IELTS Cue Card Sample 453 - Describe a situation when you received some useful advice

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

Describe a situation when you received some useful advice.

You should say:

  • what the situation was
  • who gave you the advice
  • what the advice was

and explain how this advice was useful to you.

Sample Answer 1:
I was bit confused while picking the situation when I received some useful advice from others and finally I decided to talk about the advice I got from my father when I was in my early teenage.

There was no particular situation or reason my father gave me some advice. In one evening I was sitting near him and watching TV. I was then 14 years old and was very fond of quiz shows. Both of us were enjoying the programme and a few minutes later my father asked me about my school. That was a bit embarrassing to talk about since my recent exam result was disappointing. He then told me some fascinating stories from his childhood and how he felt about school, study and other stuff. My father has a natural talent for telling compelling stories or maybe I love his stories because I like him very much. At one point I was so amazed to learn that he was very much like me and had more passion for playing, hanging out with friends than studying. He then explained me the importance of studying very attentively and how my academic performance will determine my future. If the advice had not been received from my father, I might have taken it very lightly. But when he told me how he had changed himself and achieved excellence in his academic results and how that has helped him to achieve a career he always dreamt about, I took it very seriously. The best point about this conversation was that I did not feel like I was being lectured or intentionally delivered some good advice. I thought about what my father advised me and I was really captivated about the idea that my academic excellence can someday make me a person I want to be. I was really enthralled about what I want to be in the future and my father’s advice made it clear to me that I will have to study hard to achieve this in my life.

I won’t say I have achieved an excellent academic record, but this advice helped me to become interested in learning and studying. Things could have been quite different for me if I did not receive the advice in proper time. This is the reason I consider it as the best advice I have ever received from anyone. This advice grew the interest of reading and learning in me and that’s the best part in my life so far.


Sample Answer 2:
When I was in my college, I decided to start a coffee shop at the street where the college was located. I had a partner with me to start the business but a friend of mine advised me not to start the business. He was correct and his advice saved me from a huge loss.

In fact, to earn some cash to continue the academic expenses, I wanted to open a small business. After lots of research, I found that a coffee shop would be fine for me. Besides, I also selected a partner to run the shop. The idea appeared in my mind while I was drinking coffee at a small shop located nearby my college. So, I thought that it would be beneficial for me to have such a shop and with the earnings, I would be able to meet my expenses. I feel shy asking for money to dad. So, I decided to start my own small business.

My childhood friend, Jonny was my advisor. I always seek advice from him for his extraordinary intellectual level and ability to judge the situations. Almost all of his advice were effective and beneficial for me. So, in this scenario, I asked him to suggest something that how can I run the business. The advice he gave me was really impressive. Though in the beginning, I could not agree with him for the reasons he showed, later I thought that he was right in every aspect. Besides, Jonny was a boy of practicality and he did not compromise with the emotions. But he was not a rough and tough man at all. He used to adjust with the situations and did accordingly after the situation demands.

When I described the intention to open up a small business, like a coffee shop, at the college street, Jonny suggested me not to open the shop. Besides, he advised me to keep patience and continue the study. Hearing the suggestion, I was astonished and thought that he might be jealous of my potential earning and success. So, I wanted to avoid him and his advice. He also said that my partner was not a trustworthy man. Moreover, the partner I selected was not insincere and I might not be able to continue the partnership for a long, he commented. Jonny asked me to think about the issue again and again, and then to decide either I will continue or not.     

The advice was extremely useful to me for several reasons. I followed the advice and did not open the business. Jonny told me that there is a skyrocketed competition among the existing coffee shops, and actually, there are a substantial number of small coffee shops in the college street. So, if I opened a new one, I would have to struggle a lot to survive in the business. Moreover, I was wrong in partner selection. Three months later, the man I teamed up with chose another partner, a friend of mine, and opened a new coffee shop at the same place where I intended to run my business. But unfortunately, they failed to attract new customers and keep pace with the immense competition. There were some other internal business issues between them, told my friend, like lack of transparency and trust. The advice was beneficial for me as if I started the business with that man, I had to suffer a huge amount of financial loss.


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

  • Describe an important conversation you had with someone.
  • Describe a useful advice you received from someone.
  • Describe a time or event that changed your life.
  • Describe someone who had a great influence on you.
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