Cue Card is part of the IELTS speaking test. Many candidates find it hard and struggle to solve it. Now you will not, as with proper preparation and practice you can ace your cue card test easily.

Here in the article, you will find solved answers to the cue topic describing a time when you tried to do something but failed. Also, you will find the correct strategy to solve them.

IELTS Speaking Test

IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System. It tests the English skills of the non-native candidates who want to move abroad for higher studies, visa purposes, permanent residence and work purposes. It includes four sections, Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.

Candidates often find the speaking section tougher than the other three. It includes three sections:

# Part 1 (Introduction and Interview)

# Part 2 (Cue Card)

# Part 3 (Discussion and Debate)

Also Read: IELTS Exam Syllabus 2021-22: Here’s the Detailed Syllabus, Fee, Pattern & More

IELTS Cue Card: An Introduction

The cue card has a topic on which candidates have to speak. In it, candidates are given 1 minute to think on a topic written subtopics tool and also given a pen and paper to write down all important keyword experiences topics to be included. After that, you have to speak continuously for 1-2 minutes.

Describe a Time When You Tried To Do Something Cue Card Topic

This topic can be broken down into two parts:

# A Time when you tried something.

# Failed in the task.

How to Approach it?

#1. Think about an event when you tried something new or tried to achieve something.

#2. You can also use imagination to create a story or make reference to your friends or siblings experiences.

#3. Now think of a quote or keywords to include.

#4. Start forming your story by using questions to be covered.

Also Read: Describe Diwali – A Tradition in Your Country: IELTS Cue Card Topic 2021-2022

Describe a Time When You Tried to Do Something but Was Not Very Successful

You should say:

When was it?

What did you try?

Why did you fail in this task?

How was your feeling?

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Sample Answer 1


Everyone struggles for success but failure is inevitable. Sometimes despite all the hard work and effort, we have to face failure. But you should understand that it is not the end but a beginning. It is a time when we have to stop and rethink our strategy and move towards success.

When was It?

It was the time when I was around twelve years old. My school held an annual fest which included several competitions. Everyone was so excited and decided to participate in them. I also decided to take part in it. But out of too much enthusiasm, I couldn’t choose anyone and decided to take part in three of them i.e. Dance, Art and Craft.

What You Tried?

I made up my mind to participate in all three competitions and register my name for them. My friends and parents tried to convince me that I won’t be able to excel in anyone if I try all of them. But I didn’t let anyone bother my determination and that’s how my failure began.

Why was It Not Very Successful?

I only had 15 days to prepare for all three and also have to attend my daily classes. I decided to practice after school. Every day after I came home, I started preparing my dance. I was often too tired to even walk but still practised. Then later till midnight, I used to practice for art and craft.

As the day passed my body became weak and I was not focusing on anything. I was often dozing in my classes, skipping my practice and sitting in a corner thinking about the competition. When only 5 days were left for the competition I decided to boost my preparation. I was active and did everything. Though I was too tired, I did everything.

What Happened Next?

The night before the competition I was too excited and dreamed of receiving an award in all three. I didn’t realize when I slept. When I woke up I saw myself surrounded by my parents and someone else. I rubbed my eyes hard and realized I was lying in my room and the doctor was giving my parents some prescription. My eyes went to the clock and were shocked to see it was evening.

My hands and feet or cold realising I was not able to even go to the competition. Later my parents told me that I fainted from the fatigue and was suffering from a high fever.

And alas, my dream was shattered and I even had to lie down in my bed for a week.

What was My Feeling?

Initially, I was so sad and started sobbing. My parents consoled me by saying that I was not the only competition. Afterwards, I realized I was too reedy and participated in three but could not even master one. Later I made a promise to myself that I would never repeat such a thing and would master one thing before moving one the next.

IELTS Cue Card Sample Answer 2


There are many things in our life that we want to do but are not very successful in. But we should understand that it is not wrong to try and fail but not to try anything is bad. Today I would like to share an incident from my childhood when I started learning how to ride a bicycle.

When was It?

It was the time when I was eight years old. I lived in a colony with my parents and siblings i.e. an elder sister and a younger brother. We used to play with all the other kids of the colony. We played different games every day for instance sometimes seven stones, hide and seek, ice and water, and many more.

What did I Try?

My sister and her friends used to ride bicycles to the nearby neighbourhood. They looked so cool to me that one day I decided to learn how to ride a bicycle to join them.

I convinced my father to buy me a bicycle and my sister to train me and hence my training began.

Why did You Fail in It?

In the beginning, my bicycle was attached to a supporter that had its stability. My sister taught me how to paddle it and handle the bicycle to move in a straight line. I was so happy to ride it.

And soon my dream came true when my sister asked me to join her to cycle with her group. But soon I realized that I was not as fast as them because of the supporters. I also have to slow down in the sandy area.

I asked my parents to remove it but they told me that it was too soon. I have to wait and practice more to be able to practice without them. But I didn’t listen to them and tried to convince them. I even went on hunger strike and got my wish fulfilled.

As usual, I started bicycling but I found it too hard to control. But I didn’t want to show it to everyone and tried my best. When the corner came and I had to turn the cycle it became totally out of control. I tried hard but I hit the garden fence so hard. I fell and scratched my knees, joints and palms.

What Were My Feelings?

I was crying so loudly. It was a mixed wave of the pain of injury and embarrassment. My sister and parents came running and picked me up. They took me to the doctor and treated my injuries.

They also weren’t angry with me but calmly told me that I should listen to what the elders were saying. They are bier than us and have much more experience than us.

Also Read: Describe a Time You Saw Children Behave Badly in Public: IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers 2021-2022

Describe a Time When You Tried To Do Something but Was Not Very Successful

IELTS Speaking Cue Card Topic Sample Answer 1

There are times when we have to face failure while trying something new. But this does not imply that we should stop trying something but it means that we should keep trying till we achieve success. Today I would like to share my experience when I tried something new but was not very successful.

When was It?

This was the time of my sister’s birthday in the previous year. I was too excited and wanted to do something special for her. She has always been an inspiration for me and guided me in my hard times. I wanted to organize a memorable birthday party for her.

What You Tried?

My sister loves white sauce pasta and I have a knack for cooking. Therefore I decided to cook it for her. I also decided to invite all our cousins and her best friend.

Why was it Not Very Successful?

I invited everyone and then went shopping with my mom. I purchased all the necessary decorations, ordered a cake, bought a dress and bought all the ingredients for my white sauce pasta.

I was going to try it for the first time but I didn’t have the time to try it before the party. The day came and everything was going according to the plan. My sister looks elated by my preparations. And when she heard I was going to make a white sauce pasta she was super excited.

In the evening I started my cooking. I added butter, flour to the pan then roasted it. Then I pour some milk into it and let it simmer for some time. Then I added cheese, sauteed vegetables, pasta, pepper and salt. Everything was delicious and the smell was beautiful.

Soon my dish was ready and I served my quest. When they started eating it they didn’t seem that satisfied. I was confused and tried one bite of it. I realized it was not the white sauce pasta we have tried but was very different from it.

I got the consistency wrong and the proportions of the ingredients were also wrong. I was cooking it for the first time, therefore, I didn’t realize how I should make it perfect.

What were Your Feelings?

I was so sad that my eyes were full of water. My sister and cousins saw it and consoled me. Then said it was tasty even though the consistency was wrong. They applauded my efforts and praised me for making it like it even when I never tried it.

Then also share their experiences when they failed cooking. Soon the environment was light again and we all had a good time. We laughed together and danced also.

Then my sister told me not to get depressed and keep trying it till I succeed. I realized it and made a promise that I will keep trying it again and again.

Also Read: Describe a Family which You Like and are Happy to Know: IELTS Cue Card Sample Answers 2021-2022


A cue card is not a difficult test and you can easily clear it with proper strategy and preparation. All you need to do is try to solve as many questions as you can. Also try to improve your conversation skills by practising it with your friends, siblings or even in front of a mirror.

To achieve your desired band scale visit IELTS Ninja. It is a website for candidates who want to ace their English proficiency test. Here you will find different courses, expert mentors and guidance for your IELTS preparation. It also covers other tests such as PTE, TOEFL, etc.

Also Read: Vocabulary Words for IELTS Speaking: List of Topic Related Vocabulary with Examples

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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