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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question – Describe a Gift that You Have Received Recently

The ‘cue card’ section, which is Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking, is one of the sections where you should devote your time and attention while studying for the IELTS test.

Because this test section takes only two minutes, you must utilize your time well. 

In this post, we are giving you sample responses to the cue card topic ‘Describe a gift that you have received recently.’ Please continue reading.

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

The examiner will provide you with a card with a topic and a few talking points during this section of the IELTS Speaking test

This card is called a ‘cue card’. You will also be given a pen and paper to help you prepare. You have one minute to prepare and 1-2 minutes to speak.

The topic will be something personal to you. 

For example, you may be asked to describe an experience or explain something you like or dislike. 

After you have talked about the topic, the examiner will ask you 1-2 follow-up questions about what you said.

The entire segment lasts roughly 3-4 minutes.

How to Answer this Specific Question: “Describe a Gift that You Have Received Recently”?

Topic / Question

Describe a Gift that You Have Received Recently

Guidelines to answer this question

You should say:

  • What it is
  • Who gave it to you
  • What the occasion was 

And explain what and how you were feeling when you received this gift. 

  • Think of the most recent gift you have received. It has to be something worthy of sharing so that you would have a lot to talk about. If you haven’t received a gift for a long time, it could be something you have received a long time ago but holds a special place in your heart. 
  • Once you have a subject in mind, stick to it and start preparing what you will say. Bear in mind that there is only one minute to prepare. 
  • Start taking notes on what this gift is, who gave it to you and what the occasion was. You should also describe the gift and explain what it is for. Do not forget to explain and discuss how you felt when you received the gift. You do not have to write sentences, simply write keywords and phrases. 
  • Use a wide range of vocabulary and complex grammar structures. These two constitute half of your marks in the IELTS Speaking Test
  • Take notes as quickly as you can but make it a point that you can comprehend what you have written. It does not matter to the examiner what and how you have written on your notes. What will be graded is the content and delivery of your speech. 
  • While discussing the topic, do take a look at your notes. The examiner will not reprimand you, and you will not be deducted marks if you do so.

Sample Responses: “Describe a Gift that You Have Received Recently”

Sample Response 1: 

“I’ve been fortunate to receive numerous gifts from my family and friends over the course of my life. While I like all of those presents in some manner, today I’d like to talk about one of the most recent gifts that I received. I also think it’s a little more special and valuable than the others.

This significant item, which I have chosen to discuss today, is a digital or electronic dictionary, which I received as a birthday present from one of my loving uncles on my 21st birthday three weeks ago. Prior to acquiring the digital dictionary, I didn’t know much about it other than it was a ‘different’ kind of dictionary that may be very useful if I wanted to learn new terms and their many meanings.

Anyway, when I was presented with that gift, which was wrapped in a good and distinct-looking box, I felt quite delighted and instantly opened the box to see what it was. There was a lovely mini-laptop-like handheld device in a gleaming navy-blue color there, practically beckoning me to play with it. It was roughly 6 inches long and had a separate LCD screen as well as a separate writing panel with a full keyboard. The dictionary featured nicely rounded corners and smooth edges, giving it a very good and distinct appearance.

Aside from the most basic and crucial dictionary function of looking up the meaning of words, nice tiny electronic equipment also includes text-to-speech recognition, programs to help study difficult vocabularies, a calculator, and a calendar. It also had gameplay and other multimedia elements. The digital dictionary, created by the Casio Company of Japan, also came with a good-looking leather bag to carry it safely and securely.

In any case, this present was special to me because it had considerably helped me enhance my English language skills in a very comfortable setting. The dictionary was also useful to me because it allowed me to pass the time by playing video games and listening to music.”

Follow-up Question 1: 

Is gift-giving a valuable part of your family’s tradition?


“Actually, it is indeed an important part of our family’s tradition. But that is not to say that we are a materialistic family. It’s just that whenever there is a special occasion or a chance to give someone a present, we do so. The gift does not always have to be something extravagant and expensive; it could be simple things just to make the person receiving it feel special. I think it’s a special tradition that most people treasure until now.” 

Follow-up Question 2:

When do you feel better, when you receive gifts or when you give them?


“For me, I feel better when I give presents than when I receive them. I always love the feeling of seeing the people I give gifts to happy and excited about whatever it is that I give them. It makes me feel better that the effort I exerted isn’t wasted.”

Sample Response 2:

“Everyone enjoys gifts and presents. It is similar to happiness, which we can provide to someone. But I’d want to talk about one of the nicest and most lovely presents I have ever received. It was a birthday present from my mom. But I wasn’t able to come home on my birthday so she handed it to me three weeks ago, a month late I would say. It’s a black leather handbag.

It’s a carry-on bag that can hold a few books, a lunch box, a water bottle, and some crucial documents. For me, it is a lovely present. I had a birthday celebration for my friends and family planned out. My entire family and friends came to celebrate my birthday. They had a good time at the celebration and gave me a lot of gifts. After the party, I unwrapped all the gifts one by one, and I was surprised to see that a gift had been given to my adoring mother; I was happy and tearful.

I needed a carry bag, and my mother gave it to me at such a perfect time. I’ve received numerous presents, but this is my favorite. There were no words to express my heartfelt gratitude to my wonderful mom. This present seemed to be the best and most appropriate for me. Now I’m using this gift to carry books, a notebook, and other necessities.”

Follow-up Question 1:

How do you think the tradition of gift-giving has changed over the last few decades?


“In my opinion, the custom of giving presents hasn’t changed that much over the last few decades. The kind of gifts being given is pretty much the same for me. Nevertheless, one thing I have noticed is that most people are now more into the idea of giving gifts even for simple things and favors, which I think is good.”

Vocabulary List for Answering the Question: “Describe a Gift that You Have Received Recently”

Here are some terms from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe a gift that you have received recently.’ with their meanings and sample sentences for your reference. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
acquireverbTo purchase an asset or object for oneself“The businessman planned to acquire the world’s largest diamond.”
beckonverbTo make a hand, arm, or head gesture to draw or summon someone’s attention“She beckoned for the waiter to approach her.”
carry-onnounA suitcase or bag carried as hand baggage on an airplane“Passengers are allowed to have only two carry-ons for this specific flight.”
considerablyadverbBy a particularly huge amount or to a remarkably large extent, significantly“The margin between the rich and poor has expanded considerably.”
crucialadjectiveSignificant or vital, especially in terms of something’s success or failure“This is viewed as the most crucial criteria in determining who should be given priority.”
customnounA conventional and commonly accepted style of behaving or doing something unique to a certain civilization, location, or time“It is the custom for foreigners to do so.”
delightedadjectiveFeeling or displaying a lot of pleasure“She was delighted with pride, overjoyed with her accomplishments.”
digitaladjectivePertaining to or involving the use of computer technologyDigital cell phones provide greater security, but they have less power.”
distinctadjectiveVery distinct in nature from something else of a similar type“The detention prompted two distinct but intertwined concerns.”
electronicadjectiveCarried accomplished or accessed by the use of a computer or another electronic device, particularly across a network“Over-the-counter transactions may become obsolete as a result of electronic banking.”
enhanceverbTo amplify, raise, or improve the quality, value, or scope of“The king desired to enhance his prestige through war.”
extravagantadjectiveA lack of restraint in spending or utilizing resources“Don’t be too extravagant with your money; instead, spend it more wisely.”
gleamingadjectiveThe brightness of someone’s eyes or expression “He returned to school, his forehead furrowed and his eyes gleaming.”
multimediaadjectiveUtilizing multiple modes of expression or communication“The onslaught of multimedia technologies on the horizon is turning the world on its head.”
panelnounA flat board with instruments or controls mounted on it“She went downstairs to work on the electrical panel and circuits.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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