IELTS Cue Card Sample 24 – Describe an important letter that you received
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IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.
Describe an important letter that you have ever received.
You should say:
- who wrote it to you
- what the letter was about
- how you felt about the letter
and explain why the letter was important to you.
- What are the differences between emails and handwritten letters?
- Will the hand-written letters become obsolete in the future? Why?
- Why should we write letters to friends and relatives?
- What are the important qualities of a good letter?
Model Answer 1:
My eldest uncle (from my father’s side) didn’t really have a habit to poke his nose in anybody’s matter unless there was a very valid reason to do so. So, when I received a letter from him about a few years ago after my graduation from university, I knew that it had to be “important”.
Anyway, after my graduation, I was struggling to make a concrete decision on whether to start working on getting a PhD degree (my dream for a long time) or starting a job at a good company. I discussed this issue with my parents, but, as usual, they told me that they would discuss the subject with my eldest uncle (since he was considered to be the wisest of all in our family) and after that only, they could offer me any advice. So, the waiting period started, but luckily I didn’t exactly have to wait very long as I received the decision in a letter soon after talking to my parents.
It was a long letter and contained many important pieces of advice on how to approach life after graduation, but he didn’t forget to suggest me to get a good job because that would allow me to understand where I stood as far as my qualifications, skills and credentials were concerned. He also told me in the letter that I could do my PhD degree at a later time of my convenience.
The letter was really important to me because I felt absolutely relieved of my confusion and indecision about my future as an adult. Besides, the letter made me feel that no matter how smart and intelligent we really are, it is always better to seek advice from the elderly of our families because they would never let us down even though our own experience and wisdom might betray us sometimes. Finally, the letter was also important to me because it allowed me to learn to fit into the real “working world” around me in a meaningful way.
Sample Answer 2:
Though people mostly send emails nowadays for official and personal communication, the handwritten letter has its own importance as well. Today I would like to talk about a handwritten letter that I received when I was 14 years old. This particular letter was written by my father and I was so excited to receive it that I read it several times. The letter was about the scholarship result and my father wrote to me to inform me that I got the scholarship. In his letter, he congratulated me and wrote that he was proud of me.
I was staying at a relative’s house after my final and scholarship exam with my mother and sister and one day I found that a post office peon delivered a letter to my uncle. My uncle handed over me the letter as it was addressed to me. I found that it was written by my father. I read the letter quickly and was very excited to learn the news. I read it again and then informed my mother and relatives about it. My mother read it and congratulated me as well.
As a kid, the scholarship was very desiring for me and when I found that my father was very happy, that made me happier.
Sample Answer 3:
The most important letter that I have received ever is the one that was posted to me from the Falcon University confirming that I have been accepted in their B.B.A program. I can’t exactly remember the name of the person who wrote it to me but it was from the Falcon University admin department.
I was simply overwhelmed about the letter as I have been dreaming for a long to do my graduation in B.B.A specifically in the Falcon University. The letter was the confirmation that my dream has come true and my hard work and determination have been paid off. I felt like flying in the sky. I let my parents and close friends know about the acceptance and they were happy too.
The letter was written in the official pad of the Falcon University and signed by the head of the B.B.A admission department. There were only 4-5 paragraphs on the papers and they were printed either they were very exciting for me. I read the letter twice and kept it in a nice place as if I was hiding a treasure.
The letter was utterly important to me as it expressed and confirmed that my dream about studying at Falcon University has come into reality.
Model Answer 4:
Today I am going to tell you about a letter that was very special to me. I will tell you who wrote it to me, what it was about and why it made such an impression on me that I can still remember it over forty years later.
It is quite interesting to have to think of an important letter that I’ve received. Nowadays it is really rare to get a letter in the post. Most business and personal communications seem to happen by email or even text message on a mobile phone. However, believe it or not, there was a time when that was the only real way to communicate! Even so, as a small child in the days before the internet, for me to receive an actual physical letter, carefully folded in an envelope and being delivered to me with my name on it unopened was a really special event and very rare indeed.
When I was seven years old I had to go into hospital to have my tonsils taken out! I was very sad and very frightened to be in the hospital, and I didn’t really understand what was happening to me or why. To make things worse I was going to be in a hospital for my eighth birthday. At that age, I hadn’t ever really received any letters especially for me before and I certainly didn’t expect to receive any post whilst I was ill. Therefore, it was a wonderful surprise one morning to be given an envelope with my name and address beautifully hand-written on it and bearing a stamp from overseas in the top right-hand corner. I was so excited!
The letter was from my Uncle Peter. He was living in America at the time, and I was in England. He had sent me a special letter for my birthday. That was exciting enough, but what he had done amazed and impressed me. He said he’s wanted to send me a birthday cake, but that wasn’t practical over such a distance, so instead, he drew me a picture of an amazing birthday cake and a whole party with balloons and presents. So his letter was to wish me a happy birthday, and to cheer me up because it is horrible for anyone to have an operation at any time, let alone on their own birthday when they are just eight years old!
I was in awe! He was actually quite a good artist, so his illustration was really good, and the letter cheered me up and made me feel so special. I kept the letter for a long long time, but sadly one day I couldn’t find it anymore, and I think it must have been thrown out at some point. Even so, I think this letter was the start of a great correspondence between me and my, to me, ‘exotic’ uncle who lived overseas. He and I continued to exchange letters over the next forty years, right up until the time he died. His were always hand-written, though mine moved over to being typed, we never resorted to email, so the ritual of a letter thudding through a letterbox and onto the welcoming doormat of the home continued between us long after many others had abandoned such an old-fashioned form of communication.
So the letter was very important to me because it cheered me up when I felt low and made me feel special. It also began a correspondence that continued over four decades. Even today, I still think nothing beats a ‘proper’ letter, and I will always try and send a personal note to friends or family when something important has happened. I love the excitement of seeing a postmark and an unknown stamp on a newly arrived envelope and the anticipation of wondering who a letter might be from and what they have to say. For me, nothing beats the physicality of a letter in your hands and when I post a letter or card myself I always like to imagine the recipient similarly examining my unopened missive and hopefully looking forward to making a cup of coffee and settling down to enjoy the contents!
[ Written by – Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]
Tips for answering this cue card topic:
- An important letter can be one of the following types:
- A letter from your teacher which was written to you to confirm that you have been eligible for a course or activity you applied for.
- A letter from a school/ college/ university that confirms your acceptance and admission there.
- A letter from an office that affirms that you have been hired for the position you applied for.
- A confirmation letter from an organisation or government office that confirms that your request to solve a problem at your locality would be taken care of.
- A letter from your parents when you stayed in a different city from theirs.
- A letter from a relative that gives the news of a newborn baby.
- A letter from one of your childhood friends who you heard for a long time.
- A letter from your parents about one of your achievements.
- A letter that gives the news of your outstanding performances or achievements.
- A letter that gives the news of your winning a lottery or raffle draw.
- An apology letter from one of your friends or relatives that ease your relationship with him/her.
Describe who wrote you the letter, when you received it, what was it about, what news it bore, how you felt after reading the letter, why the news was important to you and why the letter was important.
For the part ‘why it was important to you’ mention some of the following points based on the type of letter you talk about:
- I was eagerly waiting to know that.
- I was so worried about it and after I read the letter I felt so relieved.
- The letter gave me the long waiting news and I was very happy.
- I was enchanted to know that I have achieved it.
- I was very happy to know that …
- I could not believe that it really happened and I read the letter a second time etc.
If you prepare for this cue card topic, you would be able to answer the following cue card topics as well:
1. Describe a piece of news that made you happy.
2. Describe a letter you received from your friend.
3. Talk about a letter your father/ mother wrote to you.