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Describe a situation when you were late

IELTS Cue Card Question 107 With Model Answer:

Describe a situation/time 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:

Introduction:
Being late can be a stressful and embarrassing situation, but unfortunately, it's something that happens to all of us at some point. I remember a time when I was running late for an important meeting, and it was a situation that I found particularly challenging. Here, I will share this experience with you.

What the event was you were late for:
I was late for an important job interview that I had been preparing for, for weeks. It was a job that I was very interested in, and I knew that being late could negatively impact my chances of getting the job.

What the reason was for being late:
The reason for me to be late for the interview was a combination of things. First, I underestimated how long it would take me to get to the interview location. Second, there was a lot of traffic on the road due to a car accident, which caused a significant delay. Finally, I had taken the wrong turn on the way, which added to the delay.

How you felt about it:
I felt extremely anxious and embarrassed about being late. I knew that my tardiness would not make a good impression, and it could ruin my chances of getting the job. I felt like I had let myself down, as I had been so meticulous in preparing for the interview, and this one mistake could ruin it all.

And explain how you managed even after being late: 
When I finally arrived at the interview location, I immediately apologized for the delay and explained the reasons for it. I could sense that the interviewer was not impressed, but I tried to remain calm and focused during the interview. I also made sure to use the interview as an opportunity to showcase my skills and experience. Even though I was running late, I made sure to present myself in the best possible light, and I tried my best to impress the interviewer. In the end, I didn't get the job, but I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of time management and punctuality.


Model Answer 2:
Time is priceless and once you lose it, you are to pay heavily for the waste 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 for 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 of the tenth applicants who 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 people have to get stuck in the traffic jam in the early hours of the morning every day and the scenarios are worst in the central area where almost all the important offices are located. I started for the interview about one hour before 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 waited 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 any idea how actually they felt when they missed their appointments. The delay in the interview taught me actually how the feelings of those people. At last, I felt pity for myself as I could not go to my current office in time which also made me late for the interview at the same time.

Finally, I appeared before the Unilever office building about one and a half hours later than 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 receptionist 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 a 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 3:
Usually, I try to do everything on time, but sometimes there are unwanted late. In this case, I can remember the day when I made late for my biology practical exam 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 time it had practical classes. The teacher who took the class was too much strict and never allowed his students to be late for class. He punished them with poor scoring if he found someone guilty of the charges of making them late to attend class. I had fallen victim to 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 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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