Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 9 - Best gift/present you have received

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

Describe the best gift/ present you have ever received.

You should say:

  • what the gift was
  • who gave it to you
  • when you have received it

and explain why it is the best gift/ present you have ever received.

Follow-up Questions:

Q. Do you think that gift-giving will play an important role in daily life in the future? Why?
Q. Compare the gifts which people have received 10 years ago to the gifts that people now are receiving? What's the difference between them?
Q. Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales?


Model Answer 1:
I have heard many times that 'money just can’t buy everything', but it certainly can buy some exceptional “gifts”, and I figured it out when I took a vacation to Europe (courtesy to the unexpected tax refunds in a check, which I received from the US government last year. Now, you may wonder what kind of gift I am talking about.

Well, I am jealous of Europe and its people for two reasons. First, they work fewer hours and enjoy more vacation time than us “American” people. Secondly (I know, if I say this, many of my American compatriot citizens are going to “hate” me), they are arguably more “smart” than American people in general, and Sean Jeffry, my long-time British friend, has proved it by offering me such a gift which has put an American like me to shame. It’s a collection of some of the “American all-time movie hits”, a gift idea, I think that only a very few American people could come up with, even on the best of the occasions. At least, I have never heard of any of my own American friends or family members offering this kind of gifts to anybody. After receiving such a gift, which also included some of my favourite movies, I felt like I couldn’t possibly receive any better gifts than this from a “foreigner friend” who lives in a different continent in another part of the world.

Anyway, I feel like this was the best gift I have ever received because my friend used a lot of his time and efforts to actually be able in order to find and make the list of all the movies in Hollywood movie history. Besides, it also takes a special friend and person to learn and remember about the preference, whatever that may be, of his friend, and my friend Sean proved that he is just that kind of friend and person. Finally, I consider this to be the best gift I have ever received because I received it when I expected it in the least.


Sample Answer 2:
I have received numerous gifts in my life and among them, the most exciting one was the Laptop my father gave to me when I was 14 years old. When I was 10, I found that many of my friends had their own computers and I was profoundly fascinated by this wonderful machine and dreamt about owning one someday. I would like to thank you for the chance to let me talk about the best gift that I have ever received - luckily it was a gift that came from the person I really admire.

After being promoted to grade six in my school, I got admitted to a computer training centre and learned some basic computing. Whenever I visited a friend or a classmate who had a computer, I felt fascinated being there-  especially when I could play games, learn how to operate a new software, browse the Internet, edit a picture and so on. I sometimes visited some of my friends’ houses more often than usual only because they had computers. Thus this phenomenon machine became the only dream of my life. As I knew my father was not in a financial condition to buy me a brand new computer, I did not ask for one. I made a dummy computer using papers, boards and other materials and played with it- something unusual for a boy at my age! One day I bought a piggy bank and started saving coins and notes with the sole intention to buy a computer someday. After one month or so, I found that I saved only ten dollars in total and that was somewhat frustrating!

With time, and I would say with a little maturity, I got busy with other stuff and could hardly find time to visit friends’ houses to use their computers, but at a hidden corner of my heart, I felt the same fascination for owning a computer. On my 14th birthday, my father told me that he wants to take me to the computer shop and purchase a brand new computer for me. I could not believe what I heard! That night it was tough for me to sleep. In the morning I wake up earlier than usual and went to a computer shop with my father. He bought a Dell Laptop that was a Pentium 4 machine. While returning home, I found myself on cloud nine. I opened the box after returning home and showed it to my mother and other relatives.

As a young child, that was a long-expected gift that my father gave to me, and till now it’s the best present -materialistically speaking, someone gave to me. You know how passionate we can sometimes become, especially in our childhood, when we long for something. I know it was not easy for my father to buy me this computer from his financial condition but still, he sacrificed his other joys to make me happy. That was something truly special.


Cue Card Answer 3:
First of all, I would like to thank you for this nice topic. The best gift or present that I have ever received is a digital dictionary that my mother bought me on my 18th birthday. I was a college student at that time and my parents celebrated my birthday at home. Few friends and relatives were invited and it was a kind of family celebration. I was quite thrilled to open the gift boxes that my friends and family members gave to me and there were some books, chocolate boxes and other gift items. Out of these gifts, an electronic dictionary was something truly amazing. As soon as I opened it, I knew it was a gift from my mother.

I once told my mother about this electronic dictionary and how some of my classmates were using it. I never told my mother that I wanted to buy one but I guess my mother knew very well how much I wanted to own this item. She had to save money, I guess, to purchase it for me and this is the best gift I have ever received in my life considering the passion and love it enwrapped. This was not merely a gift item or an electronic device, it was more than that - like a wonder box wrapped with care and love. My mother is a housewife and managing the money to buy me this gift must have been a result of her many small sacrifices. I thanked my mother for this fabulous gift and she was so happy to see me enthralled about the gift.

It was a white and small digital dictionary, not more than 4 by 6 inches in dimension, but was one of the latest models. It was quite handy for me and having this dictionary encouraged me to learn more words, their synonyms and their origins.

The gifts are always good gestures, tokens of appreciation and expression of love in our tradition. This gift was something even more special to me. I knew how much my mother has always loved me and her gift represented her love as well as sacrifices for me. In terms of utilisation, it was quite beneficial too. I could easily carry it in my pocket and I used it often to learn new words and that has helped me enhance my language skill. This is the only gift from my teenage time that I still have. I will always remember my mother's love that was blended with this gift.

best gift or present you have received

Tips for answering this Cue card question:

Think about a gift that you received from one of your family members, relatives, friends, colleagues or someone else. Write down the name of the item and the person who gave it to you as well as when did you receive it and what was the occasion. Being able to make notes of these points will help you talk about this topic. The gift can be from someone special and for this, the gift can be a simple friendship card or a book. It does not matter if it is an expensive and exclusive gift - the most important part is the passion and love behind the gift.

The gift can be something other than the conventional gift items like a piece of life-changing advice that you consider a gift. If you are a father or a mother, you can say your child is the best gift in your life.

For gifts like a cell phone, computer or such electronic device, mention that you have been wishing to own this but could not afford to buy it. And after you received that item, you felt overwhelmed. A gift from parents on your birthday can also be a good example of the best gift you have received. For such gifts, mention that you received it in your childhood and had been touched by the whole idea of this gift-giving.

For this cue card topic, the gift item is not itself important, be it an ordinary piece of gift or a luxurious item, so emphasise on your feelings rather than the gift item itself.

Part 3 - Details Discussion:

Q. Do you think that gift-giving will play an important role in daily life in the future? Why?
It seems to me that this is a bit ambiguous. More precisely, present giving is something that occurs in special events, for example, at birthdays, festivals, anniversaries, wedding, graduation day, on name days, when someone visits others and so on. I don't think that there are many people around the world who give presents to their loved ones or to friends on a daily basis. Furthermore, with regards to the future, I am of the opinion that giving gifts won't have a special role in everyday life either because, as I said earlier, presents are given when something important happens. However, there is no doubt that present giving plays an important role in our relationship and that will always remain the same.

Q. Compare the gifts which people have received 10 years ago to the gifts that people now are receiving? What's the difference between them?
To answer this question we have to go back to the past and think of the types of presents we gave and received. Despite my young age, I have some memories of such presents that my family and relatives gave me. I would say that in the past, specifically 10 years ago, the types of gifts exchanged were primarily clothes, toys, household appliances and books. Apart from the fact that they weren't related to technology, they were also significantly important, educational and in most cases and most of the time expensive. Nowadays, presents are more symbolic than substantial or useful. People these days often give and receive technology-related gifts which were quite rare in the past. To illustrate, the important gifts that I received on my last birthday were perfumes and a laptop. Of course, gifts items in all decades do not remain the same. It will change for sure after ten years. The love and good wishes behind a gift are more important than the item itself.

Q. Do you think that the brand name is very important for sales?
I believe that the brand name really matters and it affects the sales volume of a product. Most companies spend a huge amount of money on branding in order to make the product or service famous. We could say that branding is an enterprise itself because it constitutes an amazingly important part of the company and its viability. As branding is a core aspect of a company, brand managers try to acquire customers and maintain relationships with them. Moreover, through advertising, media exposure and celebrity endorsement sales are on the rise most of the time for popular brands.  

Personally, I would spend more money to purchase a branded product. Hence I am quite positive that brand name is important for sales.

[Part 3 answers are written by Maria, UK ]

Some similar cue card topics that you can answer in a similar fashion:

  1. Describe a thing which is important to you.
  2. Talk about a gift you received in your childhood.
  3. Describe a gift you received on your birthday.
  4. Describe something you bought this year.
  5. Describe a memorable gift.
  6. Describe a valuable possession you have.
  7. Describe an expensive gift you have received.
  8. Describe a gift you gave to someone.
  9. Describe a gift you gave to your friend. 
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.10 (40 Votes)

Apr Prasanth
Very helpful... Thanks a lot.