IELTS Cue Cards Samples with Answers 2024 (LATEST)

Updated on 08 December, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

IELTS Speaking Cue Cards is a vital component of the IELTS Speaking test. It evaluates the ability of the test taker to express themselves fluently, coherently, and appropriately in a given situation. The IELTS Speaking test assesses the English proficiency level of the test taker, and it is required for those who wish to study or work in countries where English is the primary language. In this article, we will explore everything about IELTS Speaking Cue Cards, including the format of the test, preparation strategies, and examples, to help test takers to perform well in the test.

What is IELTS Cue Card? 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English language proficiency test is taken for study, immigration, or work. IELTS is divided into two categories: Academic and General Training. The latter is applicable for aspirants desirous of higher education pursuits abroad. Yet, the speaking test is the same for both these modules. The first part is the introduction and interview, where candidates will be asked questions about themselves, their family, education, etc. 

The IELTS speaking cue cards come into play for the second part when the candidate will be choosing cue cards and then speaking on a topic for two minutes at least. They can make notes on the topic beforehand. After their speech, follow-up questions are also asked on the topic. In the long discussion, the topic in the cue cards has to be explained in detail by the candidate. For example, the cue cards for IELTS 2023 will contain 3-4 questions for candidates. It will be marked based on four parameters, and it will be done on a scale of 1-9.

Understanding the IELTS Speaking Test

The IELTS Speaking test is conducted to evaluate the English speaking skills of the test taker. The test consists of three parts, and the duration of the test is approximately 11-14 minutes. The first part of the test is an introduction where the test taker is asked general questions about themselves, their family, and their interests. The second part of the test is the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section, where the test taker is given a cue card with a topic to speak on. They have one minute to prepare their response and two minutes to speak on the topic. The third part of the test is a discussion where the examiner asks the test taker questions related to the topic in part two.

Role of IELTS Speaking Cue Cards in the Test

The IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section is a crucial part of the IELTS Speaking test, and it contributes significantly to the test taker's final score. It assesses the test taker's ability to organize their thoughts and express themselves coherently and fluently in a given situation. The cue cards cover various topics related to daily life, such as people, places, events, opinions, future plans, and storytelling. Test takers must be well-prepared for this section to perform well in the IELTS Speaking test.

How to Prepare for IELTS Speaking Cue Cards?

Effective preparation is essential to perform well in the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section. The following are some key skills required to prepare for the test:

1) Expand vocabulary: Test takers should work on building their vocabulary to express themselves more accurately and effectively.

2) Practice speaking: Consistent practice of speaking English will help improve fluency and confidence.

3) Listen to English: Listening to English podcasts, music, and TV shows can help improve the test taker's understanding of the language.

4) Study grammar: Reviewing grammar rules and practicing using them in context will help improve grammatical accuracy.

5) Understand the format: Test takers should familiarize themselves with the IELTS Speaking test format and the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section's structure.

Strategies for Approaching IELTS Speaking Cue Cards:

Effective strategies are necessary to perform well in the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section. The following are some general and specific strategies to follow:

General Strategies:

1) Understand the Cue Card Prompt: It is crucial to read and understand the prompt on the cue card carefully to ensure that the response is relevant to the topic.

2) Plan the Response: Test takers should take the time to brainstorm and organize their response before speaking.

3) Speak Clearly and Confidently: Test takers should speak clearly and confidently to convey their ideas effectively.

Specific Strategies:

1) Introduction: The test taker should start their response with a clear introduction that restates the prompt and provides an overview of the response.

2) Body: The body of the response should contain two to three main points that answer the prompt and provide relevant examples to support the response.

3) Conclusion: The response should conclude with a summary of the main points and a final statement that relates to the prompt.

4) Time Management: Test takers should manage their time effectively to ensure they have enough time to prepare and speak on the topic.

List of IELTS Speaking Cue Cards 2024

Here is an approximate list of IELTS speaking cue cards 2023 that you should note. You can practice these in advance by looking for IELTS cue cards with answers. There are some predominant types, including the following: 

  1. Past events
  2. Places
  3. Objects
  4. Crazy queries
  5. Hypothetical thought
  6. Habits
  7. Favorite things
  8. Cultural events
  9. Persons 

Here is a list of anticipated cue cards:

Time-Based / Someone

Describe a Time When You Told Your Friend an Important TruthTalk About A Time When You Gave Advice to SomeoneDescribe A Time When You First Talked in A Foreign Language
Describe A Time When You Helped A FriendDescribe A Time When Your Computer Broke DownDescribe A Time When You Felt Bored
Describe A Time When You Were Really Close To A Wild AnimalDescribe a time when you needed to use your imaginationDescribe a time when you observed stars IELTS cue card
Describe a Time when you Missed an Appointment IELTS cue cardDescribe a time you made a promise to someone IELTS Cue CardDescribe a time you moved to a new home/school IELTS cue card
Describe a time when you shared something with others IELTS cue cardDescribe a time you were busy IELTS Cue Card 

 

Famous / Person & Occasion

Describe a Person Who Impressed You in Primary SchoolDescribe an Occasion When Many People Were SmilingDescribe a Famous Person You Are Interested In
Describe A Dinner You Really EnjoyedDescribe an Expensive Activity that You Enjoy Doing OccasionallyDescribe A Person Who Wears Unusual Clothes
Describe A Businessman You AdmireMemorable Day in My LifeDescribe a Famous Athlete You Know
Describe a foreign person who you have heardDescribe a person who solved a problem in a smart wayDescribe an interesting neighbour
Describe a creative person whose work you admireDescribe a popular/well-known person in your countryDescribe a Childhood Friend
Describe a Person who you Believe Dresses Well

 

Life / Emotions & Place

Describe a Difficult Decision that You Once MadeDescribe A Street Market In Your CityDescribe an Event You Attended in Which You Didn’t Like the Music Played
Describe A Puzzle You Have PlayedDescribe an Art Exhibition that You VisitedDescribe A Long Walk You Ever Had
Describe a Film that Made You LaughDescribe A Live Sports Match That You WatchedDescribe A Quiet Place You Like To Spend Time In
Describe Your Favourite MovieDescribe A Difficult Thing You didDescribe A Toy You Liked in Your Childhood
Describe A Good Law In Your CountryDescribe A Computer/Phone Game You Enjoy Playing Since Your ChildhoodDescribe an exciting book that you enjoy reading
Describe An Ambition that You haven’t AchievedDescribe a city that you think is very interestingDescribe A Bag You Want to Own
Describe Your Dream HouseDescribe a Perfect Job You Would Like To Have in the FutureDescribe a cafe you like to visit
Describe a leisure activity in or on the seaDescribe A Tradition in your CountryDescribe a chocolate you didn t like
Describe a tall building in your cityDescribe an Object you Find Particularly BeautifulTalk about a special day which was not that expensive
Describe an activity that you do after school/workTalk about a traditional object of your countryDescribe a positive change in your life
Describe a skill that was difficult for you to learnDescribe your favorite movieDescribe an interesting song
Talk about an important/Special event you celebratedDescribe your first day at schoolTalk about a TV Show you Like to Watch
Talk about an important river or lake in your country or hometownDescribe your favorite singerDescribe a Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store
Describe an English Class/Lesson that You EnjoyedDescribe a website which helped you to do somethingDescribe an activity you do to keep fit
Describe a competition you would like to take part inDescribe a book you read that you found usefulDescribe an art or craft activity that you had at school
Describe a course that impressed you a lotDescribe a skill that you can teach other peopleDescribe a law on environmental protection
Describe your favourite weatherDescribe an activity that you usually do that wastes your time 

 

Activity / Event & Interesting / Work

Describe an Expensive Activity that You Enjoy Doing Occasionally

Describe an Art Exhibition that You Visited

Describe A Live Sports Match That You Watched

Describe A Leisure Activity in or on the Sea

Describe A City that You Think is Very Interesting

Describe An Exciting book that You Enjoy Reading

Describe A Perfect Job You Would Like To Have in the Future

Aquatic Animal Cue Card

 

Movie / Object

Describe a Film that Made You Laugh

Describe Your Favourite Movie

Describe A Computer/Phone Game You Enjoy Playing Since Your Childhood

Describe A Good Law In Your Country

Describe A Toy You Liked in Your Childhood

Describe A Puzzle You Have Played

Describe Your Dream House

Describe A Tall Building in Your City

Describe A Bag You Want to Own

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Marking Criteria for IELTS Speaking Cue Cards 

The speaking section is 11-15 minutes long. Candidates interact face-to-face with examiners in this section. The score in the section is between 0-9. Here are the marking criteria: 

  1. Coherence & Fluency – This examines the capabilities of candidates in terms of their fluent speech and expressing their thoughts. 
  2. Grammatical Accuracy & Range – This assesses how people accurately use their grammatical paradigms and how they deploy the same in their speech. 
  3. Lexical Resources – The candidate’s vocabulary is scrutinized in this case, with a view toward analyzing the communicative aspects of speech. 
  4. Pronunciation – It may differ across countries, although suitable capabilities to pronounce words correctly in English are measured. 

Each of these four points is given a cumulative value and these are added for making up the overall score. For instance, if someone scores 6 in grammatical accuracy and range, 6.5 in fluency and coherence, 7 in pronunciation, and 6 in lexical resources, it adds up to 25.5. Divide this by 4, and it comes to 6.3 on average.

In conclusion, the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section is an essential component of the IELTS Speaking test, and it requires effective preparation and strategies to perform well. Test takers must understand the test format, scoring criteria, and approaches to the section to succeed. By following the strategies outlined in this article and practicing consistently, test takers can improve their English proficiency and perform well in the IELTS Speaking test.

Recommended Reads:

IELTS Speaking Idioms

IELTS Grammar

IELTS Important Vocabulary

IELTS Collocation

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

How to Crack IELTS Exam in first Attempt

Complex Sentences For IELTS

IELTS Speaking Format

IELTS Speaking Tips and Tricks

IELTS Speaking Topics

IELTS Speaking Band Score

How to Improve Vocabulary for IELTS

IELTS Common Speaking Topics With Answers

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

IELTS IDIOMS GUIDE
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Frequently Asked Questions

How to prepare IELTS speaking cue card?

You should jot down notes on the core points. Speak at a stretch for a few minutes and record what you are saying. Try practicing in front of your mirror and refer to cue cards to get an idea of the topics.

How to start IELTS speaking cue card?

You should begin with any of the following introductory phrases- I’d like to talk about or I’d like to tell you about is and even Let me tell you about. You should start in this manner and focus on your core points.

How to speak cue card in IELTS?

You should write your keywords to imprint them in your mind. You should also try to encompass the basic question points in your cue card. You can write the keywords in bullet points instead of lengthy or random words. You should imagine the scenario and build a visual to help you speak.

What is Cue?

A cue is a signal like a phrase, word or a hint to the test takers to start their action or speech.

What is a Cue Card?

The cue card is given to test takers who have to view the same and use it for their speech. In the IELTS examination, candidates get cue cards in the speaking section. They have to select their cards and speak on the topic at a stretch.

What is an IELTS Cue card?

The IELTS Cue card is a task in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) speaking test. It requires the test taker to speak about a given topic for 2 minutes, based on prompts provided on the cue card.

How long do I have to speak for the IELTS Cue card task?

For the IELTS Cue card task, you are given 1 minute to prepare your response, and then you are expected to speak for 2 minutes on the topic provided.

What should I include in my response for the IELTS Cue card task?

 In your response for the IELTS Cue card task, you should include relevant information about the topic provided. It is recommended to structure your response by introducing the topic, providing reasons, examples, or personal experiences, and concluding your speech.

How are the IELTS Cue card tasks assessed?

The IELTS Cue card tasks are assessed based on four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation. Examiners evaluate your ability to express yourself clearly, use a range of vocabulary appropriately, demonstrate grammatical accuracy, and maintain a natural rhythm and intonation while speaking.

Can I ask for clarification during the IELTS Cue card task if I don't understand the topic?

No, during the IELTS Cue card task, you are expected to work with the topic provided without asking for clarification. This is to assess your ability to think on your feet and communicate effectively even when faced with unfamiliar topics.

How long does the IELTS Speaking test last?

The test lasts approximately 11-14 minutes.

How is the IELTS Speaking test scored?

The test is scored on a nine-band scale based on four criteria: fluency and coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range and accuracy, and pronunciation.

Can I use notes during the IELTS Speaking Cue Cards section?

No, test takers cannot use notes during the section, but they can use the one minute of preparation time to plan their response.

Download IELTS Sample Papers

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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