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Describe a Crime You Were Involved in: IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers

Updated on 01 December, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Discussing personal experiences related to crime can be sensitive and challenging, especially in an IELTS speaking test context. It requires not only a good command of the English language but also the ability to navigate complex emotional landscapes. This article provides an in-depth look at how to effectively tackle a cue card topic such as "Describe a crime you were involved in," suitable for the IELTS speaking section.

Sample Answer:

The Incident of Vandalism

A Surprising Turn of Events:

Several years ago, I found myself inadvertently involved in an act of vandalism. It was an incident that taught me valuable lessons about peer pressure, integrity, and the consequences of unlawful actions.

The Unwitting Accomplice:

One late evening, while walking home with a group of friends, a couple of them decided to deface a public billboard with graffiti. Caught in the moment and swayed by youthful exuberance, I did not partake in the act but also failed to stop them. The thrill of rebellion quickly turned into a weight of guilt as I realized the gravity of what had just occurred.

Aftermath and Reflection:

In the following days, the incident was reported in the local news, and it dawned on me that my silence had made me a complicit bystander. I struggled with the moral implications and, after much contemplation, decided to volunteer at the community clean-up program as a way to make amends.

The Lesson Learned:

This experience was a stark reminder that our actions and inactions have consequences. I learned the importance of standing up for what is right and the value of contributing positively to one’s community.

Follow-Up Questions & Answers:

Q1: How did you feel immediately after the incident?

A1: Initially, there was a rush of adrenaline, but it was quickly replaced by a profound sense of regret. I knew that my friends' actions, and my own inaction, had damaged not just property but also the integrity of our community.

Q2: What would you do differently if faced with a similar situation now?

A2: With the wisdom of hindsight, I would unequivocally voice my objections and prevent the act if possible. Understanding the broader impact of such crimes, I would take a more proactive stance against vandalism.

Q3: How has this experience influenced your views on crime and punishment?

A3: It has underscored the importance of accountability and the role of restorative justice. I believe that punishment should be coupled with opportunities for offenders to understand the impact of their actions and contribute positively to society.

Q4: What advice would you give to someone who has witnessed a crime?

A4: I would urge them to report it to the authorities. Being a responsible citizen means not turning a blind eye to unlawful acts, no matter how minor they may seem.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Speaking Test:

Tip 1: Understand the Cue Card

Ensure you grasp the main theme of the cue card prompt and structure your response to cover all aspects of the question.

Tip 2: Stay Calm and Collected

Maintain composure throughout your response. A clear and calm delivery is as important as the content of your answer.

Tip 3: Be Honest and Reflective

Your answer should reflect genuine insight and introspection. Authenticity resonates more than fabricated stories.

Tip 4: Use Varied Lexical Resources

Showcase a range of vocabulary, including terms related to emotions, legal concepts, and community service.

Tip 5: Practice Coherent Storytelling

Develop your ability to tell a story in a logical and engaging manner. Connect your ideas with appropriate transition words and phrases.

Tip 6: Employ Advanced Grammar Structures

Demonstrate your grammatical range by using a mix of sentence structures, conditional phrases, and complex tenses.

Tip 7: Keep an Eye on the Clock

Be mindful of the time and develop your answer within the typical two-minute response time for Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test.

Tip 8: Prepare for Possible Follow-up Questions

Anticipate potential follow-up questions and practice responding to them in a concise and informative manner.


Describing a past crime experience can be a delicate topic for an IELTS cue card; however, it provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your language skills and emotional intelligence. By preparing with thoughtfully structured answers and considering the nuanced tips provided, you can approach this topic with confidence and turn it into a compelling narrative that highlights your English proficiency. Remember, the IELTS exam is not only a test of language but also a platform to demonstrate your ability to communicate complex experiences effectively.

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Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.