Describe An Important Thing You Learned, Not At School Or College

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college.

You should say:

When did you learn it?
How did you learn it?
Why did you think it was important to learn it?
How you felt when you learnt it?

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer 1:

Indeed, learning is life long process, and as an innovative person, I love to grab knowledge regarding every concept.

Here, I would like to talk about an important thing I have learnt, not in school or college. That crucial thing is cooking.

Actually, I have been interested in cooking since my childhood. So, I generally watch cooking videos on youtube and help my mother with kitchen chores.

When did you learn it?
I remember two months ago, there was my summer vacation. At that time, I was free from my academics. So I have decided to improve my culinary skills. As my mother gifted hand in cooking. She knows how to cook Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisines.

How did you learn it? and Why did you think it was important to learn it?
My mother recommended me to learn baking as its the most important part of cooking. So, I started to learn baking first, then I learnt to cook Indian food. Because I think that cooking is an integral part of every individual’s life as food is the basic necessity of human being.

Moreover, I want to go overseas for my higher education, and having knowledge about cooking would be fruitful for me. Besides, I followed a few cookery channels on youtube, which helped me alot.

How you felt when you learnt it?
Within one month, I learned all ins and outs of cooking and felt on cloud nine. Now, I can prepare different cuisines, which would be quite delicious.

Overall, this is the pivotal thing I have learned from home and social media.

Model Answer 2:


  • I think life is full of learning.
  • We start learning the day we are born and we don’t stop till the day we die.
  • I have learnt many things in my life and one of the most important things I learnt recently was cooking.
  • Normally, my mother cooks in my house, and when she is sick or she doesn’t feel like cooking, we order out.

When did you learn it? and Why did you think it was important to learn it?

  • However, now I am planning to go abroad for my higher education.
  • So, I felt that it is necessary for me to learn cooking to survive abroad.
  • I did not need to be an expert, but I needed to be good enough to satisfy my taste.
  • My mother is an amazing cook, so of course, I thought of learning it from her.
  • Unfortunately, my mother is not as good a teacher.
  • She used to get really mad when I made even small mistakes.

How did you learn it?

  • So, I decided to employ the use of technology to learn it or in other words, cooking channels on YouTube.
  • I found a really good channel, which showed how to cook simple vegetarian dishes like dal and mixed vegetables.

How you felt when you learnt it?

  • Then, I learnt how to make rotis.
  • Now I can make perfectly circular rotis like my mother.
  • After learning the basic Indian recipes, I moved on to baking because I love eating cakes.
  • Again, I found a really amazing channel called – cooking with sugar.
  • Baking was tough at first, I think even small mistakes can be costly in baking.
  • The damage is irreversible too.
  • I remember once I forgot to add flour to my cake batter and kept on wondering how I ended up making a chocolate bar instead of a cake.
  • However, now, I have started making really tasty cakes.
  • My dark chocolate cake is a special request for family events.


  • All my life, I dreaded cooking. Now that I have learnt it, I rather enjoy it.
  • It is not a chore anymore, but rather something I look forward to.
  • Of course, I don’t have to cook every day.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college”.

1. What do children learn from their parents?
Parents are children’s first teachers. They learn so many things from their parents. They learn even the basic things like how to talk, how to eat, how to dress, and how to behave from their parents. In fact, everything parents do in front of their children teaches them something.

2. Are some children well-behaved because of their parents?
Yes, I think parents are responsible for their children’s behaviour to a large extent. However, they are not the only ones responsible for their children’s behaviour, it also depends upon other factors like media and their friends and teachers.

3. Is it necessary for adults to learn new things?
Yes, I think life would be boring if people stopped learning. Moreover, today life is changing so fast, that it is paramount to learn new things to survive. My mother is a teacher. During covid times, when classroom education was not possible, she had to learn and teach through Zoom. If she didn’t, she would have lost her job.

4. What are the options for learning new things?
Well, there are traditional methods of learning new things like joining evening classes or asking a friend or relative to guide us or reading do it yourself books. Then, there are the modern methods like watching YouTube channels or searching on google. There has never been a better time to learn something new than today.


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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