Cue Card 590 - Describe a prize you have ever won

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

Describe a prize you have ever won.

You should say:

  • what it was
  • what you had to do to win it
  • how many other competitors were there

and explain how you felt after winning it.

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


Model Answer 1:
I haven’t really won that many things in my life, perhaps because I haven’t really been that competitive in life. However, there were a few occasions when I managed to win a thing or two by defying all the odds, and today I would like to share one such story. 

The prize, I won, was a “book” when I was a high school student about 12 years ago. I wasn’t exactly a very bright student during my high school days, but, I still somehow managed to get an admission at one of the best government high schools in my country. It was all good at my high school, but it certainly had a different culture as everything was very competitive there. Even meeting new friends or mingling with other fellow students was not an easy thing to do, especially, for an average student like me.

So, I was essentially a “backbencher” or some kind of “outcast” there. Feeling a bit dejected, I wanted to prove something – my worth- to them.  So, I started to wait for an opportunity, and it came on my way after almost waiting for 6 months in the form of an “essay” writing competition. It was an open competition, so all of my fellow brilliant classmates were able to take part in it.

Anyway, we had only two days to submit the essay, so I forgot about eating or taking a shower in order to collect enough information on the essay writing skills and techniques.  Finally, after a marathon 2-day effort, I did submit my essay and wished to achieve some “big” success, and I wasn’t disappointed as I got the 2nd best prize in that essay writing competition.

Anyway, after winning the competition, I felt like I was flying to the moon with so much joy and happiness. In fact, it was for the first time, I felt that I could actually be as good as any other person if I really had tried hard. Besides, after winning my first-ever prize, I felt like I earned some “bragging rights” to boast about my success among my friends.


Sample Answer 2:
My participation in a chess competition brought me one of the best prizes in my life and I am going to tell you about this event and the award I won. The competition was held in my college in Berlin, Germany around three years ago. The chess competition was arranged marking the annual sports events. Though several other contests were included in this event, I picked chess for my love and passion for the game. I would like to thank you for letting me talk about it.

The battle of the mind is one of the most exclusive types of war, I believe and this is more prevalent in a gaming competition. I had to compete and outwit my competitors in several stages to win the competition. The first stage of competition began in the morning and ended by noon. The final completion held after lunch and ended in the evening. I got a break when I tried to reshape my ideas and start again with vigour and determination to become the champion the next day. But fighting the competitors with outstanding talents and skills was extremely difficult. In fact, they were highly intelligent and expert in playing chess.  

Among the other competition, chess was comparatively less preferred by the competitors. There were several reasons for ignoring chess. I think the sluggish nature of the game discouraged to take up on the competition. So, we were eight players altogether in the entire competition. Each of the players was skilled and knew how to manipulate the game. The capacity to influence the thought of rivals was truly amazing.  

A blanket of joy surrounded me after winning the prize in chess competition. I defeated the former champion and became the new champion of inter-department chess championship of our college. I was proud of my victory. I underwent huge stress around two days to participate in the competition. My parents were happy to learn that I became the new champion. The victory and winning the prize was a remarkable event in my life.

To illustrate the prize, it was insignificant compared to the achievement. The real reward is in the glory of the title, not the money or the trophy. However, I still have the trophy and I used the prize money, which was 500 euros, to buy some books and gifts for my parents and my young sister. 


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card topic:

Cue Card Topic: Describe a prize you have ever won.

1. Recently I took part in a video game completion. The competition took place at my college in China and I participated in a racing game. It took around twenty minutes for me to complete the entire race and I won the third prize. It was quite an exhilarating experience for me, especially because the competition included a game that I was good at.

2. My pet has brought me a grand prize this year at the annual pet show held in Frankfurt. I have a pet dog, Tom, and I trained it gradually aiming to take part in the competition. I am happy to win this prize.

3. The annual badminton completion in my college, here in New York City, took place last month and I was a participant. I won the second prize in the tournament. It was tough to beat the other contestants and I was so happy to become one of the winners.

4. When I was a school student in Montreal, Canada, I got a prize for art and craft activities. The project aimed to increase the capacity of the students and so, there was no specific theme at all. I won several other prizes afterwards but this was one the most inspiring for me as a child.

5. I took part in an online competition and it was for to be mothers. By answering all the questions correctly, I won a prize. It was a spa treatment for free of cost near the outskirts of Thailand. I was overwhelmed with joy.

6. After submitting a photo in a photography competition, I won a prize. Actually, it was a recognition for me. Though I am a fashion photographer in Spain now, my passion for photography intensified after winning the prize.

7. Our college in Mumbai organized for an annual competition, and I took part as a singer. To my utter surprise, I was awarded a nice complimentary prize for my performance. I was glad indeed with the prize.

8. Winning the first prize is really impressive, and I won it just a few months ago. It was a camping event and I took the lead for the hiking team. For my successful accomplishment, the college authority awarded me the prize.

9. I have got a two-night hotel stay for my successful answers to a quiz competition. Now I am planning to visit Thailand to avail the reward and I am going to take in next month. In fact, this is the award I won in ages and all others are dated back to my high school days.


Your preparation for this cue card topic would help you talk about the following topics as well:

1. Describe a recent happy event.
2. Describe something you own which is important to you.
3. Describe a prize or gift that you really like.
4. Describe something you want to own.
5. Describe something you have recently bought.
6. Describe an event when you were congratulated.
7. Describe a competition you took part in.

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