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 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 because it allows us to reflect on our history and mistakes as a nation and then rectify them by calling for national unity among the people of a very diverse Australian society.


Model Answer 2:
Well, thank you for this intriguing topic that would allow me to talk about an important historic event in our country. In my opinion, one significant historical event in Canada is the Battle of Vimy Ridge, which occurred during World War I. The battle took place from April 9 to 12, 1917, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.

During the battle, four divisions of the Canadian Corps, fighting together for the first time, succeeded in capturing Vimy Ridge from German forces. The ridge had previously been considered an impregnable fortress due to its strategic location and heavily fortified defences. However, through meticulous planning, innovative tactics, and coordinated artillery barrages, the Canadian soldiers managed to overcome the formidable defences and secure victory.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge holds great significance for Canada for several reasons. Firstly, it marked a pivotal moment in Canadian history, as it was the first time that all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together as a unified force. This achievement fostered a sense of national pride and identity, as Canadians from different regions and backgrounds came together to achieve a common goal.

Secondly, the success at Vimy Ridge is often regarded as a coming-of-age moment for Canada on the world stage. The victory demonstrated Canada's military prowess and earned the country recognition as a formidable fighting force. It also helped to solidify Canada's reputation as a respected member of the international community.

Furthermore, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is remembered for its heavy toll on Canadian troops, with over 10,000 soldiers killed or wounded during the four-day battle. The sacrifices made by these brave men are commemorated annually on April 9th, known as Vimy Ridge Day, as Canadians honor their courage and valor in defence of freedom and democracy. The event also serves as a reminder of Canada's contributions to the Allied victory in World War I and continues to hold a special place in the hearts of Canadians as a symbol of national pride and identity.


Sample Answer 3:
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 topic, 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 assassin thought that Lincoln dishonoured the 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 in abolishing 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 for this Cue Card topic:

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

1. The bombing of 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 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 mainstream television was launched later. Considering the impact televisions have on our lives, this was an important historical event for Australia.

3. 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 was enacted in 2003 and many people in our country consider it a great historical day for Singapore.

4. The discovery of oil in Dammam Dome was a historical event for Saudi Arabia. In fact, oil drilling has been running in the region for the past couple of years, and geologists 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.  

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. A major earthquake took place on 1st June 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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