50 Duolingo English Test Speaking Topics with Answers

50 Duolingo English Test Speaking Topics with Answers
Photo by Brian McMahon` / Unsplash

Many students are nervous about the Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" question. Even if you prefer writing in English to speaking in English, you can score well if you understand what these questions are looking for and practice answering them.

In this article, we will review the Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" question and the topics covered in these questions. We will also be providing you with 50 Duolingo cue cards for you to practice with and tips for improving your scores on these questions!

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Table of Contents

An Overview of Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Questions

It can be helpful to review what Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" questions ask of students before trying out our Duolingo cue cards.

For students who don't know, in the last ten minutes of the Duolingo English Test, there is a section for speaking and writing samples. For "Speaking Sample" questions you will be given a prompt and will have up to 3 minutes to respond. This question only appears once on the test, so make it count!

On test day, your answer to Duolingo "Speaking Sample" questions will be recorded on video and the recording will be sent with your scores to the universities you are applying to. For this reason, you should ensure that your response is at least somewhat professional and that you are wearing appropriate clothing in the video - save the clown costume for Halloween! 🤡

Speaking questions count toward your "Production" and "Conversation" subscores on the test and are graded using the following criteria:

  1. Content: Relevance, style, development, and effect on the reader
  2. Discourse coherence: Clarity, cohesion, progression of ideas, and structure
  3. Lexis (vocabulary): Lexical diversity, lexical sophistication, choice of words, formation of words, and spelling
  4. Grammar: Grammatical complexity, grammatical accuracy, and punctuation
  5. Fluency: Speed, natural use of pauses, and reliance on filler words, repetition, and starting/stopping
  6. Pronunciation: Intelligibility, individual sounds, word stress, sentence stress, and intonation

👉 These first two scoring criteria – "content" and "discourse coherence" – are not self explanatory, so we made a video to help you understand them better.

Keep these criteria in mind when you answer "Speaking Sample" questions. If you are still confused about whether you are meeting this criterion, create a free account on Arno by visiting duolingo.goarno.io. 😍 For each practice question you try, we give you an estimated score, feedback on your grammar and vocabulary, and a high-scoring, rewritten version of your response – instantly!

Duolingo English Test Speaking Sample Topics

Prompts for "Speaking Sample" questions will fall into one of three categories:

  • Explanatory - describe something in detail
  • Informative - educate the listener on a topic
  • Argumentative - express your opinion on a subject and include reasons to support it

Your job is to pretend that the person you are talking to knows nothing about the topic at hand! Then you'll need to teach them all about that topic and/or explain what and why you believe what you do, providing as much detail as possible.  

Thankfully, Duolingo uses the same topics for "Speaking Sample" questions to help you prepare your ideas ahead of test day. We've listed these below with some top tips and example questions:

  1. Hobbies or Art

"Talk about a hobby or activity that you enjoy in your free time. How did you get started, and why did you like it?"

Make sure to identify a hobby that you engage in (or can pretend to engage in) ahead of test day to prepare for these questions. If you get a question like this, it can be a great opportunity to show the kind of clubs or classes you want to get involved in in college to admissions teams! Please note, "talk about" often just means "describe" - in this case you can just provide details about what the hobby is and how to participate in it to begin your response.

2. Communication & Technology

"Discuss the importance of communication in today's world. How has technology affected the way we communicate?"

“What is your favorite piece of technology and why? How has it improved your life and the lives of others?”

These questions often want you to inform the listener about the impact of a piece of technology on yourself and the wider world. In these cases, you can discuss either positive impacts, negative impacts, or both.

3. Travel

"Describe a place you have visited that had a significant impact on you. What made the experience memorable?"

“If you could travel to any country in the world, which one would you choose and why? What attracts you to that country?”

To prepare for these questions, prepare a response to a question about a place you have been and a place you haven’t been but would like to go. Did the trip teach you something about the place you were visiting? Did it teach you something about yourself?

4. Education & School

"Discuss the role of education in society. What do you think should be the primary focus of education systems?"

"Discuss a subject you’re passionate about and explain why you find it interesting and how you continue learning about it.”

Given that these samples are sent to the institutions where you are applying, it might be a good idea to make sure your answer aligns with the types of schools you are selecting.

5. People (friends, families, figures)

"Talk about a person who inspires you. What qualities do they possess that make them inspirational?"

"Explain the importance of friendship in your life. How do your friends help you grow and support you in difficult times?"

“Talk about a historical figure you admire. What do you find inspiring about their accomplishments and life story?”

A good way to prepare for these questions ahead of time is to select a friend, family member, and/or inspirational figure who you know a lot about, ahead of time, so no time is wasted choosing who you are going to talk about. If your question is about someone you do not directly know, like a historical figure, pick someone that you are genuinely interested in – this way you will likely have more to say on the topic!

6. Environment

"Describe an environmental issue that concerns you. What steps can individuals and governments take to address this issue?"

These are the most "content-based" questions you’ll see, meaning you should probably know a little bit about the environment to answer these questions. If you don't know much about this area, this can be easily fixed by reading a couple of articles online or listening to a podcast on the topic. Although, please note that you are not expected to be an environmental "expert". In fact, the content of your response barely matters! The questions are instead testing your fluency in English and how you communicate; knowing more about the subject will simply make it easier to respond. In this case, if you don't know much about a particular environmental issue, that won't prevent you from getting a good score if you are able to communicate what you DO know in a clear, comprehensive way.

7. Culture

"Discuss a cultural custom or tradition from your country. What is its significance and how is it celebrated?"

“What is your favorite holiday and why? Describe how your family celebrates it and any special traditions related to it.”

Duolingo loves to ask you questions about traditions and holidays in your home country. Make sure to choose one that you can talk a lot about and are familiar with. i.e. don't pick Arbor Day.

8. Food

"Describe your favorite food and explain what makes it special. How does it connect to your culture or personal experiences?" Answering questions like this one can be as simple as explaining the process of making the food or what the food contains, and linking it to a memory you have with that food.

9. Your future

“Talk about a skill that you have learned or would like to learn in the future. How will it benefit you in your personal or professional life?”

Break down questions like this into smaller parts such as: what is the skill, how it has benefitted your development, and how will it shape your future.

10. Your past & your childhood

"Talk about an accomplishment or goal you have achieved. What challenges did you face, and how did you overcome them to reach your goal?”

“Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision. What factors did you consider, and how did you reach your decision?”

“Describe a favorite childhood memory and explain why it is so special to you?”

To prepare for these the golden rule is to pick a good memory, a bad memory, and a memory from a long time ago!

11. Transportation

“What are the advantages and disadvantages of using public transportation versus driving a personal car for everyday commuting?”

Next time you are traveling somewhere, it might be helpful to stop and think about what you do and don't like about the journey and why.

12. Language

“Explain the importance of learning a new language. How can it benefit individuals and society?”

These questions are usually student favorites because the chances are, if you are taking the Duolingo English Test, you know at least two languages.

13. Movies, Books, and TV shows

“Discuss a book, movie, or show that made a significant impact on you. What was the story about, and what emotions did it evoke?”

Again, to prepare you might want to select one of each to talk about before the test just in case this question comes up.

14. Your Favorites

“Talk about your favorite kind of music and explain why you enjoy it. How does it make you feel when you listen to it?”

“Describe your favorite type of weather and explain how it affects your mood and daily activities”

“Describe an animal that you find fascinating. What do you find interesting about it?”

The key with questions like this is just to provide details about your favorite animal/weather/music and then provide reasons why it is your favorite over other choices.  

15. Other!

“Describe a typical day in your life. What activities and tasks do you usually do during the day?”

It’s impossible to predict every topic for this question type. If you get a question that doesn't fit into the above topics DON’T PANIC! Duolingo still wants the same kind of response for all these questions, following the criteria we discussed earlier.

🦉 Please note, that sometimes these topics will overlap. For example, "Describe a favorite dish from your culture. What are its ingredients, and how is it prepared? What makes it special to you?" combines "Food" and "Culture" topics.

50 Duolingo English Test Speaking Topics with Answers

Next up are 50 Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" practice questions and high-scoring, model answers for you to study with. You may wish to print these out and fold them over so that the example question is on one side and the model answer is on the other side. Alternatively, you can just answer the question and then scroll down when you have finished to reveal the example response. Either way, with these cue cards you can practice answering Duolingo English Test questions and then directly compare your answer to the model answer.

👉 As you gain more familiarity with the questions, try using a timer to make sure you are answering the questions within the time limits set by Duolingo (3 minutes).

  1. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #1
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 1
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 1
One hobby that I really enjoy is creative writing. Specifically, I like to write short stories and books within fantasy, horror, or dystopian genres.
I enjoy writing for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, I enjoy writing because I find that it's a great way to express my feelings and also to express and develop my creativity. I think it's a great way to escape the mundane realities of life because you can be anyone, anywhere, doing anything when you create your own characters, worlds, and plots. I also find that it's a very powerful thing to do because you can really reach a lot of people with a message in your writing. Furthermore, I also enjoy the challenge of sentence-level crafting. For example, really making sure that each sentence carries impact and is very specific in the language used and the image created.  Finally, I'd say I enjoy it because it gives me a certain sense of flow, which is the human experience of being very involved in a task and focused on a meaningful task. This is just a very enjoyable feeling.
How I began writing is difficult to pinpoint because I've been interested in creative writing for as long as I can remember.  So, really my passionn for creative writing started from reading. I always loved to read as a chikd and my mom always used to read to me. And as such, I always wanted to try and write books like the ones that I was reading. I got into writing further during my high school and college education where I took specific classes in this area and worked with other people to make my writing better in workshops. And so, that's why I enjoy creative writing and how I got involved in it.

2. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #2

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 2
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 2
Education is extremely important in society for many reasons. Notably, education helps to create responsible adult citizens. For example, when a child goes to school and learns about the world around them, about history, politics, etc., they also learn how to be law-abiding citizens in their country when they're older and how to be a productive member of society, contributing to the greater good.
Education also plays an important role in society in terms of educating the masses about ways to keep themselves and others safe and healthy. For example, health classes and biology classes in school teach people to look out for certain symptoms, the development of diseases, and the importance of healthy habits. In the same vein, sex and drug education not only helps to keep kids aware and safe of dangerous activities when they are young, but also when they go on to being an adult in the real world.
Finally, education also plays an important role in society by giving people opportunities. For example, if a student is raised in a poor environment and is stuck in a cycle of poverty, education can help them get out of that cycle by opening doors to scholarships and later well-paying careers.
I do think one primary focus of education should be in enabling students to get the best opportunities they can to succeed in life, no matter what their background is. Similarly, a primary focus on education should be on equality, racial justice and justice for all. For example, in classes such as citizenship, history, and geography classes, etc, students can learn about people with different backgrounds than themselves, to foster a sense of empathy for others.
Another primary focus in education systems should be on creating a well-rounded individual, somebody who knows a lot about the world and a lot about various different subjects. This will not only help them to become a more empathetic and understanding person who's capable of living in a diverse world, but it will also prepare them for the diverse challenges that come with adult life. For example, while somebody might not want to focus  on math in their higher education, it's important that they get a foundational basis in math as a youth, in order to be able to do things like pay their bills and taxes efficiently and accurately.

3. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #3

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 3
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 3
One individual who inspires me is Tara Westover, the author of the memoir "Educated". Tara Westover was raised by a Mormon family in Idaho who didn't believe in formal education or modern medicine. Westover's family also had strict beliefs about gender roles such as: a woman's place should be in the domestic sphere and raising children. In the memoir, Tara describes having an increasingly tough relationship with her family, who often disagreed with her pursuit of formal education. Nevertheless, Tara Westover ended up getting her bachelor's degree at a US college and later her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge.
The reason Tara Westover inspires me is that she made her own success from her skills, talents, and hard work. During her education, she experienced a lot of mental turmoil, familial struggles, and a tough time fitting in with her peers... she persisted and was able to do really well in her studies. She also wrote an amazing best-selling novel that inspired a lot of its readers to really appreciate what they have and work hard to achieve their own goals and dreams.
As such, one of the qualities she possesses that makes her inspirational is her determination. Tara Westover wanted to become educated and, despite the hurdles in her way, she continued to seek and achieve her goals. Another quality that makes her inspirational is her talent for writing. She is a really great writer who uses really beautiful prose to convey her ideas. I also think the fact that she advocates for education, and equal opportunities for students in her writing, makes it extra powerful and impactful.   Finally, the fact that she was able to think outside of her immediate environment and challenge what she learned from her upbringing is a real testament to her intelligence, openness, and creativity – qualities most people (myself included) strive to posess.  

4. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #4

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 4
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 4
One environmental issue that concerns me is the current state of the meat industry. The consumption of meat is very detrimental to the environment for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, when we excessively breed cattle for the purpose of producing meat, their defecation releases methane, which is incredibly damaging to the ozone layer. In turn, the sun's rays are better able to heat up the earth, contributing to global warming. Like a chain reaction, global warming leads to the melting of the ice caps and numerous natural disasters such as floods. This can impact not only humans but the creatures that live on Earth as well. Other environmental issues resulting from the meat industry include water pollution from animal waste, deforestation and habitat destruction to create farms, and inhumane animal practices. The last consequence is particularly disturbing to me. Not only are most of these animals raised in inhumane conditions, in small cages and with little food, but they are also killed in extremely distressing and brutal ways.
Individuals can address this issue by reducing or eliminating their meat consumption. They can also join protests about the conditions of cattle on farms and only purchase from farms that raise animals in humane conditions. Governments can try to address this issue by encouraging their people and citizens to reduce their meat consumption through education about the meat industry and its impact on the environment. Agencies should also impose regulations on the meat industry in terms of how much they can produce and waste, how they dispose of waste, and how they care for their animals; strict penalities for unsafe or inhumane practices should also be implemented.

5. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #5

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 5
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 5
Halloween is a popular tradition in the United States of America, but had its origins in ancient Celtic festivals, such as Samhain, which used to mark the end of the harvest and the start of winter. Back then, it was believed that the boundary between the living and the dead was blurred on this night, so spirits could cross over into the living world. Most Americans no longer celebrate Samhain or believe that spirits can cross over to Earth on Halloween, but the celebration is still associated with spooky things like ghosts, witches and vampires.
Halloween is often celebrated by trick-or-treating, where children go out in the neighborhood, announce "trick-or-treat?" at the door, and receive candy in return. Children (and adults) also enjoy dressing up in costumes on Halloween before attending gatherings and parties. These costumes are usually inspired by things that are ordinarily scary, such as ghostly entities and horror movie characters. Finally, another Halloween tradition is to go to a local farm and pick pumpkins and apples. Usually, Americans will carve up the pumpkins and put lights in them; they'll turn the apples into baked goods, such as apple pies. Using these fruits and vegetables are ways to celebrate the harvest, so we can see the ancient ties to Samhain coming back through in that.
While some people argue Halloween is just a commercial endeavor for companies, Halloween remains a significant and important time of the year for many Americans. Firstly, Halloween brings the community together because it involves lots of neighborhood gatherings! Another reason is that Halloween encourages people to use their creativity, whether it's in baking goods, carving pumpkins, or decorating the home; many children and adults alike also handmake costumes and decorations to create a festive atmosphere. Halloween is also a great opportunity to have fun with friends and family, watch spooky movies, and/or attend celebrations. While it can seem macabre from an outside perspective, it's a great opportunity for people to explore darker ideas like death and magic in a lighthearted way.
As such, Halloween encourages everybody to work together and use their creative skills to create a fun atmosphere and celebrate the fall. Whilst it no longer has its roots in the ancient Celtic festivals, it still remains a very well-loved holiday for all the family.

6. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #6

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 6
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 6
My favorite holiday is Christmas, which is celebrated on December 25th every year in my country. Christmas is my favorite holiday because it's the one time a year that the whole family gets together, despite being in various places and being extremely busy throughout the rest of the year. It's also a very meaningful time that is spent valuing friends and family by gifting them thoughtful presents and spending quality time together.
My family celebrates Christmas with many special traditions. In the lead-up to Christmas, we put candies or little gifts into an advent calendar for each other. This way, every day in December, we receive something small to boost our anticipation for the 25th. Another tradition is going Christmas shopping to pick out presents for loved ones. Once purchased, presents are then wrapped up in gift paper so that they remain a surprise until the day itself. Sometimes you'll also write special cards to family and friends too, wishing them a happy holiday season.
Before Christmas day, celebrating families decorate the house with traditional items like wreaths, holly, ivy, candles, and of course a Christmas tree, which is decorated with tinsel and glass and plastic ornaments. Usually, a star or an angel is also put on top of the tree, and stockings, which have little presents put in them on Christmas Eve, will be put around fireplaces.  
On Christmas Day, the family meets up and shares a large meal with vegetables, meat, potatoes, and various desserts. It's a tradition in our family to eat a lot of food, listen to festive songs, and watch Christmas movies on the day itself, although many families celebrate religiously by attending church services in their local communities.

7. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #7

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 7
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 7
Friendship is important to me for many reasons. One such reason is that friends can support you during difficult times in a plethora of ways. For example, friends can provide you with advice during hard times, which can be a great way to guide you forward when you're not sure what next step to take. Friends can also provide you with emotional support in challenging times by listening to your thoughts and feelings on the event. It can make a problem feel much smaller when you say it aloud and express your feelings about it in a non-judgmental, validating space! Friends can also, of course, provide physical support during hard times. For example, they can help you clean your house or give you food if you're struggling or you're extremely busy. They can also give you money if you're in a financial struggle or housing when you're in between places, which can ultimately be life-saving. This support from friends can be invaluable pillars in life, when it gets tough! Finally, an often overlooked (but important) aspect of friendship is that friends can provide you with fun and distraction when you're going through a hard time, which can be an great way to clear your mind so you can make the best decisions and choices. On a basic level, it also heightens the joy that can be derived from everyday events.
Friends also help you grow as a person by providing you with a unique perspective on things. For example, they might introduce you to a new activity or point of view you hadn't considered before, broadening the mind and making you more a well-rounded person. Friends may also challenge your values and beliefs in a way that makes you upset, but that in and of itself teaches you conflict resolution, communication, and cooperation skills. Friends can also help your growth by believing in you and encouraging you when times are hard to keep going; most friends have known you for a very long time and can see the situation from an outside perspective, for this reason can give you the motivation and inspiration in a way that nobody else could provide. In conclusion, friends are almost like the family you choose and are one of the most important, enjoyable aspects of life!

8. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #8

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 8
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 8
My favourite mode of transportation is driving by car. The advantages of driving by car and why I like it so much is that you can play your own music, e-books, or podcasts on the journey, making it much more entertaining. Another reason I enjoy travelling by car is that you can fill the car with all the things you need for the journey. If you're moving, you can fill it with your packed boxes; even if you're not moving, you can fill it with the snacks and food that you need for the journey and/or a change of clothes. Another reason why cars are my favorite method of transporation is that you can spend the time with  friends and family, only the people that you want in your car will be in your car. For this reason, it makes it a much more private and personal way of getting around. I also enjoy travelling by car because you can see the sights. For example, when you're driving through the USA, you can get a good sense of the scenery and some really fantastic views through the window. Finally, an advantage of driving by car is that you can control the temperature of the car. For example, if it's a hot day, you can turn up the AC and if it's a cold day, you can turn on the heating. In summary, you really can personalise the journey to your needs.
However, while travelling by car is my favourite method of transporation, you have to acknowledge that there are some disadvantages. Driving by car can be infuriating if you live in a big city: you can get stuck in traffic and are often involved in difficult driving circumstances such as erratic bikers and pedestrians. Another disadvantage of this mode of transportation is that it's quite bad for the environment. Driving has a much higher carbon emission than something like biking or walking or even using public transportation. Further, when you're driving, you definitely cannot read or text like you can with other methods of transporation. Even if you're in the passenger, reading can make some people feel extremely sick in the car, due to the motion. And so, those are the advantages and disadvantages of driving by car. But I would still say that being a passenger in a car is my preferred mode of transportation for the reasons listed, the most primary reason being that you can definitely take in the sights and personalise your journey to your needs.

9. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #9

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 9
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 9
My favorite type of weather is definitely the rain. One of the reasons why rain is my favourite type of weather is because it definitely calms me down and makes me feel lethargic when I can hear the sound of raindrops in the window at night. The sound is very calming and as such often leads me to feel very relaxed. Some activities that I engage in when it's raining include going for a walk, obviously wearing rain clothes, just to enjoy the weather outside. Another activity is just curling up with a good book indoors and a cup of coffee. As a kid I definitely also enjoyed the rain because I found that it cheered me up. Specifically the prospect of putting on my rain boots and jumping around and splashing in puddles. I definitely liked to engage in those pastimes as a kid. Nowadays I just prefer to stay warm inside when it's raining. I also really enjoy the way that the rain often reflects the light of the city around me. I think it can make for a very beautiful scene and a very rare looking scene because rain doesn't occur often where I live. Another thing about the rain that I enjoy is the fact that it can cool me down on a very hot day. When it's a really hot and humid day and the rain's coming down it can be a great way to cool off and to feel refreshed. Certainly I think that rain can also be associated with some of my favourite places to visit. For example, I really enjoy visiting the UK and the rain in the UK is quintessential to the British experience. For this reason it reminds me of the UK and encourages me to reflect on fonder times, boosting my mood and encouraging reminiscence. So those are all the reasons that rain is my favourite type of weather.

10. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #10

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 10
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 10
If I could travel to any country in the world, it would be Iceland. I would like to travel to Iceland for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, it's always been on my bucket list to see the Northern Lights and you can see the Northern Lights in Iceland from certain locations and times of year. The Northern Lights attract me to Iceland because it's one of the natural wonders of the world; I think it would be a real sight to behold. And as with anything in the sky, like constellations, it not only interests me but definitely forces me to think more philosophically about my life and how small I am in a very large universe. Another reason that I'm attracted to visiting Iceland is the fact that it has "midsummer" during the summer months. I've never experienced being in a country where it's light outside all of the time, even at like two o'clock in the morning and night time. I'm very attracted to novel experiences, so I feel like this would definitely be interesting for me to not only view but to see how the locals adjust to constant sunlight. In the same vein,  I'm also very interested to learn more about the history, geography and language of the Icelandic people. Because I'm curious about other cultures, languages and experiences beyond my own. Another reason why I'd like to go to Iceland is because of the very varied landscapes. There are mountains in Iceland and hot pools that are self-heating. There's also just a lot of different beautiful scenery landscapes to view. Finally, I'm also interested in going to Iceland because it's quite a remote country and I feel like it would be a great way to spend quality time with myself, given that it's not very busy or populated. So for these reasons and more, I'm definitely planning to go visit Iceland in the future.

11. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #11

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 11
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 11
My favorite piece of technology is my smartphone, more specifically my iPhone. The iPhone is my favorite piece of technology because it has significantly improved my life and others' lives in a multitude of ways. For example, now that I have a GPS built into my phone via Apple Maps, I am much better able to navigate new geographical locations. This makes traveling much easier and it also saves a lot of time, energy, and money in trying to navigate towards new places even when I'm not traveling, such as on my way to a job interview or a friend's home. Smartphones have also vastly improved communication. Now I have a smartphone, I'm better able to communicate with friends and family who do not live nearby; I'm also able to make better connections professionally via my iPhone, such as contacting professionals and employers from a distance. Prior to smartphones, people used to have to make phone calls from a payphone or a home phone, now we don't even have to memorize the numbers or have the numbers; you can look them up online if you're trying to contact somebody. Furthermore, the iPhone makes it very convenient to take and retain photographs. The quality of the iPhone is much better than many cameras used to be. Subsequently, you have all your photos and memories at your fingertips. This can also be a great way to show people pictures of things on the go because you will nearly always have your iPhone with you. Finally, the iPhone is extremely useful because it allows you to access the internet from wherever you are. For this reason, it means that if I'm stuck about something or have a question, no matter where I am or what I'm doing, I can quickly Google the answer and find out. This is much easier than researching before smartphones existed when you would have to be on the home computer or even in a library sorting through many files that might not even have the answer. We can now have a wealth of information at our fingertips. For all these reasons, the smartphone or the iPhone is my favorite piece of technology. It allows you to travel, communicate and find out information much more conveniently.

12. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #12

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 12
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 12
One historical figure that I admire is Sigmund Freud, the psychologist. Sigmund Freud coined so many terms in psychology that we now take them for granted. What's inspiring about his accomplishments is, again, that we use many of his terms and concepts today without even thinking. And in this way, it has spurned so much research and investigation in the field of psychology and neurology. For example, when we say things without meaning to say them, this is called a Freudian slip, which comes from Freud's examination of the unconscious mind. Further, Freud was one of the first people to come up with the idea of an unconscious mind in psychology. For this reason, he is greatly accomplished because decades and decades later, there are still studies going into the unconscious mind and it's something that we generally accept as part of the human psyche. In this sense, his accomplishments transcend his timeline and lifetime, speaking to his talent as a psychologist.
In the same vein, Freud's theory, the psychodynamic theory, is still used today to treat patients for a variety of mental illnesses and has been validated by empirical research articles. This is inspiring because it just shows how timeless and important his work was. What I find particularly inspiring about his life story is that he was originally a doctor of medicine. Because he thought out of the box and didn't give up when he wasn't excelling in medicine, he was able to transcend current knowledge and essentially coin so much of what we know about psychology today. Freud also worked doggedly to get his theories out into the world with the purpose of making many people's lives better. So whilst Freud is frequently attacked for his views and theories, and particularly for the quality of his research, it can't be denied that he shaped the field enormously and has subsequently helped so many people with his ideas.

13. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #13

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 13
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 13
One book that has had a significant impact on my life is The Diary of Anne Frank. The book describes Anne Frank's life in hiding during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands, during which she describes the turmoils of fighting for her life alongside her family. I learned from this book the importance of humanizing statistics in tragic events. A lot of the time on the news when things are reported, and in history books when things are described, statistics will be listed for the amount of people that were affected or killed by an event such as the Holocaust. When we read testimonials like Anne Frank's, it really brings the person behind the statistic to life. In turn, this helps us to better empathize with victims/survivors, see that they're not so much different from us, and thus feel more encouraged to mourn their loss and pass on the lessons learned from historical events.
Another thing that I learned from the book is how some people survived the Holocaust. For example, by hiding as Anne Frank did. I didn't know much about this aspect of the Holocaust before reading the book and came to know about it through Anne Frank's journal. Anne Frank's journal is also important to me because it's such a coming-of-age story. We see this young woman go through all the same feelings that we go through as we grow older, even in captivity. This just really speaks to so many elements of the human condition, and of childhood emerging into adulthood. Again, going back to my first point, this humanizes the people behind the statistics.
Another aspect the diary taught me about was the daily life in Nazi-occupied Germany. Before this moment, I knew a lot about the concentration camps, but not what life was like leading up to the concentration camps, and how some people successfully evaded them. Through learning about Anne Frank's daily life, I also got to know what some people did to resist the occupation. For example, housing Jewish people from the Nazi-German people. This is an incredibly valuable and important lesson because it shows that you can defy bad and evil with even just a small-scale good deed.

14. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #14

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 14
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 14
One skill that I have learned recently is how to sculpt clay to make ceramic pieces and or jewelry. I really enjoy doing this because it lets me use my creativity, it's also just a great way to focus the mind and slow it down. For this reason, it's certainly benefited me so far in my personal life. In addition, learning how to sculpt things like jewelry boxes and jewelry has definitely helped me in my personal life by helping me to make gifts for loved ones. In this way, when I make a ceramic piece, I can make a very meaningful gift that I spent a lot of time on that's personalized to the person without spending a lot of money. Having skills in this area of art has also helped me to make friends within a community of artists. For example, I've made friends who also like to do the same pastime and in turn, they have taught me how to hone my skills using what they know. Engaging in ceramics has also helped me to strengthen friendships with people who I had existing relationships with. For example, people who share the same interests as me or want to learn in this area have come over and enjoyed taking part side by side. It's also been useful for creating unique decorations for my home. It helps me to save money by creating my own pieces instead of buying ones that are less tailored to my taste. And so, for all of these reasons, I definitely find that clay ceramics have been a great help in my personal life.
Ceramics and arts and crafts have also been extremely helpful in my professional life. Having hobbies in this way and skills in this way is not only interesting to an employer and helps them get to know you more, but it also showcases your creativity. I've also used it to acquire additional educational certificates in this area, helping me to fulfill requirements for school curriculums. As such, learning how to use clay to create ceramics has been an incredible help in multiple areas of my life.

15. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #15

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 15
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 15
Unfortunately, one of my family members has been extremely sick. And whilst this has been a very negative experience for everyone involved, it has also taught me lots of valuable lessons. Firstly, the way that this family member showed resilience despite the pain they were enduring has been extremely motivational to me and has taught me that no matter what challenges or dark times come my way, I can keep my head held high, my dignity in place, and can still achieve the dreams and goals that I have in place for myself. This family member never let their illness get in the way of the things that they wanted to do.
Another lesson that I learned is that life is incredibly short and unpredictable. My family member wasn't very old when they became sick, and their life expectancy has been drastically shortened. In turn, this has taught me to seize the day and to not put off opportunities out of fear or procrastination. In a sense, it's taught me to just go for it, because you never know how much time you have left. Equally, it's taught me to make sure that I always tell my loved ones that I love them because you never know when their time will get cut short, or if yours will. This moral shaped the way that I now approach challenges and shape my life philosophy.
Finally, this family member has taught me the value of relationships and family in life. Despite being sick, this person still continues to care for those around them and prioritize them. This is incredibly inspirational because it shows just how selfless they are. In turn, it's inspired me to be more selfless myself and to try to display care not only for this person but all other people in my life. It's also shown me that you never know what somebody's going through. This person doesn't often talk about their illness or the things they're going through, despite all they have suffered, and for this reason, I've learned that it's important to show everyone loving kindness when possible because you just never know when someone's going through something difficult. In turn, you can hope that people will show you the courtesy.
In conclusion, this person taught me that you never know when your health might decline, your time run out, or opportunities will change. So, go for that job, take that trip, and kiss your loved one.

16. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #16

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 16
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 16
One subject that I'm incredibly passionate about and interested in is criminal psychology. I'm interested in this subject because it's so multifaceted. Firstly, many offenders are themselves mentally ill and or suffer from substance abuse. This has interesting implications for the criminal justice system as a whole and raises interesting questions like what is justice, how can we reduce recidivism in the United States, and how we can improve the justice system as a whole. This is something that I find incredibly meaningful and engaging to think about because "justice" upholds society at its core. In general, I also find criminal psychology fascinating because the brain is one of the body's most complex and interesting organs - it controls everything that humans do. So, when we can understand a little bit more about the human brain (and where it goes wrong), we're just so much closer to understanding everything there is to know about human life as we know it. There can't be a much more interesting topic than that.
I continue to learn about criminal psychology in a plethora of ways. One thing I really enjoy doing is reading scientific articles in this area, particularly when they involve neuroscience and psycho-biological processes. I find this interesting because in general, I'd like to learn more about the very complicated inner workings of the human brain and how they control everything that we do. Furthermore, the argument of nature versus nurture in the criminal world is also informed by these articles. Another way that I try to continue learning about criminal psychology is by listening to criminal psychology podcasts and reading criminal psychology books. My favorite is learning from professionals who work in the field, such as FBI behavioral profilers and or criminal psychologists. I find that this is a great way to get to know how cases are investigated, and solved, and the sentences for such cases. One can learn a lot from hearing professionals in this area talk about the work they do in the field. And so in all of these ways I continue to learn about this subject and that's why it interests me.

17. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #17

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 17
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 17
I learned an important lesson when I finished my undergraduate studies and went to work at my first proper full-time job. There I had a very difficult boss who I found very challenging to work with. She was sometimes extremely uncommunicative and often quite rude to me. The lesson that I learned from this was that sometimes people leave jobs, not managers. It's very important to properly vet who you'll be working under when looking for jobs. I also learned that it's extremely important to learn different communication styles in order to work with people who are different to you. So, adjusting the way that you communicate and the way you do work according to that person. This has influenced my decisions in various ways. Now when I go for job interviews, I tend to interview the other person as well as letting them interview me. I also like to ask questions about their managerial style. Further, I like to make sure that the person I'm working under will be respectful in their approach towards me so that I can maximize how much I'm learning from them and actually enjoy the work day. I also learned just how important it is to have a good boss and to enjoy your work life because a lot of that is about balance. That is definitely something that I've carried forward throughout my career and will continue to do so. A big part of this lesson was also learning to advocate for myself. For example, when my boss would say comments that were personally attacking, I learned to set boundaries but also learned not to take other people's opinions personally as well. Of course, within that, you also learn self-love, self-advocacy, and self-respect as well. Finally, this experience has taught me how to be a better supervisor myself. To avoid being that kind of boss, I definitely try to incorporate communication, empathy, and an open-door policy  in my own leadership style.

18. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #18

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 18
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 18
A favorite dish from my culture is jambalaya, creole style. Jambalaya is made using three different types of meat, usually chicken or pork, sausage, including chorizo or smoked sausage, and seafood like crawfish or shrimp. It's then also mixed with a few different vegetables such as onion, bell peppers, and celery. Once all of these ingredients are chopped and cooked, they're mixed in with rice, seasoning, and broth and cooked together in one pot until the rice is done. You can also have tomato sauce added in some different types, but I prefer to cook without it. Jambalaya can also be made as a very delicious spicy dish, and that's one of the reasons why I really enjoyed the taste; I love spicy foods. It also has a very rich flavor, but what makes it special to me is that it reminds me of one of my favorite places on earth, which is home, New Orleans, Louisiana. The reason this dish is to special to me is because the recipe was passed down through generations from my granma to my mom to me, so it definitely has a lot of rich familial history in there too. In turn, I really enjoy sharing the recipe with people who haven't tried it. What makes it special too is I think it's extremely unique to that area of the United States, in part because of the French influence in that area which brought the dish to the United States. I think also that it tastes really great when it's actually prepared and made in that specific area because often the crawfish and shrimp are extremely fresh. As such, jambalaya is very special to me because it reminds me of home,  reminds me of family, and just has a lot of unique flavors that I don't think can be found anywhere else in the US, let alone the world. It's also a really easy dish to cook, given that it can all be cooked in one pot, so it's just something that is a really easy go-to dish, one that can be even more filling when served with homemade cornbread, as is the American way.

19. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #19

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 19
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 19
One movie or movie series that made a significant impact on me is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The story is about a hobbit who is presented with a magical ring by a wizard and his great-uncle, a fellow hobbit. With a team of friends, the young hobbit and wizard have to travel to Mordor to destroy the ring because it has the potential for great destruction and negative power. The story made a significant impact on me because it was one of the first fantastical novels that I read and inspired me to write similar novels someday. The story is also so impressive because it encompasses lots of different languages, species, etc. And so in that sense, it invokes awe in me because the author created essentially a whole different world for the story. Further, the story elicited significant emotions and morals within me. In terms of morals, the story shows you to never give up. Even if the odds are against you like they were against Frodo Baggins being a small hobbit, it shows that you can work together with friends and family to achieve your goals. And that everybody contributes something unique and important to a team. Another moral provided by The Lord of the Rings is this argument between industry and nature. So, it definitely evoked emotions in me to protect the beautiful nature that we have and prevent environmental pollution from industry destroying that nature. Because the characters are so likable, the story also evokes a lot of feelings in me: a sense of sadness when the characters are losing, fear for the characters when faced with evil characters, and a sense of camaraderie and hope when things are going well.

20. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #20

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 20
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 20
One time I had to make a difficult decision was when I was deciding what I was going to major in in college. I was deciding between two subjects that I really, really enjoyed and I often find the hardest choices can be when we have multiple great options.
The factors that I considered were multitude. One factor that I considered was the job prospects offered within each major. I asked myself: how easy it would be to get a job after graduation in that field? What kind of jobs would be available in that field with the degree that I would get? What kind of salaries that would be offered within that field?
Another factor that I considered when making that decision was the kind of assessments that would be given to me within that major. For example, whether I would enjoy the kind of assessments that would be given, which would be essays in one, exams in the other. I also pondered how good I was at taking those specific types of assessments.
A final factor that I considered was perhaps the most important: which subject did I enjoy the most and find the most meaning in? I deeply considered in what ways I would use the skills gained from that major later down the line. And how those skills would be able to create meaning in my life and other people’s lives.
Interestingly, how I reached my decision was to not make a decision at all! I decided to major in both subjects, even though it involved a lot more work and was only an option at a few certain schools. And so how I came to this conclusion was I realized that I enjoyed and was good at both different types of assessments. I enjoyed learning about and found both meaningful in distinct but also interlinking ways. And the job prospects offered by both, again, fed into each other. And so, looking at it from that perspective was extremely helpful. And how I reached that decision was realizing that I couldn't give up on either one - it would feel like a great loss.
Other people also really helped shape this decision. They taught me that you don't always have to choose. You can do it all!

21. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #21

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 21
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 21
Learning a new language is incredibly important for many reasons. Firstly, learning a new language is important because the world is increasingly globalized. So, when somebody learns a new language, it opens their job and education prospects, allowing them to travel for work or even work or study in a different country. This flexibility and demonstration of worldliness is increasingly appealing to many careers and employers.
Another way that learning another language can benefit individuals and society is by giving people a better understanding of different cultures. A lot of culture is derived from the language that we use. As such, you can gain a better insight into a culture or another country through the language that's used. In turn, this promotes a more open-minded worldview and one that celebrates cultural differences and understands cultural differences. This can lead to greater respect amongst people and subsequently a greater peace between people.
Another importance of learning a new language is that it allows people who travel to another country to stay safe. There are always people who will need help or assistance when traveling to another country. As such, if you speak another language or that person's language, you'll be able to help them in a difficult scenario and/or seek help yourself.
Learning a new language also means that an individual can gain more from their travel, excursions, and expatriate experiences. This is because it allows them to seamlessly integrate into the culture and interact with locals, gaining a better understanding of the culture, making friends in the new culture, and eventually being better able to settle into that new culture. This can benefit the individual by giving them a more enriched travel experience but can also aid the society in which they are living because that way they can teach about their own culture to the locals of the new culture as well.

22. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #22

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 22
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 22
One skill that I possess is in the realm of cooking. I developed a talent for cooking through watching my mom cook as I was a child and reading through her handwritten recipe books but also the recipe books that she bought. We also watched a lot of cooking shows together where I picked up skills vicariously. When I got older, I also further developed my skills by participating and helping my mom cook, and eventually, I took classes in high school. During high school I used this skill in my everyday life during class and was able to enter competitions with the foods that I cooked and compete with other students; I found that was a great way to learn how to work independently and creatively on certain projects.
What's great about having a skill or a talent for cooking is that you use it naturally in your everyday life. I'm able to prepare a lot of dishes for friends and families at multiple different occasions. This can be a great way to show loved ones that I care about them is by providing them with food and of course it's a great way to sustain yourself -- to be able to know how to cook good dishes quickly and on a budget. It's a very important skill to use in everyday life because the foods that we cook and prepare and eat not only can have great meaning in our lives and enjoyment in our lives, but they can also nourish us with the vitamins and nutrients that we need to be happy and healthy individuals with extensive longevity. By preparing dishes from around the world I have also found that I can better understand and celebrate other cultures
Finally, I've developed this skill in adulthood by looking at the recipe when I go home after a great meal and attempting to prepare it myself, learning from mistakes when something doesn't come out quite as I had hoped, and figuring out where I went wrong. I also think one of the best ways to develop cooking skills is by sharing tips, hints, and tricks with people around you.

23. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #23

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 23
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 23
One of my favorite places to visit is Disney World in Florida. What makes it special to me is that it's almost like going back to being a child and having that childlike wonder of fun and adventure come to life. I enjoy multiple aspects of Disney World. For example, I enjoy Epcot because you're able to eat foods from around the world or, at least, inspired by food from around the world. There's a pavilion for 10 different countries that you can go and visit and just get a taste of different cultures in a way that is obviously not possible to do in one day in real life by going to all those different countries in one day. So, it's a really great way to just get a taste of and celebrate different cultures all in one visit.
I also really enjoy visiting Magic Kingdom at Disney. Here you'll see a lot of the iconic Disney characters. There are also lots of theme park rides to enjoy and a lot of shows, parades, and fireworks. What makes it special to me is I often go with my partner who I love very much. So, it's something very special that we share together, and have a lot of fun memories there. It's also special to me because it's filled with all the characters that I really enjoyed as a child. So, I can reminisce on being a child and also get that sense of being a kid again and forgetting my worries for a moment.
The third place that you can go in Disney World that I enjoy is called Animal Kingdom. What makes it special to me is that you get to see a lot of different animals all in one place there. The animals are very well taken care of and it's just wonderful to see animals from across the world. It's a rare opportunity. Another aspect I love about Disney World is the quality of the food. There are lots of delicious foods to enjoy there of high quality and it's just very special sometimes to just enjoy a really great meal with whoever you're in a unique setting, for example, the restaurant that is underneath the aquarium.
So, all in all, there's a wide range of things to do at Disney World and all of those things are usually fun, interesting, and very unique.

24. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #24

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 24
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 24
Technology has always had a strong influence in society but given the developments and strides made in technology over the past few decades, this has become increasingly important to consider.
Technology has significantly improved our lives by making things more convenient, efficient, and accessible. For example, in terms of communication, we can now message friends, family or even potential business partners from across the world with significant ease, thanks to things like the internet and social media.
We also have better access to information. Any question we have, we now have the answer at our fingertips. This makes learning and researching, but also sharing research and news and information, extremely easy,
Another way technology has been great and important has been allowing entertainment to burgeon, allowing the creation and accessibility of more interesting interactive experiences. For instance, things like video games, virtual reality, and streaming services, have really changed the way we spend our leisure time. We have much more options within entertainment at our fingertips and the people making the entertainment also have an easier job producing that.
However, there are a lot of challenges that come with technology in the modern day. For example, as technology becomes more popular, there are a lot of cyber security and privacy concerns. There are a lot of ways that people can get scammed or have their data used in ways that they would prefer not to be.
Further, it has often led people to become more isolated, staying in their homes versus opting for in-person social situations. In turn, when people are getting their social interactions primarily online, it makes them very susceptible to things like misinformation and conspiracy theories. They also may lose social skills.
Finally, as we have seen with the writer’s strike in the USA, there is a lot of job displacement because of technology. As technology propels itself forward, many jobs become obsolete or unimportant and can be replaced by AI, which can be a struggle for many people's livelihood.

25. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #25

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 25
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 25
Environmental conservation is extremely important for many reasons. First and foremost, conservation is important because of human health. When we use up all the clean air, clean water and things like that, quality and length of life significantly depletes.
In a similar vein, it's important to conserve natural ecosystems by keeping our air and water clean, for example, to ensure that ecosystems can continue to thrive in future generations. Keeping animals and plants stable and resilient is extremely important and to ensure that we don't lose these species of animals and plants due to reckless human activity.
It’s extremely important to conserve natural resources such as trees and plants to prevent the environment from getting any worse than it already is. For example, by failing to conserve trees and contributing to deforestation, we increase the amount of methane in the environment, which can only warm up the earth further, making it less habitable for future generations.
There are lots of ways that we can protect our planet for future generations. For example, with biodiversity, we can promote conservation efforts that target endangered species and their habitats. We can do this by sanctioning poaching and animal cruelty and sanctioning habitat destruction. We can also try to promote sustainable farming practices and more energy-efficient technologies to reduce the pollution of our air and water and reduce greenhouse gases. Another impactful thing that people can do is reduce their overall consumption by buying things only when needed from sustainable resources and reusing or recycling the things that we do buy before purchasing more. Finally, we can also do things like reduce our plastic use, our water uses and our transportation use by doing things such as car pulling, using public transportation or minimizing single-use plastic.

26. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #26

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 26
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 26
One skill that I would really like to learn is roller skating. This is because participating in any sport is extremely good for you in getting you outside in the fresh air, exercising, and working your muscles. In the same vein, rollerblading is also a great way to train your leg and arm muscles which can be great for improving strength, endurance, and stamina in many ways, particularly by including your energy.
It's also a great way to spend some time alone with yourself - just listening to music and getting that endorphin rush from exercise is great for the mind and soul. I think that it's also just a very fun and interesting sport to take up because there are often lots of roller discos where you can learn how to dance while you rollerblade or even just circle, round in circles, and listen to tunes
Rollerblading, I think, would also allow me to participate in team sports such as roller derby. This would be a great way to meet new people in the city who are like-minded and have similar interests. A couple of my friends already do rollerblading. I think it would be a great way to make sure that we make time for each other by participating together in this sport and working together to build our cooperation and communication skills when working on a team.
I think rollerblading is also a very interesting hobby because it's a very vintage hobby. A lot of people did it in the 1980s and 1990s. It would be great to reconnect with nature, get away from screens, and take part in something that previous generations, including members of my family, have participated in.
Finally, I think it's a great way to go around and see the sights of the city. For example, you can rollerblade in most places where you can ride bikes or walk. For this reason, it could be a great way to discover new places and new areas in your local neighborhood that you've never been to before.

27. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #27

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 27
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 27
If I could spend a day with any historical figure, I would choose the British playwright and poet William Shakespeare. I would choose Shakespeare because I really enjoy his plays, even though it's hundreds of years after he wrote them. Despite being born in a completely different time period, I can appreciate how timeless the themes are, how funny the jokes remain, and how dramatic all the aspects are. This is a testament to his talent as a creator.
I would ask William Shakespeare a multitude of questions. Firstly, I would ask him whether he wrote all his plays and poems because it's widely debated that he had help and or that somebody else wrote some of his plays.
Another question that I would ask William Shakespeare is about his creative process. For example, what influenced a lot of his plays and poems, what his creative process was like, and things like that. I would also probably ask him which of his play's characters and scenes were his favorite.
The biggest question that I would ask him too is whether he was as famous as he is today and whether he expected his pieces to resonate with people for as long as they have. He might be surprised to learn that. I would also ask him what he thinks about why his works have endured if they have.
What I would like to learn from Shakespeare is more about his writing process and how to write better myself. So, I would probably ask him how he overcame writer’s block and ask him to teach me how to overcome writer's block myself. And again, how to write timeless pieces. I would also like to learn from him how best to comment on society in my own works.
Finally. I would also like to learn about life in his time. How were his plays initially received? What was his life was like outside of writing?

28. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #28

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 28
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 28
One accomplishment or goal that I achieved was getting a very high score on the Duolingo English test and getting a score high enough to get into my top choices for universities. I faced a lot of challenges in the way to achieving my desired score for the Duolingo English test but overcame all of them in various ways.
One challenge that I faced was not scoring as highly as I would have liked on my initial test. This was very disheartening at first. It made me feel like I wouldn't ever get the score that I needed to get into the universities I wanted to attend. But I practiced with Arno and did a lot of their practice questions and eventually, when I retook the test, I was able to achieve the score that I needed.
Another challenge that I faced was having a lot of struggles with the speaking portion of the Duolingo English test. To overcome this goal, I made sure that I invested in a high-quality microphone, that I practiced varying my sentence structure in my speaking, and that I improved my vocabulary by looking up different synonyms to avoid repeating the same words. Arno’s blog really helped with this, by providing these incredible tips.
A final challenge that I faced when studying for the Duolingo English test was not being sure what kind of scores I needed to get into the schools I wanted and what sort of questions were asked. I overcame this by researching the Duolingo English test deeply and using Arno’s guide to the Duolingo English Test. I found that being better informed about the test made me perform much better on the second test because I knew what to expect. As such, I was able to overcome all these challenges and score what I needed to score.
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29. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #29

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 29
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 29
One time I had to adapt to a new environment or situation was when I studied abroad. During this time, I had to be extremely flexible to face the challenges that came my way. One challenge that I faced in this situation was a language barrier. In the country in which I was studying, most people didn't speak my native language, and my language skills in my host country's language weren't that great. As a result, there were a lot of miscommunications between myself, my host family, and locals within the community. I overcame this challenge by just simply getting better at the language, and by practicing and constantly taking classes in that area. And soon I was able to converse fluently in that language with the people around me and make friends this way.
On a related note, another challenge that I faced was struggling to make friends in a completely new place. This was in part because of the linguistic and cultural differences between me and the people of my host country. Eventually, the way that I overcame this was by being more proactive about making friends and going out of my way to try to seek new friendships (as well as learn the language). These steps eventually led to really great things because I not only was able to explore the culture of the friends that I made, but they were able to explore mine, increasing the understanding between us.
One other challenge that I had in this situation was adapting to new foods. The food was extremely different in my host country and wasn't what I was used to. The way I overcame this was by trying all the different foods that we had to offer and just embracing these differences. I found that I came to really enjoy preparing and eating these dishes and broadening my palate and food cultural appreciation.
In conclusion, when I was studying abroad I had to adapt to a new environment and this was challenging, I was able to overcome it by being open-minded about the place that I was in and flexible in my approach.

⭐ Admissions committees love hearing about the way you adjusted to travel or expatriate experiences. It showcases the way you will seamlessly be able to fit into their academic community, your likelihood of taking up further opportunities to study abroad when enrolled, and the contributions you will likely make to the domestic students on campus. It is also one of the many things that make you a unique candidate that will stand out in the applicant pool.

30. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #30

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 30
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 30
One childhood memory that's a favorite of mine and is extremely special to me is the day that our family adopted our cat, Spots. I remember the day that they brought home Spots, I was so excited to get to know him, look after him, and integrate him into the family. This moment was extremely special to me because I developed such a strong bond with my pet cat, and he was around for a significant portion of my childhood. We did lots of things together in childhood and he was always in the background for the good and not-so-good times.
Another reason why this memory is extremely special to me is because it taught me a lot of responsibility in terms of looking after something else and particularly looking after animals. It taught me that you must approach animals with caution, care, and understanding and it also taught me how to provide them with the best care, such as keeping them clean, happy, healthy, fed,  feeling well-loved and entertained.
Another reason why the memory is so special to me is because it became a part of my own journey with animals. For example, I later went on to have a pet of my own, and a lot of what I learned from looking after this childhood cat, I applied to look after a cat of my own. Looking after a rescue pet also showed me how meaningful it can be to provide shelter for animals in need. This encouraged me to get involved in animal advocacy and activism during high school, and later begin my academic career as a veterinarian.
Further, becoming close companions with a non-human entity really helps you develop an understanding and empathy for environmental causes that attempt to protect animals. It's a large reason why I'm a vegetarian is. As such, this memory and just all the memories I've shared with these cats have really shaped my personality, experiences, interests, and my future which I plan to dedicate to animals, particularly ones who are in need of a good home and or are in rescue shelters like Spots.

⭐ Here at Arno we love cats. No top tip here... just a fun fact.

31. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #31

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 31
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 31
Honeybees are fascinating for many reasons. Firstly, they have a very complex social structure. Honeybees are very different from most animals in that they are not only highly social, but have chaste systems, consisting of the queen bee, worker bees and drones. The queen bee is the leader of most colonies and is primarily in charge of laying egg and organizing the other bees; she often lives longer than the other bees too. This is interesting because it's not often that you find a matriarchal structure in the animal kingdom.
Within this, honeybees also communicate in very rare and interesting ways. For example, by doing something called a “waggle dance” to indicate when nectar or pollen is nearby. This is very different from other animals that usually use sounds to communicate.
Another interesting aspect of bees is the way that they contribute to human lifestyles Bees can produce honey from the nectar in flowers which can be used in a variety of different dishes and foods by humans. Their beeswax can also be used to form candlelight. Honeybees are also great pollinators, meaning that a lot of crops are spread by honeybees, again enabling us humans to access a lot of different fruits and vegetables. As such, bees have been human for a very long time.
Finally, I find it interesting yet sad that despite all of the benefits and interesting aspects of the honeybee, they are incredibly endangered and often face threats and challenges due to human activities such as habitat loss, exposure to pesticides, and diseases. So, it's somewhat interesting and evocative of human nature that despite all their good qualities, they aren't protected very much or as much as they should be.

32. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #32

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 32
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 32
One advantage of using public transportation for everyday commuting is that it's much better for the environment. This is because the carbon emissions that would be used by all the people driving a car, are reduced to the carbon emissions emitted by just one form of transportation.
However, a disadvantage of using public transportation is that it often can be quite unreliable. This is because it involves a lot of communication between different employees and different train lines and can often be disrupted easily if there's, say, an electrical error or a weather issue. Further, you don't know who you're going to be sharing the car with. So sometimes you can interact with dangerous characters.
Using a personal car for everyday commuting has the advantage in that you can have space of your own in the car. You can play whatever music you want in the car, travel with who you want, adjust the temperature accordingly, etc. You can also store things in your car specifically needed for that journey. For example, if you're going to work, you can keep your work bag in your car along with different snacks, etc.
A disadvantage of driving in a car is that it can cost a lot more money to have a car versus using public transportation. For example, whilst catching a metro every day for a couple of does add up it's still much more than purchasing a car, purchasing car insurance, paying to get the driver's license, etc.
Another disadvantage of driving is that you can get into car accidents much more easily. They're much more frequent than public transportation accidents and, as a result, you also must be much more responsible. For example, you can’t be distracted when you're in a car by reading or texting, you also definitely can’t have been drinking. In general, you just have to be very focused, alert, and awake. By contrast, we frequently see people texting, coming back from an event with alcohol, or even falling asleep on public transportation.

33. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #33

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 33
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 33
On a typical weekday in my life, I usually wake up, have a cup of coffee and some breakfast, get ready for the day, and go to work. On my commute in the morning, I usually listen to some music or a podcast that I like, and I'll listen to that same podcast or music on the way home too.
During my lunch break, I’ll usually catch up with my colleagues at a nearby deli or café.
When I come back from work, I'll usually change out of my clothes and sometimes study, or if studying isn't needed, I'll just relax. Relaxing might involve going out with friends, doing one of my hobbies such as arts and crafts or reading, or it might just involve engaging in some entertainment such as watching a favorite movie or TV show with my partner. Because I live with my partner, a typical day also involves lots of conversations with my partner. I also frequently engage in social media throughout the day on most typical days, texting friends to prepare for the weekend and just generally staying in contact with friends and family that I miss and want to stay up to date with. Further, I like to prepare dinner when I get home from work and it's usually something simpler and quicker.
On a weekend day, it's slightly different. I usually don't work on the weekend, so I'll usually just study, go out with friends and, like I said, engage in various hobbies or entertainment methods. I will also usually take my time to prepare more extensive, interesting meals or go out for dinner. On weekends, I usually also spend time cleaning the house and planning the week ahead to prepare for the cycle to start again.

⭐ You don't have to have an interesting daily routine to answer a question like this well. Just make sure to describe as much as you can in the time allotted! To structure a question like this think systematically so that you cover all details – in this case, the student structured their response in the order of the day as it unfolds to make sure they didn't miss anything out. Your production subscores will thank you!

34. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #34

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 34
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 34

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 is a historical event that I find incredibly interesting. After World War II, Germany was divided into occupation by four different other countries. France, England, the United States and Russia. In turn, Berlin was divided into similar four parts, but primarily the East and the West. Western Germany was defined by capitalism, whereas Eastern Germany, or East Berlin, was defined by communism. The fall of the wall separating the East and West basically symbolized the end of the Cold War between the East and the West, specifically the East and the West of Germany. It also showcased the relief involved in this divide being destroyed. When the Berlin Wall was up, there was a lot of tension between the schools of thought countries and between inhabitants of West and East Berlin. The falling of the wall symbolized that this was now over and that Berlin was unified. For many, it also symbolized a new era moving on from World War II.
As such, it's an incredibly important moment in history because it symbolized the reunification of Germany and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union. It also signified the triumph of peaceful protests which were caused by people's desire for freedom and a desire for moving on again from not only the Cold War, but World War II. Many people see the broken wall, which is still up today, as a general sign and celebration of peace between nations and anti-war legislation. Many artists have also visited the wall and created artworks on it that represent and support these messages. As such, it also has provided a conversation about peace and civility for all to engage in.

⭐ As you can see, Arno is always adding new practice questions. If you somehow manage to finish the many questions we already have, soon there will be more to practice with!

35. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #35

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 35
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 35
One memorable event from my childhood is the day I went snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is a giant coral reef in Australia spanning miles; it has lots of different marine life in it. On the day of the event, I boarded a boat from Port Douglas and we journeyed towards the dive site. At the dive site, we put on all of our snorkeling gear and descended into the waters. It was amazing to see because I saw lots of different corals in different shapes, sizes, and colors. There was also a diverse range of marine life including bright fishes like angelfish, clownfish, reef sharks, sea turtles, and rays.  I thought it was absolutely amazing just to explore and see all of this marine life up close. One of the most memorable parts of the trip in and of itself was also driving back to the shore. It was sunset at that time and seeing the sun setting over the ocean was just a really fantastic and breathtaking experience. I remember it so vividly because there were so many different sights to see and I was in awe of how unique ocean life is. Just thinking about how much of the ocean is still left unexplored. I also felt very grateful for the opportunity to have seen all of these different wildlife in their natural habitats. I also remember it vividly because the tour guide spoke a lot about ocean conservation and the importance of that. I carried that message through from my childhood to my adulthood thinking about different ways that we can protect the ocean and preserve its biodiversity. I remember that seeing the clownfish in their natural habitat was particularly interesting to me and the sea turtles because at the time I was a big fan of finding Nemo. I just remember being extremely excited to see these creatures in the flesh after being a big fan of the movie as a kid. So that was another really great aspect of the trip for me.

36. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #36

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 36
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 36
My favorite kind of music is jazz music. Jazz music originated in the U.S. in the early 20th century to late 19th century among African-American communities in New Orleans. It's one of my favorite types of music because it's so diverse and has a wide range of styles and sub-genres. For example, cool jazz, Latin jazz, and swing, each with their own unique characteristics. Some of the key figures in jazz include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong, who have left a lasting impression on the field. Another really interesting thing about jazz is that when Americans expatriated to Paris in the 1920s, a lot of the expatriates brought jazz music with them, so I definitely always associate it with a vintage 1920s feel, and it also reminds me of my trips to France and Paris. One of the things that I really enjoy about jazz music is the improvisation, which is very unique to jazz. I think it's absolutely amazing when jazz musicians just spontaneously create melodies and solos; it really highlights just how talented they are, and often leaves me feeling in awe of their ambitious, inventive, and interesting contributions to music. I also find that the rhythmic elements of jazz make me feel very confident and calm, and this is just a really great feeling that I enjoy when listening to it. Listening to Jazz music also keeps me very focused when I'm doing something like studying, because a lot of the time it doesn't have lyrics, and the beat is very focused. I also find that live performances of jazz music compared to other music types often tend to really incorporate the audience in the performance. It's very easy to appreciate jazz, but it's also important to acknowledge its African-American influences and rich history.

37. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #37

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 37
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 37
Wireless headphones are a piece of technology that's made a significant impact on my life. Using wireless earphones has really opened up my ability to multitask; it enables me to listen to music privately without disturbing the people around me, whilst also continuing with different things that I do with my hands. So in a sense, it's made me a lot more productive and efficient. For example, I really like to use wireless headphones when I'm working out, particularly when I'm rollerblading. Wireless earphones have really made it a lot easier and more motivating to go and work out because I no longer drop my earphones or have to mess around with the wires while I'm running. My arms and body are also freer to move, whereas before the motion used to pull out the earphones if I moved in a certain direction or way, and I used to get worried about it falling in the way of my rollerblades. So, that's become a lot easier and much more improved. Another time that I use wireless headphones is when I am cleaning my home. I used to clean with music out loud, but it would distract the people that I lived with. And when I used wired headphones, it just really limited my movement and sometimes I'd have to do certain tasks that involve a lot of movement, like cleaning the bathroom with no music at all. Having the wireless headphones has really made me more efficient in that way, while also making doing mundane chores like cleaning the house much more enjoyable. Finally, using wireless earphones has been great for when I'm doing crafting or actual work. This is because again, I don't have to distract the people around me at work when I'm at my office playing music. When I have the earphones in, I can just tuck them in my ears and it just makes the workday go quicker. And I find that listening to music when I'm working also makes me feel more motivated and focused. So it's great for all those reasons. And it certainly made me more productive and made mundane tasks more enjoyable. Similarly, when I'm crafting  I can now listen to a podcast; when I'm using messy materials or materials that involve a lot of hand movements like clay, it definitely enables me to be a bit freer and not have to worry about dipping my headphones or my phone.

38. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #38

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 38
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 38
Midsummer, known as Jāņi in Latvia, is one of the most important festivals in my culture. It falls on the summer solstice and it goes from June 23rd to 24th. Because of the geographical position of Latvia, Midsummer Night is incredibly short and sometimes doesn't even exist at all because the sun doesn't set. As such, this is a very unique thing to my country, that you can't find in most places on earth. To celebrate nature, there are a lot of creative things to participate in, such as creating flower crowns and wreaths made from natural objects. There are also lots of folk songs and dances along with jumping over the bonfire, which is meant to cleanse you from negativity and bring good luck. It's a very significant festival, not only because it celebrates nature and the culture of Latvia, but because it also brings people together to celebrate; it's a great time to connect with fellow Latvians, friends, and family, along with celebrating the heritage of one's family.  I think that it's also just a really cherished holiday because it's a time to celebrate the resilience of Latvia after all that it went through under the Soviet Union. Together we show gratitude that Latvia has its independence, for example. Originally, the celebration was for the harvest, so it's just a great way to really show gratitude for the things that we have in life that we sometimes take for granted like food and nourishment. And so, another part of the celebration is the traditional foods, such as cheese with caraway seeds, bacon, fresh vegetables, etc. So again, it's just a great way to become creative and share what we have with fellow Latvians, family, and friends.

39. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #39

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 39
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 39
One very memorable meal that I had to eat was when I visited Thailand and went to a street fair. Here I actually tried eating insects for the first time. In general, the bustling vibes of the morning and the street fair were something to remember, but definitely, my nerves about eating the insects were at an all-time high beforehand because I've always been afraid of insects. At the fair, they were selling different types of edible insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and silkworms. The insects that I tried were the grasshoppers and they were seasoned, deep-fried, and smelled extremely delicious. One of the things that I remember most about this meal was just being surprised at how well it all smelled, but also the casualness within which this culture ate bugs. As such, the experience opened my mind to the different types of foods that we eat around the world and differences in cultural norms; I would certainly recommend trying it if you're ever in a country that does eat bugs for this reason!
When I plucked up the courage to give the grasshoppers a try, I found that it wasn't my favorite meal,  but it was certainly memorable because it didn't taste how you would expect at all. It was really quite delicious; crunchy on the outside, spicy, and savory. I would compare grasshoppers to the taste of nuts in a way, and I did end up eating the whole lot! I also remember thinking about how eating bugs could be a much more sustainable way to get protein. Thus, I  found it extremely memorable because it introduced me to a unique and delicious experience that I'll definitely never forget and recommend to other people, although I won't be eating them anytime soon in the USA.

40. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #40

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 40
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 40
Communication is incredibly important in today's world because of how globalized it is. Nowadays, many people work, live, or go to school in a different country than the one they were raised in. For this reason, technology is incredibly important because it allows us to communicate with loved ones and to sustain relationships even when we're far away, whereas, before the advance of technology, the only way really was via letters or via physical visits, which can be costly, expensive and extremely slow. Another reason is that it enables easier searching for job opportunities. Now we can communicate with employers from anywhere at any time and this just really opens up the amount of opportunities that we are exposed to and able to receive, making it extremely useful in today's rapidly-paced world.
Technology has affected the way that we communicate in several ways. One way that it's affected the way we communicate is that a lot of people often opt for communication through technology, such as texts, emails or video calls, as opposed to meeting in person. This can be great for its convenience but also has its troubles in the sense that it can sometimes lead to no non-verbal behavior being included in the conversation, which can lead to information being misconstrued or miscommunicated because the tone of voice and the person's non-verbal behavior cannot be gauged along with what they're saying. Further, it's affected the way we communicate because now we communicate frequently through social media with people that we don't know as well or don't know at all. This can lead to a lot of non-experts talking about areas of specialty, which can lead to the spread of misinformation and also a sense of narrow-mindedness. We tend to follow people who agree with us and thus tend to only be exposed to certain kinds of ideas over and over again, reducing our exposure to diverse viewpoints and ideas. These interactions are usually also emotionally salient, which can give us the impression that things are always not well in the world that we live in. I think this is definitely one of many contributors to rising mental health disorders. Finally, another way that technology has affected the way that we communicate is by making it more challenging for some people to pay attention in in-person conversations. Youth might not be used to talking in person, making eye contact, or things like that, so they can come across as a little bit awkward or impatient during in-person conversations. This can be incredibly detrimental to the authenticity of social interactions, and should be avoided at all costs!

41. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #41

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 41
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 41
My favorite food is paella. Paella is essentially a rice dish with lots of different spices and herbs, vegetables, meats, and seafood, all cooked in one pan. Paella is extremely special because it originated in Valencia, but eventually gained cultural importance in Spain and beyond. The reason it's special to me is because I am also from the Valencia region, so it just really makes me feel when I'm eating the dish like I have a deep-rooted connection to home when I'm away from it. I also really enjoy sharing this dish when I go to different countries with the people that I meet because it gives me a sense of pride about where I'm from. Paella connects to my personal experiences because the recipe I follow was passed on from my dad to me and from my granddad to my dad, so it definitely represents a sort of culinary heritage in our family and always makes me feel connected to home when I'm away from it and missing it. It connects to the culture as well because it's just, there's lots of different variations of paella, which outside of the Valencia region, which is just really interesting to see when you go to different parts of Spain. It's definitely also a really big draw for tourism; a lot of people often come to Spain and enjoy trying paella for the first time, so it certainly contributes to the tourism industry. Sharing paella is also a big part of local festivals and celebrations and the traditions there. For example, in La Tomantina near Valencia, there's a food fight where participants throw tomatoes at each other and then paella is often served as a communal meal afterward to celebrate the day and the event. It's also often prepared for smaller social gatherings where people can often contribute their own tastes, ideas, and ingredients to the meal, making it something that is a culmination of different people's expertise and contributions. So for all of these reasons, it's extremely special to me, but also to my culture.

42. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #42

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 42
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 42
One of my favorite hobbies is taking photographs on old film cameras. What I enjoy about doing this is that you have to be very selective in the photographs that you take, so you have to think really carefully. On a digital camera, you can take as many shots as you want, one after another, with unlimited memory. With a film camera, you only have a certain number of (quite expensive) films. Whilst this may be a disadvantage for many people, I find it just makes me think very carefully about the composition of my photos, and what exactly is the most interesting part of the scene or person that I'm taking photographs of. As such, I am much more intentional about my photography with film cameras.
Another aspect I enjoy about film photography is that you only get to see the photos once you've developed them, which is usually days or hours later, at the very least. This gives a very interesting element of surprise to the photograph-taking process. You really don't know what you've got until you've developed it, and for this reason, you can just sometimes be pleasantly surprised when something you weren't sure was going to come out that great ends up being one of your favorite pieces.
Another aspect I enjoy about film photography is actually being in the darkroom and mixing the chemicals. Not only is this quite a fun process and unique process, just being in the dark and using old chemicals, but it really makes you appreciate every photograph you develop. Further, being in the dark room helps you learn about the chemistry of photograph development, which I find interesting, and gives a really vintage feel to the experience that translates into the photos themselves. This makes me feel like I'm taking part in a tradition in art that goes back for many, many decades. Further, film photographs usually come in black and white, which can really emphasize certain parts of the photograph.
I became interested first in film photography when I took a class in it. It was a class that I wasn't sure about taking, but I ended up coming away from it really enjoying it and coming out with some very beautiful pieces. So in that way, that class is why I switched from digital to film photography. But I'd always been interested in photography, particularly when I was traveling to a new place or exploring a new city. I really liked capturing the things that I saw so that I could look back on them later and the memories that were made.

43. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #43

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 43
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 43
One extremely memorable trip that I took was to the southeast of the United States to build houses for the less fortunate. I found this incredibly special and educational because it served as a great reminder that there are a lot of people who need help from more fortunate members of society, even in a modern-day country like the USA. It also taught me the value of hard work. For example, before that, I was quite young, so I'd never had a job before. It was so great to see the end result because it showed me directly the impact of my labor. The event also taught me valuable lessons about teamwork and communication. It was very special to see all of our hard work come together to build the houses that we did. It was also very special to see the faces of the people on the other end of receiving the houses because they found it so valuable. This definitely also taught me that I'd like to do similar work again in the future and that some of the most meaningful jobs, where you work the hardest, are the ones where you know it's going to directly benefit the people in your community. I also obviously learned a lot about construction. I didn't know much about how to construct buildings and things like that, and the safety precautions that must go into that work – not to mention the time and energy. How to build homes that look great and that are safe and practical at the same time. All of these things were just something that I'd never considered or even thought about before.
As such, the experience gave me a newfound respect for construction workers, and also my own house. So, that's been a really fantastic learning curve for me. I think what also made it meaningful is that I got close to some friends that I had never before really interacted with. It taught me better how to make friends, and how to work together with those friends for a common goal. There were times when it got quite difficult to build the house, and we just really had to resolve any issues and focus on our strengths and weaknesses individually, to create the best result possible – many conflict resolution skills were learned all around. In the same vein, it gave me a better insight into architecture as a whole. So it was just a really novel, unique, and important experience that I recommend to anybody who has the opportunity in their school.

44. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #44

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 44
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 44
One historical figure that I admire is Mary Curie, the physicist and chemist. Mary Curie was known for her pioneering research on radioactivity, and she received not only one Nobel Prize but two in different scientific fields (physics and chemistry). This is just so inspiring to me because most scientists can only dream of achieving one Nobel Prize, but to receive it in two different scientific fields just shows how much she stood out for her sheer intelligence, determination, and dedication to the field.
Another reason why she's inspiring is because she did all of this in the face of adversity, trailblazing the way for women in STEM everywhere. Science is still a male-dominated field, but was especially so in the times when she was working. The fact that she persisted and became a scientist was impressive enough, but the fact that she also received the Nobel Prize is just such an outstanding achievement and shows just how determined she was. She was determined to achieve what she did. And she didn't let social rules and adversity stop her, inspiring future generations of female scientists to do the same.
Another reason why she's inspiring is because of her humanitarian contributions to science. She really made a difference in this world by establishing mobile radiography units, which provided services to wounded soldiers during World War I. This saved so many lives and is still used today in the field of medicine. She also inspired radiotherapy for cancer treatment. Again, this had a lasting impact on the field and many people's lives.
As such, Mary Curie is an icon of scientific excellence, education, and research. Her inspiration and her work live on today, encouraging many other women and scientists to make similar contributions to the advancements of science, to save lives. This, in a sense, is just one of the most important and meaningful ways to use one's life as a human being, to leave the world in a better place than you found it.

45. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #45

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 45
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 45
One memorable experience I had while traveling was when I visited the Taj Mahal on my trip to India. The Taj Mahal was extremely memorable and stood out to me because of its beautiful and unique architecture. It was like nothing I had ever seen, having that whole palace built out of white marble. It was truly so intricate, beautifully crafted, and a wonderful example of expert architecture skills. Similarly, another thing that really impressed me or stood out to me about the design of the Taj Mahal was the beautiful gardens surrounding it and the reflective pools. It really added to the ambiance of the moment and just really emphasized the stunning creativity that was involved in creating it. It also changes colors three times a day, which is something I'd never really seen or at least noticed in buildings! It looked pink in the morning, white in the evening, and then one time when I was driving by at night it looked almost golden. This was just a real sight to behold and the amount of effort that went into it. The Taj Mahal also stood out to me for its history. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. It was just so beautiful to see how love can lead to such beautiful inventions, creations, and art. I definitely found that just how long it had been in place also really stood out to me. I just felt like I was standing on a part of history and I felt very grateful and lucky to have been able to see it. There's a reason the Taj Mahal is one of the man-built wonders of the world and it was just generally a once-in-a-lifetime experience to view this beautiful monument. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who plans on going and I would definitely visit again. It's a wonderful way to learn about Indian history and culture.

46. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #46

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 46
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 46
One hobby or interest of mine that has evolved over time has definitely been coding. I learned to code initially just as a hobby and something I enjoyed as a child. Inspired by my information technology classes in school, I became very interested in the idea of creating things through code and writing my own code. So I started to learn and teach myself from YouTube videos. Following this, I actually attended a short coding boot camp for children when I was young, where I further honed my skills and met similar-minded people who were also interested in coding; this really ignited my abilities and my passion for the hobby. Ever since I've been in awe of all the amazing things that you can create with code and the ability to even be creative in such a mathematical field. This has continued to evolve. During college, I ended up majoring in computer science and taking a lot of classes that involved coding. As such, my hobby began to evolve into my academic career. I also took on many side gigs during and after college that involved creating things for people who needed my services. So again, we can see how I began to use my not only improve my skills in this hobby but begin to utilize them in my academic career and beyond. I now have a career that primarily focuses on coding. In turn, I learned the importance of hobbies and interests and the way that they can actually shape your future endeavors. I feel extremely lucky that something that just very much interested me and was a hobby originally has now become my day job and is something that I'm paid for on a regular basis. I now not only know how to code in one programming software but many others. I just would really encourage anybody who has a hobby or interest to continue to pursue their skills in it. You never know what you might get to achieve and I think it's most people's end goal or dream to have your hobby become your main source of income, this way you enjoy going to work on a daily basis rather than seeing your career simply as a way to pay the bills.

47. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #47

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 47
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 47
One way that I've had to work in a team was when I worked as a nurse in a hospital. My role was to provide care for the patients, for example, medication management, giving education to patients about their conditions, the treatment that they need to do, and post-discharge care. The hand-off itself, helps patients leave the hospital safely and in a way that they will recover quickest.
The way that I work in a team as a nurse is first by acting in shifts. I'm not always looking after the same patient. So we'll have to make sure that the next nurse on shift and the nurse on shift before me are informed by knowledge passed on between nurses. To be a good team member, I write detailed notes for the next nurse to provide the best care to the patient. And in turn, the nurse before me will give me notes that I review carefully to avoid repeating work. This way I can continue the hard work that they've done in preparing this patient for release. I would also say that you have to work as part of a team with the family to get them on board with the patient's treatment and to help them develop a plan for when the person is released. In this sense, you use the information that the family knows about the patient and the information that you've learned from treating them in the hospital to make sure that they are fully and comprehensively looked after and won't be returning to the hospital anytime soon.
Another way that this involves teamwork is communicating with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, to develop care plans for patients. I will often work with these professionals to gain their expertise and also provide my expertise in return. In this way, we're always working together to get the patient the best care possible. The outcome of such teamwork is that the patient gets the best treatment possible, has the speediest recovery possible, and leaves feeling much better than they did when they entered the hospital. It also leads to a cohesive communicative team that is able to help people in the future using the expertise of one another to get the job done. In this way, I've come to learn that teamwork is just about using everyone's strengths to make up for their weaknesses.

48. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #48

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 48
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 48
I always really enjoyed the days in school when scholastic book fairs would be held. These were always one of my favorite memories because I really enjoyed reading. Scholastic book fairs frequently involved the presentation of carefully selected books, including bestsellers, award-winning books, and educational books that you could purchase and choose from in the school library. I always found this to be extremely memorable because I was always able to find a book that really appealed to me, and usually on a new topic that I hadn't considered interesting before. For example, one time I found myself very drawn to a book on marine biology. Whilst I had never considered this subject interesting before, reading and purchasing that book taught me a lot about marine biology and really shaped my life by making me attracted to experiences involving the ocean, such as diving, exploring, swimming, etc. It also gave me a great appreciation for marine life, encouraging me to get myself involved in environmental, specifically marine life, activism to conserve the ocean, prevent littering in the ocean, and of course protect endangered species in the ocean. I also found that these fairs positively affected my life because the Scholastic book fairs helped to serve as a fundraiser for the school, enabling us to do other things in the future like trips and excursions. The fairs also supported our school library, which is where I spend a lot of my lunchtime and supported our creative writing club, which I found extremely important, engaging, and enjoyable during school. The fairs were also a great way to make friends and engage in my community. I often spent a lot of time with my friends going around the Scholastic book fair, and it was a great conversation opener and a way to bond over the types of books that we enjoyed. And so, scholastic book fairs became a very cherished memory for me. It encouraged a lifelong love of books and reading that I've carried with me through to adulthood, and that has given me a quite well-rounded understanding of the world, comprehensive reading skills, and of course personal development from the things that I learned.

49. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #49

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 49
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 49
One TV show that inspired and influenced me is the documentary or TV show called Blackfish. Blackfish is all about the captivity of killer whales in marine parks, specifically a captive orca named Tilikum in SeaWorld. Tilikum was captured off the coast of Iceland and was involved in several fatal incidents with trainers during his time at SeaWorld. This influence made not only an impact on me but also an impact on the world as a whole. Blackfish raised some ethical questions about keeping animals in captivity for human entertainment. It showed people how the confinement and treatment of the orca Tilikum not only led to endangering humans but also really damaged the psyche, life, and well-being of this innocent creature. The documentary showcased the small enclosure that Tilikum was kept in, despite being a very large animal that needs social interaction with its own kind, and how this claustrophobia and social isolation led to him becoming stressed and aggressive. The whale was later punished and blamed for his aggression, despite it being humans that led him to these behaviors. It made an impact on me because previously I was very interested in going to SeaWorld and thought that the captivity of animals in this way was a good thing to keep them preserved and conserved. However, it definitely changed my mind on this, because I realized that a lot of these animals that we see are purely kept for entertainment and in awful conditions, and it's just how unfair that is. Now I no longer go to these places and sign petitions against them when they come my way. Blackfish also had a wider impact on the use of these animals for entertainment. For example, after Blackfish, SeaWorld faced a significant decline in attendance and revenue due to the outrage from it. It's now rebranding itself as more of a water park and tends to, at least in the public eye, treat its animals much better. It also led a lot of activists to push for increased regulations and restrictions on the captivity of not only killer whales, but other animals, and as a result, some places did implement laws to improve this area. It also shifted industry practices by making it safer for trainers, and training trainers when animals are distressed.

50. "Speaking Sample" Cue Card #50

Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 50
Duolingo English Test "Speaking Sample" Practice Question 50
One person who's had a significant influence on my life is my partner. They've had an impact on my life because I see them on a daily basis, first and foremost. So they're a part of every one of my life's challenges, successes, great moments, and sad moments. They're there for it all, even the mundane moments. And they have been for many years now.
They've had an impact on the way they have because they're a very calm and intelligent person. In this way, they have definitely calmed me down and taught me not to take life so seriously all the time. And sometimes just make sure that we take a moment to realize even the biggest issues will one day just be a funny story or a lesson learned. This has definitely taught me to just make the most of the time I have and not get beaten down too much by negative moments.
Watching my partner be so supportive and motivating in everything that I do, and in others as well has also taught me valuable lessons. This has taught me the value of myself because they see what I'm capable of teven when I doubt myself. So, it's taught me to stop second guessing my abilities and just go for opportunities –  usually, this will work out. My partner has also taught me the importance of supporting the people around me, the impact that you can make on someone's life by doing that.
Another way they had an impact and that I learned from them is through self-care. This person really prioritizes self-care and rest, and I think this was a very important lesson for me to learn, because it taught me that you can only really perform your best when you have your basic needs met, when you eat well, are hydrated, have slept well, etc. In conclusion, my partner has had a great impact on me because I now prioritize those things and make sure that when I feel myself getting overwhelmed or stressed, I take a moment to myself to nourish myself in that way.

⭐ Some questions sound similar because they are topics that come up frequently! Make sure to examine the slight differences between similar questions; they may be asking for different kinds of responses!

How to Improve Your Duolingo English Test Speaking Samples

  1. Review our blog for tips on improving your responses to Duolingo Speaking Questions and improving your overall Duolingo English Test scores. You can also find more model answers and cue cards here... because Arno is the best!!! 😎
  2. Vary your sentence structure. This can be hard to do when writing, and even harder when speaking but will help you improve your "grammatical complexity" scores. An easy way to vary your sentence structures is by using connecting words. A great acronym for this is FANBOYS: Furthermore, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So!
  3. Use synonyms. To meet Duolingo's requirements for "lexical diversity" and "lexical sophistication" avoid repeating the same words. Identify words you use often and look them up in a thesaurus to see other words you can use in their place. Entering your practice responses into Arno will also highlight high-scoring, advanced words to use again in the future or recommend higher-scoring words with the same meaning. Another top tip is just noting down any new words you come across when you are reading, even if you are reading for fun!
  4. Say a lot, but say it well. For production subscores, it's important to try to speak as much as possible during the three minutes given by Duolingo. To ensure you are speaking clearly, take a deep breath and think before you speak. This way you can cover a lot of information while still demonstrating your English proficiency and ability to communicate your ideas.
  5. Review the topics that come up often. Earlier in the article we learned that Duolingo is a big fan of recycling the same topics for the Duolingo English Test speaking sample questions. You can use this to your advantage by thinking about your thoughts and opinions on these topics ahead of time, so you are not wasting time on test day trying to come up with ideas.
  6. Remember - there are no right or wrong answers. Try not to be nervous about providing your opinion on a topic or describing something about yourself! In the end, you are the expert on your own opinions and hobbies. If you get stuck, you could even make something up!
  7. Practice. Practice. And practice some more. Taking practice questions is the best way to evaluate your study progress and prepare for the test. There are many ways to practice for the Duolingo English Test, but the best way is by joining Arno!

Arno has unlimited, free practice questions, including "Speaking Sample" questions, for you to try. Once you have recorded your response to a question, we automatically transcribe it because while you may want a copy of your response... NOBODY wants to hear their own voice played back to them. Thank you, Arno. 🙏

Arno then provides instant, detailed feedback on how you can improve your performance.

An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback
An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback

As you can see, we not only provide an estimated score for your responses but also pronunciation feedback including pronunciation accuracy, fluency, and completeness. Arno even points out specific words where your pronunciation needs improvement!!!

An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback
An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback

As with all of our questions feedback, we also provide vocabulary and grammar assessments and tips. This kind of feedback can be helpful even for native English speakers!

An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback
An example of Arno's "Speaking Sample" question feedback

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