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Describe a situation when you were late

IELTS Cue Card Question 107 With Model Answer:

Describe a situation when you were late.

You should say:
  • what the event was you were late for
  • what the reason was for being late
  • how you felt about it
and explain how you managed even after being late.  

[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:
Time is priceless and once you lose it, you are to pay heavily for the wastage of the moments. I missed a job interview for being late and I feel regret for that late even today.

I was called for a formal interview at Unilever against the post of communications manager. I applied for the post about two months ago and they asked me to attend the written test first. I attended the test and become one the tenth applicants who have passed the test. Then the authority told us to contact later and accordingly I received the latest email asking me to join the formal interview. But unfortunately, I could not attend the interview in time and lost the chance to attend on the job.

In Mumbai, traffic congestion is a common scenario. Many of the people have to get stuck in the traffic jam in the early hours of the morning every day and the scenarios are worst the central area where almost all the important offices are located. I started for the interview about one hour before of the mentioned time but could not reach in time there. At first, I stood in a bus queue and when the bus arrived I could not manage to ride as the bus was already packed with office going passengers. So, I failed to board in the bus and waiting for the next metro service will be late for me. Immediately I hired an auto to reach the Unilever office. I think my luck betrayed me on that day so that I could not go for the interview. I got stuck again in the middle of the road.

Initially, I felt that my luck in not favouring me and losing the chance to appear on the interview was frustrating me as well. Thereby, I felt a deep sense of anger. Traffic congestion is a common scenario in India and the common citizens are the worst sufferers. They cannot go to their places at the right time. I did not have the idea how actually they felt when they missed their appointments. The delay in the interview taught me actually how the feelings of those people were. At last, I felt pity for me as I could not go to my current office in time and also made late for the interview at the same time.

Finally, I appeared before the Unilever office building about one and a half hour later of the scheduled time. When I entered the interview room, I found that the interviews were going to be ended and when I informed the interview reception that I am one of the candidates, they allowed me to sit for the interview. But since I was late, they, in fact, did not show much interest and simply asked few questions about myself. With the behaviour and attitudes of the interview board members, I understood that I am discarded from the list.



Model Answer 2:
Usually, I try to do everything in time, but sometimes there are unwanted late. In this case, I can remember the day when I made late for my biology practical exam in my school and consequently my grades turned poor. Thank you for the question.

In my school days, I was a student of science and thus had to participate in various practical classes. Biology was one of the most important classes and most of the times it had practical classes. The teacher who took the class was too much strict and never allowed his students to be late for the class. He punished them with poor scoring if he found someone guilty of the charges of making late to attend the class. I had fallen a victim of the fact. I could not attend the last practical class in time. 

In fact, it was not my fault that I made late willingly. It was a rainy day, and I could not get something to reach school in time. I went out with an umbrella with me but the school was far away from my residence. I used to ride on the public transport to reach the school but on that day nothing was available. Therefore, I had to walk all the way to the school. the school was located in the centre of the city while my residence was about three kilometres away. Without finding any transport, I walked and made late.

The feelings were uncontrollable when my teacher told me some harsh words for being late. He did not understand that it was rain. He only said that as the other students have attended the school in time and so should be I. I failed to make him understand that the late was unintentional. Besides, my dad went out early in the morning with his car. If he had been at home, I would have asked him to drop me at the school. It was not a good day for me.

Managing the event was really tough for me. I was unable to completely manage the event and the teacher graded me poorly in terms of maintaining discipline in his class. So, the overall grade in the semester dropped. When the class was over, I went to meet with the teacher at his cabin but he did not want to understand the issues. In fact, he was a kind of inflexible person and never compromised with anything. As a result, most of the students of the class did not like him much. Finally, he gave me poor marks that made me suffer in the next semesters. I never made late in his classes again. It was a rigid lesson for me.


If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a situation when you were late." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue card topics as well:
  • Describe a time when you missed an important appointment or meeting.
  • Describe a bad traffic experience you have.
  • Talk about an event or time when you could not reach somewhere in time.
  • Describe an embarrassing experience you recently have had.
  • Describe a time when you had to work hard to meet a deadline.
  • Describe a time when you missed your class or office.

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