ielts cue cards

IELTS Speaking Cue Cards - All you need to know

Updated on 08 July, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

What is IELTS Cue Card? 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is a standardized English language proficiency test is taken for study, immigration, or work. IELTS is divided into two categories: Academic and General Training. The latter is applicable for aspirants desirous of higher education pursuits abroad. Yet, the speaking test is the same for both these modules. The first part is the introduction and interview, where candidates will be asked questions about themselves, their family, education, etc. 

The IELTS speaking cue cards come into play for the second part when the candidate will be choosing cue cards and then speaking on a topic for two minutes at least. They can make notes on the topic beforehand. After their speech, follow-up questions are also asked on the topic. In the long discussion, the topic in the cue cards has to be explained in detail by the candidate. For example, the cue cards for IELTS 2022 will contain 3-4 questions for candidates. It will be marked based on four parameters, and it will be done on a scale of 1-9.

List of IELTS Speaking Cue Cards 2022

Here is an approximate list of IELTS speaking cue cards 2022 that you should note. You can practice these in advance by looking for IELTS cue cards with answers. There are some predominant types, including the following: 

  1. Past events
  2. Places
  3. Objects
  4. Crazy queries
  5. Hypothetical thought
  6. Habits
  7. Favorite things
  8. Cultural events
  9. Persons 

Here is a list of anticipated cue cards:

Time-Based / Someone

Describe A Time When You Needed to Use Your Imagination

Describe A Time When You Were Really Close To A Wild Animal

Describe A Time When Your Computer Broke Down

Talk About A Time When You Gave Advice to Someone

Describe A Long Walk You Ever Had

Describe A Time When You Felt Bored

Describe a Time When You Told Your Friend an Important Truth


Famous / Person & Occasion

Describe a Person Who Impressed You in Primary School

Describe a Famous Person You Are Interested In

Describe A Person Who Wears Unusual Clothes

Describe A Businessman You Admire

Describe a Famous Athlete You Know

Describe A Foreign Person Who You have Heard

Describe an Occasion When Many People Were Smiling

Describe A Dinner You Really Enjoyed

Describe an Event You Attended in Which You didn’t like the Music Played


Life / Emotions & Place

Describe a Difficult Decision that You Once Made

Memorable Day in My Life

Describe A Tradition in Your Country

Describe A Street Market In Your City

Describe A Quiet Place You Like To Spend Time In


Activity / Event & Interesting / Work

Describe an Expensive Activity that You Enjoy Doing Occasionally

Describe an Art Exhibition that You Visited

Describe A Live Sports Match That You Watched

Describe A Leisure Activity in or on the Sea

Describe A City that You Think is Very Interesting

Describe An Exciting book that You Enjoy Reading

Describe A Perfect Job You Would Like To Have in the Future

Aquatic Animal Cue Card


Movie / Object

Describe a Film that Made You Laugh

Describe Your Favourite Movie

Describe A Computer/Phone Game You Enjoy Playing Since Your Childhood

Describe A Good Law In Your Country

Describe A Toy You Liked in Your Childhood

Describe A Puzzle You Have Played

Describe Your Dream House

Describe A Tall Building in Your City

Describe A Bag You Want to Own

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Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Marking Criteria for IELTS Speaking Cue Cards 

The speaking section is 11-15 minutes long. Candidates interact face-to-face with examiners in this section. The score in the section is between 0-9. Here are the marking criteria: 

  1. Coherence & Fluency – This examines the capabilities of candidates in terms of their fluent speech and expressing their thoughts. 
  2. Grammatical Accuracy & Range – This assesses how people accurately use their grammatical paradigms and how they deploy the same in their speech. 
  3. Lexical Resources – The candidate’s vocabulary is scrutinized in this case, with a view toward analyzing the communicative aspects of speech. 
  4. Pronunciation – It may differ across countries, although suitable capabilities to pronounce words correctly in English are measured. 

Each of these four points is given a cumulative value and these are added for making up the overall score. For instance, if someone scores 6 in grammatical accuracy and range, 6.5 in fluency and coherence, 7 in pronunciation, and 6 in lexical resources, it adds up to 25.5. Divide this by 4, and it comes to 6.3 on average.

Recommended Reads:

IELTS Speaking Idioms

IELTS Grammar

IELTS Important Vocabulary

IELTS Collocation

Common Spelling Mistakes in IELTS

How to Crack IELTS Exam in first Attempt

Complex Sentences For IELTS

IELTS Speaking Format

IELTS Speaking Tips and Tricks

IELTS Speaking Topics

IELTS Speaking Band Score

How to Improve Vocabulary for IELTS

IELTS Common Speaking Topics With Answers

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How to prepare IELTS speaking cue card?

You should jot down notes on the core points. Speak at a stretch for a few minutes and record what you are saying. Try practicing in front of your mirror and refer to cue cards to get an idea of the topics.

Q. How to start IELTS speaking cue card?

You should begin with any of the following introductory phrases- I’d like to talk about or I’d like to tell you about is and even Let me tell you about. You should start in this manner and focus on your core points.

Q. How to speak cue card in IELTS?

You should write your keywords to imprint them in your mind. You should also try to encompass the basic question points in your cue card. You can write the keywords in bullet points instead of lengthy or random words. You should imagine the scenario and build a visual to help you speak.

Q. What is Cue?

A cue is a signal like a phrase, word or a hint to the test takers to start their action or speech.

Q. What is a Cue Card?

The cue card is given to test takers who have to view the same and use it for their speech. In the IELTS examination, candidates get cue cards in the speaking section. They have to select their cards and speak on the topic at a stretch.

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