Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 17 - Describe a party you have attended

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

Describe a party you have attended.

  • what type of party it was
  • where the party was held
  • who attended the party

and describe what you did at that party.

[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.]

Part 3: Details Discussion:

  What are the differences between a serious party and a friendly party?
  Why are some people late for parties intentionally?
  Why do some people like the party while others hate it?
  What would you do if the guests you have invited to a party feel bored?
  Will there be more and more people to attend parties?
  Why do some people like to host parties at a restaurant or hotel rather than home?


Model Answer 1:
I never really like to consider myself as a “party animal”, but I don’t really mind attending a party once in a while, especially, when I become a bit more “burned out” than usual from my job. So, a few months ago, when I got an invitation from a friend to celebrate his new job, offered by one of the prestigious accounting firms in my country, I just couldn’t wait to attend the party!

But, before that special day actually arrived, my friend had to wait almost one agonizing year, after quitting his last job, as he had to go through numerous job interviews one after another. So, when the good news had arrived, my friend immediately decided to celebrate at one of the biggest hotels in his home town because he wanted to invite all of his friends and classmates from his high school and university as well as all of his family members and relatives. Besides, he also wanted the occasion to be really special because it was his ‘dream job’ that he was celebrating, for which, he studied and worked really hard for years.  

So, anyway, everybody, invited to the party, started to get busy talking and laughing with each other while enjoying some drinks and snacks, as soon as they arrived in the evening. I, along with my old school and university friends, got busy catching up with each other’s life story of the past years during which we didn’t get to meet. We also enjoyed a special music show by one of our local musical bands. Some of the guests even joined the music band to display their “musical talent” which was refreshing and entertaining. Finally, it was time for us to enjoy the food which, I must say, was cooked and made to perfection. In fact, there were just so many different kinds of dishes that one just had no choice but to satisfy his or her appetite completely. Anyway, having said and done everything, it was a great party at the end of the day, and everybody left the hotel with some great memories in their minds.

Sample Answer 2:
Today I’m going to tell you about a particular party I attended earlier this year. I’ll tell you where it was held, who was present at the party and what I was up to whilst I was there!

Honestly speaking, I can be a bit grumpy about going to parties!  I never know what to wear as I don’t really like dressing up for parties. I feel self-conscious in dresses and too much of a scruff if I don’t make an effort. I worry about whether I’ll know anyone, and I dread sit-down meals because I’m a vegetarian and I always seem to be a problem. This being so when a close friend of mine announced she would have a big celebration for her fiftieth birthday, my heart sank a bit. Of course, I put on a smile, and said ‘that’s great!’ but I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I knew that it was important to her, though, so I was determined to make a real effort, and of course, I agreed I would go.

Well, I should have had more faith. The party was great. It was held in a beautifully converted barn in a rural location on the edges of Sheffield in England. The venue had a wooden polished floor and was very simply decorated with some tastefully positioned fairy lights and candles. There was low-level music playing and lots of places to sit and chat or mingle with other guests. If I remember correctly, there were white tablecloths over the tables and some simple but lovely floral decorations. The food was provided by a friend of the Birthday Girl, who specialises in fast street food. You could queue up for a delicious meal presented in a wrap from a very jolly woman serving from an open-sided vehicle parked in the cobbled courtyard outside.  In a separate annexed room inside was a table almost collapsing under the weight of delicious home-made cakes and puddings on one side, and glorious British cheeses on the other. There was also a small bar serving drinks, for which my host picked up the bill at the end, it was beautifully done – very tasteful, calm and joyful too.

My friend, whose birthday it was, has a really wide network of friends. She decided to invite anyone and everyone from her social circle. So there were old school friends; people she knew from her voluntary activities with scouts; fellow runners – she is very active in a number of running clubs. Former work colleagues; people she’d come to know just from waiting with other parents at the school gates when her children were little; fellow entrepreneurs (she runs her own small business) as well as neighbours and acquaintances from every area of her life.

Before I went, I was worried about whether I’d know anyone else there. I hadn’t been living in the area for all that long before being invited, and so I was a bit hesitant about what to expect. I should have remembered what a good judge of character my fantastically friendly friend is! What did I do at the party? Apart from eating my body weight in delicious food, I met and talked to many interesting people that I might otherwise never have come across!  This included the self-employed interior designer, marathon runners, a former Bluebell girl, artists, writers, medical doctors, IT workers, academics and students. It was a remarkable cross-section of fascinating folk. I had a wonderful time.

What’s more, I discovered that actually, I did know quite a few people there after all. It was great fun trying to discover how we all came to be there and what connected each of us to the – "hostess with the mostest" to coin the old phrase! I am almost won over. Next time she offers to host a party, I might even find myself looking forward to it, you never know.

[ Written by - Lucy Marris |  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Model Answer 3:
The party I would like to describe for this topic is a New Year Eve party that I attended two years ago. My university friends invited me to join the party and I thought it would be fun to be there. It was held at a 3-star hotel where the teachers, students and a few of their relatives were present.

A week before the New Year eve, one of my friends called on my mobile phone and informed me that I am expected to be present at the party. On the day, when the party was supposed to take place, I took a taxi to reach the hotel. The name of the hotel was (..say a name you prefer...) and it was one of the best hotels in our town, renowned for its hospitality and delicious food. After I reached the hotel, I found that it had been gorgeously decorated and most of my friends from university and some of the teachers were already enjoying the party. We gathered on the 2nd floor and the vibrant atmosphere and melodious music were breathtaking. A local music band performed at the party and people were dresses adequately for the party except for a few friends of mine who do not care much about dressing up for the occasion.

I enjoyed the performance of the music band and sat at a corner most of the time. I was not really in a mood to blend in and cheer up most of the time. Rather, I was thinking about my New Year resolutions and enjoying the colourful gathering all around me. I did, however, enjoyed the meal and drinks and I loved a few continental dishes the hotel served us. When the clock ticked at the "zero hour" everybody became ecstatic and started exchanging new year wishes. I also talked to a teacher who was at the party and then sat on a couch to enjoy the lively ambience around me. If I remember correctly, I stayed at the party till 2.00 am and then returned to my room after enjoying one of the most fabulous parties in my whole life.

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

You are free to talk about any sort of party you like for this cue card topic as it has not specifically mentioned any particular party type like the New Year party, school party, family party, birthday party and so on.

Following are some of the points you can pick up for answering this cue card topic:

1. Types of party: Birthday of a friend or a family member (you can also talk about your birthday party), New Year party, a family party, reunion party, a small party arranged by your friends, A party celebrated because one of your great achievements, a business party you threw for a business success or you attended a business party that was thrown by your business partner, a party arranged by your office/ university etc.

2.  Where it was held: It would depend on who threw the party. If this party was arranged by you or your family, say that it held at your house. Alternatively, the party can be held at a restaurant, hotel or a party centre. University or office parties usually are held on their premises. The party can be held on your friend, relative or business partner’s house or guest house. Finally, it could be an outdoor party as well.

3.  Who attended the party: For family parties, mostly your family members, close friends and relatives would be joining. If this is an office or business party, your colleagues or associates would be there. For university parties thrown by your friends, you will mostly have your friends and classmates and sometimes teachers as well. If the party is thrown by a friend or their family, then there would be some of your friends you know and others you won’t know.

4.  Some of the common features of a party: You gather and meet others, you bring a gift, you talk to others, you enjoy food & drinks and depending on the party there would be music, dancing and other activities. You either enjoy a party or you don't. Sometimes you meet new people and talk to them.

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. What are the differences between a serious party and a friendly party?
Answer: I think that there are many differences between these two kinds of party. In the former, the attire is often more elegant with guests wearing costumes and ties, while in the latter, this doesn't always happen and people wear more casual clothes, such as jeans, t-shirts and so on. In addition, serious parties are often more of a professional type, whilst with friendly parties, this isn't always the case. For example, a serious party includes a party with a person's colleagues, employer and boss and in case of a friendly party, some peers, fellow students or relatives enjoy the party. Moreover, it could be argued that serious parties are mostly held in restaurants or bars and most of the time are expensive, while friendly parties are held at our houses or cafeterias and are cost-saving.

Q. Why are some people late for parties intentionally?
Answer: This is a really interesting question and to be honest, I have never thought about it. I can't find a logical explanation of why someone will do something like that and I would describe it as an immature and unscrupulous action. But, unfortunately, there are many, who belong to this category and some of them are friends of mine as well. A reason that comes to my mind is that someone doesn't want to go to a party but they are forced to do so. Indeed, there are many occasions and especially related to workplace or parties thrown by relatives where people are sometimes forced to be present. In this case, the only solution is going many hours after the commencement of the party. This is the only reason I can think of and partly justify this action.

Tips: If you are one of them who intentionally go to a party late, just say the reason you do so and give the best possible explanation you can think of to convince the examiner that your action is justifiable.

Q. Why do some people like the party while others hate it?
Answer: I don't really know for sure, but I would say that it's a matter of individual character and preference. Some people are introvert and like to keep a low profile who don't like places and events which are crowded. Furthermore, if parties are held in houses, the mess is unavoidable and oftentimes the damages are irreparable, so for the host, it could be said that is a traumatic experience.

Moving to those who love parties, it could be argued that it's a way in which people come together and have fun. It's arguably true that due to the excessive working hours and the busy lifestyle, people have drifted apart and become alienated. Parties are great opportunities for reunions and substantial conversations. A further reason which is a little ludicrous is because of the tasteful and delectable food. I can say about some of my friends that - the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear that they are invited to parties is 'food' and they are instantly inundated with positive feelings.

Q. What would you do if the guests you have invited to a party feel bored?
Answer: The first thing I would do if my guests are bored at a party that I have hosted is to turn on the music or change my playlist. Some people don't like conventional and rife types of music and prefer something else. If music couldn't help, I would ask them what they want to do to have fun and adjust to their desires and preferences, if possible. Furthermore, if nothing of the above could produce a positive result and change their mood, I would play a game to attract their interest or tell some stories from our different experiences and stages of life, which would definitely lead to some laughter and joy. I would finally arrange some indoor games and would declare some prizes for the winners to warm up the guests.

Tips: Some other options to cheer up the bored guests in a party could be- changing food and drinks, sugar and coffee sometimes make someone recharged, introducing each other so that they can talk, giving them space and autonomy is useful as well because they are free to do whatever they want without restrictions.

Q. Will there be more and more people to attend parties?
Answer: Yes I think so. I truly believe that the number of party lovers will increase in the future. The opportunities to gather together with friends and relatives are shrinking in modern days and people would not want to miss parties where they can meet people, relatives and enjoy their time. Parties would be a way of relaxing and taking breaks for many busy employees and the increasing number of party attendees these days gives hints that in the future it will increase further.

Q. Why do some people like to host parties at a restaurant or hotel rather than home?
Answer: For some, arranging a party at home takes too much effort and time. Decorating the home, cooking different food items and then worrying whether the guests would like the taste, as well as cleaning the house, and doing the dishes are difficult. Giving the location of the venue to guests is not easy either. Moreover, in our modern outset, inviting many guests at a small apartment is not feasible. So, it's only natural that many people these days prefer to hire a party centre at a hotel or a community centre to throw a party.

[Part 3 questions' answers are written by - Mary, Economist & Business Consultant, UK]

If you can answer this cue card topic, you should be able to answer the following cue card topics also:

1.  Describe a birthday party you attended.
2.  Describe a birthday celebration you did recently.
3.  Talk about a party you attended and did not like.
4.  Describe a family event you remember.
5.  Describe a wedding party you attended.
6.  Describe an occasion where you met new people.
7.  Describe an event that took place at your university.
8.  Describe a celebration you attended.
9.  Describe a party that you threw for your friends.
10. Describe a party that you enjoyed.

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Rana Haziq Javed
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IELTS Mentor
Hi Sharif,Thanks for your comment. We will add a model answer for this Cue card and would notify you via email soon. Thanks.
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