IELTS Speaking Cue Cards

8 minute read

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

Cue Cards for 2022

The IELTS Cue card round is the one that examines the candidate’s confidence. Intelligence and all the bookish knowledge is not much of a 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 which you were afraid of.

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.

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 Categories Personal Incident Hobbies Society oriented
Suggestions Candidate’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.

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

Leverage Edu Rockstars

ielts speaking cue cards
ielts speaking cue cards


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.

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Also Read: Tips and Strategies for Retaking IELTS

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