IELTS Cue Card Sample 107 - Describe a competition/contest you have entered

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

Describe a competition/contest you have entered or participated in.

You should say:

  • when the competition/contest took place
  • what you had to do
  • describe the competition/contest

and explain how you felt about the competition/contest.


Model Anwer 1:

I am glad that this cue card topic is only about participating in a competition rather than winning a competition because if it was about winning, it would be really embarrassing for me since I have never really won any major competition in my life.

Anyway, talking about participating in a competition, I took part in one about 7 years ago from now when I still was a high school student. It was the time of the annual sporting event, and I took part in a friendly volleyball match.

By the way, volleyball was the only sport that I enjoyed playing back then. However, needless to say, I wasn’t really very good at playing volleyball even though I enjoyed playing it a lot. So, I started to do little practising and jogging early in the morning to increase my fitness level.

Anyway, the game started between the two teams which included both the senior and junior students of my school in both the teams. The first 4 sets of the game were drawn, but the final set was really competitive as both teams tried their best to score points. I also tried my best to return the ball over the net, when it had come on my way, but unfortunately, I had failed to return the ball on a few occasions. As a result, my opponent team had a little edge over my team. The game had continued like this for some more time, with everybody trying to hit and punch the ball over the net on the opposite side of the court, and I was getting tired.  Suddenly, another "serve" came on our way, which, we thought, was going to fall outside of the court, but my whole team was proved wrong. Little later, my opponent team was declared the winner.  

Anyway, I felt really great about the completion, even though I was on the losing side because it made me feel competitive. I also felt really good, when my fellow team members were cheering me and encouraging me to play well because it made me really confident about my ability.


Sample Answer 2:

Ooh, it’s quite hard for me to think about an example of a competition I’ve entered as generally speaking I am not a very competitive individual! However, I can think of one competition that I entered, which I think you will find funny. I’m going to tell you what I had to do, what the competition was for including the prize, and what happened after I entered.

Many years ago I used to live in a town called Leamington Spa. One of the few independent shops in the town was a large old-fashioned department store which sold quite traditional items like haberdashery products for sewing and knitting and gentlemen’s gloves and handkerchiefs. Over time, they decided they needed to extend their product range to attract new customers, so they held a competition in a weekly local newspaper. The competition was very easy to enter, you simply had to complete your name and address on the coupon and post it into the newspaper offices of the Leamington Courier. The prize was to be a specially fitted lingerie set, as a way of launching their new selection of ladies underwear!

I never win competitions, or I thought I never did. So I was amazed when a couple of weeks after posting my entry I received a letter telling me that I was one of three lucky winners! I was instructed to come to the store for a fitting and informed that ‘a photographer from the local paper would be on hand to photograph the winners afterwards!’ It was very funny, the letter was badly written, and it made it sound as if we would be expected to pose in our winning underwear and agree to be pictured in the local news! I duly went along to the store, where the comedy continued. Although the brassiere range was supposed to be suitable for women of all shapes and sized, in fact, none of the three of us who had won could be correctly fitted into the bras available. Embarrassed, the manager of the store offered us alternative products, and the photographer from the paper said he still wanted a shot of all the winners with an appropriate background. After some discussion, he got us to peer into a brochure, as if choosing a glamorous underwear set, whilst behind us were rails and rails of lingerie. The lingerie department wasn’t very big, and nor was it well lit. Our photographer was unfortunately rather generously proportioned and he struggled to move his 'ample frae' between the rails of clothes to get the right camera angle. Eventually, he stepped back without looking properly, and as he did so knocked over some rails of bras and knickers and ended up in a tangled heap of coat hangers, fallen rails and covered in a selection of compromising underwear. I hadn’t laughed so much in years!

So how do I feel about the competition? Well, I was amazed to win something, and I did end up with quite a nice new set of underwear for very little effort, but most importantly of all, I had a really hilarious day collecting my prize and I hope you will agree I got a good anecdote out of it too!

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


Model Answer 3:

I have attended many competitions in different phases of my life and have won some prizes from those competitions as well. One such contest that I would like to talk about was the Cycling competition that I participated in my college.

I was then a student at the college and around 15 years old. One day I noticed an advertisement in our local newspaper that an inter-college cycling competition would be held on next week. The entry fee would be $20 and the prizes would be given to the first three cyclists. I had a passion for cycling and I that’s why I thought to participate it.

On the day of the contest, I went to the starting point and registered my name in the competition. I took my bicycle and wore my cycling dresses. I noticed there were around 30 competitors and I was asked to stand at my start point. With the sound of the whistle, I start cycling. I had almost no intention of winning prized but I simply did concentrate on cycling. The total distance was around 5 miles and that required some energy and time. After I finished racing, I was really surprised to hear that I won the third prize. I found that some of my classmates were shouting because I was one of the three prize winners.

I felt really happy and proud that I did well in this competition. Actually, I never took my cycling habit seriously and after I did well in that competition, I started participating in other cycling competitions as well.


Part 3 – Two-way discussion/ Detail discussion:

Competitions in school:

Q. Why do you think some school teachers use competitions as class activities?

Q. Do you think it is a good idea to give prizes to children who do well at school? Why?

Q. Would you say that schools for young children have become more or less competitive since you were that age? Why?

Sporting Competitions:

Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages of intensive training for young sportspeople?

Q. Some people think that competition leads to better performance from sports stars. Others think that it just makes players feel insecure. What is your opinion?

Q. Do you think that it is possible to become too competitive in sport? In what way?


Similar Cue Card topics:

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a competition you took part in
  2. Describe a competitive exam you took.
  3. Describe a game contest you were present
  4. Describe a prize you won.
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