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Describe a life-changing experience you have had

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 269 with Model Answer:

Describe a life-changing experience you have had.

You should say:
  • where it took place
  • who was with you
  • what happened & how you feel about it
and explain how it changed your life.

[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:
Telling a lie is always considered as an evildoing that only brings disasters in life and when it begins, it does not stop until the man who told the lie is ruined completely. Thereby, it is imperative to get rid of the habit.

I had the experience on my college and I was the student of the beginning year. In fact, I used to tell lies and have survived the situations but this was the greatest learning of my life and has changed the directions of my life as well. I did not bring the homework and falsified the information to the teacher. But I was unable to understand that the teacher would be so strict that he would take me home to check if I have done the work or not.

We had a group who used to bunk classes and homework as well. When one of us was in trouble, everyone came forward to help the troubled one. But at this moment, I was helpless and nobody could come to my help. Usually, the teacher asks the questions and we are to answer the questions from our homework copies. But on that day, the teacher checked if everyone had brought the copies or not. Unfortunately, I did not do the homework and when the teacher asked about the answer copy, I simply replied that I left the exercise book at home as I was in a rush to come in the college.

I did the biggest mistake of my life by telling the lie with the teacher. Generally, I got rid of such situations by telling lies and it turned into a habit for me. I thought I would get rid this time as well. But the things were different. The teacher asked me twice about the homework and I replied the same. Then he asked me to take him to my home. I was thundered because none of the teachers has offered such proposal to me. I know that I have not done the homework and if I take the teacher my home, my parents would be shocked and most importantly they would stop talking with me. So, I felt sorry inside and acknowledged that I lied to the teacher.

The teacher was a great man. He did not rebuke me but simply advised me to be honest with everything. He told me that honesty was the best thing that anyone could achieve in life. Without being honest, we are to fail in every attempt, he added. I realised the importance of honesty and promised to myself that I shall never tell a lie again in my entire life. I felt ashamed in front of the entire class but the teacher handled everything smoothly. He explained that issue to the class and his speech encouraged everyone to become honest and avoid telling lies, especially. I am really grateful to the teacher for his advice that has changed my life indeed. Now I never lie to anyone even if telling the truth invites serious risks for me.

Sample Answer 2: 
This is a very important issue to talk about. I had a life-changing experience recently when a very intimate friend of mine died. I understood the preciousness of life and overall the value of relationships among the people.

Chan Mow and I are close friends since our early childhood and were studying in the same educational institution in Vietnam. Our bonding was stronger and we were like brothers. Besides, our families were also in good terms with each other. But everything became gloomy with the death of Mow. He, unfortunately, died from a road accident and it was a great shock for all of us, especially for me. I was present at the accident spot.

Generally, Mow and I used to go to college by bicycle every day. We also had some other friends who had their bicycle and drove to the college. Sometimes, we used to go distant places for travel and refreshment, especially out of the city. We did the trips in the holidays and usually started in the early morning while returned in the evening. On the day of the accident, we were on such a trip. We planned to return early as one of our college friends had invited us to take part in a tea party in the evening. But everything turned pale with the accident.

Mow’s bicycle had some troubles that he did not notice before the journey. We wanted to go the outskirts of the city and thus had to cross the intercity highway. The highway was always busy with speedy vehicles. We started the journey as a group but since there was a rush of vehicles, we got split. The breaking mechanism of Mow’s bicycle was not working properly and he was unable to stop the bicycle immediately. As a result, he became a victim of the accident and a speedy car ran over him. We hurried to the spot and took him to the nearest hospital. But he left the earth before reaching the hospital. I felt a sense of shock that cannot be expressed in words. He was the closest friend of mine and his death traumatised me for next few days.

The incident changed my life in some specific aspects. Before losing my friend, I did not have the sense of deep friendship. But Mow’s death showed me how friendships are and how to deal with them. In fact, in our childhood, both of us had done many quarrels and got engaged in fights over petty matters and often got injured badly. But those events did not break the friendship rather made the bond stronger. We grew up together. I regret the lost time. It will never be back again. Moreover, I would be unable to create such a friendship with someone else. It is impossible to make such a deep bonding that we fostered since childhood. The death Mow taught me the value of life, it pointed out the meaning of relationship and importance of time as well.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic: 

"Describe a life-changing experience you have had." 

Every day, we gain experiences and some of them are life-changing. In fact, they change the way we think and do. They teach us some special lessons for life. This cue card is about such an experience. Some extra hints are here to help the candidates to shape up their answer for the cue card.

1. My recent ride to a cable car in China has changed me a lot. It was an excellent ride but my entire mental faculty has been altered. An accidental fall from the car would have been catastrophic to me. So, I started to think how helpless we were to nature.

2. I had a chance to take part in a run in a desert. It was an exciting experience. I ran in a group of daunting runners. And it took place for a couple of days with breaks. I was highly glad to take part in this run.

3. Skiing in moonlit night is awesome. But participants need to take precautionary measures before the ski begins. My participation at the skiing was too much thrilling for me and I enjoyed till the last minute.

4. Before my last semester exam, I did not get the suggestions for my sickness. So, I followed my intuition regarding questions and I was amazed that all the questions were easy to me as I made my own suggestion. It was really a life-changing experience for me.

5. Honestly, I did not have the idea of the prayer power. I was in a difficult situation and sought help to Almighty. Unbelievably, I got a sudden help which was entirely unexpected. It changed my way of life and I started following my religious norms.

6. I conquered my fear of ghosts. In fact, it was my mental weakness and I was afraid of them. But with support from my younger sister, I am free of those thoughts and they do have less appeal to me now than before.

7. The skydiving experience changed the way of my thoughts. I took the dive last month and felt something adventurous. Actually, this was a completely different situation and at a stage, I felt nervous.

The idea presented in this cue card topic would enable you to describe the following topics as well:

  • Describe a positive experience you have had. 
  • Describe a memorable event in your life. 
  • Describe an event that has affected you. 
  • Describe a valuable lesson you have learned in your life. 
  • Describe a lesson that has changed you for good. 

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