Describe something you did that was new or exciting.
You should say:
- what you did
- where and when you did this
- who you shared the activity with
and explain why this activity was new or exciting for you.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you’re going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Model Answer 1:
I like to try new things every now and then in order to make my life a bit more interesting. But, I never really thought that horse riding would be one of them, and I still can’t believe that I actually did it! Anyway, here is how my horse riding story unfolded.
It was about 3 years ago when I went to visit a good friend of mine in the countryside. It was my first visit my friend’s place, so I didn’t really know what I was exactly supposed to expect there. Of course, as soon as I arrived there, about 200 kilometers away from my hometown, I was really impressed with the beautiful nature of the countryside. Equally impressive was the fact that some farmers there actually used to raise some beautiful looking horses which I never really thought that those farmers could have ever afforded.
So, when I asked my friend about how those farmers ended up having such beautiful looking horses, he told me that a group of wealthy farmers had been living in that countryside for generations who just loved to ride horses. In fact, I saw someone riding a horse one morning. After seeing this, I also became interested in horse riding. So, I asked my friend if he also knew how to do it. As soon as he said “yes”, I told him to borrow a horse from one of his farmer neighbours and teach me horse riding. However, my friend told me that I couldn’t possibly learn it just like that, but I could ride a horse with him, sitting as a passenger behind him. So, I just obliged and rode the horse for the next 15 minutes with my friend.
Anyway, this activity was completely new for me, I never had a chance to touch a horse before, let alone riding one! Besides, the fact that we are still using the term “horsepower” to describe the power of a ‘car engine’ or ‘machine’ made me really wonder how “elite” of an animal it really is.
Sample Answer 2:
I know what to tell you about here! I’m going to tell you all about what I did, where and when it was, who I shared the activity with and why it was both new and exciting for me.
I love trying new things. I’m not particularly brave, but I hate missing out on adventures, and I am curious about the world. On balance, even if something is uncomfortable, or positively frightening, I’d much prefer to ‘give it a go’ and face the consequences than walk away from the opportunity and wonder what might have been.
Last year I went on holiday to a fitness boot camp. It was in Northumberland, right by the sea. This is a wild and beautiful location in the north of England. The week involved lots of different activities, abseiling; hill walking; river kayaking; climbing (I was rubbish at that); bodyboarding; orienteering even learning how to build wild shelters out of scraps of wood. Lots of those activities were new and/or exciting, but there was one thing in particular we did that gave me a massive adrenalin high! Coasteering! Now I’d never even heard of this before, so I think you might also need me to explain a bit more about what exactly it is!
Essentially coasteering is a cross between orienteering and coastal (ocean) swimming. The activity involves exploring a rocky coastline from the sea, by climbing, jumping, and swimming along its edge. It is quite strenuous, and you have to be brave as you are moving along the coast in an inter-tidal area with ocean currents, tides and hidden rocks to contend with. It isn’t just clambering over rock pools, nor is it swimming as such it is something in between. With the cold rough waters of the North Sea, it is an activity it would be far too dangerous to do on your own. You need to be with a group and a leader who knows the area and what is safe and what is not.
So the activity was coasteering, the location was Northumberland, and the timing was August 2015 I think. In terms of who I shared this with, well, I went out with a group of about 6 other fellow holiday-makers and our very experienced, patient and lovely guide Bruce. We all wore full wetsuits and old trainers to protect our feet as well as life jackets (buoyancy aids) and helmets. Even so, I was very apprehensive as we walked over the slippery seaweedcovered rocks towards the crashing waves. The first challenge was just climbing into the water as the waves seemed huge and the water was freezing. However, once you have literally taken the plunge, the shock of adrenalin and the effect of the wetsuit soon warms you up! Our leader was very safety conscious thankfully, so although I was a bit scared (I’m not all that strong a swimmer) in fact he carefully checked each route before we followed, using a rope to link us all together where necessary. As the time passed we got ever more confident, at times the waves washed us off rocks like we were droplets being shaken off the coat of a wet dog, but after a bit, you start to realise that even though you feel like you are being tossed around in a giant washing machine it is actually pretty safe. The buoyancy aid makes it impossible to sink, and as long as you don’t fight the currents, but go with them, it is really fun. You do have to surrender control to some extent which feels weird and unsettling but once you do, oh my what a ride! It was incredibly exciting. You are seeing the landscape (coastline in this case) from a really new perspective, in amongst the waves, gazing up at huge rocky cliffs, jumping in and out of rock pools, and screaming with laughter as you are swept along. Without the necessary equipment and guidance, it would be terrifying, you’d end up drowning, or injuring yourself by being battered against the rocks but this way it was enormous fun.
So coasteering was new and exciting because it was something I’d never even heard of before, let alone experienced. I had no idea at all what to expect. It was exciting because it moves you out of your comfort zone. Your heart is racing and it is a physical as well as a mental challenge to keep on going. However, it was also incredibly enjoyable and rewarding. Because we were a small group we all encouraged one another and pulled together, it was a great way to make new friends. I’m not sure it would suit everyone as a team-building activity in the workplace but I guarantee it would be effective!
Although it was hilarious, it was challenging. I’m really, really glad I did it, once. However, I don’t know if I’m quite brave enough to do it again! That said, I’ve already admitted I do have a terrible fear of missing out, so I think I probably would! You should too, if you ever get the chance, but please make sure you trust your guide first, and don’t even think about it without proper equipment, it would be all too easy to get swept away, the oceans are a powerful force, and not to be trifled with! It is being in amongst all that power of nature that made the experience so awesome and memorable!
[ Written by – Lucy Marris (2016): Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam)]
Sample Answer 3:
To avoid boredom and monotony in life, I, along with my three other college friends planned to have a camp out in Mather Campground located in Grand Canyon of Arizona. Accordingly, we planned and made the camp out a grand success.
In fact, it is really intolerable to continue with academic studies, going to college, preparing assignments and again planning for the college the next day. So, I needed a perfect break from everything. Hence, the idea of camping out of home peeped in my mind. I placed the proposal to my close buddies and they also agreed with me. But it was difficult to prepare for everything and arrange leave for camping. But finally, we managed everything including permission from our parents, college and started for the campground by driving my Mazda 6. The experiences were really enjoyable for us.
In the mid of the last October, we planned for the campout. Actually, in this last quarter of the year, there are huge pressures on us for completing the courses and appear in the final exams. To get rid of all the monotonous events, we decided to camp out. Initially, we wanted to set the camp in the garden in front of my residence. But the idea was not supported by others. Then we decided to move to the Grand Canyon national park. Accordingly, we hired a spot at the camping venue. Then we arranged for the necessary things. In fact, we wanted to spend a life leaving the modern city behind us. So, we did not take our cell phones, laptops and other electronic gears with us. We started for the Mather Campground and it was nearly a half-day drive from our city.
George, Robert, and David accompanied me on this camping trip. We all were excited and had different plans to execute at the campground. But we also experienced some troubles from our parents before we start. Actually, none of them allowed us to live outside the home. They did not agree with the idea of leaving the cell phones at home. Later, we had a meeting at my home and decided to take the help of a friendly lecturer of our college. I think our parents were worried about our safety and security in the campsite. So, it was really difficult for us to make them understand that we can take care of ourselves. Besides, Mr Johnson, the lecturer of college, also played an important role here. Finally, everything was set and we began the journey.
This was a new experience for and for my friends as well. Neither had we seen the Grand Canyon before nor had we experienced a night out of our home. So, it was really thrilling. Moreover, the weather was good and comfortable. We had a barbeque set with us. So, we caught some trout from a nearby water body and had a wonderful dinner with the fried fishes. Though there were cottages and tents for sleeping at night in the campground, we had our own sleeping bags. Besides, we only had a radio set which was the link between us and the civilisation we left behind. The sky was clear and filled with bright stars. They appeared to so close enough that we could have touched them with hands. The entire environment was natural and extremely enjoying. Hence, it was a remarkable experience for me and others.
More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:
Topic: Describe something you did that was new or exciting.
1. Learning to ride a bicycle was an interesting adventure for me as I did not have the experience before. So, learned to ride a bicycle. I did this here in Vietnam a few months ago. I learned it with support of some of my cousins. They actually helped me a lot to learn to ride a bicycle. It was a new activity for me. And as a girl, I did not think that I would be able to ride a bicycle in my life. But my thoughts changed after learning it.
2. Passing night out of the home was an interesting event for me. And this was a new thing as well because I have never spent a single day out of my home. So, I felt a thrill inside my mind. I was accompanied by some of my friends. In fact, we all had planned for a party at night on the rooftop of a friend’s home. Accordingly, we arranged everything and spent the night very well. I enjoyed the barbeque party too much and it was a fresh experience for me indeed.
3. Going for a long drive in the daytime, and amid a busy day was interesting. All the elements to get irritated was present there but I ignored them. I took a long drive from Ohio to Dallas. It was a long way and also crowded. My buddy Robert and Sam accompanied me on the trip. It was an exciting trip for me because all of us knew that we would not complete the trip in the day for many reasons. But we took to attempt to make it happen and in fact, this was the very first trip for all of us together. So, it was exciting.
4. It was a wonder to me how people in wrestling mania have sound health and fitness, and thus I got attached to a local gym. I joined the gym in the middle of last year. And I went there with a friend of mine. It was an exciting encounter for me. I have never thought that my fitness will reach such a great stage. And the exercises were attractive and interesting indeed. So, I felt thrilled.
5. My last trip to Thailand gave me a different experience. I took a full body massage there. I went there last month for a vacation. And it was a solo visit there. I had heard about the full body massage and never tried it before. Considering everything, I took the body massage. They gave the massage so perfectly that I felt relaxed. It was a strange experience to me that I cannot express in words.
6. Although my mom does not love pets, I got one recently. I bought the pet from a local pet selling shop here in New Delhi. It was a nice looking cat. I started taking care of the pet all by myself while my mother used to shout at me about the issues. However, I was happy with the cat and it was also fond of me. In fact, we had a deep intimacy between us. So, it was an exciting experience for me.
Part 3 – Two-way discussion:
Doing new things:
Q. Why do you think some people like doing new things?
Q. What problems can people have when they try new activities for the first time?
Q. Do you think it’s best to do new things on your own or with other people? Why?
Learning new things:
Q. What kinds of things do children learn to do when they are very young? How important are these things?
Q. Do you think children and adults learn to do new things in the same way? How is their learning style different?
Q. Some people say that it is more important to be able to learn new things now than it was in the past. Do you agree or disagree with that? Why?