Describe Something That Surprised You

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe something that surprised you.

You should say:

What it is?
How you found out about it?
What you did?
And explain whether it made you happy?

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:


  • Life is full of surprises, some good and some bad.

What it is?

  • However, today I would like to talk about a situation which was completely unexpected.

How you found out about it?

  • In my 10th standard, I took part in a Maths Olympiad.
  • I am good at maths, but I was nowhere near good enough to get a medal in the Olympiad.
  • I took part just for getting the participation certificate.
  • Anyways, on the day of the Olympiad, I had a school exam as well for which I had to study the whole night.

What you did?

  • The Olympiad was after my school exam from 2 to 5 PM.
  • After my school exam, I was so tired that I wanted to skip the competition.
  • However, I went for it because my teachers convinced me that I should.
  • In that drowsy state, I did what I could.
  • It was a multiple choice exam and I barely attempted 40 questions out of 100.
  • For the rest of the questions, I just marked a random option as there was no negative marking.
  • After a few days, I got a call from the Olympiad Organisers that I had won a Silver medal.
  • At first, I thought it was a prank by my friends as they knew what was my state that day.
  • After the call, I started thinking which of my friends was to blame and how I would get back at him.

And explain whether it made you happy?

  • To be honest, in my mind, I had even formed an idea who it was.
  • However, the next day, my class teacher announced that I had won a medal in the competition in the whole exam.
  • I was in utter shock.
  • Nevertheless, I pretended that I had expected it all along.
  • I didn’t tell anyone about it for many days.
  • But I really loved the attention and respect I got from my classmates.
  • They thought I was a maths wiz.
  • However, my happiness slowly transformed to guilt as I felt I didn’t deserve it.


  • At last, when I shared with my friends that I think I just got lucky with guesswork, they didn’t believe me at all.
  • They thought I was being humble.

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 something that surprised you”.

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