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Describing an Achievement That You are Proud of - IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers

Updated on 01 December, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

An achievement, whether it’s personal or professional, is a testament to one’s dedication and effort. In the IELTS speaking test, discussing an achievement offers a glimpse into your ability to reflect, articulate, and value your experiences.

Sample Answer:

There's a particular accomplishment in my life that stands out, not because of its grandeur, but because of the grit and perseverance it demanded. It was the day I completed my first marathon. As someone who was never naturally athletic, deciding to run a 42-kilometer race was a challenge that many deemed overly ambitious for me.

The journey began a year prior to the event. It involved daily early mornings when the rest of the world was asleep, countless hours of pounding the pavement, and battling the voice within that urged me to quit. The training was not merely physical; it was a mental transformation. I learned to push beyond self-imposed limits, to manage my time meticulously, and to prioritize my health.

Crossing the finish line was a physical relief and an emotional release. The tears I shed were from a place of overwhelming pride and joy. It was an achievement that symbolized my newfound belief in the adage, 'It's never too late to set another goal or to dream a new dream.'

Follow-Up Questions & Answers:

Q1: What motivated you to take on such a challenging race?

A1: The motivation came from a desire to test my limits and to prove to myself that with determination, I could achieve something that once seemed impossible.

Q2: How did you prepare for the marathon?

A2: Preparation involved a structured training program, which included gradual increases in distance, strength training, a nutritious diet, and learning proper rest and recovery techniques.

Q3: What obstacles did you face while training, and how did you overcome them?

A3: The biggest hurdles were mental blocks and physical fatigue. I overcame them by setting smaller, incremental goals, celebrating each milestone, and maintaining a supportive network of friends and family.

Tips for Cracking the IELTS Speaking Test:

Tip 1: Understand the cue card thoroughly before beginning your response. Take a moment to organize your thoughts.

Tip 2: Use a range of vocabulary to express emotions and actions related to your achievement.

Tip 3: Implement varied sentence structures to demonstrate grammatical range and accuracy.

Tip 4: Speak naturally and at a steady pace, ensuring clear pronunciation and intonation.

Tip 5: Support your statements with examples or stories for a more engaging response.

Tip 6: Stay composed and confident, even if you need a moment to think about your answer.

Tip 7: Practice speaking about a variety of achievements to prepare for different potential cue card topics.

Tip 8: Record yourself to evaluate your performance and identify areas for improvement.

Tip 9: Remain mindful of the time limit, keeping your answers concise yet comprehensive.

Tip 10: Engage with the examiner, showing genuine interest in the discussion.

Describing an achievement is an opportunity to display your English language proficiency while providing insight into your values and personality. It's a narrative that demands authenticity, reflection, and the ability to connect with your audience. By following the tips provided and engaging deeply with the content of your speech, you'll be well-equipped to deliver a compelling and high-scoring response in your IELTS speaking test.


This article is curated to guide IELTS learners through crafting a nuanced and articulate response to a cue card prompt about personal achievements. By following the structure laid out, students can practice and perfect their storytelling skills, ensuring they are ready to impress the examiners with their eloquence and authenticity. 

Akansha Semwal

Sr. Content Writer & 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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