Describe Something that Surprised you and Made you Happy IELTS Cue Card

Describe Something that Surprised you and Made you Happy IELTS Cue Card

Describe Something that Surprised you and Made you Happy IELTS Cue Card


Describe Something that Surprised you and Made you Happy

You should say:

What it was?
Who did this?
How you found out about it and what you did do?
And explain why it surprised you and made you happy.

NOTE – The examiner gives you one minute to plan your answerand to help you prepare for the topic, the examiner provides you with a pencil and a notepad. You’ll have to answer the questions given on the topic for one-to-two minutes

Sample Answer 1


It is a gospel truth that without surprises, our life becomes monotonous.

Although I have received a lot of surprises in my life, one of them is special, and hence it is worth mentioning.

What was it?

In 2020, due to the corona pandemic, there was a lockdown in my country, and only essential services could go out.

During that time, I spend six months of my life in the comforts of my home. My birthday was in June, and I was not enthusiastic about it because all bakeries and gift shops were closed due to the lockdown.

However, to my surprise, I got both a cake and a gift that day.

Who did this?

My parents and my younger sister planned this surprise to make the birthday special for me.

How you found out about it, and what did you do?

In the morning, when I woke up, I saw both the surprises on the side table. I was in immense joy, my family members joined me, and I cut the cake and unpacked the gift, it was a diamond ring, and after seeing it, I was on cloud nine.

And explain why it surprised you and made you happy.

It surprised me because no one in my family knew how to bake a cake, but my parents and my sister did the hard work of making a mouth-watering cake by watching a video on Youtube.

Seeing my dear ones making efforts to make me feel special made my day, and the fun I had that day will always remain etched in my memories.

Vocabulary from Sample Answer 1

1. Gospel truth

Meaning: A completely true statement

Sentence: Many people believe that consistency brings massive results is gospel truth because without regular actions we cannot climb the ladder to success.

2. Monotonous

Meaning: Repetitive and thus boring

Sentence: Although I am a hard-working person, I never indulge in monotonous tasks because I thrive primarily on change to perform efficiently.

3. Worth mentioning

Meaning: Important enough to require a comment.

Sentence: The role of Japan in today’s electronic market is worth mentioning. After world war 2 the Japanese learned a big lesson and they left no stone unturned in making technological breakthroughs.

4. Be etched on/in someone’s memory

Meaning: Memory which will not fade away with time

Sentence: A visit to my grandparents at my native place is always an emotionally enriching experience for me and the quality time spent with them will always remain etched in my memories.

Sample Answer 2


Feeling special and getting love and affection from near and dear ones are two of our essential needs, and both of them get accomplished when we receive a surprise from our close ones.

Although I have received a lot of surprises in life, one of them is special and worth mentioning.

What was it?

It was a car I received as a gift on my 18th birthday.

Who did this?

My father gifted the car to me. He promised me that he would gift me a bike on my 18th birthday, but he went one step by presenting a car and surprising me.

How you found out about it, and what did you do?

When I woke up on my birthday, I saw a key on the side table of my bed. Suddenly my father came to me, showing me the car from my room’s window.

After seeing the gift in the form of a car, I was on cloud none. All family members sat in the car and went for a long drive.

And explain why it surprised you and made you happy.

It surprised me because I am from a middle-class family. My father is the only earning member; throughout his life, he has driven a two-wheeler.

Receiving a car as a gift was an out-of-world experience because I believed that I would first complete my education, then work hard to get a plum job, and after earning a substantial amount of money, I would buy a car.

But my dad brought a paradigm shift in my life by throwing a surprise on my birthday.

Sample Answer 3


Life is full of surprises, and they often appear in our lives.

Who did this?

Last year, I was surprised when I got a job offer from a multinational company.

How did you find out about it?

One day I received a mail from the company mentioning that they selected me for the job of Assistant Manager.

What did you do?

I applied for the job in the company by clicking on its online job posting. One week after filling out the form, I got a call for an interview.

Being a fresher, I was nervous while going for the interview. And my stress doubled when I came to know that there was one vacancy and more than 1000 applicants.

 At first, I decided to go back, but I thought of taking the interview as an experience. So I sat for the first round of interviews and an aptitude test, and I cleared it.

Only 300 candidates passed the first round, and after that, the second round was a group discussion which I managed to clear because of my soft skills.

I was on the final list of 100 candidates. And my last round was of personal interviews. The interviewer asked me tough questions, and the whole process took one hour. There was a lot of cross-questioning, and he asked to do role-playing. It was an altogether new experience for me, but somehow I managed. 

When I left the venue, I was not much happy with my performance in the personal interview. And I thought that I needed to enhance my skill set to crack an interview

And explain whether it made you happy?

The selection news made me happy because it was a bolt from the blue. I never thought that a fresher like me would crack his very first job interview in a multinational company on the first attempt.

Sample Answer 4


Life is an unsolved mystery which has this uncanny knack for throwing surprises. Although I have had numerous surprising moments in my life, one of them is worth mentioning.

Who did this?

It was regarding an Asia Cup cricket match between India and Bangladesh. It was a nail-biting one, with the situation changing every few minutes.

In the last, the game was in the hands of the Bangladesh cricket team. It had a menial target to chase with three wickets in hand. Since it was midnight, I lost all hopes of India winning the match, but to my surprise, despite all odds against them, the Indian players won it for their team.

How did you find out about it?

The next day when I woke up in the morning, I watched the news on television regarding India’s victory.

What did you do?

The pleasant surprise had made my day. I immediately called my friends, and we organised a party.

And explain whether it made you happy?

I was happy for two reasons. First and foremost, being a cricket fanatic, it was a proud fan moment for me because our team won the match and headed to the championship finals. The player’s hard work bore fruits, and the fans’ enthusiasm skyrocketed.

Another reason for happiness was the world-class performance of the team. When all fans lost their hopes, the players remained calm to work with determination, dedication and discipline to divert opponents’ minds. The mind game played by the captain worked like a charm for the team.

Sample Answer 5


Although I have had umpteen surprises in my life, one of them is worth mentioning.

Who did this?

It was demonetisation in the year 2016. The Indian government announced the discontinuance of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes

How did you find out about it?

I went for dinner with my family and enjoyed my favourite mouth-watering delicacy. When I made the payment, the restaurant owner refused to take it, consisting of Rs 1,000 currency notes. When I asked for the reason, he told me about the government’s strategic move of demonetisation.

What did you do?

As it was an unpleasant surprise, I immediately rushed to my home to check the quantity of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 I had in my possession. To my joy, I didn’t have many notes at my disposal and had a sigh of relief.

And explain whether it made you happy?

Initially, I was upset because life came to a standstill for the weaker sections of society because they didn’t know about net banking and credit cards. Millions of people were standing in queues to get the new currency notes from the ATM.

However, that inconvenience was for a short period because within a month new currency arrived in the market in massive numbers. Moreover, due to demonetisation, the black economy came to a standstill. Due to this, the hard-working people started getting their due.

Apart from this, demonetisation fastened digital payments, and that saved my time substantially.

In nutshell, the surprise of demonetisation was a blessing for me and my country.

Follow up Questions

Here are some follow-up questions that the examiner might ask during your speaking part 3 related to the cue card “Describe Something that Surprised you and Made you Happy IELTS Cue Card”.

1. Do you like surprises?

I like surprises because I feel special. To surprise someone, we have to plan a few things by devoting our time, and if someone does it for me, I become a fan of that person.

2. What has been the biggest surprise in your life?

The biggest surprise of my life was when I went for an interview, and among eight hundred candidates, I was the only one who received the offer letter.

3. What do you think is the most surprising thing about you?

The most surprising thing about me is that I perform my best under stress. Most people give their best when they feel motivated. On the other hand, I draw inspiration from my failures to lead my life toward an impressive growth trajectory.

4. What surprised you about getting old?

The most surprising thing about getting old is that our needs become limited. We understand the true meaning of life and our personality undergoes a paradigm shift.

5. How do you feel when you do not get any surprise on your birthday?.

To be honest, I feel terrible, because, on my birthday, I love to get surprises from my near and dear ones to feel special.

6. Have you ever had or been to a surprise birthday party?

I vividly remember when I was in 6th standard, one of my friends invited me to his home to do homework together. When I reached his home, I realized he had surprised me by throwing his birthday party. That day we did not do homework and enjoyed it to the full extent.

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