IELTS Cue Card: Describe an occasion when you celebrated an achievement

IELTS Cue Card: Describe an occasion when you celebrated an achievement


Describe an occasion when you celebrated an achievement.
You should say:
  • What you achieved
  • How you celebrated it
  • Who you celebrated it with
And how you felt about it.

Part 3:
  • How do people in your country celebrate events? Do you think it’s different in other countries?
  • Why is it important for sports fans to celebrate when their favorite team wins?
  • Do people prefer winning when they’re in a team or when they’re on their own?
  • How do young and old people celebrate their birthdays?

Part 2 — Sample Answer:

I’ve had quite a number of achievements in my life that have been worthy of celebrating, but the one that sticks out in my mind the most is when I graduated from high school.
This was the first big achievement I’d experienced, and it felt like it had been years in the making.

In the run up to my graduation I’d been seemingly working night and day to prepare for my final exams. I’d already gotten my coursework assignments out of the way, and they’d been submitted long before the deadline.

I’d felt really quite stressed preparing for my exams and was worried that I wouldn’t achieve good grades. This made me work even harder because I didn’t want to have to retake any of the tests.

These tests would in large part determine my future. They’d determine the universities that would be willing to accept me, and a good university would be a significant boost to my career and earning potential.

The final day was the day we received our grades. It was the day we had finally finished and could move on to applying to universities.

Surprisingly, the school wasn’t interested in organizing a graduation ceremony for us. A lot of the students were up in arms about this, and many parents were quite upset that their children wouldn’t be able to celebrate their achievements.

The school didn’t budge and claimed they didn’t have it in their budget.

A handful of friends and I took matters into our own hands. We raised enough money to rent a venue close by the school. Went spent ages organizing it and recruited the help of our parents too.

On the big night we held our own mock graduation ceremony and had more fun than we would have had otherwise. A few of our teachers came too and we all spent the rest of the evening partying.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Quite a number (phrase)
Used for giving a general idea of how many people or things you are referring to.
Example: We’ve met on quite a number of occasions.

Worthy (adjective)
Something that is worthy deserves respect, admiration, or support.
Example: He is unlikely to get this law passed, however worthy it is.

Sticks out (phrasal verb)
Something that’s very noticeable because it’s different is said to stick out.
Example: If you dye your hair purple and blue, you’ll really stick out at work.

In the making (idiom)
If something is in the making, it is in the process of being or created. It can be used with a noun to indicate the time.
Example A: We are witnessing a piece of history in the making.
Example B: The current crisis has been in the making for several years.
Example C: The new train line has been years in the making.

Run up to (idiom)
The run up to something is the period of time just before an important event.
Example: There is so much to do in the run-up to Christmas.

Seemingly (adverb)
Something that appears to be true, even though it probably isn’t true.
Example: Heidi was seemingly relaxed when she was taking the test.

Night and day (idiom)
If something happens night and day, it happens all the time.
Example: Electricians have been working night and day to restore electricity to the area.

Out of the way (idiom)
If you get something out of the way, you’ve completed and finished it.
Example: I can relax when this term paper is out of the way.

In large part (idiom)
If something happens in large part, it’s something that’s true to a large extent.
Example: While we’ve all been working very hard, our team’s success on this project is in large part due to Sally’s efforts.

Boost (verb)
Something that improves or increases something.
Example: The theater managed to boost its audiences by cutting ticket prices.

Move on (phrasal verb)
This phrasal verb has several meanings, but in this case it means to start a new activity.
Example: I’ve done the same job for several years and felt it was time to move on.

Up in arms (idiom)
If you’re up in arms about something, you’re really angry or upset about it, and you’re complaining about it too.
Example: The residents are up in arms about the closure of their local supermarket.

Budge (verb)
If you budge something, you move it. Usually it’s something that’s difficult to move. Often this is used in the negative.
Example A: I tried to move my desk but it wouldn’t budge.
Example B: It took a lot of effort, but I was finally able to get it to budge.

Handful (noun)
A handful is a small number of people or things.
Example: She invited all her friends to the party, but only a handful of them turned up.

Take matters into your own hands (idiom)
If you take matters into your own hands, you deal with a problem yourself because the people who should have dealt with it failed todo so.
Example: The group assignment wasn’t being taken seriously by my other classmates, so I had to take matters into my own hands and do it myself to get a good grade.

The big night (noun)
An important and usually anticipated evening, perhaps because it’s going to be a celebration or other important event.
Example: It took a lot of planning to get everything ready for the big night.

Part 3 — Sample Answers:

How do people in your country celebrate events? Do you think it’s different in other countries?

Most people celebrate events with a party of some kind. It’s common for someone to celebrate a birthday, for example, in a bar or club. It’s an easy and relatively affordable way to celebrate without having the trouble of cleaning up at the end of the night. There’s already bartenders and DJs that will bring the night to life.

Alcohol is usually a core part of most parties in my country. This is also true for most other places in the world, but there are some regions where alcohol is banned. I suppose in these cases they’d find an alternative and would serve non alcoholic beverages instead.

I think there may be some other cultural differences too. Maybe in some cultures it’s expected that guests bring something to the party, such as food or beer, but in other cultures it would be considered taboo and the host would be expected to provide everything.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Clean up (phrasal verb)
To make somewhere completely clean and tidy.
Example: We really have to clean up the apartment before we move out.

Bring something to life (idiom)
If you bring something to life, you make it exciting or interesting.
Example: Frank really brings the night to life whenever he comes to a party.

Taboo (noun)
A subject, word, or action that is avoided because it is offensive or shocking.
Example: Discussing money has always been a social taboo in Britain.

Why is it important for sports fans to celebrate when their favorite team wins?

I think a lot of fans become invested in the success of their favorite team. They’ve followed the ups and downs of their team, possibly for many years. They feel like they’re part of the team and when the team wins they feel elated and a sense of pride.

Applauding and cheering on their team can make an event far more exciting than if they were to just sit quietly and peacefully as a spectator. It can also help boost their team’s morale when they’ve scored the winning goal.

Personally I’ve never been to a sports match and don’t support any particular team, so I’m taking a stab in the dark as to why. However people love to celebrate together, and doing something with others, for example celebrating a win, is going to feel so much better when done with others.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Invest (verb)
To put a lot of money or effort into something to make it successful or achieve a result.
Example: She’s invested a lot of energy into the project.

Ups and downs (noun)
If someone experiences ups and downs, they experience a a variety of situations, some of which are good, some of which are bad.
Example: The company has had its share of ups and downs, but it seems to be doing okay now.

Elated (adjective)
A feeling of being really happy and excited, often because something has happened or been achieved.
Example: He was elated when his visa was approved and he could move to Canada.

Cheer on (phrasal verb)
If you cheer someone on, you shout loudly in order to encourage someone in a competition.
Example: We’ll be there to cheer you on when the marathon starts.

Spectator (noun)
Someone who watches a public activity or event, especially a sports event.
Example: Crowds of spectators watched the parade.

Morale (noun)
The amount of confidence a person or group of people feel, especially when in a difficult or dangerous situation.
Example: A couple of wins would improve the team’s morale.

A stab in the dark (idiom)
If you take a stab in the dark about something, you’re making a guess that isn’t based on your knowledge or experience, and it’s likely to be wrong. It’s also sometimes said as a shot in the dark.
Example: I’m not sure what the correct answer is, so I’ll just have a stab in the dark.

Do people prefer winning when they’re in a team or when they’re on their own?

I’d say both. People love to win regardless whether they’re on their own or whether they’re part of a team, and there’s pros and cons to both.

If someone wins when they’re competing individually, they may feel a greater sense of pride because they know that they’re almost completely responsible for their victory. They did everything, and can take one hundred percent of the credit.

However, I believe it would be more fun to win as part of a team. Most things are better done with others as humans are social creatures. Every member shares the same win and they’ll likely feel a greater sense of elation because they’re able to celebrate together.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Pros and cons (phrase)
The pros and cons of something are its advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons). You'll usually think about the pros and cons when making a decision. It's often used with the phrasal verb weigh up and people will weigh up the pros and cons of something.
Example A: They thought for hours about the pros and cons of starting their own business.
Example B: He weighed up the pros and cons of studying abroad.

Pride (noun)
A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction that you feel when you hav achieved something special. You can also feel proud of someone else and what they have achieved.
Example: She felt so proud when she graduated. Her parents felt proud too.

How do young and old people celebrate their birthdays?

I suppose it depends how young the birthday boy or girl is. If they’re a young child, they’re going to have a party with their parents and some of their school friends and neighbors. They’ll probably play some games that only young kids play, like musical chairs. They’ll eat cake too.

Young adults, on the other hand, are more likely to go to a bar or a club and dance the night away. It’s probable that they might get really drunk and would have a bad hangover the next day.

I think the older someone gets the less likely they are to celebrate their birthday. I think for many middle aged and older people it’s a reminder that they’re aging and getting closer to death. They may have a small little ceremony, but it’s likely they’ll place less of an emphasis on their birthday and instead want to spend time with friends.

Vocabulary and idioms for this answer:

Dance the night away (idiom)
If you dance the night away, you literally spend the whole night dancing usually at a party or club.
Example: I danced the night away at my 18th birthday party.

Hangover (noun)
A feeling of being tired and unwell because you’ve drunk too much alcohol or taken too many drugs.
Example: I had a horrible hangover the day after my birthday party.

Emphasis (noun)
The particular importance or attention that is given to something.
Example: I think we should put as much emphasis on preventing diseases as we do curing them.

How long will these questions be valid?

At least until the end of April 2020.
Three times a year the British Council changes many of the topics and questions they ask. Sometimes they decide to keep a topic for another four months, but oftentimes they decide to replace it. This one is very likely to be replaced with a new topic at the beginning of May 2020, but it won't be known for sure until then.

Just to let you know, there are 49 possible part 2/3 topics on the current exam. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less, and this number changes when the British Council updates the questions.

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I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
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Anglais
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Royaume-Uni
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Anglais
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I help students with two things: ✅ Day to day speaking practice ✅ IELTS speaking test preparation I correct everything and will help you learn where your mistakes are and how to fix them. I don't ignore your mistakes! I have all the current questions that can appear on the IELTS speaking test. Preparing with me won't be a waste of time, and you won't be practicing questions that are years out of date. I've helped hundreds of students get the score they want on the IELTS speaking test, which can be an incredibly difficult test sometimes. I can help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the questions that examiners can throw at you. Many of my students have commented that they've practiced the very same questions that appeared on the exam, and were happy to have thought through some tricky topics in advance. Let's get started! Book a class and I'll see you soon!
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