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Describe an Event You Felt Unhappy About - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a vital evaluation tool for students, professionals, and those relocating to English-speaking nations worldwide. The IELTS Cue Card, part of the speaking phase, provides a platform for eliciting spontaneous, understandable student responses. As examinees investigate numerous topics, their ability to properly communicate their perspectives becomes increasingly essential. 

Here's an example of a Cue Card prompt: "Event you felt unhappy cue card”. We believe a series of sample responses and insightful guidance will give test-takers the necessary abilities to excel in this part. Yocket is a wonderful friend on your IELTS journey, offering focused assistance to improve your performance and comprehensive preparation materials like tips, guides and community support.

Table of Contents

What is an IELTS Cue Card?

An IELTS Cue Card is required for the speaking section of the exam. It acts as a stimulus, providing the test-taker with a specific topic or task and asking them to speak freely for a given amount of time, usually 1-2 minutes. These cards assess a candidate's ability to explain concepts, express perspectives and maintain coherence under time limits. Each cue card contains timely and important facts or questions to assist the candidate's reply. This section assesses the candidate's speech for fluency, vocabulary range, grammatical accuracy and coherence. Successfully handling these questions is essential for performing well in the IELTS speaking section.




1 minute


Up to 2 minutes

Why are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

IELTS Cue Cards are critical during the speaking component of the exam because they assess a candidate's flexibility and ability to communicate effectively and simply in English. Cue cards simulate real-life communication situations by presenting a variety of subjects, ranging from personal interactions to abstract concepts, demonstrating the test-takers' readiness to participate in English-speaking surroundings. Mastering cue card responses demonstrates verbal skill, adaptability and critical thinking. 

Aspiring test takers may benefit immensely from studying cue card topics to boost their speaking abilities and confidence for the exam. Yocket is an invaluable companion on your IELTS journey, providing comprehensive preparation materials, individual guidance and a supportive community. Using Yocket, candidates may swiftly navigate through cue card subjects, ensuring optimal performance in the speaking portion and achieving their goals.

Difference Between IELTS vs GMAT

Sample Answer 1: Describe an Event You Felt Unhappy About - IELTS Cue Card


I'd like to discuss an event that left me feeling quite disheartened. It occurred two years ago, during my final year of college.

When was it?

This event took place during the end-of-year celebrations, specifically the graduation ceremony.

What happened?

During the ceremony, one of my closest friends, struggling academically, was unexpectedly denied their diploma due to failing a critical course.

Where were you then?

We were all gathered in the university auditorium, surrounded by proud family members and faculty.

Explain why you felt unhappy about this event

My unhappiness stemmed from witnessing my friend's immense disappointment and helplessness. I had seen their effort in their studies and how much they had longed to graduate alongside our peers. Their failure to do so affected them and cast a shadow over what was supposed to be a joyous occasion for all of us. It was difficult to see someone I cared about experiencing such a significant setback.


In conclusion, this event served as a poignant reminder of the unpredictability of life and the challenges that sometimes arise despite our best efforts. It also reinforced the importance of supporting one another through triumphs and tribulations.

Sample Answer 2: Describe an Event You Felt Unhappy About - IELTS Cue Card


Reflecting on a past event that left me unhappy brings to mind a particular incident from a few years ago.

When was it?

It was during a family gathering for my grandmother's birthday celebration.

What happened?

My parents got into a heated argument over a trivial matter, escalating to the point where harsh words were exchanged and feelings were hurt.

Where were you then?

We were at a rented banquet hall, surrounded by relatives and friends who had come together to celebrate this special occasion.

Explain why you felt unhappy about this event

The reason behind my unhappiness lay in witnessing the breakdown of harmony within my family. The atmosphere, filled with laughter and warmth quickly turned tense and uncomfortable. Seeing my parents, whom I had always looked up to as role models of stability and love, in conflict was distressing. It made me realise the fragility of relationships and how easily misunderstandings can disrupt the bonds we hold dear.


This event served as a poignant reminder of the importance of communication and empathy within families and the need to address conflicts constructively to maintain harmony and unity.

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Sample Answer 3: Describe an Event You Felt Unhappy About - IELTS Cue Card


An event that left me unhappy occurred during a volunteer trip I participated in a few summers ago.

When was it?

It happened midway through our week-long trip on a particularly hot and exhausting day.

What happened?

One of our fellow volunteers, who had been working tirelessly alongside us, suddenly fell ill due to dehydration and heatstroke.

Where were you then?

We were in a rural village, miles away from medical facilities, working on building shelters for the local community.

Explain why you felt unhappy about this event

My unhappiness stemmed from helplessness and concern for our friend's well-being. Seeing them in distress, with limited resources available to provide immediate assistance, was incredibly distressing. It made me question the adequacy of our preparations for such emergencies and highlighted the risks involved in volunteer work in challenging environments.


This event served as a stark reminder of the importance of prioritising safety and health in any endeavour and the need for proper training and precautions when engaging in volunteer work, especially in unfamiliar or remote locations.

Sample Answer 4: Describe an Event You Felt Unhappy About - IELTS Cue Card 


An event that deeply saddened me occurred during a community fundraising event I attended last summer.

When was it?

It happened towards the end of the event, just as we were wrapping up the day's activities.

What happened?

A sudden downpour of rain caused a significant portion of the event venue to flood, damaging the equipment and forcing us to cancel the remaining activities.

Where were you then?

We were at a local park where the event was being held, surrounded by volunteers and community members who had come together to support a charitable cause.

Explain why you felt unhappy about this event

My unhappiness stemmed from seeing all the hard work and effort put into organising the event go to waste due to factors beyond our control. Witnessing the disappointment of both organisers and attendees was disheartening as we were forced to abandon our plans. Moreover, knowing that the funds we had hoped to raise for a worthy cause would now fall short was particularly distressing.


This event served as a reminder of the unpredictability of nature and the need to be adaptable in the face of unforeseen circumstances. It also highlighted the resilience of communities coming together to overcome challenges and continue striving towards their goals.

IELTS Speaking Part 3: “Event You Felt Unhappy” Cue Card Follow-Up Questions

1. What steps did you take to support your friend after they were denied their diploma?

After the ceremony, I spent time consoling my friend, offering words of encouragement and reminding them of their strengths. Additionally, I helped them explore their options for retaking the course and offered to assist with their studies if needed.

2. How did your family resolve the argument during your grandmother's birthday celebration?

After the initial tension subsided, my parents had a heartfelt conversation expressing their feelings and concerns. They apologised to each other and made a commitment to communicate more openly and respectfully in the future.

3. What measures did you and your fellow volunteers take to ensure the well-being of your friend who fell ill during the volunteer trip?

We immediately provided first aid to our friends and ensured they were kept hydrated and cool. We also contacted local medical authorities for assistance and arranged transportation to a nearby clinic for further treatment.

4. How did the community respond to the cancellation of the fundraising event due to the sudden rainstorm?

Despite the disappointment, the community showed resilience and understanding. Some volunteers quickly organised impromptu indoor activities to keep attendees engaged, while others helped with cleanup efforts to mitigate the damage caused by the flooding.

5. What lessons did you learn from witnessing your parents' argument during your grandmother's birthday celebration?

I learned the importance of addressing conflicts promptly and constructively and the need for empathy and understanding in resolving differences. It underscored the significance of communication and patience in maintaining healthy relationships.

6. How did your friend react to the setback of failing a critical course and missing out on graduation?

Initially, they were devastated and felt like they had let themselves and their loved ones down. However, with support from friends and family, they gradually regained their confidence and focused on developing a plan to retake the course and achieve their academic goals.

7. Did the cancellation of the fundraising event impact the overall success of the community's fundraising efforts?

While the cancellation affected the immediate fundraising goals, the community rallied together and organised alternative fundraising initiatives in the following weeks to compensate for the shortfall. Despite the setback, the event ultimately raised significant funds for the intended cause.

8. How did the local community respond to your volunteer group's efforts to help after the rainstorm flooded the event venue?

The local community incredibly appreciated our efforts to assist with cleanup and repair. Many community members joined us in restoring the venue, showcasing the power of collective action and solidarity in overcoming challenges.

9. What precautions could have been taken to prevent the equipment damage caused by the rainstorm during the fundraising event?

In hindsight, it would have been prudent to have contingency plans for adverse weather conditions, such as tarps or tents readily available to protect equipment and infrastructure. Additionally, monitoring weather forecasts more closely and having a rapid response plan could have minimised the impact of the rainstorm.

10. How did the cancellation of the graduation ceremony for your friend affect the atmosphere among your peers and the university community?

The cancellation cast a somber mood over what was supposed to be a celebratory occasion. Many of our peers expressed disappointment and empathy for our friend, recognising the significance of the setback. However, it also brought our community closer together as we rallied around our friends to offer support and encouragement during a challenging time.

Universities Accepting IELTS Score 6.5 to 7

Tips to Answer IELTS Cue Cards

Here are some tips to effectively answer the IELTS cue card:

  1. Understand the question: Read the cue card carefully and ensure you understand the topic and the specific instructions. If any part is unclear, ask the examiner for clarification.
  2. Plan your answer: Before speaking, take a moment to organise your thoughts and plan your response. Decide on the main points you want to cover and the structure of your answer.
  3. Use the outline: The IELTS cue card usually provides an outline to guide your response. Follow the outline closely and address each part systematically. This will help you provide a well-structured and coherent answer.
  4. Provide relevant details: Provide pertinent details and examples to support your points while answering. This will make your response more informative and engaging.
  5. Use appropriate vocabulary: Try to use a range of appropriate vocabulary related to the topic. This will demonstrate your language proficiency and score you higher marks.
  6. Mind your grammar and pronunciation: Pay attention to your grammar and pronunciation. Speak clearly and accurately to ensure that the examiner can understand you easily.
  7. Maintain fluency: Aim to speak fluently without too many unnecessary pauses or fillers. Practice speaking naturally, and try to connect your ideas smoothly.
  8. Manage your time: Monitor the time and pace your response accordingly. Ensure you have enough time to cover all the points without rushing or exceeding the allotted time.
  9. Be confident: Maintain a confident and positive attitude during your response. This will help you deliver your answer more effectively and make a better impression on the examiner.
  10. Practice: Practicing with sample cue cards and recording your responses can help you identify areas for improvement and build your confidence for the test.

Remember, the IELTS cue card assesses your ability to speak on a given topic coherently and effectively. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of delivering a well-structured and impressive response.


In summary, the IELTS cue card is an essential part of the speaking test, and it is crucial to approach it with proper preparation and strategy. By following the tips outlined above, such as understanding the question, planning your answer, using the provided outline, providing relevant details and examples, employing appropriate vocabulary, maintaining fluency and accuracy, managing your time effectively, and practicing regularly, you can significantly improve your chances of delivering a well-structured and impressive response.

Yocket offers complete coaching and support for academic pursuits and exam preparation, including IELTS, to help aspiring individuals achieve their objectives and make meaningful contributions to their communities.

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