IELTS Speaking Cue Cards

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ielts cue card

IELTS is a well-known English proficiency test that is accepted by many of the world’s top colleges. IELTS scores are accepted by over 1000 institutions and colleges in over 140 countries worldwide. The test has four sections: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The speaking component of the IELTS is thought to be the easiest of all but what’s tricky is it’s Part 2 commonly known as the IELTS Speaking Cue Card round. This blog will provide you with a complete strategy to prepare for the IELTS Speaking Cue Card part. 

Objective and Exam Pattern

The Speaking test is a one-on-one interview with the examiner. The Speaking test is designed to measure how well one can communicate in English. The test focuses on the candidate’s pronunciation, fluency, grammar and vocabulary. 

The candidate will be given exactly one minute in the IELTS Speaking test to prepare themself to speak about a specific topic, which is known as the IELTS Speaking Cue card or Candidate Task Card. The instructions for their talk are written on a card that the examiner gives them. Their talk should last for approximately 2 minutes until the examiner asks them to stop. In the end, the examiner will ask one or two questions. The issue of the IELTS cue card/candidate task card takes 3-4 minutes, including 1 minute of preparation time. 

Also Read: IELTS vs CELPIP

IELTS Cue Cards for 2022

The IELTS Cue card round is the one that examines the candidate’s confidence. Intelligence and all the bookish knowledge are not much of significance here, but the way of presentation, the art of speaking, the body postures and methodology used in evaluating the given topic plays a major role in scoring higher in the IELTS Cue Card Round. Here are some recent IELTS Cue Card topics with answers to help aspirants prepare for the 2022 Session.

Describe an occasion in which you were afraid.

You should say:

  • When and where it happened
  • Who you were with
  • Why you were scared
  • How you felt about it

Uncertainties are an inevitable part of life. My family and I were on vacation the last time I was scared. We had gone to the beach. I was surfing through the water while watching a spectacular sunset. Later that evening, my cousins and I decided to jump into the water without life jackets or safety bags. I initially saw it as a challenge and went into the water in good spirits. My head begins to throb after only a few minutes underwater. My legs were paralysed, and no one could hear my screams. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until I saw myself being pushed down into the sea. I was about to drown. I was terrified. In just a few minutes, my life began to flash before my eyes. But I summoned all of my strength. I tried to push myself out, and the next thing I knew, I was being rescued by my cousins. It was the worst day of my life. Later, I told my parents about it and apologised for putting my life in danger. That day, I realised how valuable life is, and how one bad decision can cost us everything we own.

Describe your favourite sport.

You should say: 

  • How do you play it?
  • Where did it originate?
  • Who is your ideal?

One of my life’s passions is sports. I enjoy practically all major sports and I am proficient in football, cricket, and badminton. “Football” is my favourite sport out of all the ones I watch on TV or play with my friends. Football is a hugely popular sport all around the world. We’ll need a large green playground with two goalposts on opposite sides to play football. The rules are straightforward, but everyone must follow them. This game requires a total of twenty-two players, who are divided into two teams. Each team consists of eleven players, one of whom is the goalkeeper who protects the goalposts. There is a centre where the game begins with the referee blowing his whistle. The referee has the authority to make decisions about what is proper and incorrect, as well as to control the games. From the sidelines of the field, two more officials assist the chief referee. The players must adhere to the regulations at all times. Football was created in England and is now one of the most popular sports worldwide. It has millions of admirers and has spread to practically every nook and cranny of the globe. I am quite passionate about this sport, and it can provide me with an exciting experience both on and off the field. It’s in my blood, and I adore it – whether I’m watching a football match or participating in one with my pals. I do follow almost all major European football leagues such as EPL, La Liga and Bundesliga. Bayern Munich from the German Bundesliga is my all-time favourite among the EU football clubs. Among the national teams, Germany is my favourite team and the German striker Marco Reus is my favourite footballer.  

Do you think it is true that in today’s society money can’t buy happiness?

You should say: 

  • Why do you believe so?
  • What else can be done?

I don’t believe that money can buy “happiness” in a utopian society or world (depending on how “happiness” is defined), but sadly, we don’t live in an ideal society where practically anything and everything, including happiness, can be purchased. To put it another way, as much as I appreciate the ring of the phrase ” money can’t buy happiness,” the truth is that money just can’t buy happiness, but also defines how we should feel about ourselves and our accomplishments in the larger scheme of things. 

Describe a tourist attraction you once visited. 

You should say:

  • When you visited it
  • Where is it situated
  • Who you went with
  • What about it you like the most

I took a vacation to London with my friends a few years ago. It is a popular tourist destination because it has many points of interest, such as ancient museums and monuments. That’s why there are always so many tourists. As a result, we decided to go out of season in the autumn. Fortunately, the weather was beautiful, and we didn’t waste any time watching TV at the hotel. It was a memorable vacation. We dined in cosy little restaurants and enjoyed breathtaking views from Buckingham Palace. I would definitely recommend visiting London; it is a beautiful city.

Describe your friend.

You should say:

  • Who is he/she
  • When did you meet
  • Why is he/she so close to you
  • What do you like about your friend the most

I’d like to speak with you about my friend Alex. I wouldn’t call him my best friend, but I would consider him a good friend. I met him at a nearby cafe last year. We discovered that we were both attending the same college. Then, by some miracle, I ended up in the same class as him, and we hit it off like a house on fire. We do many things together like studying, playing, watching movies and rehearsing our band music. He’s the most lovely person I’ve ever met! He’s intelligent, helpful, caring, funny, and somehow attractive. Most importantly, we share a lot of interests, and he understands me like no one else.

Common IELTS Speaking Topics

An extensive collection of typical IELTS speaking exam topics with cue cards is provided below. To ace this section, students should practise the following topics:


  • A wonderful memory from your youth
  • A photograph that is really close to your heart

A person you know 

  • An individual whose impact on your life has been felt
  • Any person you find fascinating
  • Your favourite schoolteacher


  • An item you gave someone as a gift
  • A present you liked


  • Your preferred period of the day


  • Your preferred music


  • A sport you like to do
  • A gathering you had been to
  • Any activity you want to attempt


  • A destination nation that you’d want to visit
  • Any body of water you have been to
  • A recent vacation you went on
  • A location you find to be contaminated


  • Discuss your family.
  • Describe the family picnic you attended.
  • A fun family event you’re looking forward to


  • Describe an occasion when you lent someone something valuable.
  • A product that satisfied you


  • The kind of cuisine you like
  • Food you consumed outside


  • Your preferred book
  • A website that you frequent


  • A comedian who you find entertaining
  • A favourite television programme


  • A structure that you like


  • Are there any recent positive developments?


  • A moment when you daydreamed
  • Any circumstance that had given you pause or anger

Expected Cue Cards Of IELTS on Upcoming Exam

Because they are unsure of the questions the examiner will ask during the speaking portion, many applicants are terrified of it. This frequently undermines the applicants’ confidence and causes them to hesitate more frequently, which decreases their band score for this passage. Before the test, they can evaluate themselves and prepare with previous IELTS cue cards. They will be able to comprehend what is required of them in each segment as a result. But memorising is completely counterproductive and must be avoided at all costs.

Samples for Speaking Cue Cards Of IELTS

Part 1 

Do you like to travel?

Here, the applicant must describe whether or not they like to travel. They can give an explanation of the kinds of places they enjoy as well as an explanation of why.

What do you prefer to do on vacation? 

The learner can now begin to describe their points of interest. For instance, the applicant may say, “I adore going to museums, and I just travelled to Rome. That was a fun event that I’ll never forget.

Part 2

There will be an IELTS speaking cue card available. When responding to an IELTS cue card, the applicant should strive to divide the question into many pieces. For instance, the applicants can be requested to:

Describe a Decision that Changed their Life 

The candidate should start by explaining what their decision was and if any other choices had been available. The student must also give a justification for their first choice.

They can begin by saying, “I recently decided that I wanted to pursue studies abroad. Naturally, no one in my family had been overseas before me, even though my parents had anticipated that I would work for their family firm. However, I took this decision because I wanted to study marketing in the UK. I am quite happy with this and am sure that it will further my career. I want to use our skills to grow my family’s business when I return to my own country.

These types of queries are related to a prior occurrence. Candidates can succeed in this if:

  • They employ a variety of tenses.
  • Formulating the query
  • Staying away from words like “really”
  • Answers that are brief and to the point
  • Putting a summary at the conclusion of the response

Favourite Vacation of Your Life 

The learner may introduce the subject first before noting on the IELTS cue cards:

  • The location of their trip
  • They took it when
  • Who all travelled with us?

Part 3 

What kinds of assets give someone status? 

The applicant may start by outlining the items that, in some situations, confer status. They may begin, for example, “In public, automobiles like Mercedes Benz may indicate class because the majority of people would not be able to purchase at all. 

Was the value of the same items previously?

The applicant might discuss how they view the differences between possessions in the past and now.

What justifies individuals displaying their social status?

The student might first express their viewpoint by pointing out how it is a human tendency to display achievement and money. The candidate might then discuss the influence of society and how demonstrating status is connected to gaining respect.

IELTS Speaking Samples

Sample 1Click here
Sample 2Click here
Sample 3Click here
Sample 4Click here

Important Questions to Practise

In order to chisel your IELTS speaking skills you can practise while doing the following tricks:

  • Describe something you recently lost.
  • Moving to a new school or shifting to a new home 
  • When you received a surprise gift.
  • When you directed someone to a location.
  • When you made a promise to another person.
  • Describe a well-known businessperson.
  • Describe a website from which you purchased something.
  • Tell me about something you would like to change about your lifestyle.
  • Describe a time when the internet assisted you in resolving a problem.
  • Tell me about a weekend that you remember and enjoyed.
Topic CategoriesPersonal IncidentHobbiesSociety oriented
SuggestionsCandidate’s viewpoint – Clear and Concise, Instances to relate and Lesson learned (if any)The reason why you enjoy, Favourite, and mention any Recent Event.Candidate’s Take, Impact and Suggestions to improve.

Strategies for Planning in 60 seconds

  1. Using Question prompts
  2. Follow ‘The 3 steps’ 
    • List the 6 question cue keywords
    • Write bullet points for each relevant keyword.
    • Organise your notes in logical order
  3. Remain calm
  4. Body language says a lot, focus on them as well.
  5. Practice answering all the “why” questions.
  6. Don’t be in a hurry. Utilise all the time allotted to you to frame a perfect answer.
  7. Avoid Speaking in Monotone
  8. Don’t Panic When You Make Mistakes 
  9. Always be prepared for the follow-up questions
  10. Be Prepared to answer the 5 Ws, What, Where, Who, When and Why.


What happens if I continue talking past 2 minutes in the IELTS Cue Cards Round?

The examiner controls the time very strictly in the IELTS Speaking Test. The examiner will stop you when you reach 2 minutes and move to the third round.

Can I choose the topic to speak on?

No, the examiner will give you a cue card that will contain prompts for you as a reference.

Do I strictly need to follow the prompts?

No, it’s not mandatory to follow the prompts provided by the examiner. Although, it is advisable to keep them in mind while framing the answer.

What do I do if I can’t understand the topic?

In the IELTS Cue Card round, you can’t change the topic assigned to you. We recommend you not to give up at the moment you feel confused. Try to understand the prompts and keywords given and frame an answer.

If I ask the examiner to repeat the question, will it affect my score?

No, you can freely ask the examiner to repeat the question if you fail to hear clearly the first time, it won’t affect your scores. Although, it is advisable to only do so two to three times, not more than that.

Also Read: How We Got an 8 IELTS Band #SecretsRevealed

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ielts speaking cue cards
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