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Describe how you behaved in a stressful situation

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 335 with Model Answer:

Describe how you behaved in a stressful situation.

You should say:
  • what the situation was
  • how you behaved
  • how other people might have behaved

and explain how you felt about your behaviour afterwards.

[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:

No matter how hard we try, we get stressed and irritated at times and it impacts our behaviour. Some people, however, have a graceful way of handling such situations while others get vexed easily and behave in a way that they regret about later. I fall neither of these two categories, and I am more like most other ordinary people who live around us.

So, in a stressful event, about a couple of years ago, when a partner with whom I started a small business, misbehaved with me in front of a few colleagues and clients, I could not control myself. He raised his voice for no apparent reason and falsely accused me of a business loss when everybody knew how his faults caused this loss!

I burst out in agony and started shouting as I could not bear the thought that someone who should be blamed was accusing me just to take the upper hand. However, within a few minutes of this explosion, I calmed down and started to feel deep remorse about everything. I do not easily let my guard down and behave childishly only to regret later, but that day, it was different.

But, I think the gravity of the situation was so deep that any cool person, who usually never loses his/her temper would also have behaved the same way that I did. I am sure many other people would have been much more furious if they had to face the same situation.

Afterwards, I felt like I should have handled the situation more prudently and obviously without getting angry and mad. Since I got angry, my partner got a reason to prove that I was also responsible at that time. I no longer do business with this person but we are still friends and meet once in a while to exchange greetings and good wishes.


Sample Answer 2:

Recently, I broke up with my boyfriend and it was a really stressful event for me, more stressful than I've ever imagined. I tried my best to save the relationship but my boyfriend, Alex, perhaps had different thoughts and perspectives about the whole thing. Anyway, I am doing much better now.

It happened almost three months ago and I went thought one of the toughest times in my life. Initially, it was so traumatising that it drained all my energy and I could not even concentrate on my daily tasks. I could not sleep, eat and even go outside. It went on for at least two weeks and afterwards the situation started improving. My mom and a few of my friends supported me tremendously.

I am not sure how other girls of my age handle such stressful situations, but I am sure everybody goes through a troublesome time in such a situation and with time they start to get better. Time is the best healer in such incidents.

Later, I felt that I was too much traumatised and should not have been inside the room for so many days. I understood, it is a part of life and we should be ready to handle tough and stressful situations in life. I also learned and realised that stress is not good for us but some tough time makes us stronger than we are.  

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:  

"Describe how you behaved in a stressful situation." 

People often undergo stressful situations and this cue card question is about how you behaved during such a situation in the past. Following are some hints and you can also follow these hints below to prepare your answer.

1. The sudden death of my favourite pet was a shocking event for me. I loved the cat so much but unluckily it died from sickness a few weeks ago. The cat was my constant companion at home and this was a stressful situation for me. It took a long time for me to recover from the stress.

2. Having a credit card has many benefits but it can be stressful if someone overdraws or overspent the limit. I experienced a similar event a couple of months ago. I was being charged a hefty amount of interest each month and it took me three months to repay all the amounts due. I am happy that my credit card account is no longer overdrawn.

3. I was dismissed from my work for some mysterious reasons a few months ago. I could not believe that the management would fire me from work. The situation was stressful for me. I had to struggle for another month and then everything became okay when I managed a new job.

4. The unexpected news of a plane crash in Japan made me worried to death because my dad was travelling to Singapore during this time. He, however, called after an hour to let us know that he was safe.

5. Motherhood is a divine blessing but I was not really ready to be a mother. When the doctor told me the news about two years ago, I was stressed instead of becoming glad.

6. A band of snatchers ran away with my iPhone last July and I was very annoyed and stressed because of it. The phone contained some necessary documents, photos, music and so on and losing them was a bad experience for me. Later, I erased all these documents using the iCloud service. But it was a very stressful situation for me.

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