IELTS Cue Card: Describe a time when you got into trouble

Describe a time when you got into trouble

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 189 with Model Answer:

Describe a time when you got into trouble.


You should say:

  • what type of trouble it was
  • how you got into it
  • how you handled it
and explain how you felt about it.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Life is difficult and often people are to experience some sort of troubles. I also had to face a trouble when I was unable to remember the lines I read on books against a particular question.

In last December, I had to appear in the year final exam of my college first year and it was difficult for me to cross the barriers as the questions were too hard to answer. The exam was about literature and I had to answer some critical questions about the history of English literature. The questions were about the writing style, plots, relation with the past history of the modern days and more other issues. The problem was that the question-maker might have forgotten about the syllabus that was prescribed to us by the college authority to be followed for the year final exam. Surprisingly, almost all the questions were beyond the prescribed course outline and it caused great trouble to all of us; especially I was one of the worst sufferers.       

Unfortunately, I did not get the prescribed course outline as I was sick heavily. Thereby, I could not attend the final classes before the examination where the suggestions were delivered. Moreover, I failed to communicate with the other mates and friends of mine. As a result, I was completely unaware of the texts and suggestions for the exam. The course was titled - English Literature- contemporary and old texts. The course materials were available to me but I had no idea about what to study. So, it was difficult for me to decide what to do and how to do, and I was greatly troubled in the exam hall. With a high fever, I went to appear on the exam. Before getting to the college, everything was uncertain to me that if I would be able to appear on the exam or not. 

However, with the great inspiration from my parents, I started for appearing on the exam. I reached the college in time and took my seat. I felt that everything was spinning and it happened for my physical weakness. After few moments I felt better. But I was shocked at the questions paper and gazed at that for about five minutes, silently. Then I started writing the answers. I felt the trouble when I started to relate the events of the literary pieces of the past and present time. I was unable to read the current literary pieces as I was sick for several days before the examination. When I tried to relate the events, it was a bit difficult for me. There were texts about the literary pieces in middle age while we also had to read the literary pieces of the modern age. Certainly, there are some changes in the writings and the themes were not the same. But when it was asked to analyse about two different pieces together, it caused the trouble. When I was unable to answer the questions, I sought help from the invigilators. Fortunately one of the invigilators was the lecturer of the course and he was kind enough to provide me with some hints about the relations (as he knew about my sickness).

The feelings about the exam are worst. I had no preparations at all. I thought that I might not pass the exam and even if I do, my score will be lower than others.  But in reality, the scenario was different. I passed the course with a reasonable score and it appeared unbelievable to me. But the feelings that I underwent at the exam hall were disastrous. The exam held for three hours and it appeared to me that its three decades. I frequently watched my wristwatch if the time has passed or not but the theory of relativity started working on me. Time was not passing and each of the seconds appeared like an age. My college does not allow submitting the answer scripts before the exam hour ends and thus I had to wait longer to submit my copy. Finally, the exam was over and I submitted the copy. I was unable to answer all the questions; especially I left two short questions unanswered for my ignorance over the texts.


Sample Answer 2:
I was supposed to attend office before 9.00 am for an important meeting but I was late. It was not my fault rather it was the unwanted traffic congestion that made me late. Later, the consequences that I experienced were extremely detrimental to my career. This cue card topic reminds me of the day. Thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about it.

I worked as the manager for a local medical company dealing with importing foreign medicines into India. On that day, an important meeting was slated to be held where some of the big shots will appear with their proposals to work with us jointly in the market. I prepared a presentation but could not present that as I failed to reach at the venue in time.

Usually, I start for office at least one hour before of the working hour and easily reach office. But the day before this event, I had to work longer hours to prepare the presentation. So, I made late to reach home. Everything was late on the previous day. Despite making the late, I tried to get up early in the morning. I did everything accordingly but got caught in the undesired traffic congestion. It happened for an accident between two buses. The entire road was blocked and it took about two hours to clear the obstacles and make the road suitable for vehicular movement.

When I reached the office, it was around 12.00 pm. Everyone was unhappy with me. Even my superior boss also was displeased. Though I informed the matter to him over the telephone, he was unwilling to consider it. The parties, who came to attend the meeting left the venue. Everyone blamed me for the failure of the contract. The things that I did was the worst experience of my life. I went to each of the parties’ office and described them about why the meeting was cancelled. Then I individually presented the presentation to them and it was really difficult to arrange for the presentation. Most of them were reluctant to be our partner and I persuaded them with my own charisma.

Everything was fine in the later stages. Everyone agreed to work with us and the contract was signed. But I also had to undergo some stress for completing the task. In fact, to be frank, my career was under a great threat. If I failed to complete the task, I think I would have lost my job. When I described the matter to the to-be-partners, they appreciated my efforts and cordially signed in the contract. As a result, it was a specimen of my sincerity and responsibility to my job. But the feelings were seriously difficult to control for me.

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