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Describe a competition that you took part in - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

The IELTS Cue Cards serve as a platform for individuals to showcase their English Language proficiency and communication skills. These prompts offer diverse topics, encouraging candidates to express their thoughts. The IELTS Speaking Part 2, or the IELTS Cue Card, has a fixed time frame. IELTS demands that the candidates be able to articulate their thoughts and express them logically or effectively. During IELTS Speaking Part 2, you'll receive a topic card and have one minute to prepare before talking about it for 1-2 minutes. 

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Table of Contents

What is an IELTS Cue Card?

An IELTS Cue Card is a prompt used in the speaking section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Exam. It contains a topic or a prompt that the test-takers must answer. The test takers are given 1 minute to prepare. After 1 minute, they have to speak on the topic for 1-2 minutes. The Cue Cards typically include instructions to guide candidates in structuring their responses. 

The breakdown of the duration of the cue card section is added below:




1 minute


Up to 2 minutes

Follow-up questions

Up to 2 minutes

Read more: Describe Your Favorite Sport - IELTS Cue Card

Why Are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

IELTS Cue Cards are essential for the Test because they are a vital component of the speaking section of the IELTS Exam. Here are some reasons why they are crucial: 

  • Communication Skills Assessment: Cue Cards allow test-takers to demonstrate their ability to speak fluently, coherently, and with sufficient details on the topic. 

  • Real-Life Situations: The topics presented in Cue Cards often reflect real-life situations, allowing candidates to practice expressing themselves on relevant and practical themes. 

  • Time Management: Test-takers are provided limited time to respond to the Cue Card before speaking. This renders them an ability to think quickly and deliver a coherent response. 

  • Language Proficiency: In this section, candidates can show their language skills, vocabulary, and lexicon. This also allows them to refine their speaking skills and identify areas of improvement. 

Cards are crucial in assessing and enhancing an individual’s ability to communicate effectively in English. 

The IELTS Academic test has been developed for candidates who wish to join a college. Did you know you can also take the IELTS General Training test if you do not like IELTS Academic? We have covered the differences in these two tests in a short video below. Click below to know more and get into your dream school.

How to Answer the IELTS Cue Card: Describe a competition that you took part in

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you will have a minute to prepare before speaking for the next 1-2 minutes on the prompt. Please jot down the essential points in your paper during this time. For the IELTS Cue Card on “Describe a competition that you took part in,” you can write a brief speech by keeping in mind the following questions:

  • What was the competition?

  • How did the competition go on?

  • Were you successful in the competition?

  • What lessons did you learn?

Suggested: Describe A Tradition In Your Country - IELTS Cue Card

Describe a competition that you took part in: Sample Answer 1

What was the competition?

The regional debate tournament I participated in during Senior High was a memorable competition. The competition addressed several controversial topics in several rounds of debate. We were assigned a team and had to argue for and against various propositions, testing our critical thinking, coherence, and fluency. 

How did the competition go on?

The competition began preliminary rounds, where each team faced off against others from different schools. Our team prepared extensively, researching each topic thoroughly and practicing our delivery. The debates became more challenging as the levels proceeded.

Were you successful in the competition?

I am proud to say that our team performed exceptionally well. We won most of our debates in the preliminary rounds, which qualified us for the semi-finals and, eventually, the finals. The team of one particular school was powerful. Although we did not win, we came in second.  

What lessons did you learn?

The most important lesson I learned through this competition was teamwork makes the dream work. We also relied on each other for support. This experience taught me the value of thorough preparation. I gained confidence in public speaking and learned to stay calm under pressure. 

Suggested: Describe A Bad Service You Received In A Restaurant/Cafe - IELTS Cue Card

Describe a competition that you took part in: Sample Answer 2

What was the competition?

I participated in the Regional Science Fair during y middle school. The competition required students to show innovation and sustainability to illustrate a thorough understanding of the scientific principles. My project focuses on a cost-effective water purification system using locally available materials. 

How did the competition go on?

The competition spanned over two days. On the first day, all the participants set up their projects in a large exhibition hall. The judges and the visitors walked around asking questions and evaluating each project based on originality. I had to present my project multiple times, explaining its science. The second day was the prize distribution ceremony.

Were you successful in the competition?

I was thrilled when the judges gave me good ratings for my project. In the final round, only the top 10 projects were to be chosen to showcase to the entire school. I had to deliver a more elaborate speech and answer challenging questions from the judges and the students. But unfortunately, I didn’t win.

What lessons did you learn?

Participating in this competition taught me several valuable lessons. I learned the importance of perseverance and hard work as I spent countless hours researching and refining my project. It also taught me that failure is the best teacher. The winners’ projects were mind-blowing. And I learned to work harder.

Recommended: Describe a large company you are interested in - IELTS Cue Card

Describe a competition that you took part in: Sample Answer 3

What was the competition?

In 2017, I participated in the National Photography Competition organized by Vogue. The theme of the competition was “Nature’s beauty”. We were required to send a portfolio of five photographs capturing various aspects of the Environment. 

How did the competition go on?

The Competition unfolded over several months. I spent weeks exploring different locations, from the local parks to nearby hills, hoping to capture breathtaking and unique natural moments. Each photograph required careful planning, from choosing the right time to considering the lighting and composition. 

Were you successful in the competition?

After the initial submission, I was excited to be among the top 20 finalists. The final round involved a live presentation where I had to showcase my portfolio to a live audience and some judges who were professional photographers from various magazines. This was followed by Q & A, where I answered about my work and inspiration. 

What lessons did you learn?

I secured the third position, but I learned many lessons. It reinforced the importance of patience, hard work, and craftsmanship. I also learned to articulate my creative vision and defend my artistic choices, which enhanced my communication skills. It also highlighted the value of perseverance and dedication. 

Also read: Describe A Thing You Bought, And You Are Happy About - IELTS Cue Cards.

Describe a competition that you took part in: Sample Answer 4

What was the competition?

I was not academically competitive like my siblings, sometimes making my family feel blue. But when it came to Physical Education classes, anyone could find me on the ground. While others are resting on the bleachers, I run extra laps of the football ground. So, my coach suggested that I participate in the District Tournament as the Captain of our Football Team.  

How did the competition go on?

The competition was intense and thrilling. It spanned several days, with multiple matches against strong teams from different schools. As captain, I had to strategize and motivate my teammates. Each match tested our skills, teamwork, and resilience. We somehow managed to reach the semi-finals. 

Were you successful in the competition?

In the final match, we faced the strongest team in the district. The game was challenging, and we fought hard until the last minute but didn’t win the championship. The second place was a remarkable achievement for our team. I thought our coach would be disappointed, but he was grinning.

What lessons did you learn?

I learned that leadership and teamwork are crucial to achieving collective goals. Secondly, perseverance and hard work can lead to significant accomplishment, even if victory is not always guaranteed. The last lesson I learned was the importance of embracing your unique strengths and passions, which helped me cover my part and make my family proud differently.

Read more: Describe An Activity You Do To Keep Fit - IELTS Cue Card

Follow Up Questions

The examiner will raise follow-up questions to test your current fluency and to check if you can articulate your. Here are some follow-up questions for the IELTSQ card topic. Describe a competition you took part in. 

What motivated you to participate in the competition?

My family motivated me to participate in the competition. I did not have a knack for studies, but I could do sports. They saw this and, when the opportunity arose, supported me. I wanted to do something to make them proud. Participating in the competition meant I could challenge myself and grow. This pushed me to participate in the competition.

How did you prepare for the competition?

I began to prepare for the competition with a systematic approach for a standard understanding of the rules in the competition format. It is essential to thoroughly understand the rules, scoring system, and specific competition requirements. Then I set goals for myself. Then, I developed a practice schedule. I drew a timeline that covered all the necessary preparations and steps. Then, I dedicated specific times for study, practice, and review until the day of the match. 

What was the most challenging part of the competition?

The competition's most challenging part was mentally preparing for the final day. Watching our opponents makes us lose confidence. We undermine ourselves. Until you entirely focus on your game, you can’t win. All your eyes should be on your goal. Determining your opponents, weaknesses, and strengths and how to tackle them is tricky, but you can achieve it with practice.

How did participating in the competition benefit you?

Participating in the competition benefited me in several ways, including developing my skills and confidence in my abilities. Additionally, it provided valuable experience handling pressure and taught me the importance of perseverance and hard work. It also taught me that you will achieve something if you put your mind and hard work into it.

Tips to Answer IELTS Cue Card

Here are some tips to answer the IELTS Cue Card: 

From the Desk of Yocket

The IELTS Cue Card test segment is more than just an evaluation tool. It is a window into the candidate’s ability to articulate thoughts coherently and effectively. How you present your idea not only demonstrates your communication skills but also shows your vocabulary power. While it is wise to master commonly asked cur cards, mastering less common cue cards like these is also essential. 

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FAQ's on Describe a competition that you took part in IELTS Cue Card

How do you prepare for IELTS cue cards?

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What are the most common cue cards in IELTS?

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