Describe An Ambition that You haven’t Achieved- IELTS Cue Card

Updated on 05 February, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an English language proficiency test for study, migration, or work in foreign countries. In part 2 of the speaking section, test takers are given a cue card to speak on a topic for one to two minutes. Describe an ambition that you haven’t achieved- is a common cue card topic. In this essay, you have to tap into your reservoir of personal experiences and thoughts. 

 Talk honestly about your unfulfilled ambitions and why you wanted to achieve the same. Your content flow should be coherent. Here are a couple of samples to help you get the drift.


Here are few more Samples Reading Answers for IELTS
The Development Of PlasticThe Development Of Museums Reading AnswersThe History Of Salt IELTS Reading Answers
The Psychology Of InnovationThe Story Of Silk Reading AnswersThe History of Glass
Biological Control Of Pests Reading AnswersCollecting As A Hobby Reading AnswersThe Birth Of Scientific English Reading Answers
Moles Happy As Homes Go UndergroundFlawed Beauty The Problem With Toughened GlassThe Need To Belong Reading Answers
New Agriculture In Oregon US Reading AnswersA Song On The Brain Reading AnswersWhy Some Women Cross The Finish Line Ahead Of Men
How To Spot A Liar Reading AnswersGifted Children and Learning Reading AnswersWhat Do Whales Feel Reading Answers

Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 1

The pain of unfulfilled ambitions is severe; it disrupts the tone and tenor of daily life, continually interrupting our humdrum routines with the tenuous question- What if? I am also an individual who is similarly affected by the nostalgia and regret evoked in me periodically by the pangs of my unfulfilled ambition to be a professional swimmer. 

I loved swimming from childhood, learning at the tender age of six and graduating to full-fledged swimming at the neighborhood lake by age ten. The local swimming club where I enrolled; supported my talents. They urged my parents to let them nominate me for a national swimming scholarship. This would have advanced my career significantly, in their opinion. Alas, the ravages of time and fate are undeniable, and they struck at that budding moment. 

I suddenly got an eye infection, leaving my eyes swollen and red, and even impairing my visibility sometimes. The doctor advised me to stay away from swimming for a couple of months; this halted my selection trials for the national academy. Gradually, with my recovery from the eye infection, I had to wear goggles while swimming and eventually lost interest in the experience. With the zest to carve a niche for myself, I upskilled myself and chose an alternative career. As an engineer, I work with a leading multinational company and can contribute handsomely towards meeting my familial and social commitments. However, I am reminded of my earlier passion for the sport whenever I get a glimpse of a swimming pool. This is one ambition I have not achieved and will continue to regret for the rest of my days.

Explore More IELTS Speaking Cue Cards:

Describe A Time When You Needed to Use Your Imagination

Memorable Day in My Life

Describe A City that You think is Very Interesting

Describe Your Dream House

Describe A Time When You Were Really Close To A Wild Animal

Describe A Tradition in your Country

Describe A Perfect Job You Would Like To Have in the Future

Describe A Leisure Activity in or on the Sea

Describe A Computer/Phone Game You Enjoy Playing Since Your Childhood

Download E-Books for IELTS Preparation

ielts sample essays
Here are few more Samples Reading Answers for IELTS
Making Every Drop Count Reading AnswersAir Traffic Control In The USA Reading AnswersBring Back The Big Cats Reading Answers
Alternative Medicine In Australia Reading AnswersThe Intersection Of Health Sciences And Geography Reading AnswersSheet Glass Manufacture The Float Process Reading Answers
The Life And Work Of Marie Curie Reading AnswersWhy Pagodas Don't Fall Down?Spoken Corpus comes to life Reading Answers

Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 2

Many of us have diverse and ever-evolving ambitions while growing up. However, I was always steadfast in my goal to become a professional musician. I informed my parents of my decision when I was only ten years old and in the fifth standard. There was a backdrop to this; my maternal grandmother was a trained classical singer who had performed on the radio. Listening to her recordings (dutifully preserved by my grandfather), I was inspired to take up music as my profession. My parents were immensely supportive of my decision and asked me to get trained by my grandmother. 

Over a few years, I nurtured my passion into a lifelong obsession. As a budding vocalist, my grandmother (my first guru) maintained that I had a fine voice. She advised me to enroll under a legendary professional classical singer. I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to accept me as his student. Things were going fine, and I was gradually gaining confidence. I had just graduated from college with History as my major. I was planning to enroll in my postgraduate course in music and continue my journey in the field.  I had just graduated from college with history as my major. I had just graduated from college with history as my major. My next logical step was to enroll in a postgraduate music course and continue my field journey. 

Yet, destiny intervened. I had casually applied to a prestigious university abroad for a master’s program in history. It came as a surprise to me when they accepted my candidature.  I only had a week to confirm, and I could not resist and made my way to the university. To date, my career trajectory and achievements keep me content. I am happy with my career and achievements to date. However, I still feel a tinge of regret on thinking of those days when I left my musical pursuits and the hard work of several years to take up a tempting offer.

Describe an Ambition that You Haven’t Achieved: Sample 3

One of my long-standing ambitions, which I haven’t achieved yet, is writing and publishing a novel. Ever since I was a teenager, I've been passionate about storytelling and have always dreamed of sharing my narratives with a broader audience. The idea of crafting a world through words, where characters navigate life’s complexities, has always fascinated me. My ambition is not just to write any novel, but one that resonates with readers, evoking emotions and sparking discussions.

The journey towards achieving this ambition has been challenging. Initially, the hurdles were mostly about finding the time and discipline to write consistently. Balancing a full-time job and personal commitments meant that writing often took a backseat. I realized that writing a novel requires more than just a passion for storytelling; it demands dedication, time management, and sometimes, sacrifices.

Another challenge has been dealing with self-doubt and the fear of rejection. There were moments when I questioned my ability as a writer and hesitated to share my work with others for feedback. The thought of my manuscript being rejected by publishers has been daunting, which at times, has hindered my motivation to write.

Despite these challenges, my ambition to publish a novel remains strong. Over the years, I've taken small but significant steps towards this goal. I’ve attended writing workshops to hone my craft, joined writing groups for support and accountability, and have started to build a daily writing habit. I've also begun sharing my work with close friends and family, which has been incredibly encouraging.

To date, I've completed several short stories and a draft of a novel. While the novel is still far from ready for publication, the process of writing it has been immensely rewarding. It has allowed me to express my creativity, explore different perspectives, and grow as a writer.

In conclusion, although I haven't yet achieved my ambition of publishing a novel, the journey has taught me the value of perseverance, resilience, and the importance of pursuing one’s passion. I remain hopeful and committed to realizing this dream, understanding that every word I write brings me one step closer to achieving my ambition.

More Resources to Read About IELTS Cue Cards:

Describe a Famous Athlete You Know

Describe A tall building in Your City

Describe A Foreign Person Who You have Heard

Describe A bag You Want to Own

Aquatic Animal Cue Card

Describe An Exciting Book that You Enjoy Reading

Download IELTS Preparation Guide For Free

Get to know about the latest updates on the IELTS Exam, Eligibility, Preparation Tips, Test procedure,  Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Registration Process, Important Exam Dates, and much more!! This guide is a one-stop solution for every IELTS Aspirant who aims to crack the exam with an impressive band score.

Important IELTS Exam Resources

IELTS Exam Overview

IELTS is required to be taken by international students and workers who wish to study or work in a country where English is the primary language of communication. Know the complete details.

IELTS Online Test

IELTS Exam Syllabus

With the right knowledge of the IELTS exam syllabus and pattern, cracking the popular English test won’t be difficult.

IELTS Syllabus

IELTS Exam Pattern

The IELTS exam pattern encompasses four major sections, i.e. listening, speaking, writing, and reading.

IELTS Exam Pattern

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

See More


University Ranking

University Acceptance Rate



The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.