Exams Know-how

Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

One of its sections, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 is considered to be the trickiest. Here, you are given cue cards upon which you must speak for approximately two minutes. The examiners assess your English proficiency by analysing your coherence and vocabulary while you deliver your answer. In this blog, we've covered one of the most popular cue cards - describe an experience when you changed your school/college. Going through this blog will increase your familiarity with this particular card, and help you formulate your answers based on the important points.

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Table of Contents

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 essentials to remember regarding the IELTS speaking part 2 is tabulated below.


11–14 minutes

Number of Parts

Band Score Range


Test Mode


Suggested: Universities Accepting IELTS 6 & 6.5 Band in the USA

Why are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

The IELTS cue cards are an essential part of the speaking section of the exam. They are essentially prompts that provide you with a topic to talk about for two minutes. Here's why they are important!

Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College: Sample Answer 1

Moving to a new location is considered a big step, and it was for me too, when I chose to transfer to a new college.

  • Why did you change your school/college?

For a very long time, I dreamed to enrol at a prominent university for my higher studies. I researched and compared varied universities based on the career and educational opportunities they provide. However, in terms of resources and teaching quality, none of the local colleges could compete with Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara. Consequently, I moved there and it was one of the best decisions I made.

  • When was it?

Post high school, I inquired about different colleges and universities and conducted extensive research before deciding to pursue my BTech at MSU Vadodara. In terms of the curriculum, instructors, job placements, and college ranking, this university was at par with most others.

  • Was that helpful?

Honestly, I had a fulfilling experience studying in Vadodara. The city reflects the cultural diversity of Gujarat, and MSU is equipped with all educational facilities imaginable. The importance of education is paramount in every department, and BTech was no different. Throughout my four years, I gained educational opportunities like research and internships that greatly enhanced my career prospects and professional standing. 

  • What were the consequences after that?

There were no unforeseen consequences when I chose to enrol at MSU. When I first arrived, I felt heard and respected. My lecturers were interactive, and my batchmates were supportive. I made a swift adjustment to city life and the welcoming nature of everybody made me feel a little less homesick steadily.

  • Explain how you felt about it.

Moving to a new place and adapting to the new surroundings and people was an essential step for me, and it felt fantastic once I got used to it. It helped me venture further and out of my cocoon, which has improved my personality and professional prospects overall.

Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College: Sample Answer 2

Humans have a marvellous capacity to resist change. However, despite our best efforts, it always finds a way to creep into our lives. Consequently, to make our lives eventful, we ought to make an effort to embrace change.

  • Why did you change your school/college?

My family was obliged to move due to my father's transfer. His last employer was a software company, where he was promoted to a managerial position after having a paramount impact on the business' performance. As a result, he was given charge of the newest branch situated in a different city, which required us to move swiftly. I had to switch schools in the middle of the semester, which was a challenging adjustment. 

  • When was it?

In sixth grade, I experienced a change of school and had to repeat my year due to transferring in the middle of a semester.

  • Was that helpful?

When my father informed me about the promotion, I was proud of him but also felt immensely hopeless. One major reason for my sadness was the fact that I had to leave my vast network of friends behind. I couldn't shake the despair I felt for a whole week after starting at my new school, St. Peters. However, similar to most kids, I adapted to the change, acquainted with the teachers, and made friends.

  • What were the consequences after that?

After a difficult time, I was able to enjoy my time in the new location. Although I kept in touch with my former classmates, the friends I made at my new school made it much easier for me to settle in. St. Peters had significantly better resources and services than the previous school, which awed me.

  • Explain how you felt about it.

There are pros and cons of switching schools, but in the end, you have to maintain an optimistic attitude and try to adapt and make the best of it. In conclusion, a shift in my surroundings facilitated my overall personal development.

Is IELTS Easy: Find out IELTS Difficulty Level

Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College: Sample Answer 3

Undeniably, there are benefits and drawbacks to relocating. We get to travel to other cities, sample new cuisines, and adjust to various lifestyles and climates, which is a benefit. On the other hand, we yearn for the individuals and events from our past.

  • Why did you change your school/college?

Deciding to change schools required a complete overhaul of my life. In the fifth grade, I had to move to Udaipur from Mumbai, where my grandparents lived. This was necessary as their health unexpectedly declined, which caused my parents to decide to stay with them to promote a quick recovery. Consequently, I had to choose a different university, transfer my credits, and begin studying there.

  • When was it?

We separated from my grandparents in 2010 due to my father's employment. However, my grandfather's health suddenly deteriorated, and he needed the family's assistance. Finally, after a decade of being apart, we decided to reunite with them.

  • Was that helpful?

After a protracted absence, our grandmother was delighted to be reunited with us, and we assisted in taking care of our grandfather. As soon as my grandfather started taking his medication, receiving the attention he needed, and experiencing his family's love, his health began to improve.

  • What were the consequences after that?

Initially, the adjustment was challenging as my parents tackled family and work obligations, and I tried to mingle at my new school in Udaipur. However, with time all of us settled in. I was sincerely happy to have found a home, to receive the love of my grandparents, better education, and genuine friendships at my new school.

  • Explain how you felt about it.

Both my grandfather's health and the lingering loneliness in my grandparents' house had improved since our arrival. At the time, my family's love and kindness just overwhelmed me. In conclusion, the presence of faithful friends and family has eased my relocation and made me feel fortunate.

Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College: Sample Answer 4

I feel varied emotions when I recollect the times of my transfer to a new school. This turning point in my academic career opened a new chapter and profoundly shaped my experiences and thoughts. Thank you for providing this wonderful topic and giving me the chance to share my experience of attending a new school.

  • Why did you change your school/college?

My father's work transfer required our family to move to a new city - Delhi. Relocating held the promise of new chances and adventures, but it also meant leaving behind routines, acquaintances, and familiar surroundings.

  • When was it?

I was in my early youth, perhaps 12 years old, when I was forced to switch to a new school.

  • Was that helpful?

The main reasons for the shift to a new city and school were my father's professional growth and the necessity of catering to our family's evolving needs. My parents highlighted the value of embracing change and taking advantage of the chances that were ahead, despite the difficulties that accompanied uprooting our lives and starting over in a different place.

  • What were the consequences after that?

I went through a rush of emotions as a pre-teen struggling to make new friends and adjusting. The joy at the idea of experiencing a new school environment and forging new friendships was there. This was, nonetheless, somewhat offset by anxiety and doubt about blending in and adjusting to new surroundings.

  • Explain how you felt about it.

In hindsight, the process of transferring to a new school turned out to be a crucial stage in both my academic and personal growth. It helped me become more resilient and understand the value of accepting change as a necessary component of life's journey.

Sample/Follow-Up Questions and Answers

Based on this cue card, the examiner could ask you the following questions. 

Q1: How did you handle your sense of overwhelm in a new setting?

A1: Taking baby steps to become used to the new environment helped me cope with the overpowering experience. I browsed the campus, joined study groups, and looked for instructor mentorship. These activities gradually gave me more self-assurance and a feeling of community.

Q2: How did extracurricular activities contribute to your adaptation process?

A2: Participating in extracurricular activities helped me adapt. They gave me a place to be myself, follow my interests, and interact with other people who shared my interests. This improved my academic experience and was very important to my social integration.

Q3: If given the chance, would you transfer schools once more?

A3: Switching schools was a difficult but very rewarding experience. I would go through it again if given the chance because of the chances and progress it offered. I learned a lot from the experience about life, resiliency, and the need to welcome new possibilities with an open mind.

Q4. What are the benefits and drawbacks of staying in one location?

A4. The main advantage of residing in the same location is that we are familiar with our surroundings, including the locals, weather, food, and culture. This leads to a somewhat stress-free life. But the biggest disadvantage is the dullness and boredom that follows. Relocating is an approach to experience life's wonders on all fronts - from the people, cuisine, and climate. Conversely, the stress of starting over and unfamiliarity can cause loneliness. So, whether one stays in one location from birth or relocates due to school/college or work, it can have both positive and negative effects. Having a strong growth mindset is necessary in either circumstance.

Opinion Essay IELTS – Step By Step Guide

Tips to Answer the IELTS Cue Card

Before starting to speak, take the one-minute prep time to brainstorm your thoughts. Think of 2-3 main points you want to cover and maybe an example or two for each. Don't just focus on listing out the bullet points, but use them as a springboard for your ideas. Refer to the tips below to ace the IELTS cue card section.


Although considered one of the hardest sections on the IELTS, speaking part 2 can be aced by planning and practising ardently. Your speech content will give the examiners an assessment of your communication and language proficiency. The four experiences of switching schools mentioned above can be used to formulate your response and express what your learnings.

Preparing for the IELTS is not a cakewalk. You must be familiar with the format, sections, and duration of the test. Moreover, you must remember that the accepted IELTS scores vary university-wise. If you are overwhelmed with all these responsibilities, we understand and are here to assist you too. Get in touch with our Yocket experts to gain comprehensive support from start to end. From university admissions to standardized test preparations, and scholarship and visa applications, they will guide you throughout!

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FAQ's on Describe Your Experience When You Changed Your School/College - IELTS Cue Card

How do you describe your experience in school or college?

How do you describe your first day of college?

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

What topics are included in the IELTS Cue Card?

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