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What is Cue Card in Ielts and how to respond it correctly?

Posted: November 18, 2019 at 9:46 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

In this section we will learn about Cue Card in IELTS, and ways to gain success in this speaking test.

In the IELTS Speaking test, you will be given exactly 1 minute to prepare yourself to talk about a particular topic and this topic is called IELTS Cue card. The instructions to guide your talk are written on a card given to you by the examiner.


Is IELTS speaking difficult?

IELTS speaking is not an academic test. Sometimes students can go wrong because they treat it like an intelligence test and forget to use good English. Get a recording of the news/radio/anything produced by native English speakers. Play the recording and repeat after them, trying to copy the way they pronounce words.

IELTS cue card speaking is essentially one of the most important sub-module of the IELTS speaking test on which your IELTS band scale for this section majorly depends.

When it comes to a set secret for starting the IELTS speaking section cue card question, honestly there is no secret at all. All you have to keep in mind that you must understand the question and the answer pattern well before you attempt it in real exam.

The IELTS cue card section of the speaking test is a 03-minute. You are provided with a question on-spot, and a minute to think and gather thoughts on that question. This can also be termed as the preparation time, wherein you can create a quick mind map of how you wish to present your answer to the examiner. Keep in mind that you do not go into the details of what you wish to speak, but a bulleted list of the specific broader context you wish to talk about would suffice for the question asked

Once this 01 minute of preparation time gets over, the real time begins.

In the 02 minutes of the designated time, generally, follow the below set of details for a better band score –

  1. Even though the total time to speak is 02 minutes, do not push yourself by repeating the already stated points if you have run out of content before the end of two minutes. If you feel that you have spoken everything you had in your mind related to the question asked, you should ideally stop, just to not display lack of content, unstructured responses and unrefined grammar/ lexical resource. Even though it might have some negative impact on your band scale, but it would not be as bad an impact as it could be if you keep bragging in spite of nothing there in your mind.
  2. The speaking cue card section question is designed in a manner such that you have a basic understanding of the flow you wish to designate to your speaking. There will always be a main question with a few sub-questions, such as: Talk about a book you recently read. When did you read it? and so on!
  3. The best piece of advice that I can provide you on starting the cue card question is to thus start with a narrative, which is around 15–20 seconds long and is directly related to the question that has been asked. It will just not serve as an introduction but will also provide a logical flow to your task. For instance – if the question asked is about a book that you read recently, you can always start off with a reason why reading books is important along with a quick narrative of you being an avid reader always finding time to read books.

  4. The key however is not to overdo the introduction part and stretch it beyond a point where you lose complete track of what was being asked in the first place. Keep your introduction crisp, concise, engaging and well connected to the content before and after.

  5. Once you have given an introduction of roughly 15–20 seconds and have set the tone for the IELTS cue card, shift your focus to answer the main question and its sub questions giving each a minimum of 15 seconds of the total time quota. So if there are in total of 04 questions [like in the example in point 02] then in totality you have already spoken for almost over a minute by the time you finish answering them all [if and only if you apply the 15 seconds rule]. This along with your introduction takes you well ahead of a minutes time.

    image source – Google

    6. Try to be as natural as you can. Any sign of nervousness or any make up accents won’t fetch you good in the IELTS speaking test. Keep your calm and even if you do not have a rich vocabulary, stick to the topic, provide good content and with proper pronunciation for the words, you will be fine and score well in this section.

    7. Give examples while you speak and not always focus on facts and figures to justify yourself. Also it is not mandatory to answer the sub-questions of the cue card in the same order in which they are presented to you. You can shuffle between the questions and change their sequence for answering as long as you maintain the logical flow of the cue card answer.

    8. Just like you began your cue card with an introduction, incorporate a small conclusion towards the end of the cue card section in order to provide a conclusive argument to your task content.

    9. Lastly, if you think you are running out of content, and have already spoken a lot, try relating with an experience you hold of the thing specifically asked in the question. Also please note – it is OK not to always speak the truth but speak what you are comfortable with, for the given topic. This way you will have more content and better fluency.

    I hope my answer helped you solve your query. Do follow me back on Quora for more information on Education Abroad and IELTS in particular.




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