Cue Card # 44: A competition you have participated in

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 44

Describe a competition or contest you have participated in.

You should say:

  • when the competition took place
  • what you had to do
  • how you performed

and explain how you felt about participating in it.

[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 Answer:

I think, it was during my high school days when I first heard something like “winning or losing doesn’t matter, but what really matters is participating in the competition”. Needless to say, I kind of liked the “gist” of the phrase since it would always help lift the spirit of an otherwise “down” person just as it did to me about 10 years ago when I finally managed to perform really good in a competition – a particular event of a sports tournament that is.

If I remember correctly, during my high school days, I wasn’t exactly a very physically or mentally ‘competitive’ person in its true sense. In fact, I would rather be interested in reading a storybook or doing my high school math (my favourite subject) instead of playing and enjoying some football matches or doing some fishing or swimming in the outdoors. But, why would my high school teachers and game authority care to learn what exactly interested me, and what didn’t, since the school rule clearly stated that each and every male student would need to participate in at least one sports event during a yearly school competition?

So, I had no other choice except to participate in one sports event. In fact, it was because of our new sports teacher’s “spirited” lecture where he gave that famous speech about “participating in a game is more important than winning”, I became competitive- competitive and fit physically that is- so much so that I decided to take part in five different sporting events in the next yearly sports tournament. But let me just talk about the 100-meter “sprint” race.

Anyway, the time of the race finally arrived next year, and I was ready to “perform” to the fullest of my abilities. My teacher had taught me to start really well if I were to win a sprint race. So, I took my position firmly on the “start line” to start the race with a very positive frame of mind while telling myself that I was in it for a win. The whistle was blown, and I started to run it with all my strength and energy. Not sure, how many seconds I had run, but after noticing the “miracle” I had performed in the field, I wanted to run even faster, sensing that something good was about to happen. I was getting tired; I was gasping for air as my heart was pounding inside my chest but I wasn’t just ready to give up as yet. Finally, the moment of “disbelief” arrested me when I found out that I was actually second to touch the finish line!

I was the runner up of the running completion, which I just couldn’t believe myself for some times while I was still in the field! In fact, I felt like I was a “world champion” and never felt so happy ever in my life before! I must say that the competition and the win were a real confidence booster for me as I never felt “physically inferior’ to the rest of my fellow students ever after that, nor I ever felt shy to take part in any other sporting event after that particular performance.

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