The IELTS speaking exam is conducted in three parts; introductory speaking, cue card topic speaking, and follow-up questions. The total duration of the speaking part is 11 to 14 minutes, out of which the cue card task takes 4-5 minutes. The cue card topics are generally descriptive, about a place, person, or object. For this blog, we shall discuss the sample answer for the topic, ‘Describe A Special Hotel You Stayed In’.
A duration of 1 minute is given to the candidate to prepare his points for speaking, and also going through the instructions for speaking. The points can be noted down using a pen and paper and can be referred to while speaking. This will ensure a fluent and structured delivery of the speech.
Cue Card Sample Answer for IELTS Preparation: Describe a Special Hotel You Stayed In
For a cue card topic like describing a special hotel in which you stayed, it is advisable to pick a real experience and elaborate it in the given time. This will help to add definition and small details about explaining the whole staying experience. The following points can be noted in the preparatory time:
- Where is the hotel?
- When and why did you visit there?
- How did the hotel look like?
- How did you feel about it?
The answer can begin with an introductory line about travel, or how a good hotel adds to the experience of a holiday or vacation trip.
Cue Card Topic Describe a Special Hotel You Stayed In – Introduction
It is always exciting to travel to new places for the holidays. What makes the whole experience memorable is the stay and ambience. I would take this opportunity to describe a special hotel I stayed in.
Where is the Hotel?
The particular hotel I’m talking about is situated just 2 km away from Manali, and it is an open garden space which has separate small wooden cottages by the riverside.
When and Why did You Visit There?
I visited there a month ago, with my friends in December. I had gone there to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and also to travel around Manali. It was snowing there at that time, and the wooden cottages were covered in snow. Also, each cottage is situated on the riverside, which made the overall view totally paradisiacal.
How did the Hotel Look Like?
The hotel had 20 cottages in total, and a huge garden in the middle. There were 10 cottages on either side of the garden. On the backside, there was a huge hall, which had the dining area, guest lounge, and an internal heated pool. There were small wooden tables and chairs set by the riverside for sitting. The cottage which I stayed in was very cosy. It had a rounded plush bed, with paintings on all of its wooden walls. The bath had a huge tub, and the room was a delight to watch in all.
How did You Feel about It?
My whole experience of staying in the hotel was extraordinary. Not only did it offer me a spectacular view, but even the food which I was served was extremely delicious. I never had the opportunity of staying at such a scenic place before that. I really look forward to visiting there again with my family and show them around the magnificent place very soon.
Tips for Cue Card Topic IELTS Preparation
For a topic like this, real experiences will add to a vivid description. It is to note that a real hotel experience should be described with real facts about the place if the name and location are shared. There could be several reasons to visit a hotel, like going on a vacation or holiday, getting a sponsored trip from a company, while visiting a foreign country, or simply when someone needs a change or a break from a routine.
Other than the four mentioned pointers for the topic, other things that can be included are the food items that were served, how the surrounding location was, what were the special facilities provided in the room, or any other feature that made it stand out from the other hotels. A distinctive feature or characteristic will make the description engaging and interesting.
Other related IELTS Cue Card Topics
- Describe a holiday that you went on
- Describe a building that attracted you
- Describe a hotel which you like
- Describe a hotel you would recommend
- Describe a holiday location where you often go to
Follow Up Questions
For the third part of the IELTS speaking exam, the examiner will ask a few follow up questions from the candidate. The questions are mostly related to the cue card topics which are given in the second task but are asked in a more abstract and general form. For a topic like describing a special hotel, questions could be related to travelling, holidays, and other related activities.
Following ahead are a few samples follow up questions with answers, based on the above cue card topic, to provide a better IELTS preparation outline:
What makes People choose a Particular Hotel?
Individual choices and preferences differ when it comes to choosing a hotel. Some people choose hotels based on the prices and affordability, while others may choose a hotel based on the amenities and services which are offered. Also, some people look for a hotel which is located centrally so that they can explore the local sites and market, while some may look for a hotel in a peaceful, quiet, and serene location. Other than that, the internet provides a lot of comparisons among hotels based on prices and facilities, which can also make people choose a particular hotel.
How are Hotels in Your Country different from the Hotels Abroad?
In the present scenario, most upscale hotels in my country are almost at par with the hotels abroad, in terms of the facilities and luxury offered. However, there are certain hotels like the Udaivilas in Rajasthan, and the Taj in Delhi, which offer luxury in traditional forms. The interiors and exteriors of these hotels are designed in the palace and dome-like structures, to give a hint of the rich heritage of the country. There are all kinds of hotels in my country, including beachside resorts, and hilly cottages.
How do People Book Hotels these Days?
Most people book hotel rooms a few days in advance, to ensure availability. Rooms in hotels can be reserved through online mediums, either on the website of the hotel or through third party sites like Goibibo or Make My Trip. The number of people who book rooms on the spot upon arrival has gone down since internet facilities and services have improved a lot recently.
Do Reviews and Ratings of a Hotel Influence Others to Choose It?
The reviews and ratings of a hotel definitely affect the choice of other people in choosing it. Reviews are the first thing that most people lookup for a particular hotel to see what is the experience of those who have already stayed there. It also gives an idea about any special facilities or drawbacks of a hotel, which are otherwise not mentioned upfront. It is not easy to assess a hotel just by looking at the pictures and brochures, but it gets easy to choose on the basis of reviews and ratings.
Points to Note for Cue Card IELTS Preparation
The primary goal of the candidate should be to quickly prepare his ideas for the speech in the 1 minute which is given to think about the topic. This will ensure that the speech goes on uninterruptedly. The candidate will be required to speak for a duration of 1 to 2 minutes, facing a trained and professional examiner. The examiner will not ask the person to stop until the time crosses 2 minutes.
Another important thing to note is the grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary used while delivering the speech. Each aspect carries a significant weightage which adds up to the total score. The speaking part is not as formal as the writing part, and occasional use of idioms may make the speech a bit engaging. Even if it is less formal, the overall content should be appropriate as per an examination.
Marking Criteria for the Speaking Exam
The following table shows the marking criteria for the speaking exam:
|Delivering speech with fluency
Using Linking devices
Ability to be comprehended
|Using diverse words and paraphrasing
Using unique vocabulary
|Grammar Range and Accuracy
|Using a variety of sentence formations and tenses
|Ability to be understood
Use of intonation
Accuracy in pronouncing words and sounds in the speech
The IELTS preparation for such cue card topics can be done by going through other sample questions and answers here. Mostly, these will help in generating ideas and points for other topics that may be closely related. So more and more practise will give an upper hand not only in coming up with more vivid and diverse ideas but also in increasing knowledge about the grammatical and vocabulary part.