IELTS Cue Card

The IELTS Speaking test is a pivotal component, gauging a candidate’s ability to express themselves effectively in English. Part 2, often considered the most challenging, requires test-takers to deliver a short speech on a given topic after a one-minute preparation. In this guide, we’ll delve into the art of utilizing the one-minute preparation effectively, explore examiner expectations, and provide sample responses to 20 common topics, each accompanied by its IELTS Cue card.

The One-Minute Preparation: A Strategic Approach:

The one-minute preparation in Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test is a brief yet crucial window to organize thoughts and plan a coherent response. To make the most of this time:

Understanding the Topic:

  • Begin by thoroughly reading the given topic and instructions on the IELTS Cue card. Identify the core theme and any specific questions that need addressing.

Brainstorming Ideas:

  • Quickly jot down key points related to the topic. Consider personal experiences, examples, and relevant vocabulary that can enhance your response.

Structuring Your Response:

  • Create a simple outline with an introduction, main points, and a conclusion. This structure provides a roadmap for a well-organized and coherent speech.

Practicing Mentally:

  • Take a moment to mentally rehearse your response. This aids in developing fluency and confidence during the actual speaking time.

Examiner Expectations in Part 2:

Examiners are evaluating multiple facets of your speaking skills during Part 2. Their expectations include:

Fluency and Coherence:

  • Demonstrate a smooth and continuous flow of speech, ensuring clarity in the connections between ideas.

Lexical Resource:

  • Display an effective use of vocabulary, showcasing a diverse range of words and expressions relevant to the topic.

Grammatical Range and Accuracy:

  • Utilize a variety of sentence structures with grammatical accuracy to convey ideas clearly.


  • Deliver words and phrases with clear pronunciation and intonation, enhancing overall communication.

20 Common Topics and Sample Responses:

Let’s explore 20 common IELTS Speaking topics, each accompanied by its IELTS Cue card and sample responses:

  1. Describe a memorable trip you have taken.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a trip you took that left a lasting impression on you.

  • Sample Response: Last year, I had the opportunity to visit the picturesque city of Kyoto in Japan. The serene temples, cherry blossoms, and the rich cultural heritage made it an unforgettable experience…
  1. Discuss a person who has influenced you.

IELTS Cue card: Describe someone who has had a significant impact on your life.

  • Sample Response: My high school English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, has been a profound influence on my academic journey…
  1. Describe a challenging situation you faced at work or in school.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a difficult situation you encountered in your professional or academic life.

  • Sample Response: During my final year of university, I was tasked with leading a group project that presented numerous challenges…
  1. Discuss your favorite book or movie.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a book or movie that you particularly enjoyed.

  • Sample Response: One of my all-time favorite books is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee…
  1. Describe a cultural event you attended.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a cultural event you attended, such as a festival, concert, or exhibition.

  • Sample Response: Last summer, I had the opportunity to attend the renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe…
  1. Discuss a technological advancement that has impacted your life.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a technological innovation that has changed your daily life.

  • Sample Response: The advent of smartphones has revolutionized the way we communicate and access information…
  1. Describe a hobby you enjoy.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a hobby or leisure activity that you are passionate about.

  • Sample Response: Gardening has been a cherished hobby of mine for several years…
  1. Discuss a historical event that interests you.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a historical event that fascinates you.

  • Sample Response: The moon landing in 1969 is a historical event that has always captivated my imagination…
  1. Describe a meal you recently had.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a recent meal that left a lasting impression on you.

  • Sample Response: Last weekend, I had the pleasure of dining at a charming Italian restaurant in the heart of the city…
  1. Discuss a skill you would like to learn.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a skill you would like to acquire and why.

  • Sample Response: Learning to play the piano is a skill that has been on my bucket list for years…
  1. Describe a popular tourist destination in your country.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a tourist attraction in your country that you would recommend to others.

  • Sample Response: Sydney Opera House is an iconic landmark in Australia that attracts millions of tourists each year…
  1. Discuss a memorable childhood experience.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a childhood memory that is particularly vivid in your mind.

  • Sample Response: When I was a child, my family took a road trip to the Grand Canyon…
  1. Describe an environmental issue you are concerned about.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about an environmental problem that worries you.

  • Sample Response: The issue of plastic pollution in our oceans is a cause for great concern…
  1. Discuss a recent news event that caught your attention.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a news story or event that you found interesting.

  • Sample Response: The recent breakthroughs in renewable energy technologies have been a source of inspiration…
  1. Describe a piece of art that you admire.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a specific work of art that has left a lasting impression on you.

  • Sample Response: Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is a masterpiece that continues to mesmerize art enthusiasts…
  1. Discuss a change you would like to see in your local community.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a positive change you would like to see in your neighborhood or community.

  • Sample Response: Implementing a community garden initiative could positively impact our neighborhood by fostering a sense of unity…
  1. Describe an adventurous activity you would like to try.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about an adventurous activity or sport you would like to experience.

  • Sample Response: Skydiving has always intrigued me, and I envision it as a thrilling adventure that would push me out of my comfort zone…
  1. Discuss a scientific discovery that has influenced society.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a scientific breakthrough that has had a significant impact on the world.

  • Sample Response: The discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming revolutionized medicine and saved countless lives…
  1. Describe a family celebration you enjoyed.

IELTS Cue card: Talk about a family event or celebration that was particularly special.

  • Sample Response: Celebrating my grandmother’s 90th birthday was a heartwarming family gathering filled with laughter and love…
  1. Discuss a famous person you admire.

IELTS Cue card: Describe a well-known figure, such as a celebrity, historical figure, or leader, whom you admire.

  • Sample Response: Nelson Mandela, the iconic anti-apartheid revolutionary and former President of South Africa, is a figure I deeply admire for his unwavering commitment to justice and equality…


Mastering Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test involves strategic preparation, understanding examiner expectations, and developing the ability to respond confidently to a variety of topics. The one-minute preparation is a valuable tool for organizing thoughts, ensuring coherence, and delivering a well-structured speech. By practicing with the provided IELTS Cue cards and sample responses, test-takers can enhance their speaking skills and approach the Speaking test with confidence, ultimately increasing their chances of success in this critical component of the IELTS exam.