Describe a Birthday Party: IELTS Cue Card

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Updated on Jul 05, 2024, 06:51

In the IELTS Speaking test, Part 2, you’ll be asked to speak about a topic for up to two minutes. This part, often called the cue card or individual long run, assesses your ability to speak fluently and coherently on a specific subject.


For the topic "Describe a Birthday Party," you'll want to focus on a memorable birthday celebration that left a lasting impression on you. It could be your own birthday or someone else's, a grand event or a simple gathering. Think about the details that made it special, such as the decorations, the people who attended, the activities, and any surprises that took place.


To help you prepare effectively, I’ll share some strategies and a sample answer that can guide you in structuring your response.

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1. Describe a Birthday Party: How to Answer?

When the cue card section starts, the examiner will introduce the topic and hand you the cue card. You will have 1 minute to prepare your response. Use this time wisely to plan your structure and gather your thoughts. The examiner will then ask you to start speaking. You should speak for 1-2 minutes without interruption.

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2. Describe a Birthday Party: Sample Answers

Sample answers are crucial for IELTS preparation, particularly for topics like ‘Describe a Birthday Party’ ’ They provide practical examples of structuring responses within time limits, articulating thoughts clearly, and concluding effectively. 

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3. Describe a Birthday Party: Follow-up Questions

Anticipate the examiner to pose follow-up questions that investigate various aspects of the positive change you described. These questions might probe into the reasons for the change, its impact on your life, challenges encountered, comparisons with other experiences, and implications for the future.


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Describe a Birthday Party: How to Answer?

When the cue card section begins, the examiner will hand you a card with a topic and some prompts. You will have one minute to prepare your response and can make notes. 


Cue Card/Topic: Describe a Birthday Party

You should say:

  • Whose birthday it was?
  • Who attended the party?
  • Where did it take place?
  • And describe the party.



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This structure helps you stay organised and covers all topic aspects clearly and logically.


Introduction (Covers: Whose birthday it was?)


  • Briefly introduce the birthday party you are going to talk about.
  • Mention whose birthday it was and why it was significant.


Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest (Covers: Where did it take place? / Who attended the party?)


  • Talk about when and where the party took place.
  • Describe the preparations and the atmosphere of the party.
  • Mention who attended and any special activities or highlights.


Key Highlights (Covers: Describe the party )


  • Focus on the most memorable moments of the party.
  • Describe any unique or unexpected events.
  • Talk about how you felt during these moments.




  • Summarise why this birthday party was special to you.
  • Reflect on the impact it had on you or the birthday person.


Following this structure, you can provide a well-rounded and engaging response to the cue card topic "Describe a Birthday Party." This approach helps ensure you make the most of your speaking time and effectively demonstrate your language skills.


IELTS Speaking Cue Card 2024 Topics With Samples


Describe a Birthday Party: Sample Answers

Sample answers are important for the IELTS speaking section, especially for prompts like ‘ Describe a Birthday Party.’ 


They clarify task requirements, demonstrating how to structure responses, what language to employ, and how to convey thoughts effectively within the time limit. 


Sample Answer 1
Sample Answer 2
Sample Answer 3

Introduction (Covers: Whose birthday it was?)


  • One of the most memorable birthday parties I attended was my friend Anjali’s 25th birthday celebration. 
  • It was significant because it was a surprise party that we had been planning for months.


Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest (Covers: Where did it take place? / Who attended the party?)


  • The party took place last December at a beautiful banquet hall in Mumbai. We chose the venue for its elegant decor and spaciousness, which are perfect for accommodating all of Anjali’s friends and family. 
  • The hall was adorned with fairy lights, colourful balloons, and a huge banner that read “Happy 25th Birthday, Anjali!” 
  • Everyone gathered early to ensure we were ready when she arrived.


Key Highlights (Covers: Describe the party)


  • The highlight of the evening was definitely the moment when Anjali walked in. Her expression of sheer surprise and joy was priceless. 
  • Another memorable moment was when we played a video montage of her childhood photos and messages from her loved ones. 
  • It brought tears to her eyes and created a heartfelt atmosphere. 
  • The dance floor was also a big hit, with everyone letting loose and having a great time.




  • This birthday party was special because it brought together so many people who cared about Anjali, and seeing her so happy made all our efforts worthwhile. 
  • It was a night filled with laughter, joy, and unforgettable memories. 
  • This experience reinforced the importance of friendship and celebrating milestones together.



Describe a Birthday Party: Follow-up Questions

In the IELTS Speaking test, Part 3 comes after the cue card round and entails a more in-depth discussion with the examiner. This phase assesses your capability to expand on your initial response, offer detailed explanations, and participate in a more spontaneous conversation. 



Follow-Up Question 1

Question 1. How have birthday celebrations changed over the years?


Answer 1: I've noticed that birthday celebrations have become more elaborate over the years. When I was younger, a simple cake and some games were enough. Nowadays, people hire event planners, have themed parties, and even rent out venues. The rise of social media also means that people put more effort into making their parties look impressive online.


Answer 2: In the past, birthday parties were usually small gatherings with close family and friends at home. Today, celebrations often include a larger guest list, professional decorations, and entertainment like magicians or DJs. Technology has also influenced this change, with many people using social media to share their celebrations instantly.

Follow-Up Question 2

Question 2:  Do you think celebrating birthdays is important? Why or why not?


Answer 1: Yes, I believe celebrating birthdays is important because it marks a significant milestone in a person’s life. It’s a time to reflect on the past year, appreciate the presence of loved ones, and look forward to the future. It also provides an opportunity to express gratitude and celebrate the individual's life.


Answer 2: Celebrating birthdays is important because it acknowledges a person's journey through life. It's a way to show appreciation and love for them, and it brings people together, strengthening relationships. Even simple celebrations can create lasting memories and give individuals a sense of belonging and joy.

Follow-Up Question 3

Question 3: What are the advantages and disadvantages of celebrating birthdays on a large scale?


Answer 1: One advantage of large-scale birthday celebrations is that they can be very memorable and enjoyable for everyone involved, creating a festive atmosphere. However, a disadvantage is that they can be quite expensive and time-consuming to organise. Additionally, they may put pressure on the host to meet high expectations.


Answer 2: The main advantage of celebrating birthdays on a large scale is the opportunity to bring many people together, which can make the occasion very special. On the downside, large parties can be stressful to plan and may lead to unnecessary spending. They might also shift the focus from the personal significance of the day to the extravagance of the event.

Follow-Up Question 4

Question 4: What are some cultural differences in how birthdays are celebrated?


Answer 1: In India, birthdays are often celebrated with a traditional ceremony, including rituals and blessings from elders, followed by a party. In contrast, in Western countries, celebrations are usually more informal, with a focus on cake, gifts, and entertainment. Different cultures also have unique customs, like breaking a piñata in Mexico or eating longevity noodles in China.


Answer 2: Cultural differences in birthday celebrations are quite fascinating. For example, in India, it’s common to start the day with a religious ceremony, while in the UK, people might celebrate with a pub gathering. In Japan, certain birthdays, like the 7th, 5th, and 3rd, are celebrated with special Shichi-Go-San ceremonies. These differences highlight the diverse ways people honour their special day.

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Q. What is IELTS Speaking Part 3?

Ans. IELTS Speaking Part 3 is a discussion between the candidate and the examiner on a range of topics related to Part 2. The discussion lasts 4-5 minutes, and the examiner asks follow-up questions about the candidate's Part 2 speech.

Q. What are some tips for preparing for IELTS Speaking Part 3?

Ans. Some tips for preparing for IELTS Speaking Part 3 are: practice discussing a range of topics with someone, read and listen to a variety of English language materials to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of different topics and be prepared to give your opinion and support it with reasons and examples.

Q. How is my performance evaluated?

Ans. Your performance is evaluated based on four criteria: Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource, Grammatical Range and Accuracy, and Pronunciation. Each criterion contributes to your overall band score for the speaking test.