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Describe An Ambition that You haven’t Achieved- IELTS Cue Card

Updated on 12 July, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an English language proficiency test for studying, migrating, or working in foreign countries. In Part 2 of the speaking section, test takers are given a cue card to speak on a topic for one to two minutes. 

Describe an ambition you haven’t achieved- a common cue card topic. In this essay, you have to tap into your reservoir of personal experiences and thoughts. 

Talk honestly about your unfulfilled ambitions and why you wanted to achieve the same. Your content flow should be coherent. Here are a couple of samples to help you get the drift.

What Is It?

Everyone harbors dreams while growing up, and ambitions evolve as we mature. Since childhood, I have possessed a natural talent for dancing. My parents consistently supported my passion despite not aligning with conventional career paths such as lawyers, doctors, or engineers. 

They never discouraged me from pursuing my dream but encouraged me to follow my passion.

Why You Haven’t Achieved It?

When I was a child, my parents enrolled me in dance classes, which set me on a path of growth and development. I connected with local dance schools as I advanced, refining my skills and experiencing significant progress. 

However, upon entering college, I realized the depth of the dance profession. It became clear to me that becoming a professional dancer requires laying a strong foundation, usually starting between the ages of 5 and 12. 

Starting early is crucial because it can take years to build muscle strength and master the techniques necessary to pursue dance as a career.

What Did You Do?

My aspiration to be a dancer is driven by a desire to challenge societal perceptions. I aim to shatter stereotypes and demonstrate that success can be attained beside traditional career paths. 

In a society where professions like medicine and engineering reign supreme, I aspire to be a beacon of change.

How Did You Feel About It?

To realize my dream, I'm strategizing to relocate to a city that prioritizes entertainment, potentially providing more opportunities for professional dance engagements. 

Concurrently, I stay vigilant for audition opportunities, scouring newspapers, online platforms, and specialized dance portals. Until I achieve my goal, I am committed to leaving no stone unturned in my pursuit of success.

Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 1

The pain of unfulfilled ambitions is severe; it disrupts the tone and tenor of daily life, continually interrupting our humdrum routines with the tenuous question- What if? I am also an individual who is similarly affected by the nostalgia and regret evoked in me periodically by the pangs of my unfulfilled ambition to be a professional swimmer. 

I loved swimming from childhood, learning at the tender age of six and graduating to full-fledged swimming at the neighborhood lake by age ten. The local swimming club where I enrolled supported my talents. They urged my parents to let them nominate me for a national swimming scholarship. This would have advanced my career significantly, in their opinion. Alas, the ravages of time and fate are undeniable, and they struck at that budding moment. 

I suddenly got an eye infection, leaving my eyes swollen and red, and even impairing my visibility sometimes. The doctor advised me to stay away from swimming for a couple of months; this halted my selection trials for the national academy. Gradually, with my recovery from the eye infection, I had to wear goggles while swimming and eventually lost interest in the experience. 

With the zest to carve a niche for myself, I upskilled myself and chose an alternative career. As an engineer, I work with a leading multinational company and can contribute handsomely towards meeting my familial and social commitments. However, I am reminded of my earlier passion for the sport whenever I get a glimpse of a swimming pool. This is one ambition I have not achieved and will continue to regret for the rest of my days.

Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 2

Many of us have diverse and ever-evolving ambitions while growing up. However, I was always steadfast in my goal to become a professional musician. I informed my parents of my decision when I was only ten years old and in the fifth standard. There was a backdrop to this; my maternal grandmother was a trained classical singer who had performed on the radio. Listening to her recordings (dutifully preserved by my grandfather), I was inspired to take up music as my profession. My parents were immensely supportive of my decision and asked me to get trained by my grandmother. 

Over a few years, I nurtured my passion into a lifelong obsession. As a budding vocalist, my grandmother (my first guru) maintained that I had a fine voice. She advised me to enroll under a legendary professional classical singer. I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to accept me as his student. 

Things were going fine, and I was gradually gaining confidence. I had just graduated from college with History as my major. I was planning to enroll in my postgraduate course in music and continue my journey in the field.  I had just graduated from college with history as my major. I had just graduated from college with history as my major. My next logical step was to enroll in a postgraduate music course and continue my field journey. 

Yet, destiny intervened. I had casually applied to a prestigious university abroad for a master’s program in history. It came as a surprise to me when they accepted my candidature.  I only had a week to confirm, and I could not resist and made my way to the university. To date, my career trajectory and achievements keep me content. I am happy with my career and achievements to date. However, I still feel a tinge of regret when thinking of those days when I left my musical pursuits and the hard work of several years to take up a tempting offer.

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Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 3

One of my long-standing ambitions, which I haven’t achieved yet, is writing and publishing a novel. Ever since I was a teenager, I've been passionate about storytelling and have always dreamed of sharing my narratives with a broader audience. The idea of crafting a world through words, where characters navigate life’s complexities, has always fascinated me. My ambition is not just to write any novel but one that resonates with readers, evoking emotions and sparking discussions.

The journey towards achieving this ambition has been challenging. Initially, the hurdles were mostly about finding the time and discipline to write consistently. Balancing a full-time job and personal commitments meant that writing often took a backseat. I realized that writing a novel requires more than just a passion for storytelling; it demands dedication, time management, and, sometimes, sacrifices.

Another challenge has been dealing with self-doubt and the fear of rejection. There were moments when I questioned my ability as a writer and hesitated to share my work with others for feedback. The thought of my manuscript being rejected by publishers has been daunting, which at times, has hindered my motivation to write.

Despite these challenges, my ambition to publish a novel remains strong. Over the years, I've taken small but significant steps toward this goal. I’ve attended writing workshops to hone my craft, joined writing groups for support and accountability, and have started to build a daily writing habit. I've also begun sharing my work with close friends and family, which has been incredibly encouraging.

To date, I've completed several short stories and a draft of a novel. While the novel is still far from ready for publication, the process of writing it has been immensely rewarding. It has allowed me to express my creativity, explore different perspectives, and grow as a writer.

In conclusion, although I haven't yet achieved my ambition of publishing a novel, the journey has taught me the value of perseverance, resilience, and the importance of pursuing one’s passion. I remain hopeful and committed to realizing this dream, understanding that every word I write brings me one step closer to achieving my ambition.

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Vocabularies for “Describe an Ambition You Have Not Yet Achieved” With Examples

Here are the vocabularies for – describe an ambition you haven't achieved yet with examples:




Ambition A strong desire to do or achieve something requires determination and hard work. Her ambition to become an entrepreneur of the snacking brand amazes her friends.
Not yet achieved To not yet reach a goal or succeed in doing something you want. He has not yet achieved his goal of getting an 8.5 on the IELTS essay writing task.
To realize that It is to become aware of something, to know or understand something for the first time. His mom didn’t realize that she wouldn’t be able to visit him while he was studying in Paris.
To be an advantage Something that offers you a better opportunity at something is an advantage or benefit to you. As an employee, it is an advantage to be fluent in French these days.
To register for To sign up for a class or workshop, put your name on the list and pay your money. He has only five days left to register for the conference.
To skip classes To miss a class or not go to a class for some reason. His teacher said that he wouldn’t receive any credit for the course if he skipped any more classes.
To keep up with To be able to perform at a certain level or to be able to continue to do something as planned. She had difficulty keeping up with all of the homework her French professor gave her.
Not to mention that. Used to add information when explaining why something did or didn’t happen. She can’t go to the meeting on Tuesday because she is ill, not to mention that she has already put in twice as much time as everybody else has this week.
Distracted me from To go off task or stop working on something because your attention goes elsewhere. Her funny jokes distracted me from getting my office work done.
They complained To tell someone that you don’t like something for some reason. His friends didn’t like that he wasn’t spending time with them, so they complained to him.
To ignore someone To not respond to someone’s phone calls, messages, emails, etc., and not pay attention to them. He thought I was ignoring him because I didn’t answer his text, but I was just in a meeting and couldn’t text him back.
To arrange To organize or schedule something. He needed to arrange a time to meet with the accountant.
To hang out with To spend time with someone. They liked to hang out with their friends on holidays.

Describe an Ambition That You Have Long Time - IELTS Speaking Part 3 Follow-Up Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked IELTS speaking part 3 follow-up questions for the topic: describe an ambition you haven't achieved.

What are Aspirations Among Youngsters?

Children frequently nurture dreams of entering esteemed professions, such as becoming a physician or pursuing adventurous careers like flying planes or exploring space. Moreover, there's a prevalent childhood goal connected to the aspiration for financial success.

What Drives Individuals to be Highly Ambitious in Their Career Pursuits?

Ambition in individuals appears to be an innate quality propelled by a fundamental longing for personal growth and accomplishment. Ambitious individuals are often energized by the desire to leave a lasting impression through their endeavors and to gain recognition for their contributions.

Why do Some Individuals Appear to Lack Dreams or Aspirations?

You can tackle this – describe an ambition that you haven't achieved yet question, as while everyone possesses dreams to some degree, differences in individuals' pursuit of their dreams may arise from varying levels of motivation. Some may seem devoid of dreams due to a lack of motivation, while others show a strong dedication to realizing their aspirations.

How do Individuals Strive to Maintain a Balance Between Their Work and Personal Lives?

People employ various strategies to strike a balance between their professional and personal spheres. For example, my mother sets a clear boundary by switching off her work phone after 7 PM. Others take regular breaks to concentrate solely on family. Achieving this equilibrium is a personal journey, and governments are increasingly acknowledging its importance by implementing measures such as limiting work hours.

How can Societal Attitudes Influence Individuals' Pursuit of Their Aspirations?

Societal attitudes wield significant influence over individuals' ambition. Supportive environments often fuel motivation, encouraging people to strive for their aspirations. Conversely, societal pressures or discouragement can impede the pursuit of ambitions. The societal perception and valuation of different aspirations can significantly shape personal and professional development.

Can You Provide Examples of How Governmental Interventions Contribute to Work-Life Balance?

Governments are actively intervening to promote work-life balance. Implementation of policies such as regulating work hours demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being.

Are There Cultural Elements That Influence the Kinds of Ambitions Individuals Pursue?

You can answer this “describe a long-term goal cue card” question as cultural contexts frequently mold individuals' aspirations. In some cultures, certain professions or achievements may be highly esteemed, impacting the scope of ambitions pursued.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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