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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question – Describe the First Time You Had a Mobile Phone 

If you ask those who have taken the IELTS test what the most challenging part of the test was, chances are, they would tell you it’s the cue card section, generally known as the IELTS Speaking Part 2.

If you ask why, it is because in this part of the test, you are assigned a topic you may be unfamiliar with, and you have no choice but to address it. 

To make it more difficult, you have less time to prepare and must speak for a longer period without interruption or questions from the examiner. But there is no need to worry! 

This article offers sample responses to the cue card topic ‘Describe the first time you had a mobile phone.’ Please keep reading to learn more.

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

In Task 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, the examiner will give you a cue card with a topic printed on it. This card is referred to as a cue card.

It will also contain 3-5 bullet points outlining what you should include in your presentation. You have a minute to plan, during which you may take notes using the pen and piece of paper that will be given to you. 

You will be given up to 2 minutes to speak on the subject.

The examiner will almost certainly ask you one or two questions about your subject. This entire section lasts approximately for 3-4 minutes. 

How to Answer this Specific Cue Card Question: “Describe the First Time You Had a Mobile Phone”


Describe the First Time You Had a Mobile Phone

Guidelines to answer this question

You should say:

  • When it was
  • What brand of mobile phone it was
  • If someone gave it to you or you bought it yourself

And explain how you felt having a new phone that day.  

  • Recall the time when you had your first mobile phone. Ensure that you have a good recollection of it so you would have a lot to discuss later on. 
  • Once you have recounted that time, stick to it and begin taking notes right away. Bear in mind you get only a little time to prepare. 
  • Start writing down notes. State when it was and what phone model and brand it was. Discuss how you got it. Was it given to you, or did you buy it yourself? Explain how you felt that day, and if there’s still time, you may also want to share what you use your phone for. 
  • To utilize your time well, do not write sentences. Simply type keywords and phrases. 
  • Use a wide range of words and complex grammatical structures. Doing so will impress the examiner and eventually aid you in getting high marks in this part of the test. 
  • Take brief notes, but ensure that you will be able to understand what you have written later on. If the examiner does not recognize what you have written, it is okay. You are marked based on the content and delivery of your speech and not on your handwriting. 
  • You may opt to take a look at your notes once in a while. It is permissible. You will not be prevented from doing so by the examiner. That is, after all, why you are handed a pen and a piece of paper.

Sample Responses: “Describe the First Time You Had a Mobile Phone”

Sample Response 1:

“I still recall receiving my first mobile phone as a reward from my mother after passing the university entrance exam. I know that nowadays, children start using cell phones as early as secondary school, and many high school students acquire one. My parents, on the other hand, did not want me to have one before I started university because they were concerned that it would distract me from my studies. As you might guess, I was ecstatic when I received the phone.

It wasn’t a cool phone with a touch screen or a camera. Instead, it was a simple phone that simply allowed me to make calls and send text messages. Since I had to enroll in a university away from home, I used it to stay in touch with my family and friends. Of course, I used it to entertain myself from time to time by listening to the radio or playing games.

It was a modest phone, but it meant a lot to me. Going to university was the most significant change in my life. I had to leave my small hometown, my family, and the life I had known to live in a huge city. It took several months for me to get over my homesickness, and I don’t know how I would have survived without my phone. At least twice a day, I called my mother. She consoled me and provided me with helpful counsel. Now that I’ve graduated and found a job in this city, I can purchase many finer phones, but I keep this phone as a reminder of my family’s love and support.”

Follow-up Question 1:

What are the benefits of owning a mobile phone?


“There are various benefits to owning a cell phone. We can stay in touch with our family at all times. When not in the workplace, it can be utilized to check work emails. Students use their mobile phones to research for assignments and studies. Mobile phones are used to pay bills, make reservations, shop online, bank online, and for a variety of other applications. This invention has made our lives much easier.”

Follow-up Question 2:

Do you think children should be allowed to own a mobile phone?


“In my perspective, I don’t think they should be allowed to own a phone. I think that owning a mobile phone is a responsibility and whenever children are using a mobile phone, their parents should be around to guide them, especially when they are surfing the net. However, I am not opposed to them being able to use mobile phones, at certain times, especially if they need it for school work.” 

Sample Response 2: 

“I’m going to tell you a little bit about my first mobile phone, or at least what I remember of it, because I received it around seven or eight years ago, so my recollection is a little hazy. Anyway, in terms of how I got my first mobile phone, I had been pestering my mother for quite some time to get me one, but she kept telling me, very rightfully, that I was too young and didn’t really need one. But, when I was about 15, I believe, she finally relented and took me to the shops to select one.

Neither of us understood anything about mobile phones, so when we stepped into the shop, we simply asked the sales assistant to recommend one to us. We chose the cheapest and most basic phone they had simply because I wasn’t interested in having a lot of functionalities. All I wanted to do with it was call and text people.

So that’s how I got it. As for how I felt when I got it, I wasn’t particularly pleased or anything. It was just a feeling of freedom, as well as appreciation to my mother, of course, for providing it to me! I took wonderful care of it, and it lasted a long time. I guess I used it for three or four years before upgrading to a nicer one. I believe I still have it somewhere in a drawer at home.” 

Follow-up Question 1:

How have mobile phones evolved in the last few decades? 


“I think most people would agree that mobile phones have evolved greatly over the last few decades. From a mobile phone that only functions for calling and texting people, we have come a long way. We can now use our mobile phones to do almost anything. We can surf the net, video call our family and friends, play games, and take videos. I’m really excited about what else is coming for mobile phones in the near future.” 

Follow-up Question 2: 

What do you think are the drawbacks of using mobile phones?


“While it is a fact that mobile phones have made our lives more convenient and fun, it is safe to say that they also cause problems, especially if the person using them isn’t responsible enough. Mobile phones cause addiction and may distract us at work and in school. Aside from that, since there are also children who own a mobile phone, their parents cannot filter the sites they are visiting, and this poses a serious threat to their well-being.”  

Vocabulary List for Answering the Question: “Describe the First Time You Had a Mobile Phone”

Below are some terms from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe the first time you had a mobile phone.’ with their definitions and example sentences for your reference. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
acquireverbTo purchase a property or item for oneself“The site was recently acquired by the local municipality.”
conductverbTo prepare and carry out“The officers will conduct random breath tests.”
consoleverbTo soothe someone who is bereaved or disappointed“She managed to console her, but he insisted that everything was his fault.”
counselnounAdvice, especially formal advice“It is simpler to provide good counsel than it is to follow it.”
distinctadjectiveDistinguishable in form from something else of a comparable type“The time period is separated into three distinct periods.”
ecstaticadjectiveFeeling or expressing ecstatic joy or joyful exhilaration“When I told them the news, they were ecstatic.
hazyadjectiveAmbiguous, unclear, or ill-defined“My childhood memories are hazy and fragmented.”
homesicknessnounA yearning for one’s home after being away from it for an extended period of time“The girl seemed to be suffering from homesickness.”
modestadjectiveHumble of one’s assessment of one’s own qualities or achievements“Given their riches, they live in a relatively modest home.”
opposeverbTo actively resist or refuse to obey“We oppose the death penalty in any and all circumstances.”
pesterverbTo irritate or aggravate someone by making repeated or continuous requests or interruptions“Don’t pester me with vexing queries.”
pleasedadjectiveExcessively satisfied with one’s accomplishments; self-satisfied“They are pleased to have the opportunity to attend the party.”
relentverbTo change one’s mind“He appears to relent for a brief moment in response to their pleading.”
surfverbTo move from site to site on the internet“His job entails surfing the net for at least three hours a day.”
upgradeverbTo upgrade anything to a good specification, especially equipment or machinery by adding or replacing elements“If you want, you could always upgrade a little further down the road.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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