Cue Card Sample

A skill that was difficult for you to learn - Cue Card # 795

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

Describe a skill that was difficult for you to learn.

You should say:

  • what skill it was
  • when you learned it
  • why you learned it

and explain why it was difficult for you to learn.

[Instruction: 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:

Learning a new skill is never really easy. But, it can be even more difficult if you are trying to do it on your own, just as it was when I tried to learn to ride a bicycle for the first time about 20 years ago from now.

Back then, I was still studying in elementary school. But, for some reason, I just didn’t think that riding a bicycle was a “thing” for me. I guess, my height (well, I was a bit shorter back then for my age, compared to the height of other children) probably had something to do with it. 

But, things changed soon when I found one of my cousins, studying in the same class with me, had learned to ride a bicycle while also ridiculing me for my inability to do the same at the same time. And it was at that time that I became really adamant about learning to ride a bicycle by hook or by crook, no matter how long it had taken me. In other words, it was the “sheer competitiveness” of my mind that had encouraged me to learn that skill.

So, fast forward, I asked my parents to buy me a bicycle that would be easy to ride. Initially, I tried to learn the new skill on my own, but I failed, miserably, to say the least, and also felt very embarrassed. Later on, my father and uncle had helped me for a good few weeks, and only then was I able to learn how to ride a bicycle.

So, in the end, even though, it was a success for me, it didn’t come easy, primarily because I was a bit too short to reach the paddle of my bicycle. Besides, I couldn’t initially give all to learning that new skill, also because I was afraid that I would injure myself somehow in the process. Finally, it was difficult also because I struggled to maintain a good body balance while trying to sit firmly on the seat of that bicycle.

Sample Answer 2:

Learning a new skill can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but sometimes certain skills can be more challenging to learn than others. Today, I would like to describe a skill that was difficult for me to learn.

The skill that was difficult for me to learn was playing the guitar. I started learning it when I was in high school, and I was inspired to play it after seeing my friends playing it so well. I was drawn to the idea of being able to express myself through music, so I decided to give it a try.

However, I quickly realized that playing the guitar was not as easy as it seemed. I struggled with hand coordination, reading sheet music, and keeping a steady rhythm. I found it challenging to get my fingers to the right position and hold them there while strumming. My fingers would get sore and tired, and I'd often make mistakes in my playing. I also found it challenging to memorize chords and understand musical theory.

Despite the challenges, I did not give up on learning the guitar. I took regular lessons, practised every day, and watched tutorials online to improve my skills. I also joined a local music group to gain more experience and learn from others. It took a lot of time and effort, but I gradually improved my playing skills.

Now, after several years of practice, I am proud to say that I can play the guitar fairly well. Although I am not a professional musician, I enjoy playing music in my free time, and it has become a great source of relaxation and entertainment for me. Learning the guitar was a difficult but rewarding experience, and it taught me the value of perseverance and hard work.

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