Exams Know-how

Describe a Book That You Found Useful - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

To secure admission at a top university abroad, international students must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language. This can be achieved by taking the International English Language Testing System or IELTS. 

The IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card is one of its hardest components. You need to think on your feet and speak fluently. In this blog, we've covered one of the most prevalent cue cards - Describe a book that you found useful. Read on to understand how this section tests your communication skills, cultural awareness, and language competency. Moreover, utilise the sample answers to get an idea of how to keep your speech flowing, and which topics you must cover.

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Table of Contents

What is IELTS?

Any individual who desires to study or work abroad must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language. This can be done by taking the IELTS, a widely recognised proficiency test. The IELTS tests your English proficiency in four areas: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. You need not use complex sentences and fake an accent to get a good score. Rather, you must speak and write concisely, be attentive to the questions asked, and respond effectively. There are 4,000+ IELTS centres across 140 countries, and approximately 3 Lakh students take this test every year. 

What is an IELTS Cue Card?

A cue card is an element of the IELTS Speaking Part 2, which requires the candidate to speak on a given topic for two minutes. In this section, it is important to use accurate vocabulary and content that concisely displays your viewpoints on the given topic. The good point about the cue card is that it does not only mention the topic but also provides pointers that you can cover in under two minutes. The duration of this section is three to four minutes - one minute to structure your answer, two minutes to speak, and another minute to answer follow-up questions.

The breakdown of the duration of the IELTS speaking part 2 is tabulated below.


11–14 minutes

Number of Parts

Band Score Range


Test Mode


Why are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

The IELTS speaking section part 2 consists of cue cards that require you to speak eloquently based on a prompt. Here's why practising cue cards is important:

  • The IELTS cue card section tests your language skills. It assesses your fluency, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar while speaking.
  • It enables the examiners to test a candidate's ability to speak and think spontaneously.
  • The Cue card section score affects your overall Speaking test score. This score is important to meet the admission requirements in the top institutions abroad.

"Describe A Book That You Found Useful" Sample Answer 1

I would like to talk about one of my best reads under the “Describe a Book That You Found Useful” cue card. The book's title is “American Psycho,”  written by Bret Easton Ellis.

  • When Did You Read It?

I started reading “American Psycho” after recommendations from my friends. The book offers an unusual and, at times, disturbing perspective on society with the psychological analysis of Patrick Bateman, the protagonist.

  • What’s The Book About?

Patrick Bateman is the protagonist of "American Psycho," a psychological thriller set in 1980s Manhattan. It is centred on a wealthy and successful investment banker, Patrick. He seems to be leading a pleasant life at first glance, but a complicated and disturbed soul is uncovered under this dazzling facade.


The book takes us inside Bateman’s head and reveals his cruel, psychopathic qualities, insatiable interest in materialism, and detachment from reality. However, as the narrative develops, Bateman’s experiences confuse the readers with whether his experiences are accurate or corrupted by his dreams.

  • What Makes It Interesting?

American Psycho's content is the kind that stays in your mind for quite some time. By cleverly analysing Bateman’s mind, Ellis confronts the harsh realities of pursuing success and the demoralising impacts of unregulated capitalism. Identity, morality, and the fine line separating sane from crazy are among the issues the book brings up. Because of the narrative's ambiguity, readers are encouraged to consider the questions raised by Bateman's acts and the culture that supports them.

  • Conclusion

American Psycho is a cautionary tale that touches on the evils of valuing material possessions over human interactions. It is a mesmerising delve into how our minds work that allows readers to explore the sinister realities of society and the human mind.

Suggested: Describe Your First Day At School - IELTS Cue Card

"Describe A Book That You Found Useful" Sample Answer 2

As an avid reader, I have read many novels with varied genres. However, today, I would like to speak about one of the most captivating novels I have ever read - “The Line of Beauty” by Alan Hollingshurt.

  • When Did You Read It?

Vaguely, I remember that I began reading “The Line of Beauty” on a road trip to a nearby hill station with my family. Set in 1980s Britain, the novel delves into the challenges faced by lovers belonging to different social classes.

  • What's The Book About?

At its core, the novel “The Line of Beauty” follows Nick Guest – a childish and dreaming man who goes through London's 1980s life in all its colourful but sometimes challenging world. Nick is involved with the influential and affluent Fedden family and adopts their lavish way of life. The book explores the problems and tensions underneath the well-polished exterior while masterfully capturing the glitz of the upper society.

  • What Makes It Interesting?

"The Line of Beauty" deftly combines an engaging story with an examination of societal dynamics and individual problems, making it an exciting read. The 1980s are vividly portrayed in Hollinghurst's work, complete with lavish parties and a tense political climate. The book compels the readers to consider issues of privilege, acceptance, and the issues with hiding oneself, as Nick works through the complexity of his identity and wants.

  • Conclusion

The book explores the universality of human experience. It allows readers to ponder the complexities of identity and love while immersing themselves in the sophisticated and complex world that Hollinghurst has so expertly created.

Suggested: Describe A Time When You Shared Something With Others - IELTS Cue Card

"Describe A Book That You Found Useful" Sample Answer 3

Under the cue card on “Describe a book that you found useful”, I would like to mention my most recent read, an excellent novel entitled “Americanah”, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

  • When Did You Read It?

I began reading this book last month and completed it within a week because that was how captivating it was. 

  • What's The Book About?

The novel “Americanah” is mostly Ifemelu’s tale – a young Nigerian woman who goes to the US for her studies. In the novel, her experiences as an African immigrant are depicted, including her struggles with adaptation to American society and its impact on identity.


The book also tells the love story between Ifemelu and her childhood sweetheart, Obinze. “Americanah” threads reflections on racial beliefs with the complexities and intricacies of love and identity in America.

  • What Makes It Interesting?

Succeeding due to the unique perspective on immigrant’s experience and conquest for an identity, “Americanah” is quite engaging. The reader can identify Ifemelu’s attempt to deal with the challenges of racial identity, beauty ideals, and what it means to belong. The book has many thought-provoking blog entries by Ifemelu, which causes the readers to question their perspectives on race relations.

  • Conclusion

Adichie writes in a way that encourages the readers to discover themselves, which strikes many as exciting and topical. Americanah is a fascinating account of love and identity that will appeal to anyone who has found themselves between worlds. 

"Describe A Book That You Found Useful" Sample Answer 4

I would like to talk about one of my favourite books, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” by Milan Kundera, a writer in exile.

  • When Did You Read It?

I started reading, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” when I was in class 8. However, I couldn’t grasp the complexity of the good, and picked it up again after years. So, technically, I read it only in the second year of my undergraduate degree.

  • What's The Book About?

The novel is set in politically rife Czechoslovakia. The backdrop of the novel is the “Prague Spring,” when the Czech republic was going through social, political and cultural reformations. However, though a deeply political novel, the book explores various concepts such as human identity, the nature of sexuality, love and companionship. 

  • What Makes It Interesting?

What I really like about the novel, and Kundera’s writing in general, is how they resonate with the human condition. Despite the communist regime being a huge part of the plot, the individual lives, sorrows, disappointments and small happiness of the main characters - Teresa and Tomas, drives me in. I feel like a part of the story. An onlooker who’s peering on the characters’ lives. This, for me, makes the book very interesting. 

  • Conclusion

Kundera’s artistic flair is unparalleled. He writes with a passion and intensity that can be found in few contemporary writers. Moreover, the ability to merge politics, personal lives, and the question of what true love and companionship is - sets the book apart.

Sample/Follow-Up Questions and Answers

After your response to the IELTS cue card about describing a book that you found useful, the following follow-up questions may be asked:

Q1. Is reading a popular pastime in your country?

A1. People in my country indeed love to read. You can find many bookstores in most towns and cities.

Q2. In your country, what genres of literature are most widely read?

A2. India is a multiethnic country, which means people have different tastes in literature. Therefore, almost all genres from mythology and motivation to culture and fiction are popular in my country.

Q3. Do you believe that electronic books will dominate paper books?

A3. As compared to paper books, E-books are quite advantageous. They are portable, require less storage space, and are more affordable. These factors could dominate the usage of paper books, at least among young adults.

Q4. What kind of literature do kids read these days?

A4. Children's reading habits are improving in the present times. Whichever novels they read contain characters from fantasy, fiction, or the paranormal; these characters are reminiscent of those seen in comic books, anime manga, and storybooks.

Q5. Is compulsory reading in schools a good idea?

A5. Undoubtedly. Children need to improve their reading abilities if they are to succeed and college. With careful planning and guidance, reading and writing skills can improve. For reading to become a habit, children need to interact with books regularly. For this, there is no better option than school.

Tips to Answer the IELTS Cue Card

Here are some tips to ace the IELTS Speaking Cue Card section!

  • Tip 1: Understand the topic. Make sure you address every question.
  • Tip 2: Improve your pronunciation and intonation. Speak clearly, without interruptions.
  • Tip 3: Be conscious of your pace. Speaking very fast can lead to mistakes. Speaking slowly may make it seem like you're struggling to speak.
  • Tip 4: Expand your vocabulary. Present your ideas clearly and avoid repeating the same words.
  • Tip 5: Demonstrate your English proficiency by using compound and complex sentences.

Suggested: Describe a Time When You Got Up Early - IELTS Cue Card


In brief, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card enables test takers to show their language proficiency and cultural and communicative competence. It is evident from the detailed analysis of three engrossing novels in response to a cue card challenge that this can be used to exchange perceptive opinions and have insightful discussions. Writing book descriptions is as much an art as foreign study, which requires careful planning and communication. Consider working with Yocket, your go-to partner for studying abroad, if you hope to further your education abroad.Yocket provides all-inclusive help to make your academic path more effective and seamless, from test preparation to university admissions. Let Yocket take you to the next stage of your educational journey.

Read More on IELTS Cue Cards

Describe Your First Day At School - IELTS Cue Card

Describe a game you played in your childhood - IELTS

Describe A Creative Person you Admire - IELTS Cue Card

Describe a festival in your country - IELTS

Describe a Bag you Want to Own - IELTS Cue Card

FAQs on Describe a Book That You Found Useful - IELTS Cue Card

How can I prepare for Speaking Part 2 of the IELTS?

Is there more than one way to effectively apply the IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card?

Do you need to demonstrate cultural sensitivity in your response to the IELTS Speaking Part 2 Cue Card?

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