IELTS CUE CARD #Describe a book that had a major influence on you

Describe a book that had a major influence on you.

You should say:

  • what the book was
  • how you first heard of the book
  • what is the main story of the book

and why it plays such an important role in your life.

Sample Answer:

Reading has been a very integral part of my life. I try to read books as and when I can find time and my interests vary vividly, from philosophy to fantasy, horror to religions, non-fiction to autobiography. The book that has changed my perspectives and helped me become a better person is Autobiography of a Yogi written by the celebrated philosopher guru Paramahansa Yogananda.

I found that most of the religious societies and philosophers highly recommend it due to the values it helps inculcate in the young minds. Fans have recommended this book all over the internet.‘ Some people even commented that this is the best book ever written in the century. I decided in my head that this  should be on number 1 of my reading list. I ordered the book immediately from amazon and it was delivered to me in  a week. I started reading it the same day.

The book was first published in 1946  in New York, USA and archived in the philosophers library. The book was an international success and reached No. 1 position on the New York Times best-selling book list. Autobiography of a Yogi talks about the life of Paramahansa Yogananda and his numerous encounters with spiritual figures of both the East and West. The book begins with his childhood, to finding his guru, to becoming a rebellious monk and establishing his teachings of Kriya Yoga meditation. The book further talks about 1920 when Yogananda accepts an invitation to speak in a religious congress in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He then travels across America lecturing and establishing his teachings in Los Angeles, California. In 1935 he revisits  India for a year. When he returns to America, he continues to establish his teachings, including writing this book. The book is an enchanting source for understanding  the methods of attaining God-realization .The author also announces that the writing of the book was prophesied long ago by the nineteenth-century master Lahiri Mahasaya.

The story telling of author is magical and brief. With Every passing page the urge to read more increased which further tempted me gather more knowledge about the same man. Not for a single moment, I could have stopped thinking about the events and characters of the books and that had a breath-taking influence on me. The characters have their own charismatic powers and followed their own paths and that was such a huge inspiration.

The story was told like a good story teller should and I thought it was a wonderful read. It surely left a powerful lasting impression on me. (427 words)



IELTS Listening Sample Questions # Surf and Turf

Surf and turf is a kind of food which contains both seafood and meat, typically shellfish and steak. It also refers to the habit of shopping where a person puts things into the basket but never buys them in real life. This time we are listening to the BBC 6 minutes English where the speaker talks about surf and turf.

Listen to the audio below and answer the following questions –

  1. Which term is used for looking at things on the internet?
  2. In online shopping, which place is it, where we pay for shopping?
  3. What is the phrasal verb for “throwing something out”?
  4. According to a recent research, which items are most likely to be surfed and turfed?
  5. What are the businesses that sell things called?
  6. Which term is used for something that is too old or no longer suitable?
  7. Which expression is used for online shopping without having to shop in reality?

  1. surfing
  2. checkout
  3. turfing
  4. women’s knitwear
  5. retailers
  6. fall foul
  7. surf and turf

IELTS Speaking Part 3: questions related to parties/celebrations

IELTS Speaking Part 3: questions related to parties/celebrations

Question. 1: What are the main reasons why people organise family parties in your country?

Answer: Family parties are very popular in my country. Most People organize special parties on birthdays and marriage anniversaries. Some young adults give parties after getting good grades in their exams or after being promoted to a high level position.

Question 2: In some places people spend a lot of money on parties that celebrate special family events. Is this ever true in your country? Do think this is a good trend or a bad trend?

Answer: Yes, wealthy people in my country throw lavish parties to celebrate special family functions. The pictures of their parties are often shown in newspapers. Even though it’s their own money, I feel that it’s a disturbing trend. It promotes discrimination in society and widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

Question 3: Are there many differences between family parties and parties given by friends? Why do you think this is?

Answer: Yes, there are. Family parties tend to be more formal as compared to parties organized by friends. Social decorum and elegance both are maintained in family functions. On the other hand, people feel freer in the parties of their friends. They normally don’t mind too much drinking or dancing, but in family functions any kind of misbehaviour can create a lot of problems.

National celebrations

Question 4: What kinds of national celebrations do you have in your country?

Answer: My country has two main national celebrations: the Independence Day and the Republic Day. The Independence Day is celebrated on 15th August and the Republic Day is celebrated on 26th January.

Question 5: Why do some people think that national celebrations are a waste of government money? Would you agree or disagree with this view? Why?

Answer: Some governments spend huge sums of money on national celebrations. If a country is facing problems like unemployment, illiteracy, poverty or poor infrastructure, then people will certainly complain about the money spent on national functions. In my view, the government should focus on the development of the nation rather than showcasing their military might in national celebrations.


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IELTS Cue Card Sample Answer # Concentration

Describe something that helps you concentrate. You should say –

  • what is it?
  • how does it helps you to concentrate?
  • how do you use it?

also, explain, when did you discovered it is the best method for you?


For a very long period of time, I had concentration issues and was not able to focus on one thing for a long period of time. I remember, being miserable at job and relationships until one day while reading an article, I read that the best way to be able to concentrate is to have a routine. Once you have a routine which includes exercise and proper nutrition, you can focus better.

I tried going to gym and even jogging only to find solace in yoga. I joined yoga at a near by place and have been doing it for few months now. Doing yoga in the morning not only provides me the right mindset required for the entire day but also calms me from any thoughts of the past. There are different yoga techniques that we do in the morning, but the best part is there are some I can try while working as well.

For instance, when I am really tired at work I try pulling up and down my toes. It not only relaxes my toes but also helps in making me concentrate better. Yoga has taught me that life is more than just have a great body, it is more about the balance in life.

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