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Describe a Puzzle You Tried to Solve - IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answer

Describe a puzzle you tried to solve.

You should say:

  • what it was like

  • how easy or difficult it was

  • how long it took for you to solve it

  • explain how you felt about it.


Describe a Puzzle You Tried to Solve - IELTS Speaking Cue Card Answer

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Model Answer 1

Last year, I embarked on a challenging journey to solve a 3D wooden puzzle, an intricate model of the Eiffel Tower. This puzzle, with its numerous small pieces and complex structure, represented a significant challenge. Initially, its complexity was overwhelming; aligning the tiny wooden pieces accurately required immense patience and attention to detail. Despite being an avid puzzle enthusiast, I found this particular puzzle to be a test of my problem-solving skills and perseverance.


The process was both time-consuming and demanding. It took me about three weeks to complete, dedicating an hour each evening after work. This gradual progression was essential, as it allowed me to approach the task with a fresh perspective daily. The complexity of the puzzle lay not only in its physical assembly but also in understanding the intricate connections between each piece, which was crucial for the structural integrity of the model.


As I neared the completion of the puzzle, my initial feelings of frustration and doubt transformed into excitement and anticipation. The satisfaction of placing the final piece was immense. It was not just about completing the puzzle; it was about the journey – the ups and downs, the moments of insight, and the sheer joy of overcoming a challenge.


Reflecting on this experience, I realize it was more than just a leisure activity. It was a metaphor for life's challenges, teaching me the importance of patience, persistence, and attention to detail. Solving this puzzle was a rewarding experience that enhanced my problem-solving skills and reinforced my belief that no challenge is too great if tackled with determination and a positive mindset.


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Why this is a High Scoring Answer

The sample answer, "Describe a puzzle you tried to solve," beautifully illustrates a high-scoring response for several key reasons, aligning perfectly with the IELTS Speaking test's evaluation criteria.


Fluency and Coherence: The response flows smoothly, with natural progression from one idea to the next. For instance, the speaker begins by introducing the puzzle and gradually delves into the challenges and learning experiences it presented. This seamless narrative showcases the ability to speak at length without noticeable effort or loss of coherence.


Lexical Resource: The answer is rich in vocabulary, demonstrating the speaker's proficiency in English. Terms like 'intricate model', 'structural integrity', and 'perseverance' not only add depth to the narrative but also show a broad lexical range, which is highly regarded in the IELTS assessment.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy: The speaker uses a variety of complex structures correctly. Sentences like "Initially, its complexity was overwhelming" or "Reflecting on this experience, I realize..." demonstrate an advanced level of grammatical knowledge and accuracy.


Moreover, for those aspiring to achieve similar fluency and depth in their IELTS preparation, exploring our comprehensive range of exclusive IELTS books (download pdf) could be immensely beneficial. These resources, designed to cater to your specific learning needs, will guide you through each aspect of the IELTS test, ensuring you're well-equipped to articulate your thoughts as effectively as demonstrated in the sample answer.


In the context of the IELTS Speaking test, where interaction is key, this answer reflects an engaging, well-structured monologue. It addresses the task directly, maintaining relevance throughout, and exemplifies the qualities of a high-band response. By weaving a narrative around the challenge of solving a complex 3D puzzle, the speaker effectively demonstrates their language skills, meeting the IELTS criteria for a high score.


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Model Answer 2

Recently, I found myself engrossed in the world of digital puzzles, specifically a challenging online crossword that tested not only my vocabulary but also my lateral thinking abilities. This particular puzzle was a blend of traditional crossword elements with a modern twist, incorporating pop culture references and current events, making it a stimulating intellectual exercise.


The difficulty of this puzzle was not to be underestimated. Each clue was a riddle in itself, requiring a deep dive into a diverse range of topics. I spent several evenings unraveling the intricacies of the clues, often finding myself lost in research, which ranged from historical events to the latest technological advancements. This process, while time-consuming, was incredibly enriching, as it broadened my knowledge and understanding of various subjects.


It took me nearly a month to complete the crossword, dedicating a few hours each week. The sense of accomplishment I felt upon solving the final clue was unparalleled. The journey through this puzzle was not just a test of my linguistic skills, but it also honed my research abilities and critical thinking. It was a unique blend of education and entertainment, challenging yet immensely satisfying.


Completing this digital crossword puzzle was a testament to the power of perseverance and intellectual curiosity. It reinforced my belief in the importance of continuous learning and staying intellectually engaged. The experience was not just about solving a puzzle; it was about embracing the process of learning and discovery, and the joy that comes with it.


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Why this is a High Scoring Answer

In the IELTS Speaking test, delivering a response like the one provided to "Describe a puzzle you tried to solve" demonstrates several key elements that contribute to a high score. Let's analyze why this particular answer is exemplary:


Fluency and Coherence: The speaker's narrative about solving a digital crossword is fluid and logically structured. The journey from encountering the puzzle to the eventual triumph is narrated in a coherent, easy-to-follow manner. This is evident in the transition from describing the puzzle's initial appeal to discussing the challenges and final resolution.


Lexical Resource: The vocabulary used is varied and contextually appropriate, showcasing an extensive lexical range. Words and phrases like 'lateral thinking abilities,' 'stimulating intellectual exercise,' and 'unraveling the intricacies' elevate the quality of the response. They not only describe the puzzle-solving experience but also indicate a high level of language proficiency.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy: The response demonstrates a strong command of grammar. The use of complex sentence structures, such as "This process, while time-consuming, was incredibly enriching," shows the speaker's ability to use English accurately and flexibly.


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Model Answer 3

One memorable challenge I encountered was solving a large, complex jigsaw puzzle depicting a breathtaking landscape of the Grand Canyon at sunset. The puzzle, composed of 2000 pieces, was a vibrant tapestry of colors and intricate details, each piece a tiny part of the majestic whole. The sheer scale and detail of the puzzle made it a formidable task.


Initially, the puzzle seemed almost insurmountable. The myriad of pieces, with their subtle color variations, made it difficult to discern where each piece belonged. However, I approached it methodically, starting with the edges and gradually working towards the center, focusing on small sections at a time. This systematic approach, coupled with patience, proved to be effective.


The endeavor took me approximately two months to complete. I dedicated several hours each week to it, often losing track of time as I became absorbed in fitting the pieces together. The process was meditative and therapeutic, providing a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Upon completing the puzzle, the sense of achievement was overwhelming. The completed image, with its stunning portrayal of the Grand Canyon's natural beauty, was a reward in itself. This experience was more than just a pastime; it was a journey of persistence, focus, and attention to detail. It taught me the value of seeing a complex task through to completion, no matter how daunting it may seem at the outset.


In retrospect, this puzzle-solving experience was a powerful metaphor for problem-solving in real life. It reinforced the importance of breaking down large tasks into manageable parts, maintaining patience, and staying committed to the goal. The satisfaction derived from this achievement was not just in the completion of the puzzle, but in the skills and lessons learned along the way.


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Why this is a High Scoring Answer

The response provided for "Describe a puzzle you tried to solve" is a quintessential example of a high-scoring answer in the IELTS Speaking test, and here's why:


Fluency and Coherence: The answer is a well-structured narrative that takes the listener on a journey from the initial encounter with the puzzle to its completion. It flows naturally, maintaining coherence throughout, as seen in how the speaker methodically describes the process of tackling the puzzle, "starting with the edges and gradually working towards the center."


Lexical Resource: The speaker employs a diverse range of vocabulary, effectively painting a vivid picture of the experience. Phrases like "a vibrant tapestry of colors," "intricate details," and "overwhelming sense of achievement" demonstrate an extensive lexical range, crucial for a high score in IELTS Speaking.


Grammatical Range and Accuracy: The response showcases a variety of complex grammatical structures used accurately. For instance, the use of past continuous tense in "I was becoming absorbed in fitting the pieces together" and comparative phrases like "more than just a pastime" display grammatical proficiency.


For those of you seeking to enhance your IELTS Speaking skills, our exclusive IELTS books (download pdf) can be a game-changer. They offer tailored strategies and insights to help you articulate your thoughts as clearly and effectively as in this example.


In the IELTS Speaking test, it's crucial to engage directly with the task provided. This response does exactly that, offering a detailed and personal account of solving a jigsaw puzzle. The speaker not only describes the puzzle but also reflects on the experience, drawing parallels to life's challenges and the importance of perseverance. This level of introspection and the ability to connect personal experiences with broader themes are indicative of a high-scoring IELTS Speaking response.


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