal that you have set in your life. [Model Answer]
13: Describe a new public place or public building you would like to visit. [Model Answer]
14: Describe a person who is good at his/her work.
15: Describe an important text message you received.
16: Describe a time when you saw an interesting animal or bird.
17: Describe a crowded place you have been to.
18: Describe a successful small company you know about. [Model Answer]
19: Describe an article you read from the internet or magazines about healthy living.
20: Describe a situation when you helped someone. [Model Answer]
21: Describe a practical skill (i.e. driving, swimming etc.) you have learned recently.
22: Describe a performance you enjoyed watching. [Model Answer]
23: Describe a family member you spend the most time with.
24: Describe a job that you would not like to do in the future.
25: Describe an occasion when you could not use your mobile phone.
26: Describe a journey in which you used public transport.
27: Describe a time that something good happened to you.
28: Describe a person who is often in the news, and who you would like to meet.
29: Describe a uniform (school or company) you once wore.
30: Describe a challenge you faced recently.
31: Describe a situation when you helped someone in work or study.
32: Describe a time when you did not tell a friend the truth.
33: Describe a trip with your friends which you enjoyed a lot.
34: Describe something special you brought back home from a holiday. [Model Answer]
35: Describe a place where you used to play when you were a child.
36: Describe a famous person in another country whom you want to meet in the future.
37: Describe a special day in your life that you remember well.
38: Describe a person who encouraged you to achieve a goal recently.
39: Describe a singer or a music band you like.
40: Describe a leisure activity you have done with your family.
41: Describe something which you borrowed from your friend or family member. [Model Answer]
42: Describe an advertisement you have watched and will never forget.
43: Describe an important technological advancement in your country. [Model Answer]
44: Describe a time when you celebrated for some kind of success achievement.
45: Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake.
46: Describe a picture or photograph you have in your room.
47: Describe a person who has creative ideas and opinions.
48: Describe an indoor activity that you would like to start.
49: Describe a challenging thing/task that you did well.
50: Describe a person who has taught you something.

Expected Cue Card Topics 2021

1. Describe an experience when you searched for something that you lost. [Model Answer]
2. Describe your experience when you went outside of your country for the first time. 
3. Describe a time when you represented a team. 
4. Describe when you were a speaker in a meeting or public function. 
5. Describe a time when you were made responsible for something you did not do. 
6. Describe a childhood friend whom you have never met later in your life. 
7. Describe an unusual season that you have experienced.
8. Describe a time when you were forced to stay home for many days. 
9. Describe a time when you could not buy an item that you needed to buy. 
10. Describe a news item that you read in a newspaper that was sad to read. 
11. Describe a foreign TV programme you have watched on TV. 
12. Describe a book or magazine that you have read while you were on a journey. 
13. Describe a hotel you have stayed in just for a night. 
14. Describe a person who has given you a piece of advice that you wish you have followed.
15. Describe a boat journey that you have ever taken. 

Recent Cue Card topics - January 2020 - July 2020 Exams:

1. Describe a film/movie you would like to watch with your family.

You should say:
  • what film/movie it is
  • how you know about it
  • when and where you want to watch it with your family
and explain why you want to watch it with your family.


2: Describe a place where you can read and write (not your home).

You should say:
  • what place it is
  • how relaxed you would feel to read and write there
  • whether you already read or write there
and explain if it is a good place to read or write.


3: Describe a person who has taught you something.

You should say:
  • who this person is
  • what he has taught you
  • when this person has taught you that
and explain how this can be helpful to you.


4: Describe a colourful place that you remember well.

You should say:
  • what place it is
  • when you went there
  • why it is so colourful
and explain why you still remember this place so well.


5: Describe a goal that you have set in your life.

You should say:
  • what goal it is
  • how long you have had it
  • how you will help you
and explain why you think it is important.

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