Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 52 - Describe a memorable childhood event

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

Describe a memorable childhood event/experience you can remember.

You should say:

  • what event/ experience it was
  • who was with you
  • where and when it took place

and explain why it is such a memorable childhood event/ experience for you.

Model Answer 1:
One of the most memorable childhood experiences that I have is when I went on a family vacation to the beach. I was around 10 years old at the time, and it was the first time that I had ever seen the ocean. My parents, my younger sister, and I drove down to the coast and stayed in a small beach house for a week.

During the vacation, we spent most of our days on the beach. We played in the sand, swam in the water, and even tried surfing for the first time. I remember feeling so amazed by the vastness of the ocean and how the waves crashed onto the shore.

One day, we went out to eat at a seafood restaurant near the beach. I remember trying shrimp for the first time and being pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. We also got ice cream from a local shop, which was a treat for me and my sister.

What made this experience so memorable for me was the time that I spent with my family. We had so much fun together and did things that we had never done before. It was also the first time that we had taken a family vacation, so it was a special moment for us.

Looking back on this experience, I realize how lucky I was to have such a fun and memorable childhood. Even though I have been on many vacations since then, this one still stands out in my mind as one of the best. It taught me the value of spending quality time with family and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Model Answer 2:
Iran, my country, is a land of vast deserts, majestic mountains and verdant valleys with rushing streams, where we enjoy life to the fullest. I am really proud to have had the opportunity to grow up in this country as a girl where I have gone through a lot of memorable experiences as a child. Today, I would like to share one such memorable experience here.

About 15 years ago, when I was a young child, there was a traditional family gathering at my home after a marriage ceremony. Many of my family members had gathered at my house to enjoy the "get-together" event, and some of them were enjoying their little talks among each other while the others were enjoying playing “Iranian rummy” (card game) with each other in a group. The group, which was playing rummy, had 6 people in it, including my mother and aunt.

By the way, as a child, I had always wanted to play that interesting card game, but my parents, especially my mother, never allowed me to learn it because I was too young to play that game! So, all I used to do was enjoy the game just by sitting close to the rummy players. However, knowing that my request to join the game with my mother would get flatly denied, I still requested her to let me play with them. And, that’s when I got the most surprising and pleasing response from my mother, as she actually allowed me to play rummy with her for the first time, which made me feel like I was jumping on the moon with joy and happiness.

Anyway, it is one of my most memorable childhood experiences, primarily because it made me feel for the first time, that I was actually growing up as a girl. Besides, the experience also allowed me the opportunity to enjoy the game by actually playing it with others instead of enjoying it from distance. Besides, I would never forget the night when my mother looked at me with a very loving and motherly smile on her face after seeing me happy.


Model Answer 3:
I think that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to suggest that our entire childhood is full of all kinds of events as we continuously keep exploring the world around us by doing all sorts of things. My life, as a child, was no exception as I also cherish some memorable events as an adult today. Today, I would like to talk about one such event that took place about 15 years ago when I was only a 10-year-old boy.

But, even though, I was just a 10-year-old boy back then, I had a rather enquiring mind as I had a habit of asking many strange (some would call it “weird and stupid”) questions to my parents and other elderly people around me. One such question was 'How a train could run so fast and yet it wouldn’t get out of the rail line or track on which the train was running'.

By the way, it needs to be mentioned here that I already had travelled by regular trains, running at a regular or moderate speed, on numerous occasions, so I didn’t really have any illusions about them whatsoever. The trains, I was interested in, were those that travelled at a high speed of more or less than 200 kilometres per hour. So, I knew back then what I was exactly talking about, and so did my parents. So, when the opportunity arrived, my parents decided to visit one of my relatives in a major city of my country, which was far away from my own, little home town, in one of those very fast-running trains, and of course, with them also travelling was that 10-year-old boy (i.e. me).

When I finished that high-speed train journey, after a good 5 hours of non-stop, pushing and pulling through gravity, I felt like I was actually flying all those times. Besides, I would never forget the fact that when the train was piercing through the wind at such a high speed, the objects outside looked like they were close to each other like a “row of teeth” in a comb. This is something that I'll never forget and it has become a memorable childhood even for me.

Model Answer 4:
Childhood is magical and full of adventure. I have so many childhood memories, and I can literally spend weeks after weeks talking about them! Here, I can not talk about all of these childhood events, but, I would like to share one of the childhood memories that still inspirits me. Before I begin talking about the story, I would like to thank you for this excellent topic.

This unforgettable childhood event is about the first day when I learned how to swim. It happened so unexpectedly and quickly that not only I but my parents were also taken by surprise.

I was barely seven years old back then, and my parents thought that it was time for me to learn how to swim. One summer morning, they took me to a swimming pool in the City Swimming Complex which was just a 35-minute drive from our house. It was a weekend and both my parents accompanied me. After we reached the swimming complex, where many others were learning how to swim with all their effort and devotion, my mother took a seat to watch me learn this important skill with the help of my father while my father got into the swimming pool with me. I had no idea how to swim but I was excited to try this new adventure. I noticed that many other children of all ages were also trying to grasp this skill, and some of them had pretty much learned the art and science of this skill.

Anyway, after teaching me for 30 minutes or so, my father went to buy some snacks for us and my mother came to talk to me for a while near the pool. She asked me if I had learned anything at all, which I guess was a rhetorical question. To prove my progress, I jumped into the water and started swimming. My mother was initially horrified by the idea that I was in the water without anyone's supervision. But when she watched that I was actually swimming without struggling or making any nuisance, she was so thrilled. My father returned in a while and he was utterly surprised as well.

This event of learning to swim so quickly became some kind of legendary story that I have heard my mother tells others at least a thousand times! It is, in fact, a great achievement for me and has become so memorable an event that I still cherish it. It boosted my confidence, and I understood that with effort and dedication, nothing is impossible. It has become an important childhood event also because this was the first time I realised that our achievements can make our parents so happy and proud.

Sample Answer 5:
Childhood is a time when everything is magical and pleasant. The possibility and dreams are vast, and things seem happier in childhood. I have various childhood memories, and I would like to talk about my childhood memory related to my first day at school.

I was about 5 years old when my parents got me admitted to a local school. I have had a fascination with going to school from 3-4 years of age as I recall, and when my father finally announced that I'd get admitted to a local school in the coming January, I felt like being in heaven.

I imagined the school would be a great place and I would have lots of friends and I would study there. On that day, my parents took me to the school that I saw in the past many times from outside but had never gone inside. After entering the school, I found myself a bit perplexed and anxious for no apparent reason.

As I can remember, I was unsure of what to do, whom to talk to, what to do when the teachers would ask questions and many such things. I started feeling a bit relaxed after I found that some of our neighbouring kids were already in this very school, and they came to me and talked to me. This took place in my hometown where I grew up, and I had been at this school for the next 5 years.

When the class began, a teacher asked me to go forward and introduce myself. I found I was unable to walk and talk. But in a minute or so, my hesitation was gone and I could talk about myself in great detail. I had a feeling that the teacher was impressed.

The feeling and the experience of being at a school for the very first time in my life is something I will never forget. It has a special place in my memory, and I will remember it for the sheer excitement, perplexity, confusion and happiness that I felt on that very day.  


Tips for answering this cue card topic:  

You are asked to talk about any event/experience from your childhood that you still remember. This event does not have to be a big event like a sporting success or a visit to a famous place. You can talk about virtually anything that you think was interesting, and you can describe it comfortably.

Before you start describing the event, you should talk a few sentences about how your childhood was, and thank the examiner for this nice topic. In fact, while answering any cue card/candidate task card topic, you should always thank the examiner for the "topic" and "the opportunity" to let you talk about this topic. This part is often called the "Introduction". 

After you finish your introduction, focus on answering the supporting questions that came with the topic. In this case, you need to talk about the following- 

1) what memorable childhood event or experience do you have in your mind
2) who was with you when it happened
3) when and where did the event take place
and 4) why do you believe this is such a memorable childhood event/experience for you?

Try to talk about something that you would be able to talk about fluently. While in the phase of 1-2 minutes for the cue card, many things from your childhood might pop up in your mind. But pick the thing that you would be able to talk about in detail.

Here is an example of taking notes on the questions that have come with the topic: 

what event/ experience it was - [the first time I learned to swim]
who was with you - [my dad and mom]
when and where the event took place - [I was just 7, and it was during the summer season, I learned it in a swimming complex in my homwtown]
and explain why it is such a memorable childhood event/ experience for you - [because: I learned an important skill fairly quickly, my parents were happy and excited, I made them proud, It was unexpected, It was a thrilling experience.]

You do not have to talk about an interesting and enjoyable thing from your childhood. You can talk about any negative experience you have had in your childhood; like, the death of a relative could be a memorable event that you can’t forget.

Try to make the description interesting and give the impression that you are reciting your memory. Being able to give much detail about the experience and making the topic interesting would help you get a good score.

Idea generation for this cue card topic: 

[Topic: Describe a memorable childhood event/experience you can remember.]

  • A few ideas about the event that you may pick for this topic: 
  • the first day at my school.
  • my fifth birthday party.
  • the day my grandmother/grandfather died.
  • the day my little brother/sister was born.
  • when my parents took me to a foreign country.
  • when I visited a zoo for the first time.
  • when I changed my high school.
  • when I had a fight with my best friend at school.
  • when a close family member died.
  • an accident that I experienced.
  • the first time I learned to ride a bicycle.
  • the day when my father bought me a computer.
  • when I experienced a devastating earthquake.
  • the day my mother was diagnosed with a deadly disease.
  • the first time I travelled to a foreign country.
  • the first time when I travelled on a train.
  • a time when I was lost.
  • the first time I was awarded a scholarship in my school.
  • when I won a prize for the first time in my life.
  • when you won an award/ prize.
  • when you received a valuable gift.

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

1. Describe one of the happy memories in your life.
2. Describe a happy childhood event.
3. Describe a happy family event from your childhood.
4. Describe a happy event in your life.
5. Describe an exciting experience you have had.
6. Describe a time when you made others proud.
7. Describe a success you have had in your childhood.
8. Describe a memorable event of your life.
9. Describe one of your childhood friends.
10. Describe a celebration that you enjoyed.
11. Describe your experience on the first day at school.
12. Describe a negative experience you had in your childhood.

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Ahmed Amer
I am preparing for IELTS, but my English is not good. So I need a partner. If you're highly interested, please knock me. My email address is