IELTS Cue Card Sample 478 - Something new or exciting you did

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe something you did that was new or exciting.

You should say:

  • what you did
  • where and when you did this
  • who you shared the activity with

and explain why this activity was new or exciting for you.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Sample Answer 1:
I know what to tell you about here! I’m going to tell you all about what I did, where and when it was, who I shared the activity with and why it was both new and exciting for me.

I love trying new things. I’m not particularly brave, but I hate missing out on adventures, and I am curious about the world. On balance, even if something is uncomfortable, or positively frightening, I’d much prefer to ‘give it a go’ and face the consequences than walk away from the opportunity and wonder what might have been.

Last year I went on holiday to a fitness boot camp. It was in Northumberland, right by the sea. This is a wild and beautiful location in the north of England. The week involved lots of different activities, abseiling; hill walking; river kayaking; climbing (I was rubbish at that); body boarding; orienteering even learning how to build wild shelters out of scraps of wood. Lots of those activities were new and/or exciting, but there was one thing in particular we did that gave me a massive adrenalin high! Coasteering! Now I’d never even heard of this before, so I think you might also need me to explain a bit more about what exactly it is!

Essentially coasteering is a cross between orienteering and coastal (ocean) swimming. The activity involves exploring a rocky coastline from the sea, by climbing, jumping, and swimming along its edge. It is quite strenuous, and you have to be brave as you are moving along the coast in an inter-tidal area with ocean currents, tides and hidden rocks to contend with. It isn’t just clambering over rock pools, nor is it swimming as such it is something in between. With the cold rough waters of the North Sea, it is an activity it would be far too dangerous to do on your own. You need to be with a group and a leader who knows the area and what is safe and what is not.

So the activity was coasteering, the location was Northumberland, and the timing was August 2015 I think. In terms of who I shared this with, well, I went out with a group of about 6 other fellow holiday-makers and our very experienced, patient and lovely guide Bruce. We all wore full wet suits and old trainers to protect our feet as well as life jackets (buoyancy aids) and helmets. Even so, I was very apprehensive as we walked over the slippery seaweed covered rocks towards the crashing waves. The first challenge was just climbing into the water as the waves seemed huge and the water was freezing. However, once you have literally taken the plunge, the shock of adrenalin and the effect of the wet suit soon warms you up! Our leader was very safety conscious thankfully, so although I was a bit scared (I’m not all that strong a swimmer) in fact he carefully checked each route before we followed, using a rope to link us all together where necessary. As the time passed we got ever more confident, at times the waves washed us off rocks like we were droplets being shaken off the coat of a wet dog, but after a bit you start to realise that even though you feel like you are being tossed around in a giant washing machine it is actually pretty safe. The buoyancy aid makes it impossible to sink, and as long as you don’t fight the currents, but go with them, it is really fun. You do have to surrender control to some extent which feels weird and unsettling but once you do, oh my what a ride! It was incredibly exciting. You are seeing the landscape (coastline in this case) from a really new perspective, in amongst the waves, gazing up at huge rocky cliffs, jumping in and out of rock pools, and screaming with laughter as you are swept along. Without the necessary equipment and guidance, it would be terrifying, you’d end up drowning, or injuring yourself by being battered against the rocks but this way it was enormous fun.

So coasteering was new and exciting because it was something I’d never even heard of before, let alone experienced. I had no idea at all what to expect. It was exciting because it moves you out of your comfort zone. Your heart is racing and it is a physical as well as mental challenge to keep on going. However, it was also incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Because we were a small group we all encouraged one another and pulled together, it was a great way to make new friends. I’m not sure it would suit everyone as a team building activity in the workplace but I guarantee it would be effective!

Although it was hilarious, it was challenging.  I’m really, really glad I did it, once. However, I don’t know if I’m quite brave enough to do it again! That said, I’ve already admitted I do have a terrible fear of missing out, so I think I probably would!  You should too, if you ever get the chance, but please make sure you trust your guide first, and don’t even think about it without proper equipment, it would be all too  easy to get swept away, the oceans are a powerful force, and not to be trifled with!  It is being in amongst all that power of nature that made the experience so awesome and memorable!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris (2016):  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam)]


Sample Answer 2:
To avoid boredom and monotony in life, I, along with my three other college friends planned to have a camp out in Mather Campground located in Grand Canyon of Arizona. Accordingly, we planned and made the camp out a grand success.

In fact, it is really intolerable to continue with academic studies, going for college, preparing assignments and again planning for the college in the next day. So, I needed a perfect break from everything. Hence, the idea of a camping out of home peeped in my mind. I placed the proposal to my close buddies and they also agreed with me. But it was difficult to prepare for everything and arrange a leave for the camping. But finally, we managed everything including permission from our parents, college and started for the campground by driving my Mazda 6. The experiences were really enjoyable for us.    

In the mid of the last October, we planned for the campout. Actually, in this last quarter of the year, there are huge pressures on us for completing the courses and appear in the final exams. To get rid of all the monotonous events, we decided to camp out. Initially, we wanted to set the camp at the garden in front of my residence. But the idea was not supported by others. Then we decided to move to the Grand Canyon national park. Accordingly, we hired a spot in the camping venue. Then we arranged for the necessary things. In fact, we wanted to spend a life leaving the modern city behind of us. So, we did not take our cell phones, laptops and other electronic gears with us. We started for the Mather Campground and it was nearly a half day drive from our city.    

George, Robert, and David accompanied me on this camping trip. We all were excited and had different plans to execute at the campground. But we also experienced some troubles from our parents before we start. Actually, none of them allowed us to live outside the home. They did not agree with the idea of leaving the cell phones at home. Later, we had a meeting at my home and decided to take the help from a friendly lecturer of our college. I think our parents were worried about our safety and security in the campsite. So, it was really difficult for us to make them understand that we can take care of ourselves. Besides, Mr Johnson, the lecturer of college, also played an important role here. Finally, everything was set and we began the journey.     

This was a new experience for and for my friends as well. Neither had we seen the Grand Canyon before nor had we experienced a night out of our home. So, it was really thrilling. Moreover, the weather was good and comfortable. We had a barbeque set with us. So, we caught some trout from a nearby waterbody and had a wonderful dinner with the fried fishes. Though there were cottages and tents for sleeping at night in the campground, we had our own sleeping bags. Besides, we only had a radio set which was the link between us and the civilisation we left behind. The sky was clear and filled with bright stars. They appeared to so close enough that we could have touched them with hands. The entire environment was natural and extremely enjoying. Hence, it was a remarkable experience for me and the others.

 

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Doing new things:

Q. Why do you think some people like doing new things?

Q. What problems can people have when they try new activities for the first time?

Q. Do you think it’s best to do new things on your own or with other people? Why?

Learning new things:

Q. What kinds of things do children learn to do when they are very young? How important are these things?

Q.  Do you think children and adults learn to do new things in the same way? How is their learning style different?

Q.  Some people say that it is more important to be able to learn new things now than it was in the past. Do you agree or disagree with that? Why?

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