In this article, you will learn how to describe some good news for the IELTS test. This article is designed to get you familiar with part two of the IELTS speaking test and will go into depth on how to come up with a good response to the IELTS cue card titled: “Describe some good news you received recently”.
Understanding the Test
In part two of the IELTS speaking test, the candidates are given a candidate cue card that contains the information they are required to speak about. Candidates are given one minute to plan out their answer. During this minute, candidates can make notes about the answer they want to give. Once they have planned their answer during the allotted one minute, the candidates will then give their answer. They are given between one to two minutes to do this.
Cue Card – Describe Some Good News
For the purpose of this article, we will be using the following cue card:
Describe some good news you received recently.
You should say:
– when and where you received the news
– what the news was
– how you heard about it
and explain how it felt to receive this good news
The candidate cue card you will receive will have a question like the one mentioned above. When you look closely at the question, you will see that there are two parts to it. The first part, which is highlighted in bold, is the overall task that you are supposed to do. The second part mentions the specific details of the question that you are supposed to answer.
While we are on this topic, it is essential to note that the task card should be read very carefully. The candidate should read it thoroughly and comprehend the question. If the card is read hastily, this will lead to giving an incorrect answer.
Breaking Down the Components
This step is where we will learn how to plan the answer. After reading the card thoroughly, the first step a candidate should take is to think of any good news they have received. This can be any good news, no matter how big or small it is. Quick thinking is required in this step. Here are some examples of good news that one can write on:
- My aunt gave birth to a new baby girl
- I got promoted at my job.
- My brother broke the record for the highest marks in his school exam.
- I got selected in my college’s football team
These are just a few examples. The process of coming up with good news is important as the entire answer one gives about will be planned according to this.
In this step, the candidate is given one minute to think about their answer and make notes. So as soon as you come up with any good news, the next step is to plan your answer. Planning is essential because it will give your answer the polished, articulate touch you are hoping to achieve.
While planning the answer, it is important to make notes. However, one minute is inadequate to jot down detailed notes. Instead, the candidate should write key words which he/she could then use as a reference. From the above examples, we will be choosing the good news of getting selected for a university football team. Ideal notes for the answer could look something like this:
- Passionate as a child
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Inter-college tournament
- Football coach
- Bulletin board
As you can see above, I have used keywords instead of writing full sentences. This way, one can easily save time and recall important pieces of information that are relevant to the story. The candidate should also keep in mind that all the specific details of the questions need to be answered. Hence, while making notes the candidate should keep in mind that he/she needs to connect these keywords in such a way that all the bullet points on the cue card are answered.
In this step, the candidate needs to say their answer. If the above-mentioned points are carefully followed, the candidate can come up with a coherent and well thought out answer. Here is my sample answer to the question on the cue card, “describe some good news your received recently.”
I have been playing football since I was a little child. Even back then, I used to get excited at even the smallest good news I heard about this sport. For example, when I heard that my favorite player Cristiano Ronaldo had won the player of the year award, I screamed with joy. So it is quite evident that I had developed a deep passion for football.
When I came to college two months ago, I wanted to pursue this passion and play for the football team. This was a dream of mine because our college football team was one of the best in the city. They used to win every inter-college tournament and the squad was comprised of extremely talented players. When I heard that the team was looking for new recruits, I immediately signed up for the tryouts.
After the tryouts, the football coach of the team announced that the results would come out in a week. I remember it was Friday, just three days after the tryouts, when I was sitting in the computer lab finishing my assignment when my closest friend came to me. He had a bright smile on his face and told me I had been selected in the football team and that I should go and check the bulletin board outside the sports center. At first, I was confused because there were still 4 days till the results would be announced. However, curiosity got the better of me and I ran towards the sports center. There, I found on the bulletin board, the list of members recruited by the football team, and my name was on it.
Feelings of immense joy overcame me, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had been dreaming about playing for this team for a long time and now my dream had finally come true. All the hard work that I had put in by practicing for the tryouts paid off. It was one of the happiest days of my life. However, I knew that this was just the beginning of my journey and I had a long way to go. I was determined to practice more and more and lead my new team to success!
Explaining the Answer
There are many points to take away from the answer above. Firstly, you can see that the bullet points proved really helpful. It helps one connect the dots and come up with a clear, coherent answer. The bullet points represent the train of thought of the person and if they are well written, one can easily provide a good answer.
Secondly, the answer addresses all the specific descriptions mentioned on the cue card. The first description required was to mention when and where I heard the news. From the answer above, you can see that it is mentioned it was a Friday, three days after the try outs when I heard the news. It is also mentioned that I heard the news in the computer lab. Hence, the questions of when and where are answered. The second description requires stating what the news was, and that is pretty straightforward – the news was getting accepted into the football team. The third description required stating how you heard about the news. This was also pretty straightforward, as my friend told me the news. The last description required was to explain how you felt about the good news. As you can see from the last paragraph, I have detailed the emotions I went through when I heard the news and how it made me feel.
Lastly, it is important to describe your answer as well as you can. A detailed description will always sound better as it presents a clear picture of what you are trying to say.
This answer dealt with the topic of football. You might be interested in my lesson on describing a sportsperson. You can also see some other sports-related articles here.