IELTS Cue Card Sample 33 - A positive change in your life

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

Describe a positive change in your life.

You should say:

  • what  the change was about
  • when it happened 
  • describe details of the change happened 

and describe how it affected your later life.

Follow-up Questions:

  • What changes do you want to make in your life?
  • Do you believe we can control our own fate? How?
  • What three changes you would want to see in your country?

Model Answer 1:
You have asked me to think back on some change I’ve made in my life, that turned out to be one for the better! I am going to tell you what the change was and when it happened. I’ll give you a bit of detail about how things were different for me after the change and finish by describing what it means for me now, a bit later in life. The funny thing about changes is that you don’t always recognise them at the time. For me, I didn’t know when I started out that the positive change I was making would turn out to be a long term difference in my behaviour. However, it turned out to be just that. It is only looking back now that I can identify there was a definite shift in what I got up to, and I can even pinpoint a definite time, but in the midst of it all, I had no idea where that change would take me.

The change was basically that I decided I needed to get a bit fitter, and the thing that helped me do so was joining up to do Parkrun. However, I’m jumping ahead. Let me explain how it came about… A couple of years ago I started to feel like I was getting old and losing my basic fitness. Although I walked quite a lot (as a form of transport, as well as to enjoy the local countryside) I wasn’t really doing anything else very much that was physical. I was never very good at sports, so I didn’t really know where to begin. However, I’ve always liked being outdoors, so on something of a whim I booked an activity holiday in Northumberland, which is a beautiful rural area in the north east of England, right by the coast. The holiday was great. We did abseiling; hill walking; body-surfing – all sorts of things. In addition, every morning began with a run along the sands of the seaside. Now I’d never run before – well only if I was trying to catch a bus, but otherwise, not at all. I wasn’t very good at it, and honestly, I didn’t even really enjoy it all that much. However, I did have to concede that it is a great form of exercise. You don’t really need any special equipment (apart from decent trainers); you can do it anywhere and it’s free! What’s more, I found out from some other holiday makers that in the UK there is a free weekly event held nationwide in parks all over the country. It is called Parkrun, and basically people gather every Saturday morning at 9.00 a.m. to run a fixed course of 5km and get a time for doing so. I wasn’t too sure if this would be achievable for me. I’d never run that far before. But I promised myself I would try it ‘just once’ to see if I could.

The day after I got back from my holiday I turned up to do the Parkrun at my local park. I can tell you the exact day! It was 24th August 2013 – I know this because the whole point of Parkrun is that if you register (which is free) then the organisation records your time each week and you can access it online afterwards. The first time I went I didn’t even manage to run the whole way round, but I did finish, and I did get a great sense of achievement. Because you know your time, it is quite addictive, you find you do want to go again the next week and see if you can improve!  My local parkrun is huge, with well over 500 runners taking part every week – so even though I was pretty slow, I found I wasn’t the slowest.

Since that day over two years ago, I’ve found that I’ve gone to Parkrun almost every week.  I have taken part in some 70 parkruns, and through doing so made new friends, maintained a certain level of fitness, and even gained the confidence to take part in some longer runs.  I’ve done lots of 10km races now, a few off-road runs – including one over 24km as well as taken part in obstacle races!  I would never have believed that the small change of ‘just going once’ to Parkrun to ‘give it a go’ would lead to me being such an enthusiastic member of Parkrun two years later.  By the way, I haven’t really ever got any faster, but I’m definitely a lot fitter.  Now I can’t imagine a Saturday morning without heading off for a run with my 500 friends at the local park!  That first day I turned up nervously to join in with Parkrun was definitely the beginning of a positive change in my life!

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


Possible Answer 2:
The positive change that I would like to talk about is ‘I started playing outdoor games instead of playing computer games’. After I got my first personal computer when I was only 9 years old or so, I started learning many things. Besides that, I started playing the computer games. As computer games are addictive I found that I was playing the games whenever I had spare times. This addiction barred me from playing outdoor games like cricket, football etc.

I found myself very much attracted to the computer games and I preferred to play the games at home instead of going to open spaces or fields to participate in outdoor games that involve physical exercises. Not that computer games are all so bad, but playing them all the time someone has got is not a good thing especially for kids. I found that I was spending more times at home than being outside. After my parents noticed that, they discussed with me about that and explained me the importance of outdoor activities. They gave me strict restriction that I would only be able to play computer games for an hour daily and in the evening I’d have to go outside to play with my friends.

This was obviously a very positive change for me. I’m not against computer games but I feel that if there are more important things to do, then we should not spend time on computer games only.

This change affected me very positively. I became a good cricket player, later on, I started maintaining my times more prudently and I am sure this change has affected me positively in terms of physical and mental health.   

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

Talk about a changed which has brought something positive to you. You would need to describe how this change has positively affected your life so talk about something which has later on proved to be very helpful for you. You can talk about a decision or action of yours which later on have been proved to be positive. You can also mention about a bad habit you abandoned, a decision you took or an advice you took which brought positive things in your life. This would vary from person to person and the following points are the ideas to talk about for this cue card topic:

  • You abandoned one of your bad habits like smoking.
  • You started doing exercises and that has made changes in your health.
  • You have decided to study on a subject rather than what your parents wanted you to study on.
  • You took a training or diploma course and that has helped you to get a good job.
  • You have started being more social and thus you now have some good friends.
  • You abandoned your grudge or ego against a relative or friend and now you have good relations.
  • You took a part time job and that helped you.
  • You started doing more outdoor activities than spending times at home.
  • You started learning a language and that has helped you.
  • You started exploring some skills in you and thus have focused on those skill set.
  • Some experience or conversation has changed your perspective on an issue.
  • You have moved to a city from a rural area.
  • You have started helping people after you realised it from one of the incidents in your life.
  • You started helping your family members on their tasks.
  • You became more dedicated to something.
  • You started participating extracurricular activities like debating, reading, blogging, cycling, swimming etc.


Your preparation for this Cue Card would also help you answering the following cue card topics:

1. Describe a skill you have.
2. Describe a success in your life.
3. Talk about an important event of your life.
4. Describe a change you would like to have in you.
5. Describe something you want to do in the future.
6. Describe a lesson you would participate in the future.
7. Describe a bad habit you had.
8. Describe an activity you want to get involved.
9. Describe a skill you do not have.
10. Talk about something you started doing lately.
11. Describe a change you think was positive in your life.


Sample Answer 3: 
I have started focusing on me and have started exploring a new me and that is a very positive change for me. For the last 20 years of my life, I was a typical girl who never thought of herself and did her duties and responsibilities for others. 

Time was going on and my life was also going on with time in a very banal way. There was no value of time, life and thought. Only there was a tough routine that I had to follow and dedicate myself for others. I do not have any complaints dedicating me for the benefit of others, but that was so typical that I forgot my own existence and my own dreams.  

My dreams were surrounded by someone special. It’s all about someone whom I loved more than my life. But the moment I realised that with whom I nurture all of my dreams, is lost in a very different world where I do not have a special place, I was broken and shaken up. That realisation initially gave me a feeling of being a loser and helpless one.  It forcefully pulled me at the end of the world and I totally lost my confidence, believe in believing and did not seek any reason to live.

In that regrettable moments, I never stopped thinking and I asked questions to myself even when I was asleep. I was started regaining my confidence after I started realising the fact and reality. I was determined to hit the sky and not to feel like a looser.  I will never forget the great contributions my friends had overcoming this fatal time and they advised me why I have to love myself and explore my own dreams even after someone has shattered my dreams. They helped me to get out from my dilemma. They reminded me who am I, who could I be I. 

The perception of life, reality and dreams seem like have changed in me and I am happy for the changes. It has helped me find the reality, a new me. Now I love myself even more with my every possibility and dream. Now I am taking a journey to look forward and reach a definite goal I have. I don’t know where it would go but I learnt to walk alone, confidently and I love my own reflection. 
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