• IELTS Cue Card Sample 3 – Describe a book that had a major influence on you

    Describe a book that had a major influence on you – Cue Card.

    You should say

    • what is the name of the book and its author
    • how you first heard of the book
    • what the main story of the book is

    and explain why it had a major influence on you.

    Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

    Model Answer 1:

    People say that if we read books, it will make us smart, and if we read too much of it, we will become “bookworm”. Not sure, if I am smart or a bookworm, but I do love to read books once in a while if they are a good read. Today, I would like to talk about one such book called “The Alchemist”, a novel, written by a Brazilian writer named “Paulo Coelho”. “The Alchemist”, is said by many, continues to change the lives of its readers forever. This book has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired and loved by people.

    I heard about the book for the first time during my university years when one of my university friends was doing some research on the Islamic heritage of Andalusia, which was ruled by the Muslim rulers from the 8th century to the 4th century, in order to write an essay on it. The book aroused a huge interest in me as I couldn’t possibly find a reason as to why a Brazilian Author would care to write an allegory of someone, who was “supposedly” living in an area called “Andalusia” in Spain which was/is about 8000 kilometers away from Brazil.

    Anyway, the book is essentially a third-person narration that tells the story of a young shepherd boy (Santiago) from Andalusia who dreams to travel around the whole world. However, his greatest incident in life was to meet a Melchizedek, King of Salem, who directs him towards his journey from the Andalusian plains to the exotic markets of Tangier and through the mighty deserts Sahara to the Al-Fayoum oasis where he encounters the “Alchemist” as well as meets a girl called “Fatima” and falls in love with her.

    The book is full of lessons that are bound to influence you one way or another. I learned that life gives us choices, and chances if we are willing to take them and there is nothing called an impossible dream. Anyway, after reading this book, I understood that fear seems to be the biggest obstacle in achieving our dreams than the  “obstacle” itself if any. After reading this book, my belief was re-affirmed once again that truth prevails always no matter how hard we try to hide it. I also realized that we should always try to live in our present if we really want to be happy in life.

    Model Answer 2:

    Whenever I get time, I try to read books and this is a hobby I immensely enjoy. The types of books I read greatly vary from skill development books to technical ones, sometimes religious, other time fiction, classic and contemporary books. The book I would like to describe for this topic is a novel titled ‘Kane and Abel’ by the famous British writer Jeffrey Archer.

    Sometimes I read book reviews on the Internet before I start reading a book. I found that most of the Jeffrey Archer fans have recommended the book ‘Kane & Abel’. Some even commented that this is the best book ever by the same author. I made my mind at this very moment to read this book soon. After a week or so, I purchased the book from a bookstore and started reading it.

    The book was first published in 1979 in the United Kingdom and in the USA in 1980. The book was an international success and reached number 1 position on the New York Times best-selling book list. The storyline started with the birth of two infants named Kane and Abel in the year 1906. On different sides of the planet, they grew up: one shaped by a luxurious upbringing, fine schooling, and history he read, the other one who lost his mother at the time of his birth and did not know who his father was, well-tempered by war, slavery and history he was part of. The storytelling of Jeffrey Archer was enchanting. Every page I turned tempted me to read further. Not for a single moment, I could have stopped thinking about the events and characters of the books, and that had a major influence on me. The characters have their own charismatic powers and followed their own paths. One is gold, meritorious while the other one is steel and has forfeited the Dead himself. On their journey in life, they confront each other and became the ultimate adversary of each other. In their relentless battle, both men knew that there could be only one victor- and one vanquished.

    Across three generations and around a rapidly changing world, their war rages unchecked, for the love of a dream, the loss of an empire, and the lure of a fortune. Kane became the owner of the largest bank in the USA while Abel came to the USA as a penniless emigrant after World War I. With intelligence, Kane started flourishing the banking business, while Abel made his fortune at last in the Hotel business. The first time they confronted each other as a bank owner and a debtor. Though Kane wanted to help Abel regain his business by financing further, but could not do so because of the bank’s board members’ decision. After that, Abel considered Kane as his greatest enemy and sought to destroy Kane. As time passed both had to fight their own fates but the vendetta remained in their hearts. When both men finally grew older, their son and daughter fell in love and got married. They never agreed on the marriage because of their personal hatred of each other. Abel succeeded to buy the bank stocks of Kane’s Bank to hold the power to veto Kane. At the end of the story, both confronted each other for the second and last time. After that Kane died and after his death, Abel learned that it was Kane who backed him financially to start his hotel business. The story was told like a magician and is a powerful portrait of a world that readers would never forget.

    Model Answer 3:

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about a book that had a major influence on me. I am going to tell you the name of the book and the author, what I remember of it and why it is so significant to me.

    Funnily enough, I was thinking about this book only the other day.  It is called ‘The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse’, I don’t know why I remembered it suddenly, but I had to google to look up the author. It is by Ursula Moray Williams, but I didn’t know that when I first read it.

    As to how I first heard of the book, I can’t really say! It is actually a children’s book, and I think it must have been chosen for me by my parents as I don’t remember actually buying it with anyone, and I don’t think it was a birthday gift or it would have had an inscription in its front cover. The copy I had was a rather tatty paperback with an orange cover and published by a then famous book company called Puffin Books. It had a picture of a crudely fashioned toy wooden horse on the front. The horse had a cylindrical body and straight legs fastened onto a board with four wheels on it. The horse had a flowing mane and tail, and in my copy was facing away from the reader, heading off on its’ adventures.

    The story was so very sad! The horse in the title was a toy horse originally supposed to be sold by his maker. The little wooden horse is very loyal and wants only to stay with his Uncle Peder who crafted him. However, sadly the toymaker is forced out of business as mass-produced toys become available, and the little wooden horse sets out to try and make his fortune so the two of them can stay together. Terrible things happen to the horse, he is sometimes lonely and unhappy. Eventually, though, he does make his fortune (I can’t remember how) and returns home only to find the toymaker has vanished! It is heart-breaking. In the end, the little wooden horse and the toymaker are reunited by chance and there is, at last, a happy ending after a harrowing set of adventures.

    The reason this book is important to me is that it is the first book I remember really wanting to read for myself. My mum and dad would take turns to read me just one chapter at night, but there were lots and lots of chapters – about twenty I think, and I was so upset not knowing how the story would end if one chapter was finished and the poor little wooden horse was left in distress! I could read a bit, but not that well, and not well enough to read silently in my head. Anyway, one night, after my parents had closed the book and left me alone, I carried on reading all by myself. I had to read out loud, and the story was so sad I was sobbing as I read, which made it even harder for me to get the words out and finish the story. Even so, I carried on reading right to the end and fortunately, the story did end happily! I can still remember this, even though I must have only been about four years old at the time.  My parents remember the episode too. They could hear me in my room reading aloud and crying, and they said it was heart-rending to listen to, but also quite impressive, as I was so stubbornly determined to do this, and on my own.

    I have never re-read the book as an adult. I’m afraid if I did and found it wasn’t really very good or very well written it might spoil the memory for me. I prefer to imagine it as the most brilliant story ever written even if that isn’t true at all! So the book is special because it is probably the book that encouraged me to read, as well as being probably my earliest memory.

    Model Answer 4:

    The book that tremendously influenced me at my college level is titled “Pather Panchali” by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. This book was published in 1929 and later a movie was made with the same title by Satyajit Ray. The book is a tragedy and family drama that is considered to be one of the finest literary works in Bengali literature.

    This book deals with the life, happiness, sadness, and inner picture of Roy’s family in a rural area. Later they moved to a different place in search of a better life but they had to face a great deal of anguish and losses during their travel to a new transition.

    The book describes the rural life, the people of this rural place, their sufferings, their joys, the beautiful countryside, green fields, paddy fields, flowers, and many more things that become alive in the story. The storyline, the mastery of story-telling ability, the scenic beauty of the rural area, the tragic death of a touchy character all were so profoundly expressed that I was deeply touched. Moreover, this book was written by one of the superb and talented writers who had a natural talent in describing rural beauty in a style that no other writer can do.

    The book reminded me of the rural area I had once been to. It was like traveling to the past in a time machine. Bibhutibhushan is a gifted writer and probably the best of his type. He had the ability to depict rural life and scenic beauty profoundly and perfectly. The characters of his books come from ordinary places and lead ordinary lives, but the impression they create in readers’ minds is extraordinary.


    Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

    This cue card topic asks you to talk about a book you have read. You should pick a book that you know well. Let’s say you have read a book which was very interesting but you have forgotten the name of the author or the publisher, you can’t tell the story in an organised fashion, then you should not talk about that one. Rather pick a book which is interesting, you have read and you know the writer and story of the book. If you are not sure of such a book, think about one, google for the details of the book and remember the following information about the book:

    1. Writer.
    2. Publisher.
    3. Publishing year.
    4. Some other book names by the same author.
    5. The story of the book.
    6. Why the book was critically acclaimed.
    7. Some characters in the book.

    For the part why this book has a great influence on you mention some of the following points:

    1. The book was written by a writer who has a great way of telling a story.
    2. The story is a page-turner and you had a hard time keeping it away.
    3. You have learned an important lesson from this book.
    4. The characters of this book gave you a great impression.
    5. Some of the trivia and facts about the book. etc.

    Necessary vocabulary for this cue card:

    Related to describing a book: Hardcover, bestseller, novel, paperback, recommended book, page-turner, plot, fiction, avid reader, bookworm, genre, biography, literary, contemporary, fast-paced,  gripping, to borrow, compelling plot, fascinating characters.

    Synonyms of ‘major’: Significant, important, serious, paramount, prime, great, outstanding, considerable.

    Synonyms of ‘influence’: Effect, impact, consequence, force, significance.


    If you prepare for this cue card topic you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well:

    1. Describe a book you have recently read.
    2. Describe your favorite book.
    3. Describe a book you read and remember.
    4. Talk about a book you enjoyed reading.
    5. Describe a book you would recommend your friends to read.
    6. Talk about a book one of your friends recommended to you.
    7. Describe a worth reading book.

    Since the cue card topic is asking to describe a book that has a major influence on you, not necessarily have to talk about a storybook. You can pick any academic book, religious book, or specific subject or technology-related books as well.

    For instance, if you pick a major book of your religion, you can say how it has changed your views of life and views about the world. How it had helped you learn morality and humanity and religious lessons that you follow in your life. There are so many things we learn from our religion and you can talk about these.

    If you pick an academic book, let’s say JAVA programming language book, Introduction to business or Accounting you can tell how this book has changed your view on this specific subject and created a solid base on the subject and influenced you to later study on that subject further.

    Part 3: Details Discussion:

    Q. How often do you read books?
    Answer: Unfortunately, I don’t read books very often. When I was younger, my mom used to tell me stories from different books so this is the reason that I am aware of fairytales. I read ‘Twilight’ by Stephenie Meyer when I was 15 years old and the motivation to do that was the movie with the same name which was released in 2008. From another perspective, though, I read almost all of my books when I was at university but I was forced to do that. So I would come to the conclusion that I don’t read books in my free time but only when I have to.

    Tip: You can either say that you don’t or you do read books. If you are in the first category refer to the reasons why you don’t do that. For example, you can say that you don’t have time, many interesting books are expensive, you can’t read online books because it’s tiring and anything else comes to your mind.

    If you are in the second category, just think of the kinds of books you have read and try to describe them in a few words. You can also include your university books.

    Q. How books can impact a man’s life?
    Books are good sources of knowledge and they actually enlighten us. Reading a book is a really good and helpful way whenever you are bored or stressed out. It is preferable to me reading a book than surfing the internet. Going further, in this way people can develop their imagination and nurture their mind and thinking skills. Moreover, there is a possibility for someone to change their view about specific things such as religious issues, gender parity, culture, and so on and become more open-minded by reading books. For instance, somebody who isn’t romantic may change his opinion after reading a book with a romantic story or someone who is narrow-minded and biassed may change their attitude. Finally, it’s a good and effective way to practice a foreign language and this is something I did before coming to England.

    Q. Name some of the famous writers of your country?
    One of the most famous English writers is JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. Her books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and were sold more than 400 million copies so far. John Milton whose poetry has been seen as the perfect poetic expression in the English language for four centuries is also from my country. Agatha Christie who is reputably known throughout the world as the “Queen of Crime” and Samuel Johnson who is known as ‘arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history are only some of the many meritorious English authors.

    Tip: You can talk about a/few writer(s) of your own country who is successful and well-known even worldwide. They might be contemporary writers or might be from past centuries.

    Q. Have you ever thought about writing a book?
      To be honest I haven’t. My writing skill isn’t so good, so if I had decided to do something like that it would have been moderate work. In fact, I wouldn’t want that because I am a perfectionist. In addition, my imagination isn’t that vivid to create a story myself so I would jump to the conclusion that I am not the proper person for this activity. Besides, my favorite types of books are biographies so this is the only plot that I could have written. However, I prefer sharing my personal stories and experiences with my family and friends in verbal form than written form.

    Tip: You can also give a semi-negative answer by saying that you haven’t written a book but you would like to and give examples and your idea about the story. You can also say that you have thought about writing a book and referring to its content. Finally, you can say that you have written a book if so give details when you wrote it, what was the story and how you were inspired to write this book.

    Q. How reading books is different from watching movies?
    It is quite different indeed! While reading a book you can imagine the characters and the scenes you are reading about and adjust them to your desires. Everyone makes an image of the main characters’ outer appearance, inner traits, and so on, and personally, when I read a book I have a specific actor or actress in my mind. So, I would say that books give someone the chance to make stories based on their personality.

    Movies, on the other hand, have some standards. There is the visual element that is absent in books and it can be either good or bad because in some cases watching a movie is much better than reading a book but the opposite can happen as well. Personally, I have seen movies having read the books before and some of them weren’t as good as I expected.


  • IELTS Cue Card Sample 2 – Describe your favorite restaurant.

    Describe your favorite restaurant. – Cue Card.

    You should say

    • where it is
    • what it looks like from inside and outside
    • what kinds of food do they serve

    and explain why it is your favorite restaurant.

    Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

    Model Answer 1:

    Moving to New Delhi from a small town because of the job, of course, has its disadvantages. But, it has some benefits as well, and one such benefit is that you have many, literally a countless number of great restaurants to try your favorite food. Today, I would like to talk about one such restaurant which has been my favorite since the day I moved to the capital of my country.

    The name of the restaurant is “Bukhara” which is located in the diplomatic enclave of New Delhi. This high-end fine dining restaurant has an extravagant ambience and stylish aura which reflects the modernity and glamorous style of “Indian Royalty”. The interior wall of this famous, all-Indian restaurant is made of expensive tiles with a perfect lighting scheme to illuminate them. The tables are not placed too close to each other either in order to ensure the privacy of the customers. The plates and cutleries look exceptionally good and elegant which perfectly blends in with the royal interior of the restaurant. And, as for the foods, the celebrated restaurant serves authentic Mughlai foods such as Murgh Tandoori, Tandoori Guchchi, sumptuous Mutton Biryani, Chaamp Taajdar (mutton chops braised and grilled), authentic Butter Chicken and Daal along with Malai tikka and Raarhya Meat which are served with crisp Rotis and Ulta Tawa parathas. It also serves “Sarson da saag” and “Makki di roti”. Finally, Dal Bukhara, served with the Tandoori Naan, Kastoori kebab, Reshmi kebab would also satisfy your taste buds anytime.

    It is my favorite restaurant mainly because they always serve fresh food with the best ingredients available in the market. Besides, whenever I come to this restaurant, the staffs always treat me like a “royal” with a very friendly attitude. I love this restaurant also because it always serves the foods at the right time, after ordering for them, without keeping me waiting and hungry. Finally, this is my favorite restaurant also because it perfectly blends the taste of different kinds of Indian cuisines from different parts of India.

    Model Answer 2:

    Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to talk about my favorite restaurant. The name of my favorite restaurant is Diner’s Paradise and it is located in the downtown of the city I live in. I like it because it offers a nice environment and delicious food. Moreover, I have many pleasant memories related to this establishment. My parents celebrated some of my birthday parties there, our college friends arranged get-together parties twice, and on one occasion, one of my cousins’ marriage ceremonies was celebrated at that very place; and all these events make it special to me.

    The restaurant has three floors and the sitting arrangement is extraordinary which does not compromise privacy, unlike many other restaurants. Paintings of famous artists hang on the wall and the place is clean. The interior decoration is simply gorgeous. Besides, the ground floor can park more than 50 cars. It also has a large playground for children. Finally, the front view of the restaurant is unique as it gives the aura of a green and lavish garden.

    The restaurant offers several dishes including continental menus, Italian, Thai, Indian, Pakistani and local menus along with delightful exotic desserts. Not to mention, the prices are reasonable and the food is served reasonably quickly, contrary to some other eateries where you have to wait for a long for your food to be served. Besides, the attendants and other staff members are friendly and they treat the guests cordially. The restaurant offers a wide range of dishes to pick from and no additional service charge is imposed on the final bill. The soft background music and instrumentals make the environment more enjoyable and soothing. As I have said, tables are not congested and people can enjoy their personal conversations and enjoy sports on large TVs. The large glass-made windows offer a city view which makes the place worth visiting. The place is famous for dining and I have often noticed many foreign tourists visiting the restaurant. It’s a good thing that the authority invites customer feedback and comments on food, service, and dining experience and they take prompt actions against customer complaints.

    I would say, this is a really nice restaurant to go to and enjoy the tasty food and I like it very much.

    Model Answer 3:

    Thank you very much for this nice topic. I would like to talk about my favorite restaurant and mention where it is, what it looks like, the kinds of food it serves, and why it is so special to me.

    My favorite restaurant is in England! It is actually in the suburbs of the city of Sheffield where I live in. The restaurant is on a busy street very near to a large park. It is quite a small and hectic place called Jonty’s because Jonty is the name of the person who set up the business.

    From the outside, the restaurant doesn’t look very impressive. It has large glass windows at the front and some benches outside for people to sit on if they are waiting to go in. There used to be a large sign with the name of the restaurant written on it in big letters, but recently they have taken down the sign and not yet replaced it! Inside there are lots of square wooden tables, each with about four chairs around them. The restaurant is on two levels, I prefer to go upstairs to the first floor because there you can sometimes get a window seat and enjoy watching people as they go past in the street outside.

    The restaurant serves mainly breakfast and lunch meals. It does really good coffee – I like their latte’s best – and lots of sandwiches, salads and special soups. The restaurant also has a selection of delicious, gooey homemade cakes. However, when I go, I always have the same thing – scrambled egg on wholemeal toast with mushrooms, because that is what I like best!

    The restaurant is very special to me and my friends because we meet there every Saturday. On Saturdays about 500 people go to the local park at 9.00 in the morning to take part in a 5 km run. Afterward, I like to go to breakfast at Jonty’s with three of my best friends. We feel we deserve a big breakfast after our run, and we enjoy catching up with each other’s news over a leisurely meal together.

    So if ever you are in Sheffield, I hope you will find Jonty’s and enjoy it as much as I do.

    Model Answer 4:

    ‘Dine Excellence’ is the largest restaurant in our city and this is my favorite eatery in my area. This place offers a great dining experience and the view, both inside and outside, is spectacular. This is a beautiful restaurant with a great price and a clean environment. I often go there to enjoy my meal with my wife and on some occasions, with my friends.

    It is a four-storied restaurant and the 2nd floor is reserved for parties and special events. The playground for children is large enough and a good number of toys are placed there for children to have fun. The roof-top is my personal favorite as it gives a very clear view of the surrounding nature and the clear blue sky. If it is not raining, I like to enjoy my dinner on the roof-top. The interior decoration of the restaurant is something that makes it stand out from the crowd. The soft music, delicious dishes, and well-mannered and prompt staffs make it a worth visiting place for food lovers.

    The variety of dishes this restaurant offers is another great thing about it. Someone will find almost any local or famous foreign menu there and the master cooks make the food tasty and worth enjoying. Interestingly, the price of the food in this restaurant is comparatively cheaper and that’s the main reason I love this restaurant so much – it is indeed pocket-friendly.  Many other restaurants in my city offer delightful dishes and good services, but most of them are expensive.

    The weekly music concert and discount for regular customers are two other reasons I prefer it more than other restaurants. I was very surprised to get as high as 30-35% discount on a few occasions and they told me that this was their way of rewarding loyal customers. I would recommend anyone in this city to enjoy the delicious menu this restaurant offers and I am sure most of them would love the experience.


    Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

    You should talk about a restaurant that you know well. Do not pick a renowned restaurant that you know very little about. You are free to describe the interior design, service, external environment, dishes that are served in the restaurant the way you like. It does not have to be an exact match with the restaurant you actually go to a lot. You should add some of your memorable events of this restaurant. Some of the common features that people like about a restaurant are:

    1. Delicious dishes.
    2. Reasonable prices.
    3. Easy to go there from home.
    4. Quiet and nice environment.
    5. Attractive decoration and view.
    6. Playground for kids.
    7. Open space.
    8. Privacy.
    9. Service and behavior of the staff.
    10. Special treats for the regular customer.
    11. A variety of dishes.
    12. Past memory related to the restaurant.
    13. Recommendations from friends and family members.
    14. Discounts, etc.

    In your answer, you can use some of the above-mentioned points and expand them to make it sound realistic.

    Necessary vocabulary for this cue card:

    The appetizer, beverage, bill, cheque, buffet, complimentary, delicious, dessert, fine dining, homemade, patio, reservation, self-serve, side dish, waiter, waitress, set menu, cutlery, napkin, starter, main course, tip.

    If you prepare for this cue card topic you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well:

    1. Talk about a place you often go to. (You can say that you often go to this restaurant)
    2. Describe a place you would recommend to your friends to visit.
    3. Describe a party center you went to recently.
    4. Describe a restaurant you recently visited.
    5. Talk about a place where you often meet your friends.
    6. Describe a restaurant that you enjoyed going to.

    Part 3: Details Discussion:

    Q: Which one is better: homemade food or food from a restaurant?
    Answer: This question is really enticing. It seems to me that homemade food is healthier; of course, because you are completely responsible for its preparation and you know exactly the ingredients that are included. For example, you are aware of the quantity of salt, olive oil, sugar, pepper et cetera.

    On the other hand, the food at restaurants is undoubtedly more delicious and satiating, but it isn’t as wholesome as the former. These types of food are high in saturated fats and oils and they aren’t easily digestible. So I would argue that restaurant food is tastier but homemade food is healthier. Moreover, food in restaurants is expensive while homemade food is not.

    Q: What traditional food do you have in your country?
    For the last three years I have been living in the UK but I am a native of Greece so I would like to talk about Greek traditional foods. Greek cuisine is renowned worldwide and not without a reason. First and foremost we have the famous Greek souvlaki combined with tzatziki. This is the food that anyone who comes to Greece wants to taste. Going further, I can think of Greek mousakas which is a really tasty dish and it consists of potatoes, eggplants, minced beef, and cream. Similar to mousakas, pastitsio is equally delicious with some variations. There are many other types of food, but I think that those I have already mentioned are the ”landmark” of the Greek diet.

    Q. What types of food do tourists in your city prefer?
    Answer: The types of food tourists in Greece try and enjoy vary greatly. Some tourists come here to enjoy traditional food like Barbouni, Dolmades, Kokoretsi, and Gigandes. Some try fast food and like to visit a food court that has brands like KFC or McDonald’s. Finally, many solely prefer vegan items like Fava, Spanakopita, and Skordalia.

    I have even seen some tourists who try anything they find interesting and young tourists mostly fall into this category.

    Tips: You can talk about some local food items from your hometown, or from your own country as well for the above question. You can see some examples below:

    England: fish and chips, different kinds of meat pies such as kidney, cottage, steak and pork pies, black peas, scotch eggs, roast beef, and Yorkshire pudding.
    Italy: pizza, spaghetti, breadsticks, acquacotta, carbonara, tortellini.
    France: soupe à l’oignon, boeuf bourguignon, flamiche, ratatouille.
    Germany: doner kebab, currywurst, wiener schnitzel, kasespatzle.
    USA: pancakes, club sandwich, cheeseburger, macaroni and cheese, pumpkin and apple pie.
    India: Chhole Bhature, Rogan Josh, Makki Ki Roti, Matar Paneer, Panipuri, Tundury Kebab, Hilsa Fish Curry, Vada Pav, Hyderabadi Biryani, Dosa, Indian Chaat.
    Japan: Sushi, Tempura, Sashimi, Udon, Kaiseki.

    [Part 3 answers and tips are written by Mary, UK, Economist with Main Field of Studies in Business Economics.]
  • IELTS Cue Card Sample 1 – Describe someone in your family

    Describe someone in your family who you really admire. – Cue Card.

    You should say

    •  what relation this person is to you
    •  what are your first memories of this person
    •  how often do you see this person

    Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

    Model Answer 1:

    I am never really the kind of person who likes to admire other persons (well, for a girl, I am a rather “free-spirited” person) even when they should be. But, when it comes to my elder sister, I can’t help admiring her even on her worst days.

    My sister is about 5 years older than me, and since my childhood, she is the person who looked after me in the absence of my parents (they were both working parents). I can still vividly remember those days when I was allowed to play outside with my friends, and I didn’t want to return home, but it was my elder sister who had pulled me up with her two hands and pretty much “snatched” me from the playground. I can also remember those special times when my elder sister kept playing cartoon movies one after another until I actually chose the one which I decided to watch in the end. My elder sister and I loved baking chocolate cake together, and this memory goes back to those days when I had just probably learned to write a full sentence and draw an elephant without any help. Anyway, I don’t really see my elder sister now because we both have different work and school schedules these days.

    I really admire my sister mainly because she is a truly loving and patient person for her age. In fact, in my 25 years of life, I have never seen my elder sister get mad at me even though I have done plenty of things to annoy her. As an elder sister, she knew her role perfectly well in the absence of our parents as I remember her cooking for me and feeding me even during the days when she fell sick. Finally, I admire my elder sister because of her sheer determination which made her study for a Ph.D. degree at night after having a full-time job during the daytime.

    Model Answer 2:

    I have got a nuclear family that has only five members. All of us love each other very much and we share a strong bond and affection. It’s quite hard to pick someone among them I admire the most. Well, if I have to choose someone, it would be my mother. I would like to thank you for this nice topic and for the time you have allowed me to talk about the person in my family I admire deeply.

    I love my mother from the deepest core of my heart. I revere my mother for her adorable behavior on top of her smartness and loving nature. She is the person I can share everything with and that’s the reason I worship her so much. She is perky, charismatic, optimistic and the ray of sunshine in my life.

    Possibly she is the first person I saw when I opened my eyes to this world. Someone’s relationship with his or her mother is divine. I can still remember a childhood day when I was late to return home due to a program at the school I did not know about. After an hour or so, I noticed my mother at my school. I was horrified that my mother would be angry with me and she would punish me. But, when my mother saw me, she had a warm smile on her face. Then she hugged me passionately. At that very moment, I realized how much she loves me and cares for my safety and wellbeing.

    To describe her more, I would say she is kind to all in a unique way and yet proactive and in control. She loves cooking, decorating homes with innovative ideas, helping others, and reading. O. Henry is her favorite writer. She hates speed driving and liars, you know what I mean!

    I spent my 19 years or so with my parents but I now stay in a metropolitan city for my higher education. Whenever I get a vacation, I visit my family. On average, I spend 2/3 months in a year with my family, hence with my mother as well. But I talk to her over the phone almost every day.

    The reason I admire her, well – she is caring, compassionate, and possesses kindness and love for everyone. She is an ideal mother who raised three children and ensured their quality education and moral values. She has sacrificed a lot and had never complained about anything to us. She is the person who reminds me of the power of love and affection. How could not I admire her unconditionally?

    Model Answer 3:

    A person I admire is my “mother” because she is a fighter. You may ask why? To start, my mom got pregnant with me at the age of 18 and she did not have the support of my grandparents. Her own parents wanted to kick her out of the house when they found out. She convinced them to let her stay, but she could not ask them for any help when raising the baby. Knowing all this my mom still decided to have the baby – and that’s baby is me. How could I not adore her with my every breath!

    Besides not having the support of her parents, she did not receive any help from my father either. Although my father cared about me, he never gave my mom money or clothes to help her maintain me as a baby. She had to provide for me on her own. Going to school and working was killing her, but she wanted me to have a good life, so she did anything that she could. My mom got pregnant again two years later, with the same man. The only difference was this time – it was worse! He abandoned her completely and her dad was sick. Now, not only did she have to provide for her two babies, but also for her parents. She was overwhelmed by everything happening; she didn’t know what to do.

    Finally, she decided to attend college and become a teacher to support the family. It was not an easy thing to do. After she finished college, it took her a while to find a job. It is not easy to find a job in Nicaragua. However, my mom never quits, no matter how hard things get for her she fought through it. To provide for her offspring and parents. I see her every single day and I wish to be with her for the rest of my life. I have never seen anyone so determined and caring and she deserved to be admired and loved.

    Model Answer 4:

    I have got six family members and all of them are very dear and close to me. If I have to pick a family member I genuinely admire that would be my father. My father’s name is Alfred Brooke and he is approximately 50 years old. He is the kind of person I would want my offspring to be. Thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about my father.

    He did his graduation at a time when formal education was not people’s first choice. They would rather start working rather than going to school. My father fought for his right to education with people who thought working or doing some sort of business has more advantages than going to schools. But my father believed that education shapes a man’s life and is a power that would guide him throughout life.

    I have numerous memories of my father and I see him every day now. We share a strong bond and have mutual respect for each other. I still remember my childhood days when I used to wait in the evening for my father to return from his office. He would then play with me and help me complete my homework. I vividly remember the times when he took me to the market and bought me gifts. When I was an infant he moved to a city from our village to ensure better schooling for me. That was a decision that has changed my life path. He helped me finish my lessons and often surprised me with gifts if I could complete my study on time and I cherish these days very much.

    He used to work in a Government organization and for his devotion to work and kindness, he is revered by all of his relatives, friends, and neighbors. He is humble yet dynamic, charismatic, and very social.

    He believes in humanity, in God and the afterlife, good behavior, and leads a life that can be exemplary for many. He still does most of his works himself and helps my mom with her household tasks. After retirement, he has picked up two new hobbies- gardening and teaching young children. He is a quiet and intelligent man who has a benevolent heart and that’s something that makes him so admirable to me. He is still the pillar of our family and all of our family members love and respect him very much.

    Model Answer 4:

    Usually, the Germans pass their leisure hours in different ways, and telling stories to friends and family is one of the ways to make leisure attractive. So, there are a large number of stories are available.

    The story is about two frogs, who fell down inside a well, unfortunately, and one of them survived finally. The story is told to inspire people so that they could also get succeeded in their daily life. When the frogs slipped into the well, both of them started jumping to get out of the well. The other frogs discouraged them from getting out as the well’s length was beyond their capacity to jump out. Hearing the demoralizing words, one of the frogs stopped jumping and died inside the well. The other frogs started discoursing the remaining frog not to jump but as they tried harder, that came out of the well. As the frog was short in the ear, it could not realize that it was being discouraged rather believing that it was inspired, it finally made its way out of the well.

    This is a very usual story that is told to kids to make them inspired and motivated to continue their respective tasks. My mother told me the story of when I failed to pass an exam. She told it as part of motivating me to keep going forward. I was in seventh grade and failed to secure the necessary marks to pass in mathematics. But as I could not answer a few questions for the limited time in the examination and made a couple of wrong answers simultaneously, I obtained the lowest marks among the other students in the class. When the answer scripts were passed to my parents, they tried to inspire me on stressing mathematics more than ever. As an example, she told me the story which ended with the moral that if someone works relentlessly to avoid failures, success certainly will embrace them someday.

    In my current days, I still remember the story as it was a milestone for me. It helped me greatly to start a new beginning in my life. Whenever I was in trouble or failure appeared before me, I kept doing the same thing again and again. I failed several times and finally, the success was mine. There were few negative people who had dejected me from several perspectives; I neglected their words like the second frog. It was a life lesson for me.

    The story of two frogs is a very good and inspiring story for everyone. It teaches us how to struggle to get success. In our real life, we will get a good number of people who have mounted on the top of success in their respective arena and it is possible only for their hard labor and perseverance. For example, the first frog died on the well as it was discouraged by the other frogs. But the second one succeeded to come out after several other attempts. We can cite many famous historical personalities, politicians, painters, singers, and other celebrities who have succeeded after lots of attempts in their life. Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Walt Disney, Socrates, Charlie Chaplin among others are notable in this case.

    Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

    You already know a lot about your family members and this cue card should be an easy one to answer. Just focus on the questions mentioned below the Cue card topic. Following questions may appear with this cue card and note the quick answers to these questions:

    1. Who is he/she? : My mother / My father/ My brother/ My sister etc.
    2. Your relationship with this family member:  She is my mother/ he is my father etc.
    3. What you do together:  We walk out in the evening together/ cook together/ study together/ enjoy our conversations/ talk a lot about family issues etc.
    4. What is s/he like-  He/ she is kind, talented, energetic, works hard, dedicated, caring, possesses a great personality, open-minded, etc.
    5. How long do you know him /her: From my childhood/ all of my life/ for more than 20 years etc.
    6. How often do you see him/her: Every day/ once in a month/ most of the time I stay at home/ in every three months etc.
    7. Why do you like him/ her or why do you admire him/ her?: S/he loves me unconditionally, is very close to me, is very caring, have a good heart, is talented, helpful, my best mentor, etc.
    8. Since grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, etc could be a part of a joint family, you can describe any of them if you live in a joint family.

    While talking about what is s/he is like or what qualities he /she has or even why do you like/ admire him/her you can use some of the following points:

         For father: He is honest, brave, had a good heart, talented, leads an ideal life, has sacrificed a lot to up-bring us, is an exemplary person, everybody respects him, is the best person I have ever known, loves me very much, hardworking, punctual, talented, etc.

         For mother: She is so caring, loving, hardworking and possesses a good heart, has done a lot to up-bring us, very close to me, very understanding, one of my best friends, knows a lot of things and has so many practical skills, etc.

         For brother: He is so brave, talented, well mannered, knows a lot about different things, has always supported me no matter what, he is loved and liked by others, cooperative and we have many pleasant memories together, like a mentor to me, is my best buddy, taught me almost everything he knows, always protects me, etc.

         For sister: She is caring, a good friend, loving, a good mentor, helps you with study or on other tasks, supportive, a very good friend, talented and well-mannered.

    Necessary vocabulary for this cue card:

    Relatives = Your family members are also your relatives.

    Nuclear family = A nuclear family also called an elementary family, is a type of family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children.

    Extended family= An extended family extends beyond the nuclear family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

    Sibling = Siblings are your brothers and sisters.

    Relationship Synonyms = Tie, link, attachment.

    Admire Synonyms: Adore, idolize, respect, revere, honor, held in high regard, think highly of, esteem.

    Memory Synonyms: Remembrance, thoughts, reminiscence, recollection, musing.

    Phrases with meanings:

    Bring up = Raise a child.
    Look after = Take care of.
    Rely on = Depend on.
    Be close to = Having a strong bonding.
    Get along with = Being close and friendly.
    Admire = To respect and like someone.
    A bubbly personality = A person who is very happy, lively, and often optimistic.
    Charismatic = Someone with great charm and attraction, especially one who inspires others.

    Vocabulary related to “Family”:

    Flesh and blood
    Blood is thicker than water
    Get along with
    Rely on/ depend on
    Raise/ bring up
    To be close
    Get together
    Have things in common
    Family trait
    Run in the family
    Close-knit family
    Extended family
    Nuclear family
    To Raise
    Foster family
    Quality time
    Juvenile delinquency
    To play truant
    Single parent
    Family tree


    If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue card topics as well with very few changes:

    1. Talk about someone who cares about you a lot.
      2. Describe a person whom you like very much.
      3. Describe the person whom you admire most.
      4. Talk about a person you know for a long.
      5. Talk about a senior person whom you like a lot.
      6. Talk about a person who has a great influence on your life.

    Part 3 – Details Discussion:

    1. What are the values of family in your country?
      That’s a really important question. First of all, I believe that family values don’t differ from country to country and please allow me to say that they should be the same throughout the world. As far as I’m concerned, the most important values of a family are moral values, which enable people to draw plausible distinctions between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. The lessons learned from the family are invaluable throughout our life. A family is the most important group that makes life worth living. Furthermore, family values are vital in making decisions and can be obtained by personal and life experiences with close relationships with family members. To be more specific, some examples could be: being honest and trustworthy, courageous and patient, taking up responsibilities as well as adding values to the world are the norms of our family and society. A family is utterly important and we stand for our family members no matter what. Thus ‘family comes first is the morality everyone in our country believes in. We also consider a family as the unit of a society or a country and bonding, relationship, trustworthiness, helpfulness are lessons that come with close family ties.
    2. How family bonding is necessary for happiness in life?
      Our parents are the reason for our existence and with them, we get a family. Parents are the persons we see and rely on when we open our eyes for the first time. Moreover, parents are the primary educator and they teach their children how to develop confidence, social skills, morals, values, and views in life. Since they are the base of our family, closeness in a family leads people to have an intrinsically fulfilling and flourishing life. This can be justified by the fact that children who enjoy strong family bonding tend to be happier and mentally healthier than those who are in a dysfunctional family environment.
    3. What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?
      That’s really an interesting question! A nuclear family is preferable to me than a joint family. The reason for my preference is perhaps because I grew up in a nuclear family and it was a pleasant memory for me. Besides, in a nuclear family, the couple and their children have a stronger relationship. Fighting and quarrel are rare in nuclear families. On the other hand, the second type of family is the extended family or joint family and includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so on. I prefer a quiet environment to a noisy one. In a joint family, this is unlikely to happen and people often do not have sufficient privacy. Therefore, I strongly believe that a family only with mum, dad and siblings would work better for me.
    4. How family values and bonding have changed over the last decade?
      Unfortunately, the sacred notion of a family has lost its meaning to a certain extent in the last ten years. People don’t invest in feelings anymore and don’t retreat as well. Nowadays quarrels between couples are a frequent occurrence and because women are financially independent, they don’t step back like they did many years ago. Moreover, a principal cause that has led to this situation is the overreliance on the Internet. When family members have some spare time they prefer to consume it by going online instead of having some family conversations. I would jump to the conclusion that people who decide to create a family should let go of their ego and in difficult times they should also think that their children want their parents to be happy and together.
  • Describe a course you would like to study (or, do).– IELTS Cue card

    Describe a course you would like to study Cue Card.

    You should say

    • What course it is (or, would be)
    • Where you would do it
    • What you would learn in that course
    • And explain why you would like to do this course

    Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.


    Model Answer:

    Well, speaking of the course I’d like to do, I would say that it’s an English course. Today, English is considered to be the most important language in the world.

    That’s why it became one of the compulsory subjects and we now have to study English from elementary onwards.

    I’d like to get admitted to the Foreign Trade University which offers a professional course in Business English.

    They have a good reputation for teaching this course effectively to a high standard. As I have other classes in the morning, I would like to enrol in the afternoon course.

    Also, the course fee is both cheap and convenient for me to pay using my bank account.

    There are so many reasons why I’d like to enrol in an English course.

    First of all, English is an international language, hence, having a knowledge of English can help people around the world to communicate better.

    Second, it also gives us countless opportunities to become more acquainted with other cultures. We depend on English to keep up to date with the latest news from all over the world, since almost all the books and magazines are written in this language.

    Finally, learning English can really help us in our careers and enhance our CVs, as these days, many firms need good office employees to conduct international business.

    Useful Vocabulary & expressions

    compulsory: [adjective] that must be done because of a rule or law.

    • Example: In some countries, it is compulsory to attend school until the age of 16.

    onwards: [adverb] continuing from a particular time.

    • Example: I will be in my office from 8:00 am onwards, until I leave at 6:00 in the evening.

    reputation: [noun] the opinion that people have about someone/something is like, based on what has happened in the past.

    • Example: The restaurant enjoys an international reputation for the best Thai cuisine.

    countless: [adjective] very many; too many to be counted or mentioned.

    • Example: The teacher has warned him countless times to pay attention in class.

    acquainted: [adjective] familiar with something having seen, heard or read it.

    • Example: The students are already acquainted with the history of our country, having studied it at elementary level.

    keep up to date with: [expression] be informed about the latest information.

    • Example: I watch the news on TV every day, in order to keep up to date with the political

    CVs: [noun] short descriptions of your education and qualifications, which you give to an employer when you go for an interview.

    • Example: Students should make sure that they write good CVs, to help them when they apply for a job.

    firm: [noun] company.

    • Example: She works for a firm of lawyers in Paris.

    conduct: [verb] organize or do a particular activity.

    • Example: The school has decided to conduct all its classes in English.
  • Describe a person who impressed you the most when you were in primary school IELTS Cue card

    Describe a person who impressed you the most when you were in primary school.
    You should say
    Who he/she is?
    How you knew him/her?
    Why he/she impressed you the most?
    And how you feel about him/her?

    Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

    Model Answer


    • I was considered a very naughty kid in my childhood.
    • I was intelligent, but I used to never study at home.
    • In fact, I would spend all my day playing sports or video games.

    How you knew him/her?

    • So, my mother made me join extra classes after school with a home tutor nearby.

    Who he/she is?

    • Her name was Mrs Bambah.

    Why he/she impressed you the most?

    • She is the person who impressed me the most during my childhood.
    • In fact, I believe it is because of her that I might be able to fulfil my dream of going abroad.
    • First, she developed my interest in studies.
    • Before her, I used to consider studies a chore.
    • I only studied before exams.
    • Rather than asking me to memorise things, she made me understand the concept behind things.
    • The teachers at my school were also good, but due to the burden of covering the vast syllabus and shortage of time, they found it hard to cover everything in detail.
    • She covered everything in detail.
    • But studies were not the only reason why she left such a big imprint on me.
    • I learnt many of life’s valuable lessons from her in my childhood.
    • She taught me the importance of humility, punctuality, and industriousness.
    • Even if I was late by 5 minutes, I was not allowed to attend the class.
    • In India, where being a few minutes late is on time, I am actually early for every appointment.
    • Another thing that I liked about her was that though she was strict, she was also very friendly to talk to.
    • She was more than a teacher to me in this regard.
    • I shared all my problems with her, and she would always patiently listen.
    • And instead of providing solutions, she would ask me to think about the best action in that scenario.
    • Because of this, I am independent today, and I am confident of taking decisions without second-guessing myself.

    And how you feel about him/her? and Conclusion:

    • I have the utmost respect for her, and along with that, there is a feeling of guilt because I feel I would never be able to pay her back for all that she did for me.

    IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

    Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a person who impressed you the most when you were in primary school”.

    1. Why do people always miss their childhood?
    I think it’s because that is the only time when we are free of worries, tensions, and stress. We know that our parents would take care of any problem we face. It is also because after childhood we are never able to spend that much time with our family again.

    2. Are kids happier than adults? Why?
    Yes, I believe most people are happier during their childhood and it’s because of the same reason, they don’t have to face the responsibilities and stress of adult life.

    3. Why do people still remember many of their friends from primary school?
    I think it’s because of the amount of time we spent with them. We never spend as much time with friends during adulthood because of work and familial responsibilities. Also, because we all like to reminisce about our childhood, and childhood friends are a big part of our childhood.

    4. What kinds of primary school teachers impress students?
    I think primary school teachers need to be patient and understanding. All children are different in different ways. For example, some have a difficult time reading but are good at math. Teachers need to be able to understand these differences and have the patience to be able to guide students at their own speed. This is especially important at an early age because children are not mature enough to explain their problems to teachers.

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