Describe Something You Received for Free: IELTS Cue Card

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Updated on Jul 04, 2024, 07:55

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


For the topic "Describe Something You Received for Free," you’ll want to focus on a memorable item or experience that you got without any cost. This could be a gift, a promotional item, a scholarship, or even a service that significantly impacted you. Consider discussing the context in which you received it, its importance to you, and how it has influenced your life.


To help you with this, I’ll share some strategies and sample answers that can guide you in structuring your response effectively.

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1. Describe Something You Received for Free: 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 Something You Received for Free: Sample Answers

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

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3. Describe Something You Received for Free: Follow-up Questions

During this segment, the examiner may ask follow-up questions that explore various aspects of the positive change you described. These questions may delve into the reasons behind the change, its impact on your life, challenges faced, comparisons with other experiences, and implications for the future.

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Describe Something You Received for Free: 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 Something You Received for Free

You should say:

  • What was it?
  • Who did you receive it from?
  • When and where did you receive it?



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


Introduction (Covers: When and where did you receive it?)


  • Start by mentioning what you received for free.
  • Provide a brief context or background of the situation.


Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest (Covers: Who did you receive it from?)


  • Detail the circumstances under which you received the item or experience.
  • Include specific details to paint a vivid picture for the examiner.


Key Highlights (Covers: What was it?)


  • Explain the reasons behind receiving the item or experience.
  • Discuss any emotions or thoughts you had during the experience.




  • Reflect on the personal significance or impact of the item or experience.
  • Summarise how it has benefited or changed you.


Following this structure, you can provide a well-rounded and engaging response to the cue card topic "Describe Something You Received for Free." 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 Something You Received for Free: Sample Answers

Sample answers are important for the IELTS speaking section, especially for prompts like ‘ Describe Something You Received for Free.’ 


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: When and where did you receive it?)


  • I’d like to talk about a time when I received a free book. This happened last year during a book fair in my city, Pune.

Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest  (Covers: Who did you receive it from?)


  • I went to the book fair with my friend Rajesh. As we were exploring the different stalls, we came across one that was promoting Indian authors. 
  • They were running a special offer where they were giving away free copies of newly published books by emerging Indian writers. 
  • I was lucky to receive a book titled "The Journey Within" by Ananya Singh.


Key Highlights (Covers: What was it?)


  • I received the book because I was one of the first few visitors to the stall that day.
  • The book was beautifully written and touched upon themes of self-discovery and personal growth. 
  • Reading it was a transformative experience for me. It inspired me to reflect on my life and make positive changes.




  • This free book turned out to be a significant gift. It not only provided me with hours of enjoyable reading but also helped me gain new perspectives on life. 
  • I’m grateful for that opportunity, and it has encouraged me to explore more works by Indian authors.



Describe Something You Received for Free: Follow-up Questions

After you finish speaking about the topic on the cue card, the examiner will engage you in a discussion or follow-up segment. This part involves having a more in-depth conversation with the examiner, allowing you to elaborate on your initial response, provide detailed explanations, and engage in a more spontaneous conversation. 

Follow-Up Question 1

Question 1. Why do you think companies give away free items?


Answer 1: I believe companies give away free items as a marketing strategy. It helps them attract potential customers and create awareness about their products. When people receive free samples, they are more likely to try and eventually purchase the product if they like it.


Answer 2: Companies often give away free items to build brand loyalty. By offering something for free, they create a positive impression and can encourage word-of-mouth recommendations. This approach can effectively gain new customers and retain existing ones.

Follow-Up Question 2

Question 2:  Have you ever given something away for free? If so, what and why?


Answer 1: Yes, I once gave away my old textbooks to a younger student in my neighbourhood. I did this because the books were still in good condition, and I knew they would be useful to someone else. It felt good to help and ensure the books were put to good use.


Answer 2: I have given away clothes that I no longer wear to a local charity. I wanted to contribute to the community and help those in need. It’s a small way to give back and support people who might not have the means to buy new clothes.

Follow-Up Question 3

Question 3: Do you think receiving free items can influence people's opinions? How?


Answer 1: Yes, receiving free items can significantly influence people's opinions. When people get something for free, they often feel a sense of gratitude and positive sentiment towards the brand. This can lead to a favourable impression and an increased likelihood of purchasing other products from the same company.


Answer 2: Absolutely, free items can shape people's perceptions. For instance, if the free product is of high quality, it can enhance the brand's reputation and encourage trust. Conversely, if the free item is subpar, it can negatively impact how people view the brand.

Follow-Up Question 4

Question 4: What are the benefits and drawbacks of receiving free items?



Answer 1: The benefits of receiving free items include trying new products without any financial risk and the excitement of getting something for free. However, the drawbacks might include a sense of obligation to purchase more from the brand or the possibility of receiving items that are not genuinely useful.



Answer 2: Receiving free items is beneficial as it allows consumers to test products before making a purchase, leading to better buying decisions. On the downside, it might create unnecessary clutter if the free items are not needed or wanted.


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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.



Q. Can I ask the examiner to explain the topic if I don't understand it?

Ans. Yes, you can ask the examiner to explain or clarify the topic if you do not understand it. However, the examiner cannot provide extensive explanations or give examples.

Q. Is it okay to use personal experiences in my speech?

Ans. Yes, using personal experiences is encouraged as it can make your speech more interesting and easier to talk about. Just make sure to stay on topic and address the task card prompts.