Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college - Cue Card

IELTS Cue Card - Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college
Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college

You should say:

  • When did you learn it?
  • How did you learn it?
  • Why did you think it was important to learn it?
  • How you felt when you learnt it?

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answers and follow up questions to Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college IELTS Cue Card:

Sample Answer 1

The pursuit of information is one of my primary interests since I like to think outside the box and am an innovator.

I'd like to share here an invaluable lesson I picked up somewhere other than formal education. The ability to cook is a must-have.

Cooking is something that has attracted me ever since I was a kid. So, I usually help my mom out in the kitchen while watching culinary tutorials on YouTube.

How long have you known it?

The summer vacation that I had just two months ago seems like yesterday. I had finally finished school and could focus on other things. So, I've made it a goal of mine to sharpen my cooking abilities. Just like my mom's skilled hand in the kitchen. She is well-versed in three different cuisines, namely, Italian, Chinese, and Indian.

How did you pick that up? and Why did you consider it necessary to study it?

Baking, she told me, is the foundation of all other types of cooking, so I made it a point to master it. Consequently, I began by mastering the art of baking, and afterwards, the technique of preparing authentic Indian cuisine. Because I consider eating to be one of life's most fundamental need, and therefore the ability to prepare one's own meal is an essential skill.

In addition, I plan on pursuing my higher education abroad, and I believe that cooking skills will be an asset. In addition, I subscribed to a couple of cooking programs on YouTube, which proved to be really informative.

Can you remember how you felt when you first found out?

I was on cloud nine after mastering the art of cooking in just one month. Now I can cook up some truly delectable dishes from a variety of cuisines.

This is the single most important takeaway from my domestic and online life.

Sample Answer 2


There's no ignoring the fact that a lot of the knowledge and abilities we get in school help us steer our life toward a spectacular upward curve.

Even though I have acquired several talents at school, there is one that I learned in the safety and security of my own home.

How long have you known it?

In 2022, a lockdown was instituted due to the coronavirus and was ordered by higher authorities. As I had plenty of time on my hands at home, I decided to put it to good use by educating myself in the culinary arts.

How did you pick that up?

When I first started learning how to cook, I watched a lot of tutorials on YouTube. That was very helpful in learning about the many different herbs, veggies, spices, etc.

After that, I lean on my mom for help. With her help, I got lunch ready for the family. Having never cooked before, I found the endeavor to be quite challenging; nonetheless, my diligence paid off, and after just three months I was able to cook like a pro.

Tell me why you thought it was significant to acquire this knowledge.

It was crucial that I understand this since, for starters, it helped me better manage my time.

Second, I intend to pursue graduate studies in a foreign country. The ability to cook means I can take my comfort meal with me wherever I go.

What were your first impressions like?

That sensation was really amazing. It was a huge weight off my shoulders after I mastered this technique. I can quickly prepare the mouthwatering dish of my choice.

In addition, my health has greatly improved as a result of learning this new talent because I have become much more informed about the nutritional value of various food elements.

As a result of my education, I was able to provide my family with nutritious home-cooked meals.

Sample Answer 3


Though I have learnt a lot from my professors, one of the most important things I know was not taught in school but rather acquired via experience.

How long have you known it?

My nation was on lockdown a year ago because of the corona pandemic. I was confined to my house for six months while the general public was not allowed to leave their neighborhoods.

I wanted to put my free time to good use, so I picked up a book that my friend Andrew had given me. The title of the book is "The Compound Effect," and Darren Hardy is the author.

One of the most important things I took away from this book was the importance of consistently completing minor chores with diligence, focus, and self-control in order to propel one's life along a path of remarkable development.

The odds of success are low if we put in a lot of work inefficiently.

How did you pick that up?

I paid close attention while reading and implemented many of the ideas presented. As a result of following the book's advice, I found success. You could say they were a success.

Tell me why you thought it was significant to acquire this knowledge.

Because I used to work hard, but only in spurts, the ability to put in regular, little amounts of effort was crucial for me to acquire.

My life has undergone a radical transformation as a result of this new information, and I am rapidly progressing along the path to success.

What were your first impressions like?

After gaining this knowledge, I understood that human life is actually quite straightforward, but we make things difficult for ourselves by going against the natural order. The universality of the compound effect is one of its striking features.

Part 3 of the IELTS Speaking Exam: Questions to Ask After a Speaker Finishes

Here are some sample follow-up questions that the examiner may ask you about the cue card "Describe an important thing you learned, not at school or college" during the speaking section 3 of the exam.

How do parents influence their children's development?
The children's parents are the first and most important educators. They pick up a lot of wisdom from their mom and dad. It is the parents that teach their children everything from language and socialization to eating and dressing habits and behavior norms. Essentially, kids learn from watching their parents do anything.

Do some well-behaved kids have good parents?
Personally, I do believe that parents bear some of the blame for their children's actions. Their children's actions, however, are also influenced by the media, peers, and educators.

Are we ever too old to learn?
It would get dull if people never learned anything new, that's for sure. In addition, you need to constantly expand your knowledge base in order to keep up with the rapid pace of modern life. A teacher by profession, my mom is an educator. She had to use Zoom for both her own education and her teaching during the covid era, when traditional classrooms were unavailable. She would have been fired if she hadn't done so.

4. What opportunities exist for gaining new knowledge?
Well, we can always turn to the tried-and-true methods, such as taking evening classes, consulting an expert friend or family member, or reading a do-it-yourself book. Then there are the contemporary options, such as seeing related videos on YouTube or conducting an internet search. To further one's education, there has never been a better moment than the present.

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