IELTS Cue Card Topic:
Describe an interesting or unusual thing you did recently (in your free time)
You should say
- What you did
- When and where you did it
- Who you did it with
- And explain why you think it was interesting or unusual
Band 8.0+ Sample Answer
In all seriousness, between school and the office where I am working as an intern, I barely have time for entertainment. Though, when I do, I take it seriously. Once or twice, I managed to get out of the city and indulged myself in secluded areas where Internet service and its distracting minions like social media and advertising emails ceased to exist. My latest sweet escape was my trip to Binh Ba island last summer.
Binh Ba was one of the four deserted, yet beautiful islands located in Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam due to little exposure to tourism. This, however, would change drastically within the next few years since Binh Ba had been drawing lots of attention thanks to positive feedbacks from those who had wandered there. I went to Binh Ba alone just to take a break from the fast-paced city life and to have time to contemplate myself, which I rarely did with people around. It had been an intriguing 2-day journey full of surprises. That was the first time I traveled alone, first time riding on a speedboat, first time scuba diving and first time having dinner with a life jacket on my back and crystal clear water as my dining room. Additionally, seafood here was a bomb which came in different kinds and varieties. People I met during my stay at a villager’s house were ultra-friendly and helpful, both locals and visitors whom shared their stories as though you were their long-lost friend stopping by to catch up. And there was nothing better than enjoying great company over a nice meal and bonfire.
Binh Ba left an unforgettable impression on me where I learnt to appreciate precious moments with those I cared about and be grateful for whatever life had to offer. Life is tough but it would be lifeless without it toughness.
Vocabulary & Useful Expression
- in all seriousness = very serious
In all seriousness, I don’t take it well when people give rude comments without a sound reason.
- barely = rarely: almost not
Ex: Jim barely knows anyone when first moving to the new city.
- cease (+to): bring to an end:
Ex: Those talented artists never ceased to amaze the world with their masterpieces.
- take something/ someone seriously: regard someone or something as important and worthy of attention
Ex: Nowadays, people are taking environmental issue more and more seriously.
- manage to do something: succeed in doing something, especially something difficult
Ex: Alex managed to close the deal with XYZ company after several times of rejection.
- indulge in: allow yourself to have or do something that you like, especially something that is considered bad for you
Ex: She got herself indulged in some serious unhealthy diet after her latest breakup.
- secluded = deserted: quiet and private; not used or disturbed by other people
Ex: That secluded island is suitable for those who need to get away from busy life in big city.
- (little) exposure to: the state of being in a place or situation where there is no protection from something harmful or unpleasant
Ex: Local tribes in those mountainous area have little exposure to civilization.
- drastically (adv): extremely
Ex: The weather has changed drastically within the last few years.
- draw someone’s attention: attract someone to notice
Ex: Ally’s amazing transformation has finally drawn Tim’s attention, whom she always has had a huge crush on since forever.
- (positive/ constructive/ negative) feedback: advice, criticism or information about how good or useful something or somebody’s work is
Ex: I usually receive constructive feedback from my boss about how to improve my work or productivity, which I find very appreciative.
- take a break (from): to rest or cease temporarily from something
Ex: He took a break after 4 consecutive hours working on the project.
- contemplate: to think deeply about something for a long time
Ex: Everyone should have sometime to contemplate and reflect themselves once in a while to truly understand who they are as a person.
- intriguing = interesting
- long-lost friend: friend you haven’t met for a long time
Ex: She is my long-lost cousin whom I haven’t seen for ages.
- good/ great company: someone who people enjoy spending time with
Ex: Nick was a great company when we met during my trip to Sapa last year.
- unforgettable impression: a feeling/ opinion one gets which is hard to forget
Ex: She left an unforgettable impression on me at the party last night.
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