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Describe a time when you were very busy

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 275 with Model Answer:

Describe a time when you were very busy.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • what you had to do during that time
  • how you managed it
and explain how you felt about being so busy.  

[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:
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about a time when I was very busy. It was during my final year of university when I had to balance a full course load with a part-time job and various extracurricular activities.

I remember feeling constantly overwhelmed by the amount of work I had to do. In addition to attending classes and completing assignments, I was also involved in several student organizations and volunteered regularly in my community. On top of all that, I had to work part-time to support myself financially.

Despite the chaos of my schedule, I managed to stay organized by prioritizing my tasks and creating a schedule for myself. I used a planner to keep track of my deadlines and commitments, and I made sure to allocate time each day for studying, working, and pursuing my other interests.

While I often felt stressed and exhausted during this period, I also felt a sense of pride in my ability to manage so many responsibilities at once. I learned a lot about time management and prioritization, and I gained valuable skills that have helped me in my career and personal life.

Overall, I believe that this experience taught me a lot about my own abilities and limitations, and helped me to develop the resilience and determination that have served me well in my post-university life.

Sample Answer 2:
I am a part-time sales executive at a large computer hardware selling showroom in our city. I'm often busy, but a couple of months ago, more specifically, last December, I had been terribly busy. For this cue card topic, I will share the experience with you.

In fact, our company announced a big sale, the biggest during my time with them, on many of its products marking its 30th anniversary. Since I am in the sales department and the sales increased by almost 250%, I became extremely busy in my office. Coupled with that, my MBA final term exams at the end of December just made the situation worse! At least this is what I thought.

I had to leave for my office early in the morning and start my professional duty for at least 9 hours a day. The pressure of the customers, their queries and the sales process occupied me so much that sometimes I hardly had time to eat my lunch! I often had to talk to my supervisor about dispute resolution, and go to the delivery centre of our office to make sure the customers are happy with the delivery process. Somedays were busier than others. For example, one day a customer claimed that he had been given the wrong laptop which had a different configuration. In the end, we found that the configuration of the laptop was okay but the colour was not! Such were the days. And for the night, I had to prepare for my upcoming exams. As a result, I could sleep barely 3 to 4 hours.

I think no matter how difficult the situation was and how busy my days and nights were, I managed things very well. All I tried to do is concentrate on my work and studies and never get disappointed or frustrated. I knew that both my job and exam were important, and that's why I paid my utmost dedication to both of them.

I think, now I feel pretty proud that I had done so excellently during such a busy and hectic schedule. From now on, whenever, I will have a tight schedule or busy routine, I will always know that I'd be able to handle them. In this regard, this busy December has boosted my confidence and self-belief.

Sample Answer 3:
This is a great topic to talk about, and thank you for this. Last summer, I had to arrange a college cultural festival. So, I had to be fully occupied during the whole week. I remained busy from dawn till dusk this week. In fact, arranging a cultural fest is not easy. Though some fellow students helped me, I had to take care of most of the aspects of the festival, and that is why I was so terribly busy.

Initially, I was assigned to make a plan and select a team to complete the tasks. But, I could not get the right candidates to help me out with the process. As a result, I had to take on more responsibilities.

Managing the entire event was very difficult and time-consuming. I faced difficulties with the arrangement of guests and participants. Besides, I had to plan for the prizes, and I took the necessary steps to get them ordered and delivered right before the prize-giving ceremony. Further, I was also responsible to fix the venue inside the college campus. Finally, everything was done but there was some lack of coordination.

The feeling was mixed. At a stage, I thought to give up everything as no one assisted me during the planning and preparation process. But I did not give up and did the thing with my determination. So, it was a success. And the most important thing is that I was awarded for my effort and endeavour later and was highly praised. But I admit it was a terrific week for me indeed. Only my mental strength and willpower kept me keep going during the entire event.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic: 

"Describe a time when you were very busy." 

Everyone passes busy moments in their life and actually, there are no specific times or reasons to be busy. This cue card is about describing such a time when you were busier than normal. Here are some other answer hints for the candidates to generate their own ideas and answer the cue card efficiently.

1. The night before my semester final exam earlier this year was a busy night for me. I had passed a sleepless night and tried completing the revision work. But you know, this is really hard to complete all the lessons overnight. It was one of the busiest nights of my life so far! I had no time to sleep.

2. I went to a picnic at my college but could not enjoy it. It happened because I had to be very busy organizing everything. I also had to supervise some other teams related to picnic preparation. Therefore, I had to be very busy during the week of the picnic.

3. Inviting guests is enjoyable but entertaining them is terrible. I had to cook food for some of my relatives from India and I could not pass quality time with them due to my busy hours in the kitchen. They wanted to have some traditional Indian food items, and I prepared these items at home. I had to pass very busy moments for cooking.

4. I work for a daycare centre which takes care of children during the daytime in absence of their parents. I work five days a week, and last week I had to spend a busy day during the weekend. I attended the office for some special meetings and it was some sort of emergency.

5. Driving cars is my passion but last weekend, I had to spend some busy time with my car. It needed servicing and I took it to the nearest service centre. Unluckily, it took more time than I expected, and I had to be busy assisting with the servicing process. It took more than 5 hours.

6. My boss asked me to make a presentation about our future marketing strategies. He gave me some necessary documents to prepare the presentation. I had to overwork that day and passed very busy moments after office hours to complete the presentation.

7. I always complete my homework and assignments in due time. But this time, I forgot to take them in college. It happened a few weeks ago. Consequently, I had to complete them in front of the teacher after class hours. The moments were too busy that even I could not attend phone calls until the tasks were done.

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