IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics / Samples with Answers 2023


Aarushi Jain
Updated on May 26, 2023 10:14 PM IST

The speaking section in IELTS is one in which the student lacks confidence as they are concerned about the type of questions that the examiner may ask them. However, by using IELTS Speaking cue card topics/samples with answers, you will be able to better prepare for your IELTS Speaking Test!

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics / Samples with Answers 2023

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics/Samples with Answers 2023: Regardless of how effectively a person talks, the IELTS Speaking test can be nerve-racking for any test taker. Most of the time, maintaining all of the features, such as fluency, accent, coherence, lexical resource, grammatical range, vocabulary, correctness, and pronunciation, can be difficult. There is a lot to remember, not to mention being present when speaking. As a result, if you want to ace your IELTS Speaking test on the first attempt, you must constantly prepare and practice for the IELTS speaking topics with answers. 

According to a student study, the majority of students are concerned about how to communicate smoothly and how to structure their ideas to provide an impressive or adequate answer to the IELTS speaking questions. If you are one of them and are experiencing the same issue, worry not because here is the solution to all your troubles related to the IELTS cue card 2023. 

Learn us know more about IELTS speaking cue cards 2023 and some common/expected IELTS speaking topics with answers for test takers.

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What is IELTS Cue vs IELTS Cue Card?

The IELTS speaking cue card task comes after you are asked to introduce yourself in front of the examiner. In this exercise, a topic will be given to you which is called a cue. The cue will be contained in a card which the examiner will choose. It is therefore also called a cue test or task card.

Along with the topic, the card contains three to four follow-up questions along with directions on how to answer them. You will not be able to choose or change the question. You must speak on the topic that is given to you. A minute time will be given to prepare the points and plan your response.

A pen and pencil will be offered for this task of the IELTS exam. To prevent forgetting the points, you can jot them down on the paper and refer to them while speaking. You must speak for two minutes continuously. Until you receive the examiner’s instructions to stop you must keep on speaking.

The examiner will then ask questions regarding the topic. The total time duration for this section of the test is three to four minutes including one minute for preparation.

Need Expert Help for IELTS Speaking Test? 

IELTS Syllabus for Speaking Test 

The IELTS speaking test is the same for IELTS Academic and IELTS General Training though the purpose of both exams is completely different. IELTS Academic test is taken for admission purposes in foreign universities while IELTS General Training is for living and working abroad processes. Check out the detailed differences between IELTS Academic vs IELTS General Training

The total duration of the IELTS speaking test is 11 to 14 minutes. Before we discuss the IELTS cue card topics and samples for 2023, let us quickly glance at the IELTS speaking syllabus.

Part 1: Introduction

The examiner will ask you to give a brief introduction of yourself, your family, your education and work and other aspects of your personal life. This session is 4 to 5 minutes.

Part 2: Speaking on Cue Cards

You will be given a cue card that the interviewer will choose on your behalf and you must speak for two minutes straight. You are allowed to take mental notes or on paper during your preparation time. This section intends to find out your speaking capability, fluency and language usage. Some questions are asked following what you have spoken. This section lasts for 3-4 minutes.

Part 3: Discussion with the Interviewer

In the last section of the IELTS speaking test, you will be asked to elaborately discuss the speaking cue card topics. You will have to answer abstract theme-based questions. The intention behind this exercise is to find out if you can justify your thoughts and able to elaborate on them. This section is of four to five minutes.

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How Are IELTS Cue Cards Marked?

As previously said, you will be given the IELTS Speaking questions or topics in a cue cards, which will contain 3-4 questions. It is, however, marked on four criteria and will be marked on a scale of 1-9. Let us see how: 

  • Pronunciation: Your sound linking, intonation, clarity, and individual phonic sounds will be evaluated by the examiner. The manner you pronounce words is crucial, as is the clarity of your accent.

  • Fluency and Coherence: This is to see if you can talk without hesitating and link concepts or not. The ability to talk for an extended amount of time is examined, as is the use of pronouns, conjunctions, and so on.

  • Lexical Resource: This assesses the use of vocabulary that you will or have. The examiner will look to see if you utilize alternative terms to explain your meaning. Even paraphrasing is taken into consideration.

  • Grammatical Range and Accuracy: The sentence structure and formation are evaluated. This should not sound forced and should be correct.

Common IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics 

Let us now look at some of the most prevalent cue card topics of IELTS after quickly understanding the meaning of an IELTS Speaking cue card and an IELTS Speaking syllabus. The cue card topics are divided into numerous categories. Enlisted below are the most current IELTS Speaking cue card topics from the actual IELTS exam.

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics (Categories)



Questions will be asked that are based upon the things you like/prefer


Time-based questions are related to anything that has occurred in the past or will happen in the future. 


You will be asked questions related to any person like your friend, family member, or any other important figure in your life


You will be asked questions related to any random object 


You will be asked topics related to past events, occasions, or any other important event


You will be asked to talk about places that you have visited or wish to visit


Questions related to work-life/workplace will be asked


The topics or questions will be related to the course(s) that you wish to study abroad


Will highlight topics related to emotions like sadness, happiness, success, failures etc.

Expected IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics/Questions 

You must be terrified of the IELTS Speaking section because of having no idea what type of questions the examiner would ask. This frequently reduces your self-confidence and leads to more pauses, lowering your IELTS band score in this section. As a result, we've compiled a list of anticipated IELTS Speaking cue card topics/questions for your upcoming IELTS exams.


  • Describe your favourite photograph or piece of photography.

  • Describe a movie that means a lot to you.

  • Describe a special or favourite object you had as a child.

  • Describe a song that you enjoy the best.

  • Describe a restaurant where you frequently dine.

  • Describe your favourite sport in detail. 

  • Describe an indoor game you'd like to learn.

  • Describe any field in which you are interested.

  • Describe a leisure activity you enjoy doing after school or work.


  • Describe a subject that you liked in your school. 

  • Describe how you used to behave when you were young.

  • Describe an occasion when you needed to visit a hospital or a doctor.

  • Describe a situation (or period of time) when you received useful guidance.

  • Describe an occasion when you received excellent/good news.

  • Describe a situation when you had to alter your plans.

  • Describe a moment when you received poor service.

  • Describe an instance when you spent a significant amount of money on something.

  • Describe a time period when you were extremely occupied/busy.

  • Describe a time when you were extremely scared.

  • Describe a situation in which you were trapped in traffic.


  • Describe someone you think is a good leader.

  • Describe the person in your family with whom you spend the most time.

  • Describe a notable personality you'd like to meet.

  • Describe your best or good pal.

  • Describe your favourite school instructor/teacher.

  • Describe your preferred politician.

  • Describe your life role model.

  • Describe an older person whom you admire the most

  • Describe a businessman you admire


  • Describe the structure of your family 

  • Describe an ideal family set up according to you. 

  • Describe an upcoming family event that you are looking forward to.

  • Describe a recent family picnic or tour.

  • Describe your favourite family member.

  • Describe a family other than your own that you admire.

  • Discuss a pastime that someone in your family enjoys.

  • Describe a time when you taught a friend or family member.


  • Describe a picture or photograph that you have in your home.

  • You presented a gift that you carefully selected.

  • Describe an electronic device that you find beneficial.

  • Describe a house or apartment in which you would like to dwell.

  • Describe a product you were pleased with as a piece of apparel purchased for you for someone else.

  • Describe a painting or other piece of art.

  • Describe anything unique you bought from a tourist site.

  • Describe a piece of vintage furniture in your home.

  • Describe a time when you misplaced something.


  • Describe a colourful place that you recall fondly.

  • Describe a country you haven't visited yet.

  • Describe a city/state you enjoy visiting.

  • Describe a place where you frequently go to unwind.

  • Describe a location that holds significant value for you.

  • Describe a place you've visited and particularly enjoyed.

  • Describe a destination you'd like to visit.

  • Describe a quiet location you've visited.

  • Explain a transportation issue in your city/town.

  • Describe a foreign country that you visited in the past.  

  • Describe a historic place that you must have visited. 


  • Describe a current work/college project or homework assignment.

  • Describe a course that you enjoyed and found useful.

  • Describe a fast bit of work you completed.

  • Describe your ideal/dream/ideal job.

  • Describe something about which you'd like to learn more.

  • Describe a suggestion you made to improve something at work or college.

  • Describe a unique job that you aspire to do.

  • Describe a seminar or workshop you attended.

  • Describe a well-paying career you hope to have in the future.

  • Describe a job done by your grandparents.

  • Describe a part-time job you have ever done.

  • Describe a subject that you used to despise but now find interesting.


  • Describe a goal you have yet to achieve.

  • Describe an incident with a child that made you giggle.

  • Describe a difficult life decision you made.

  • Describe a television show that made you laugh.

  • Describe a paid job that you enjoy.

  • Describe an experience you had as a team member.

  • Describe a conflict you had with a friend.

  • Describe advertising that you found highly convincing.

  • Describe a recent incident or action that made you pleased.

  • Describe an occasion when you spent time with a child you know.


  • Describe a time when you had to get up quite early.

  • Describe a time when you dressed to impress.

  • Describe a time when you borrowed something from someone.

  • Describe a recent party that you attended.

  • Describe a recent celebration that you attended.

  • Describe a time when you received excellent service from a company.

Score a Perfect 9 in Your IELTS Speaking Test!

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Samples With Answers 2023

Find below the IELTS Speaking cue card topics/samples with answers that will help you to ace your IELTS Speaking module in 2023: 

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Samples 

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topics and Samples with Answers

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answers

Sample 1

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answers

Sample 2

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answers

Sample 3 

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answers

Tips to Excel in IELTS Speaking Cue Cards 2023

After going through the above-mentioned IELTS Speaking cue card topics and samples with answers, here are some quick and easy tips that you can inculcate to improve your IELTS Speaking band score:

  • Do not get nervous: You should never get nervous when attempting the cue card questions. It is essential to be fluent when it comes to the Speaking section. Even if you are apprehensive, it is best to suppress your feelings and not reveal them to the examiner.

  • Maintain your cool and watch your pronunciation: It makes little difference if you don't have a wide vocabulary. One thing that has been recognised with caution is that you do not pause frequently. Also, keep your diction/vocabulary in check and don't speak too quickly. Make your points clearly.

  • Use online resources to assist your IELTS Speaking preparations: There are numerous sample exams for IELTS speaking resources available on the internet. Simply select a topic from the speaking sample question paper and practice IELTS Speaking cue card topics/samples with answers on it. Then you can try to identify your flaws and devise a strategy to overcome them.

  • Maintain your confidence: If you are taking the IELTS for the first time, you may be nervous during the Speaking test. However, regular practice and training on your speaking skills can get you a long way and can increase your confidence which will eventually help you in the long term.

  • Ask with confidence: There is nothing wrong with asking the examiner to repeat a question if you don't understand it. If you are unsure, you can seek clarification. You will not lose points for clearing doubts. 

  • Do not memorise your answers: Don't memorise your answers while practising for the IELTS Speaking cue card topics. Using your own experience, try to make the responses more impressive and innovative. The examiner can tell whether you are spontaneous or not by the way you speak. Also, don't be afraid to speak up.

The IELTS Speaking section is one of the most difficult and intimidating sections of the exam. Following this complete guide of IELTS Speaking cue card samples with answers 2023, on the other hand, will assist students in achieving a good IELTS band score.

If you have any further doubts related to the IELTS Speaking test, write to our counsellors at and they will be happy to help you out in your study abroad journey! 

Know How to Ace IELTS Exam in First Attempt! 


What is a cue card in IELTS?

A cue card in the IELTS Speaking test is nothing but a topic on which your speaking skills will be evaluated by your examiner. The examiner will give you one minute to prepare to speak about a specific topic in the IELTS Speaking component of your IELTS exam. This is referred to as a cue. As a guide, the cue card topic and directions regarding the topic are written.

Do I have to talk about every bullet point on the cue card in the IELTS Speaking test?

No, you don’t have to necessarily talk about every bullet point on the cue card in the IELTS Speaking test. These bullet points are mentioned in the cue cards to help you with ideas for framing your answers. You can use them if you want to but you can also skip them. However, you have to make sure that you stick to the main topic mentioned on the cue card and don’t deviate from it. 

How many points does a cue card have?

The examiner will hand you a Task Card, also known as a Cue Card, as well as a few sheets of paper and a pencil. A question, three bullet points, and an additional sentence will be included on the task card. The prompt is the topic on which you must speak. Your talk is expected to cover the three bullet points.

What are the common topics in IELTS speaking?

Some of the most common IELTS Speaking cue card topics include questions related to past education; questions related to past/existing job; hometown, city, or country; questions about your home and family; hobbies, interests and extracurricular activities; birthdays; opinions; objects; people, society and friends; part events; future goals or objectives; emotions, etc.

How do you prepare for IELTS speaking cue card topics?

Here are different ways which will help you to prepare for the IELTS speaking cue card topics: 

  • Practice speaking about anything random at a stretch for 3-4 minutes
  • Record your conversation, speech or talk and listen to them, again and again
  • Try talking in front of a mirror
  • Try adding some vocabulary, idioms, and colloquial expressions to earn some brownie points 
  • Refer to recent speaking tests and IELTS speaking cue card topics/samples with answers

How do you make a 1-minute cue card?

In order to make correct and wise use of a 1-minute cue card, you must swiftly generate thoughts for the topic on which you will speak. Make a list of pertinent terms that spring to mind. This is an opportunity for you to think about the material you want to speak on and so enhance your speaking skills.

How many Cue cards are there in IELTS?

The IELTS cue cards are updated every four months, with half of the themes refreshed in April, September, and December. This makes it nearly impossible for students to be aware of and prepare for the 50 possible cards that may appear in the IELTS exam.

How do you start a cue card topic?

You can start your IELTS Speaking cue card topic by saying, 'I'd like to talk about….”, ''I chose this topic because….”, “Let me tell you about….” or in any other way too. If you can't think of a reason, make one up, though it's always best to discuss real-life events. You make sure you answer all the prompts in the cue card and make sure you talk for about 2 minutes and not less than that.

Can I retake IELTS speaking only?

No, you can not only retake your IELTS Speaking assessment. In general, IELTS does not permit retaking solely the IELTS speaking section. If the speaking component score on the IELTS exam is low, for example, 5.5, but the other modules are high, for example, 7.5, the test-taker has no other option than to retake all four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing).

Which topic is best for 1 minute speech?

Some of the topics are listed down below that are best for practising 1-minute speech for the IELTS Speaking test: 

  • The best day of my life
  • If I had a superpower
  • I wish I were ______
  • Environment conservation
  • Women should rule the world!
  • Social media: bane or boon?
  • Pros and Cons of online learning
  • Benefits of yoga/physical activity 
  • After effects of Covid-19 on education 

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