Cue Card Sample

Cue Card 579 - Describe something you did in your life that was a success

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

Describe something you did in your life that was a success.

You should say:

  • what you did
  • when you did it
  • what difficulties you faced

and how you felt when you were successful.

[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:

Not sure if it is a good thing or bad thing, but I am never really comfortable with talking about my successes (trust me, there aren’t very many) in front of others. Then, I dislike talking about my failures in front of others even more. So, thank you for this topic as I am going to talk about one of the few success stories of my life in brief here.

It happened about 10 years ago when I was transferred to a little town for my job. It was a nice town except that it just didn’t have enough public transportation facilities to transport the residents there from one place to another. So, most not-so financially well-off residents there would tussle with one another over the limited number of seats, or even over some empty space just to stand, in the buses and trains. Not to mention, of course, such struggle to travel from one place to another was really frustrating and annoying for the residents of that little town.

So, I, as a big city guy, decided to take up the issue to the local government authority as well as to some national daily newspaper. I even tried to collect a good number of signatures from the local residents of the town to file a formal petition, only to find out, of course, that they didn’t want to give their signatures since they didn’t have any confidence in the pathetic bureaucracy of our country. Some of them even tried to discourage me by saying that the government just didn’t have enough fund to buy additional public transportations for the small city people. But, I just didn’t want to give my fight, and after trying for almost a year, I was finally able to convince the authority to run more public transportations in that town.

Anyway, I felt really glad after my success since it made the life of the poor residents of that little town much easier. Besides, I also felt that we should never underestimate our abilities to help other people, no matter how negative others around us can get.


Sample Answer 2:

After my migration to Saudi Arabia, it was really difficult for me to cope with the changes. Everything was expensive and I could not bear the extreme living costs. So, I planned to start a business on a small scale and gradually I became a successful businessman here. I started a small food shop which sold only the traditional Asian foods and now the business has become a large one. The shop has become popular in the city of Dhahran. The city is also famous as the majority of the oil industry administration have settled in here. The smart cue card questions remind of the past days. And I will answer them in brief here.

I migrated to Saudi Arabia in 2011 from Malaysia. In fact, my family inspired me to migrate to the land to establish my family business there but I turned into a failure to do so. Then, I decided to do something on my own. Accordingly, I made a plan and sought support from my family. They did not agree with me and asked me to seek options to establish the family business again. Finally, I denied their proposal and started my own business.

Initially, I had experienced some difficulties. The most important issue was the lack of fund to run the business. I also needed expert hands to cook foods, particularly Asian food. Selecting a suitable location in the city was another remarkable matter. But, I have crossed all the barriers and established the business as a profitable one.

I forgot all the past sufferings when I became successful. And the people who left me for my own business started returning to me. I enjoyed the matter but did not laugh at them. Besides, I have expanded the business in another city as well. I am happy now.


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

Topic: Describe something you did in your life that was a success.

1. Before having a positive mindset, I could not get success in anything. So, I changed my point of view. I tried to look everything in a general perspective. I changed my mindset a few days ago after attending a counselling session. But I had to face numerous difficulties. In the beginning, I could not accept the changes. Everything is fine with me now and I am happy by changing my outlook.

2. I was physically less fit and got admitted to a health club here in Barcelona to regain my health. I got included on the health club list around six months ago. It was hard for me to maintain the hard and fast rules of health. I had to give up smoking, take nutritious foods and obviously had to exercise. Now I am feeling better and enjoying good health indeed.

3. Intervening in family issues was not my cup of tea but I had to interfere with some matters. The issues appeared at the beginning of this year and I entered my nose to get the right solution. I had to experience enmity form my siblings and even my parents were against me in some aspects. But finally, I was able to hold everyone’s attention and everyone followed my suggestions. The problem was solved. I was too happy.

4. Getting on the right track for me was difficult in a populous city like Shanghai. But I was determined and established my own business here. I established the café following my native style about one year ago. In the beginning, I had many competitors. Beating them with the quality of foods and price was a challenge for me. But I am successful now and my perseverance brought me success. I am really glad.

5. Climbing was hard for me unless I reached the top of a hill here in Greece. I climbed on the top last month. It was a real adventure. I had serious troubles in the first phase. I broke my leg and also got injured by falling down several times. Luckily, I did not fall from a great height. But all the sufferings were gone when I reached the top of the large hill. It appeared that I won the world.

6. Saving money is difficult if you have uncountable sources to spend. So, I made a plan to save some money every month. I made the plan about one year ago. And now I am amazed at the result. But I had to experience some issues. Cutting down costs is highly difficult and I also compromised with numerous matters. But all of my compromises resulted in success. I have a smart amount of money in my bank account and I am planning to invest in any suitable sector.


Your preparation for the cue card topic - "Describe something you did in your life that was a success." would help you to talk about the following topics as well:

1. Describe a success in your life.
2. Describe something you did and felt great about it.
3. Describe a time when you won a competition.
4. Describe a time when you were praised for something you did well. 

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