Cue Card Sample

Describe a significant historical event in your country - Cue Card # 596

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

Describe a significant historical event in your country you know about.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when it happened
  • what happened

and say why it is a significant historical event for your country.

[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:
Australia is a great country that has gone through several significant events in its history in order to become the country which it is today. However, no other events are probably as significant in this country’s historical passage as the one, that I am about to describe very shortly, as this very event actually helped in creating Australia.

This particular significant event took place on the 26th of January in the year 1788 when the first fleet of British ships arrived at Port Jackson of New South Wales. Besides, the raising of the flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by the then Sydney governor, Arthur Phillip, also took place on this same day, which essentially paved the way for the creation of a country called “Australia”.

Later on, after a century or so, of course, this day was declared as the “national day” of Australia even though the Aboriginal Australians think otherwise about this particular historic event. In fact, the Aboriginal Australians consider this day, when this historic event took place, as a “national day of mourning” or “invasion day”. Of course, other European traders and explorers had started to make contact with the indigenous Australian people 250 years earlier, but they didn’t claim any land until after Captain James Cook formally had claimed New South Wales for the British. This Aboriginal land was taken over by British colonists, on the premise that the land belonged to no one (‘terra nullius’), either by using “force” against the indigenous people or purchasing their lands from them.

Anyway, it is a significant historic event for my country because in the aftermath of this event, On New Year's Day 1901, the British colonies of Australia eventually were able to form a federation, marking the birth of modern Australia. Besides, this is a significant historical event also because it allows us to reflect on our history and mistakes as a nation and then rectifying them by calling for national unity among the people of a very diverse Australian society.


Sample Answer 2:
The assassination of Abraham Lincoln is one of the most significant events in the history of the USA. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes, an actor of that time, who was a sympathizer of the Confederate, and it was an act of vengeance for him to kill Lincoln - according to his testimony. Interestingly, a couple of weeks ago, Lincoln dreamt of an assassination event and shared it with some of his security officials. But finally, he could not survive the day. This is an interesting cue card task, and thank you for that.

The assassination of Abraham Lincoln took place on April 14, 1865. It was a gloomy day when John Wilkes killed the then president of the United States. It was a kind of revenge for him as he believed that Lincoln was the root cause for damaging the South. The assassinator thought that Lincoln dishonoured people and the institutions of South America. So, he planned to kill Lincoln. The president was delivering a speech before audiences when he was shot.

It was one of the saddest moments for the nation when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. He was a great leader who loved his countrymen and underwent many "complex situations" but handled most of them successfully. His assassination was a big loss for the country. Abraham Lincoln was shot in the back of his head, and he went into a coma for around nine hours. He did not wake up from the coma and finally succumbed to death.

It was an influential historical event for the USA. Abraham Lincoln tried to unite the country, played an important role to abolish slavery, and took many other great initiatives. In line with the assassination, some other prominent events also took place to destroy the administration of Abraham Lincoln. Sadly, it was a great loss for us as a nation.


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card topic:

Cue Card Topic: Describe a significant historical event in your country you know about.

1. Bombing in Nagasaki was a dark chapter in Japanese history. In 1945, during the Second World War, a bomb stormed the city and claimed around 40,000 lives. It was a nuclear attack on the country, and people went through unbearable suffering on that day and many years to come.

2. The demolition of Babri Masjid in India was a sad historical event. In fact, this was a great assault on the Muslim community of the country. A few corrupt political leaders tried to gain their own interest from the event and the riot killed and injured many people.

3. First television transmission began in Australia in 1929. Though it was an experimental transmission, it became a part of our history. Initially, the television broadcast was launched from Melbourne and then the TV stations spread in some other areas. But the mainstream television was launched later. Considering the impacts televisions have on our lives, this was an important historical event for Australia.

4. In 2000, both primary and secondary education was made compulsory for every child in Singapore. Earlier, it was not mandatory for children and the Compulsory Education Act has made it so. This has been enacted in 2003 and many people in our country consider it a great historical day for Singapore.

5. The discovery of oil in Dammam Dome was a historical event for Saudi Arabia. In fact, oil drilling was running in the region for the past couple of years, and geologists had lost their hopes about oil in this region. As our economy largely depends on this natural resource, the discovery of Damman Dome is a significant event in our national history.  

6. The history of Malaysia is enriched with numerous events but I think the birth of the state as an independent nation is the most significant one. It became independent in 1957 as the Federation of Malaya from British domination.

7. In 1990, the German football team defeated the Argentine football team and it is a part of our proud history. It was the final match to decide the winner of the FIFA World Cup 1990, and Germany became the world champion on that day. The match took place in Rome, Italy; and Germany scored the only goal in the match.

8. The civil unrest in 2016 was a historical event for Hong Kong and it resulted in a crackdown on unlicensed street hawkers. It had several negative impacts and there was severe violence between protestors and the police.

9. A major earthquake took place on June 1 in 1990 in Iran. The earthquake had some serious consequences on the lives and properties of the local people. It killed nearly 40,000 people and the destruction of properties was also severe. We sadly remember this historical event and the relatives still mourn for the departed ones.

If you can talk about this cue card topic, you should be able to answer the following topics as well:

1. Describe a historical event that is important for your country.
2. Describe something everyone in your country knows about.
3. Describe a famous event in your country.

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