Cue Card Sample

Describe a person who has influenced you to do better - Cue Card # 615

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

Describe a person who has influenced you to do better in your life.

You should say:

  • who this person is
  • how you know him/her
  • what this person does

and explain how this person has influenced you to do better in life.

[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.]

Sample Answer 1:

We owe a lot to some people around us because it is them, who help us, one way or another, to become the persons we are today. But, we can probably single out our “teachers” among them to be the “most important”. Today, I would like to talk about one such teacher – my English teacher that is – who influenced me significantly to do better in my life.

His name was Mr Hang Sen, and he used to teach me English at my college. I came to know about him for the first time when I wanted to enrol for an “English Composition” class, but unfortunately, the class was full. And my request for enrolment was denied (because there usually is a high number of college applicants in China but a rather limited number of seats) until, of course, I could manage “special permission from Mr Hang. So, I rushed to him and asked for his permission. However, he wasn’t very happy to see me but allowed me in his class, nonetheless.

Anyway, from the very first day in his class, Mr Hang made it absolutely clear that he meant only “business” and that he was going to make English really “easy” for us. In fact, Mr Hang sometimes used to ask each of his students separately if they understood his lecture. He even used to ask us about how many hours of our study schedules were exactly spent in learning English every day in order to make sure that we were indeed serious about learning English.

Mr Hang inspired me to do better in life as he was never really ready to give up on me (I was really “bad” in English), or any other of his students, until I succeeded. In fact, it was because of his relentless efforts that I have learned to express my thoughts in English today. Finally, it was Mr Hang who taught me to never give up on my dreams no matter how many times I failed, and how difficult were the circumstances around me.


Model Answer 2:

Thank you very much for this topic that enables me to talk about an important person in my life. Well, a person who has significantly influenced me to strive for excellence in life is my high school teacher, Mr. Smith.

I first met Mr. Smith when I was in my sophomore year of high school. He was my English literature teacher, and his passion for teaching and dedication to his students were immediately apparent. Beyond his role as a teacher, Mr. Smith also served as a mentor and a source of inspiration for many students, including myself.

Mr. Smith's teaching style was engaging and thought-provoking. He had a unique ability to make even the most complex literary concepts accessible and relatable. He encouraged us to think critically, express ourselves creatively, and push ourselves beyond our comfort zones. Outside the classroom, Mr. Smith was actively involved in various extracurricular activities, including organizing literary events, drama productions, and community service projects. His commitment to fostering a well-rounded education left a lasting impression on me and inspired me to explore new interests and opportunities outside of academics.

One of the most significant ways that Mr. Smith influenced me was by instilling in me a strong sense of self-belief and confidence. He saw potential in me that I didn't even know existed and encouraged me to set ambitious goals for myself. Whenever I doubted my abilities or felt discouraged, Mr. Smith was there to offer words of encouragement and support.

Through his guidance and mentorship, I learned the importance of perseverance, hard work, and resilience. He taught me that success is not just about achieving high grades or accolades but about continually striving to improve oneself and make a positive impact on others. Even years after graduating from high school, Mr. Smith's influence continues to resonate with me. His belief in my potential has motivated me to pursue higher education, strive for excellence in my career, and actively seek opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Sample Answer 3:

A father is a hero to his children, and the sacrifices he makes to bring smiles to his family are incomparable. My father had always been my inspiration, and he still is. He is my greatest mentor also. The way he influenced and motivated me in different stages of my life to become a good human being, to fight against the odds in life, to attain success and most importantly to be happy in life are exemplary. I want to be a father to my children the way he had been to me.

I have known him from the very first day of my life. In fact, I bear the genetic codes he has. The way I was attached to my father in my childhood shaped my psychological development. I still feel a strong bond between us - more like the way I felt as a helpless child.

He is a university professor and teaches physics to his students. He is a much-revered master to his pupils. He loves to read books, visit historical places and experience new cuisines. He often goes out fishing and has a "tough luck!" while catching fishes! Besides, he likes classic movies and we often watch movies together. 'It's a Wonderful Life', a Hollywood classic is his favourite movie. Umm, to say more about him... he hates when people break their commitments and when his students cheat on an exam. People who know him in person say that he is a humble and honest man who has been helpful to others all his life.

He had been there when I needed him and he still is my greatest shield. He encouraged me to try over and over again. I always thought that failure is a shame and the end, but he pointed out that our failures are our greatest lessons in life. He taught me to study out of interest, not only to score in the exams. I still learn from him. He has invisibly shaped my character and I am greatly influenced by him to attain excellence. 


Model Answer 4:

Answering this topic would be easy because I just know who this person is, what she has done for me, why I adore her so much, what she is like and why I love her so much as a person. Thank you for the time and chance to let me talk about the most important person in my life who is none other than my mother. 

My mother has profoundly influenced me to do better in life. Growing up, she has been a constant source of inspiration, guidance, and support in my journey towards personal and professional growth. My mother has always led by example, demonstrating unwavering resilience, determination, and compassion in the face of challenges. Despite facing her fair share of hardships, she has always remained steadfast in her commitment to providing for our family and ensuring our well-being.

One of the most significant ways my mother has influenced me is through her strong work ethic and dedication to excellence. From a young age, she instilled in me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and self-discipline. She taught me that success is not handed to you on a silver platter but is earned through diligence, perseverance, and continuous learning.

Beyond her professional achievements, my mother's unwavering support and encouragement have been instrumental in shaping my aspirations and ambitions. She has always believed in my potential, even when I doubted myself, and has been my biggest cheerleader every step of the way.

Moreover, my mother's selflessness and compassion have taught me the value of empathy, kindness, and giving back to others. She has always emphasized the importance of helping those in need and making a positive difference in the world, instilling in me a sense of responsibility towards my community and society at large.

Even as I navigate the challenges and complexities of adulthood, my mother continues to be my guiding light and source of wisdom. As I continue on my journey, I am committed to honouring her legacy by embodying the values she has instilled in me and striving to make her proud in all my endeavours.


Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topics like "Describe a person who has influenced you to do better in your life" can have many different answers. First, ask the questions - Who is your role model? Who deserves the most credit for your success? Who had been there to motivate you in your difficult time? Who has shaped your character? and so on. In short, the question is primarily asking you to discuss someone you admire for his/her contributions to your life. So think about what he/she has done to inspire you to do better in life first, and then talk about this person and his/her contributions.

However, realize that, unlike a "hero," an influential person isn't always a positive example. You may have grown and changed as a result of someone whose mistakes or inappropriate behaviour taught you what not to do with your life. Thus someone with a negative attitude could have influenced you to do better in life.

Answers to this cue card topic can be drawn from lots of different options:

  • A family member
  • A teacher
  • A friend
  • A coach
  • A community member
  • A colleague

Your interviewer would not judge who you select as an influential person in your life. He would be interested to listen to what you talk about this person, how fluently and coherently you say about him/her and how accurately you justify your choice. So even if you choose a singer as the most influential person in your life, the examiner would not mind. However, it is generally suggested that you should not pick yourself, or a pet to be an influential person in your life!

If you can answer the topic "Describe a person who has influenced you to do better in your life" you should be able to talk about the following topics as well:

1. Describe your favourite personality.
2. Describe someone who has a positive influence on you.
3. Describe someone in your family who you most admire.
4. Describe a person you are most close to.
5. Describe a person who has taught you many things.
6. Describe a person whom you idolise.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.08 (18 Votes)

Muntaha Khan
It's really good and great.
Present simple.
Can I talk about a friend who had a big influenced on me to do better in my life? Do I have to use the present tense or the past tense here?