IELTS Speaking Cue Card (September 2017): Important Event in Country’s History.

history IELTS PTE

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Describe an event that was important in your country’s history. Please say

– What was the event?
– Was there a person who played the main role in the event?
– Why was it so important, in your opinion?


Invest one minute in brainstorming about this topic’s questions. If you’ve not read my advice on developing each answer in a proper way, please read the lesson on speaking.

PLUS, you can implement the idea of collocations in this answer. Here is the link to a truly useful article: Lessons in speaking – collocations.

Let me present a few hints to this question and resist the tendency to write a complete answer. You’ll have about one minute to prepare the answer. Use that time wisely to write about six to eight points that you plan to elaborate during the two-minute conversation with the examiner.

The first question is fairly simple to answer. A few caveats though.

  1. Do not give a one-word answer. Don’t just say “Jallianwala Bagh” (in India) or “Pearl Harbour” (in the U.S.A)
  2. Do not say “The historical event I would like to talk about is ….” This is a blunder. I consider this Harakiri (a suicide).
  3. Give an opening statement. A general one. For instance, “I’m a history admirer/ follower and I’ve read numerous events in the history of China. An event I consider the most important is ……” Or, if you do not like History, “I’m not a history follower. However, last week I attended a seminar on the South African history in which an author discussed the ……….”

The second question demands naming a person who played an important role. Again, the biggest mistake is to give a one-word answer or repeating the question statement: “The person who played the main role was ….” DON’T do that.

You can simply say I’m not a history follower. However, last week I attended a seminar on the South African history in which an author discussed the ………. in which Nelson Mandela played the central role. 

While planning, note down at least four points why the event was important in you country’s history. Write down the importance in short-crisp words and not in sentences. For instance, the four points on “Attack on Pearl Harbour” will include.

  1. U.S naval base – Hawaii, Pacific
  2. Japanese Attack – U.S.A, early 1940s
  3. Shock to Americans.
  4. World War 2 – U.S enters.

Note that all the points are in a chronological order and not in a haphazard manner. Once you’re sure of these points, present them in the form of sentences.

Pearl Harbour, a U.S naval base in Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, was attacked by the Japanese fighter planes in the early 1940s. The attack came as a surprise to the Americans since the country was neutral and had not sided with either the Allies or the Axis. In response to this attack, the U.S. joined hands with the Allies to defeat Germany and Japan in the World War 2.

Simple. Clean. Planned.

Follow-up questions.

  1. Why is learning history important?
  2. How can people learn history nowadays?
  3. Are there any other ways to do it?
  4. What is the role of museums in history study?

Ask any doubts in the comments box below.

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