Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 528 - Describe a mistake you once made

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

Describe a mistake you once made in your life.

You should say:

  • what mistake it was
  • how you made this mistake
  • when it was

and explain how it affected 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.]


Model Answer 1:

Well, I have no hesitation to admit that I make a lot of mistakes. While some of these mistakes don’t really affect us that negatively, the others harm very dearly just like the mistake I made in my high school years about 15 years ago when I studied and prepared for the wrong subject. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it?

But, then again, when you are in high school and young, I guess that being stupid is allowed. However, the problem was that I was probably a bit more stupid than the other boys of my age. And, that’s probably why I seldom cared to write down the schedules for the test as a high school student.

Of course, such carelessness and stupidity of mine didn’t exactly cause much of a problem with my studies or test preparation since I could memorize them all by heart. But, that just didn’t happen unfortunately when I was a 9th-grade student and was preparing for my half-yearly test for the geography class. By the way, I was never really a good geography student, so I had to spend a great deal of extra time studying it in order to get some respectable score on it.

But, when I took my seat in the class and got the test paper in my hands, I couldn’t really believe my own eyes as the test paper, which I was looking at, was actually a test paper of social science. For a minute, I thought that the test supervisor must have made a mistake in picking up the right test papers from his office, but when I asked him about it, he told me in a very authoritative voice that it was I who had made the mistake. The supervisor was right.

Anyway, the mistake affected me really badly, primarily because I couldn’t answer the test questions properly, which also meant that I ended up getting a very poor score in my social science exam. But, the good thing was I finally learned my lesson because of this terrible mistake and started to write down all test schedules thereafter.


Sample Answer 2:

No one wants to talk about his mistakes and it seems like the human psychology is prone to forget blunders and remember good things in life. But some mistakes are hard to forget and have severe consequences in life. I, too, as an ordinary human try to learn from my mistakes, forget them most of the time and go ahead with my dreams to do something remarkable in my life. I would like to thank you for this cue card topic that expects me to talk about a mistake I have made in my life.

The biggest mistake in my life was falling in love with the wrong girl who had a completely different view of life, love and relationship. I was hardly 17 years old when I fall hard for this girl.

Initially, we were classmates and then became friends. In a year I started to feel something about her that was quite extraordinary and hard to explain. I guess people call this 'love'. My whole world started to shift and I was surrounded by a mirage for this whole time. Not a single moment had passed when I didn't think about her. She was the centre and power source of my universe. When I proposed her, she expressed her boundless joys and acted as if I should have proposed her earlier. So far, this is a sweet and innocent love story of a teenager and I was happy to have her in my life.

However, it took me only a few months to realise that she was not serious about our relationship. When she was my whole world, I was her just another temporary boyfriend. The relationship ended in ten months and I was so broken-hearted that I could not concentrate on anything for a while. My parents also knew about it and they were very supportive of me. First few days, it was quite difficult for me to get back to my normal life, study or go outside. I simply could not appease my mind that I made a great mistake and it was like an illusion that I need to come out from soon. However, when I started realising that I made a big mistake by approaching a serious relationship without even knowing the girl genuinely, I started making peace with my mind. I was completely honest with myself and that eventually helped me to get out of the depressive time I went through at that time.

The lesson learned from this mistake made me more cautious about making any kind of relationship and I am happy that I took this mistake as an event to learn a lesson. However, I often feel bad that how someone could be so naive to play with someone's sentiment so cheaply.


Sample Answer 3:

Making a mistake is quite natural for human beings. In fact, everyone makes mistakes. I also did so, recently while preparing for cooking. I set fire at home by mistake and got injured.

I live in Pakistan with my parents. Now I am a student of 12th grade here and attended some courses related to cooking, managing families and other domestic matters. In fact, I was instructed to cook something for the school as part of a practical exam for the course of Home Economics. Accordingly, I tried to cook the food but made the blunder which leads to a fire-related incident at our kitchen. Fortunately, it was a small-scale fire and I was a bit injured while the fire destroyed some of the kitchen utensils. None else was injured in this incident.  

The course title was about cooking foods for home. It was the Food Preparation course - a part of the Home Economics subject at my school. Since I am unable to cook, it was my very first attempt to prepare something. I took preparations and a recipe book. I collected all the necessary materials for cooking and my mother also instructed me. But while I was about to light the stove, I made the mistake. In most of the parts, where we live in, people cook with stoves. Cooking in stoves requires some special set of skills. Lighting the stove is most difficult. You need to use a lighter to lit all the laces that will provide the heat by burning. Unfortunately, I failed to light the stove. It fell to the ground and the nearby stuff was set on fire.  

It was right before the day of the practical exam of the course. The students were asked to bring two pieces of paratha and cooked chicken curry from home and the teachers would score on the cooking. In fact, it was the year-ending exam and the grades on the cooking would help us to get a good grade. So, everyone tried their best to prepare the instructed items. I attempted so. But the mistake I made was horrible. Though my mother taught me to light up the stove several times, I could not imitate her rightly. So, when she was irritated with my attempts, she left me alone in the kitchen to attend to some other tasks. Hence, I commit the mistake and set a fire in the kitchen.

Though the impacts were less instantly, I was shocked to a great extent. My father was worried about the issue after he heard of it. Moreover, I was unable to prepare the foods for my physical injury. I burnt both of my hands and informed the issue to my teachers. They helped me pass the course considering the issue. It was a great lesson for me. Actually, I made the mistake as I could not light up the stove perfectly. The rule to light up a stove is to light up the laces one after another. But what I did was completely wrong. I threw the matchstick on the stove that caused the fire. Consequently, my hands suffered minor injuries for the next two weeks. Now, I am extremely careful about cooking issues and try to avoid lighting up the stoves by myself.


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a mistake you once made.

1. While drafting a report for my office, I made the mistake. I did not notice the instruction and inserted a wrong image on the report. I made the mistake in the middle of the night. In fact, I had to work until the late-night to complete the report which was supposed to be submitted in the next day. So, when my boss noticed the matter, he politely asked me about it. I replied everything was okay and when he pointed at the report, I felt ashamed. Actually, I never made such mistakes before.

2. I have two mobile phones and I forgot to take the second one during a college function here in Delhi. Actually, I was in a rush to attend the functions. The event was set to be held at 3.30 pm and started from home at 2.45 pm. It was big trouble for me. I left my primary phone at home and could not make phone calls. Besides, some of my friends made phones and I was unable to receive them.

3. Depositing money in bank accounts is easier but it became the most terrible event for me last month. Mistakenly, I altered a digit of the bank account number. It was around 4.30 pm and the closing hour of the day and week as well. So, before depositing the money, I filled in a form with an altered digit. The money was sent to another person’s account. Later, I had to waste many times and meet many people and bank officials to settle the matter.

4. I am unable to draw something and made a mistake while drawing my practical exam book for college. I made the mistake unintentionally while drawing a frog and its internal organs. I was attending the practical biology class in the college, in Lahore, Pakistan. There was a frog lied before us and the teacher instructed to draw the image. But being unable to draw, I did not know what I drew them. The teacher and the other students laughed at me with the piece of drawing.

5. Driving is my hobby but last week I forgot to take my driving license. Actually, it was a private gathering of my friends here in Munich and I went there amid the rush. It was in the afternoon and I drove with a high speed to reach my destination. But the consequences were worst. I was caught. The police officer charged me with a couple of charges. And forgetting drivers’ license at the home was the prime one. I had to pay a heavy amount of fine.

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