Event/ Instance is a cue card topic that often comes up in the IELTS speaking part 2. Below you will find a list of some exam questions and answers that you could encounter during part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test.
The questions below are based on the real IELTS speaking exam. They serve as a great IELTS Speaking part 2 cue card prediction questions to help you prepare better before your test.
Event/Instance Speaking Part 2 – Cue Card 1
Talk about a long walk you enjoyed. Please say
You should say:
- where and when it was
- who you were with
- what you saw
- and explain why you enjoyed the walk so much.
- Where and when it was?1. I am blessed to be living in a beautiful, natural environment in Goa, where walks are part of my daily existence. I would like to talk about a walk along Agonda beach in 2018.
- Who you were with ?This was the last walk I had with my grandmother a few days before she passed away peacefully in her sleep. I can never forget that moment.
- What you saw?It was an overcast day, and the sea was raging wild. The frothy white waves were crashing on the shore, and it started to drizzle but Granny didn’t want to turn back even though we didn’t have an umbrella. It seemed like she wanted to enjoy one last rain-soaked walk on that beach. Almost like she had a premonition she wouldn’t be walking that way again. We saw fishing boats bobbing in the sea dangerously, unable to take on the fury of the waves. She stopped and gazed out pensively at the sea, and I knew she was saying a silent prayer for their safe return.
- and explain why you enjoyed the walk so much.Well, this was my last walk with my grandmother so it will always stay in my memories. We spoke about so many things that evening such as how her father used to work as a customs officer at the Goa-Karnataka border, and how she had once witnessed a tsunami when she was a teenager at the beach near her house. That evening, she told me had graduated from the Portuguese school way back in 1937, and this was a big deal during those days. Her father was a visionary who wanted the best for his daughters.
- Follow up question: Do you walk often?Yes, I walk almost 10,000 steps every single day. I have a smart watch that measures my steps.
Event/Instance Vocabulary Speaking Part 2 – Cue Card 1
- Premonition – a strong feeling that something is about to happen, especially something unpleasant.
- Bobbing – making a quick, short movement up and down
Other IELTS Speaking Part 2 Topics
Here are other common topics that you could come across during the IELTS Speaking Part 2 test.
- Family / Friends
Cue Card 2
Describe a time you paid more than you expected for an item you bought. Please say
You should say:
- what did you pay for
- where did it happen
- why did you pay more
- and explain how you felt about this.
- What did you pay for?Last year, I ended up paying an extortionate amount for a lamp in a market when I was travelling in Morocco. I had always wanted an authentic Moroccan lamp but I didn’t expect to be ripped off for almost £100 which is what happened.
- Where did it happen?I was with a friend in a market in Marrakech. We were having an amazing time browsing the stalls and buying souvenirs when I saw this multicoloured lamp that I really liked. Moroccan markets are bustling and lively with lots of exotic things.
- Why did you pay more?I started to haggle with the stall holder, he wanted a lot more than I was willing to pay. In the end, we agreed on an amount but when he had wrapped up the lamp in paper and put it into the bag, the man insisted we agreed on more. I felt quite intimidated and the shop owner was getting more and more irate. So in the end, I gave in and just paid for the lamp.
- and explain how you felt about this.I felt frustrated and disappointed. Until this point, everyone had been so friendly and welcoming. I also felt a bit stupid that I fell into the tourist trap and was conned out of my money. In hindsight, I should have been more careful and less enthusiastic about the lamp. After that, if I felt threatened or harassed when negotiating, I just walked away. My friend really helped as she has a very calming and steady personality so I didn´t stay angry for long and soon forgot about the experience.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 2
- extortionate – very expensive
- ripped off – tricked for money (phrasal verb)
- bustling – busy, with energy
- haggle – negotiate a price (informal)
- irate – feeling strong anger
- gave in – admit defeat (phrasal verb)
- be conned – tricked for money
- in hindsight – perspective after an event
- threatened – to experience aggression from another person
Cue Card 3
Describe a puzzle you tried to solve. You should say
You should say:
- what it was like
- how easy or difficult it was
- how long it took for you to solve it
- and explain how you felt about it.
I am going to talk about solving a puzzle, in this case a Rubix cube. When I was younger these toys were very popular and the aim of the puzzle is to move the squares so that all the colours are together on one side of a cube. It is a really difficult task as as soon as you move one colour it affects the other sides of the puzzle and you have to start over. I remember trying for hours trying to achieve the correct combination; it was near impossible. I practiced for many days and in the end I started to watch videos about how it could be done. Some people say that is cheating but it was so frustrating not getting anywhere. After a while, I managed to do it. I was over the moon! After that, it was a bit of an anti-climax as once you have solved it, there is little point in playing any longer. Recently, they have become a trend again and the kids are using them. My nephew has one and is much better than me at solving it; his hands move at the speed of light as though he has practiced a lot. Some people cheat and take off the stickers and put them in the correct position. There is no fun in that without a sense of achieving it yourself.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 3
- start over – start again
- near impossible – almost impossible
- over the moon – very happy
Cue Card 4
Describe an experience that left you feeling disappointed. Please say
You should say:
- when it was
- what the reason you felt disappointed was
- how this affected your life
- and explain what you think of that experience now.
I am going to talk about a time when I was disappointed because my holiday was cancelled. It happened two years ago at the start of the pandemic. I was due to fly to Tenerife to have a holiday with my family. We had all been looking forward to going away and being together for a couple of weeks. We had booked a beautiful hotel close to the beach and organised activities to do.
As the weeks passed, I started to feel most worried because the news was reporting the pandemic getting worse and there were some restrictions on travel. Some of my family thought it was nonsense and that we would never go into a full lockdown. But in the end that is exactly what happened. A week before we were due to take off, the airline contacted us to cancel the flights. I was gutted and so was my family. Little did we know, this was going to go on for so long and that we wouldn´t travel anywhere for more than two years.
We contacted the airline and hotel to ask for a refund of our money. They were inundated with customers trying to do the same so it was a lengthy process trying to claim back our money and that was quite a stressful part of it. Now, I am able to put it in perspective and have realised that lots of people were in the same boat as us and had plans, events and holidays cancelled. Also, people were suffering during the pandemic and however disappointing it was at the time. I got over it.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 4
- look forward to – excited about the future
- nonsense – without sense or logic
- gutted – very disappointed
- inundated – many things to do
- in the same boat – in the same situation
Cue Card 5
Talk about a mistake you once made. Please say
You should say:
- when the incident occurred
- why you made the mistake
- what you learnt from this mistake
- When the incident occurred?I would like to talk about an incident which had taken place when I was on duty at the hotel front desk. I was newly hired that time and had been working for just a week. I was holding many hotel forms of guests and was at the moment assisting one of them upon check-out. Even though I had undergone induction and training for the front desk routine, I still made a mistake. A terrible mistake for which I had to apologize to the hotel guest repeatedly.
- Why you made the mistake?During that front desk duty, I guess I was so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand. I was browsing at some documents and communicating with the guests at the same time. Some forms confused me so I mistakenly wrote guests’ names, overlooked other details and charged them wrongly. Not to mention being in front of hotel guests and being surrounded with other hotel staff who were also busy with their tasks.
- What you learnt from this mistake?This mistake taught me several things. Firstly, I learnt that I have to be meticulous and need to pay attention to details on every task. Whether I am meeting a deadline or not, looking into the details of the task is necessary. Secondly, I learnt that there is always a consequence for any wrong action. Thus, I have to be extra cautious every time. Lastly, I learnt that it is ok to ask for help from others. It may be embarrassing but would definitely minimize mistakes.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 5
- overwhelm – to flood oneself with something or overpower in mind and feeling
- pay attention – to be attentive
Cue Card 6
Talk about an event during which you were unsuccessful. Please say
You should say:
- what was the context for the event
- when did it occur
- what were the causes
- and how did you respond to the situation
- What was the context for the event?I am going to talk about a hot dog eating contest at which I was unsuccessful. My friend group is quite multicultural, and we all thought it would be entertaining to have an international party, with customs from each of our countries. And so, my friend Fred from across the pond chose to introduce us to a hot-dog eating contest, a tradition he has known since childhood.
- When did it occur?I remember we had the party in the evening after class, to celebrate the end of the exam period for that term. Many of us chose food-related custom, which were truly delicious. When it was time for Fred to introduce his, we were all a little perplexed and put off by the concept. But we were also very intrigued! That’s when Fred decided to demonstrate to us how it’s done. It was like a walk in the park for him. He just gobbled an entire hot dog and he didn’t even flinch. It was very impressive, so much so that I wanted to try it out myself. He set the timer, and the competition started. It didn’t last very long, though, because by the time I finished eating one hot dog, he had consumed three already!
- What were the causes?I think that part of the reason I was unsuccessful at it was I had never done anything like it before, and so I was lacking practice. Additionally, a trick I didn’t use was to dip the hot dog buns in water to make them easier to swallow. I have a feeling, however, that even if I had done that, I still would have lost!
- And how did you respond to the situation?Frankly, I thought the whole situation was surreal and hilarious. The whole group was in stitches watching me struggle! Laughing while eating probably did not help me win, either!
Vocabulary for Cue Card 6
- multicultural = has a range of cultures
- from across the pond = (informal) across the atlantic ocean
- perplexed = confused, puzzled
- put off by = repelled by
- intrigued = curious
- a walk in the park = very easy to do
- gobbled = ate very quickly and loudly
- he didn’t even flinch = it was like nothing to him; he didn’t even have a physical reaction of pain or discomfort
- frankly = honestly
- surreal = bizarre
- in stitches = laughing uncontrollably
Cue Card 7
Talk about an instance where you got lost in a town or a city. Please say
You should say:
- where and when did you get lost
- who was with you when it happened
- what did you do about it
- and how did you feel about it
- Where and when did you get lost?I am going to talk about the time I got lost in New York city, three years ago. When I landed at the airport, I had all the hotel information at hand to show to the taxi driver. The ride was a piece of cake. The driver new where the hotel was and we got there in no time. The next day I decided to explore the area and I used the subway system to get around town. I had a fantastic time, and at the end of the day, I decided to take the subway back to the hotel. I got off at the right station, but since it was dark outside, I was unable to find my way!
- Who was with you when it happened?Unfortunately, it was a solo trip, and so I didn’t know anyone who could remember how to get back to the hotel. I knew it wasn’t far but I couldn’t tell where it was. My phone did not have any data, so I could not even use any maps to help me out. There were very few people walking down the streets; a few couples and some single walkers.
- What did you do about it?I decided to look for people who seemed like they knew where they were going. If my memory serves me correctly, I asked a young gentleman for help, and he immediately pulled out his phone, and looked up the information I gave him. It turned out I was facing the back of the hotel this whole time!
- and how did you feel about it?The whole experience was an emotional rollercoaster. When I realised I was lost, I panicked a little. However, when I found out that the hotel was that close to me, I felt a little sheepish!
Vocabulary for Cue Card 7
- at hand = readily accessible
- piece of cake = very easy
- in no time = very quickly
- solo trip = a trip with only one traveller
- data = (in this case) internet that comes with a phone plan
- if my memory serves me correctly = if I remember correctly
- an emotional rollercoaster = experiencing a range of emotions one after the other
- sheepish = embarrassed
Cue Card 8
Talk about an instance when your car broke down. Please say
You should say:
- when and where was it
- what did you do
- how did you feel about it
I am going to talk about the time when my car broke down. I was travelling from Madrid to Bilbao to spend the summer with my family there. I had packed everything into my little car and set off on the motorway. I had been travelling for about an hour when I noticed a warning signal on the dashboard of the car. It looked like the temperature of the car was rising and it was starting to overheat. So, I pulled over at the nearest service station and got out of the car. The front of the car felt very hot so I thought I had better take a break and let it cool off.
I headed off again after half an hour and everything seemed to be fine. Some time later, when I had exited the motorway and was driving up and down some of the hills, I noticed that the front of the car seemed to be smoking! There was no safe place to stop at that moment so I had to drive for another few minutes before I could pull over. By then, the car was steaming and making a loud hissing sound. I had no idea what to do. Luckily, a woman stopped and asked if I was ok and advised me to call the recovery services. I phoned the insurance company who organised to pick me up. The man came after about an hour and ended up towing the car to the garage. I was mortified.
At the garage, it turned out that the car had run out of water and the steaming and heating was the car overheating. I felt like an idiot and also it was a massive inconvenience. My father had to come and pick me up and organise for the car to be fixed – a lot of hassle just because I hadn’t put any water in. I never made that mistake again.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 8
- dashboard – information area of a car
- overheat – become to hot
- pull over – drive to the side of the road and stop
- towing – pull another vehicle
- run out of – to use all of something
- hassle – inconvenience
Cue Card 9
Talk about a situation when something in your house broke down or stopped working. Please say
You should say:
- what was it
- what happened when it broke/stopped working
- how did you feel about it
I am going to talk about when the dishwasher broke down in my house. It sounds spoilt but we had a really difficult few days when the dishwasher in our house stopped working. I am part of a large family and we get through a lot of plates and cups. One day, I went into the kitchen and heard the dishwasher making a screeching noise. Then it stopped completely. My dad had a look at it but he is no engineer and he couldn’t fix it. He was watching a lot of YouTube videos but still there was no joy.
My parents arranged for a dishwasher mechanic to come to the house but he couldn’t make it for another week. At first, this seemed like nothing, we would just have to wash up ourselves. However, this led to a lot of arguments in the house as my siblings would leave piles of stuff in the kitchen sink and somebody, usually my Mum, would end up washing it all up.
After a few days, I felt fed up with washing up and was really looking forward to the machine being fixed. It was fixed the following week and I have been grateful ever since. People would call this ‘first world problems’ as it was hardly life or death but we take things for granted and quickly get used to machines doing stuff for us. If we never had a dishwasher we wouldn’t be complaining that it was broken but because we are used to it we complained a lot. It was a pain in the neck!
Vocabulary for Cue Card 9
- broke down – stopped working
- spoilt – negative characteristic of somebody who is given everything
- screeching – a loud noise
- no joy – no luck or success
- hardly life or death – not serious
- a pain in the neck – annoying
Cue Card 10
Talk about a time when someone did not tell you the truth. Please say
You should say:
- what was the context of the situation
- when and where did it happen
- how did you feel about it
- and how has this affected your relationship with the person/people involved
- What was the context of the situation?I am going to talk about an instance where my closest friend omitted some truth from me. About four years ago, the company I was working for selected me as a candidate for a big award for the geological research I had been doing for them. There was going to be a ceremony where the winner would receive a prize and get an opportunity to make a speech. It was a significant career booster for me, and, I was hoping to have my family and my geology-aficionado best friend attend this momentous occasion.
- When and where did it happen?About a month before the event, I was in my office when I heard the news about the ceremony from my boss, and as soon as I got in my car, I phoned my parents to share the news, then I called my friend. All were ecstatic. My family confirmed that they would be there, which helped me feel invigorated. However, my friend told me that he couldn’t make it, as he was already planning to attend a family wedding. A few days after the ceremony had occurred, I received a call from my friend’s parents congratulating me, and updating me on my friend’s health, revealing that he had gone through surgery that day. I remained speechless and confused for a few seconds, trying to process all the emotions and thoughts running through my head.
- How did you feel about it?I felt upset, disappointed and indignant that he would hide the truth from me about his surgery, but also frustrated with myself that I wasn’t there for him when he needed me most.
- And how has this affected your relationship with the person/people involved?Conflictingly, I was very grateful for him, because I knew he didn’t want me to have to worry about him that day. We’re still best friends, but we promised to never keep such big secrets from each other again
Vocabulary for Cue Card 10
- omitted truth = hide truth
- career booster = a moment or opportunity that helps people advance in their career
- aficionado = fan, a person with a passion for something
- momentous = of great significance, often with consequences on someone’s future
- ecstatic = extremely happy, overjoyed
- invigorated = (in this case) stronger, more confident
- speechless = without words, unable to speak due to shock
- process = (in this case) understand, make sense of
- indignant = feeling angry due to unfair treatment
Cue Card 11
Talk about an instance where a complaint of yours got good results. Please say
You should say:
- where and when did it happen
- what was your complaint
- what was the outcome
- and how did you feel about the whole experience
- Where and when did it happen?I am going to talk about a time I had a bad experience at a restaurant, and had to complain to the manager. It happened a few years ago, when I was out having lunch with my friend. I had made the smart choice of booking a table, because the restaurant was hectic. As a result, our food took a very long time to arrive. Our waiter apologised several times and explained that they were understaffed, but the food should be arriving soon.
- What was your complaint?An hour had passed by, and we were getting quite frustrated. I turned my head towards the kitchen door, where I saw one of the waiters come out with two plates which looked like our orders. He then stopped very suddenly, and after a few second of immobility, he sneezed all over the food! He then freed one of his hands to wipe his nose. My friend had witnessed that, too. The sight of that turned our stomachs. When he came to deliver us this nauseating food, I immediately rejected it and demanded to speak to the manager, who looked at me in disbelief. I requested that we look through the security camera footage to prove I was right, and to ensure that something be done about it.
- What was the outcome?After much insistence from us both, the manager finally caved in, and we were proven right. The manager apologised and sent the waiter back home. He also gave us free meal coupons to redeem at any point in the future.
- And how did you feel about the whole experience?To be honest, the entire experience was both disgusting and disappointing, and I do not see myself going to that restaurant ever again. I am, however, glad that I had the courage to speak up. Who knows the health risks this would have engendered if we hadn’t said anything.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 11
- hectic = extremely busy
- understaffed = does not have enough people working
- immobility = not moving
- it turned our stomachs = it was really disgusting
- nauseating = disgusting
- demanded = asked forcefully
- caved in = gave in
- engendered = caused
Cue Card 12
Talk about a time when you researched information. Please say
You should say:
- what kind of information did you research
- where did you find the information
- what did you do with the information
- and was the information helpful
- What kind of information did you research?I am going to talk about a time I researched information regarding deforestation. I was in high school, and I had watched a documentary about deforestation in the rainforests of South America. I remember feeling very perturbed by what I had just learnt, and I felt the urge to conduct further research on the subject.
- Where did you find the information?I remember running to my room to research information on the internet on my laptop. I had found some disturbing facts, and decided to step up my game and go to the library to borrow all the books I could find on the subject. I read for hours for about a week until I decided it was time to put all that knowledge to good use.
- What did you do with the information?I had decided to campaign for the preservation of rainforests, and I was prepared to create the most outstanding post on the street, with the most effective and eye-catching visuals. I was going to give it my all. My parents were extremely supportive and they even helped me create some props. Over the weekend, I had stayed by my post for four hours each day, accompanied by either my mom or my dad. Many people seemed intrigued by the display and some stopped by and listened to my plea, after which I gave them a printed document detailing ways that they could support the cause.
- And was the information helpful?The experience was very memorable. I am not sure how many people actually took action after passing by or talking to me, but I had felt very accomplished, because I knew I had done all that I could to help. While the information I had gathered was unpleasant and worrisome, it also opened my eyes, and I hope that I was able to make even a tiny bit of a difference.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 12
- perturbed = disturbed
- step up my game = performing better
- put to good use = using something for productive purposes
- eye-catching = attractive, appealing
- give it my all = put 100% of my energy into something
- plea = an earnest request
Cue Card 13
Describe a time you used a map to get around. Please say
You should say:
- when and where were you using the map
- who was with you
- how did you feel about using that map
- and how do you feel about that experience now
- When and where were you using the map?I am going to talk about a time I used a map do find my way in a new place. After I graduated from college a decade ago, I travelled in New York. It was a congratulatory gifts from my parents. I decided to treat that trip like an adventure, and use an old-fashioned map to get around. I turned out I had bit off more than I could chew, because there was so much that I wanted to see in such an incredibly overwhelming city. I had all spots marked on the map, but barely anyone could help me find them using my map. I eventually decided to jump on the bandwagon and download a GPS on my phone.
- Who was with you?What made this experience a little more intimidating was going through this alone. I was overly confident that I could make it, but didn’t realise how challenging it was going to be. You live and you learn!
- How did you feel about using that map?This whole experience at the time felt very disconcerting. I felt both scared and foolish, particularly when the large majority of people I asked for help were unable to help me, because they couldn’t read that map themselves, and I felt a little nuts.
- And how do you feel about that experience now?I am, however, able to laugh about it today. Enough time has gone by for me to be able to reflect on the experience more objectively, without feeling completely embarrassed! I am quite happy I went through that experience. As they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. If I hadn’t gone through that experience, I would have missed out on a huge learning curve that shaped the person I was into a significantly more responsible and organised individual
Vocabulary for Cue Card 13
- bit off more than i could chew = took on more than I could handle
- jump on the bandwagon = join a trend
- you live and you learn = you make mistakes and you learn from them
- disconcerting = worrisome
- nuts = (in this case) crazy
- ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ = if you don’t take any risks, you can’t expect to achieve anything
Cue Card 14
Talk about a time when you were feeling sleepy but needed to stay awake. Please say
You should say:
- when did it happen
- why were you feeling sleepy
- why did you need to stay awake
- and how did you manage to stay awake
- When did it happen?I am going to talk about a time when I was feeling extremely tired but had no other choice but to stay awake. It happened this year, about two months ago, as I was finishing an assignment I needed to submit that night. It was certainly my fault and very poor time-management on my part. I had about a month to complete the assignment, however I got distracted with another optional big project that was due around the same time.
- Why were you feeling sleepy?I had underestimated how long the project was going to take, and I definitely bit more than I could chew! I was so invested in the project, I had worked on it day and night for a full two weeks, while trying to schedule in some time for the assignment. I had burnt myself out a little, and the tiredness caught up with me. When I realised how much more work I had to do on my assignment, I began to panic. I had three days to do research and write out the entire assignment. Luckily, I had planned it and knew what information needed to be covered.
- Why did you need to stay awake?Research took a day and half, and I had got an average of four hours of sleep for two days. I was exhausted. The day of the submission, I started to write the assignment as early as four thirty in the morning, and by lunch time, I was dead on my feet. I had to power through, though! The assignment needed to be turned in by eleven at night.
- And how did you manage to stay awake?I drank a lot of coffee and played a TV show in the background to keep me awake. it was insanely challenging, but I submitted the work on time. it all worked out in the end!
Vocabulary for Cue Card 14
- bit more than I could chew = (in this case) took on more work than I was able to complete
- burnt myself out = exhausted myself
- caught up with = (in this case) finally got to/finally hit
- dead on my feet = so tired you could fall asleep
- power through = to continue with determination until the end of a process
Cue Card 15
Describe a situation where you didn’t have enough time to complete a certain task. Please say
You should say:
- what was the context of the situation
- what caused the lack of time
- how did you react to the situation
- and what advice would you give someone in a similar situtaion
- What was the context of the situation?I am going to talk about a situation where I did not have enough time to complete a school project. I was meant to produce some artwork for my course, but I was lacking time to do so. The project required a collage on the topic of inner self. The aim was to create a piece of work that would represent the essence of who I am.
- What caused the lack of time?We were given two weeks to complete the project. I started to work on it as soon as it was assigned to us, planning the artwork and selecting the media. That is when my sister contacted me about moving out of her house, as she and her partner had decided to separate. She had sunk into deep depression as a result of such life change, and I felt it was my duty to look after her in such difficult time. I worked on my project whenever I could but was consumed by the bigger priority of looking after my sister.
- How did you react to the situation? When I realised what little time I had left to complete the project I asked my professor for an extension on the project. He kindly gave me a few additional days, though not enough to complete the original artwork I had in mind. I therefore chose to replan it entirely based on what I was going through, and use that experience to my advantage. I decided to represent the sense of compassion I was feeling for my sister, and I was inspired by items around her new apartment for my artwork.
- And what advice would you give someone in a similar situation? I think that focusing on my priorities was a good idea and I would recommend others think about their priorities, as well, if they find themselves in a similar situation.
Vocabulary for Cue Card 15
- lacking = missing
- collage = art form that uses a range of media (paper, pain, pictures, etc.) to create a piece of art
- inner self = depth of a person’s being
- essence = what determines a thing or a person’s nature and personality
- assigned = given
- sunk into deep depression = became deeply depressed
- consumed by = had all of my energy, time and focus directed at something or someone in particular
- use to my advantage = make it work for me