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Time you were not allowed to use your mobile phone

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 349 with Model Answer:

Describe a time when you were not allowed to use your mobile phone.

You should say:
  • when and where it was
  • why you were not allowed to use your phone
  • what you wanted to use your phone for
and explain how you felt about not being able to use your phone.

[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:
In today’s world, the idea of living without a mobile phone would certainly seem to be an absurd one to most of the people, who are used to rely on these little communication devices on a regular basis. But, today, I would like to talk about a time when I was not allowed to use my mobile phone.

It was about a couple of years ago, when one of my close friends was seriously injured in an accident, and I needed to see him in a hospital. When I heard the news about the accident, I was working in my office. So, it wasn’t really possible for me to know exactly how serious the accident was until and after I had arrived in the hospital. Anyway, when I arrived at the hospital, I found out that the accident was rather serious. In fact, I was told that the doctor was treating my friend in an emergency room. So, I just decided to wait outside of the emergency room with a few other family members of my injured friend, in case if they needed me. 

My friend had lost a significant amount of blood, and I was also informed that he might have needed some blood later on. Anyway, while waiting for my friend, I almost forgot to inform my family that I would be late to return home as I was visiting my friend at a hospital.  But, when I wanted to call them, I found out that there was no mobile phone network. I was also informed that the hospital authority wanted to stop the use of a mobile phone inside the hospital building in order to reduce unwanted noise.

Anyway, I was a bit disappointed initially after failing to call my family, but later on, I actually became glad of the fact that hospital authority was actually trying to ensure a better treatment environment for all its patients. Besides, I also realized that making a phone call from hospital premises should never be a priority for the visitors if they really wish well for their friends and families.



Sample Answer 2:
A few months ago, I went to attend a written test as part of a job interview in a position in a multinational company. I was not allowed to use my mobile phone in the exam room in this office. Though some of us initially thought that it was not necessary to ban the use of mobile phones in the exam hall, the authority did not take any risk about security and fairness of the exam, I guess. The test was held in the regional branch of the company in Alice Springs in Australia.

I heard that a few candidates tried to cheat on the exam by using the internet on their mobile phones on a previous occasion and that is why the authority had decided to prohibit the use of any mobile phone or handheld device in the exam room. Consequently, I was unable to use my phone. I wanted to call my mom before I handed over the mobile phone to the exam coordinator, but when I tried to dial my mom, I was told to immediately turn-off the mobile phone.

I did not know that the authority decided to ban the use of any mobile phone because some dishonest candidates tried to cheat on the exam in some unfair ways. So I felt frustrated when I was ordered to switch my mobile phone off. But after I knew the real reason behind it, I felt that the decision was fair. I called my mom after I left the office after the test to let her know what I was doing fine. At that time no bad feeling about not being able to use my mobile phone lingered with me. 

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:

"Describe a time when you were not allowed to use your mobile phone." 

Here are some other hints for this cue card task that would be helpful for the candidates to answer this question in a different way.

1. While driving my car to my office the other day, I needed to call my supervisor but I could not because I obliged to the traffic law that forbids the use of mobile phone while driving. In fact, the driving law in my state strictly forbids the driver to refrain from using mobile phones while driving a motor vehicle.

2. My intimate friend's father died suddenly last month of cardiac arrests and I attended the funeral. A large sign was placed inside the church to switch off the mobile phone during the funeral. So, I had to switch the phone off for the rest of the funeral.

3. I was sent to an important workshop from my office that continued for four hours at a stretch. Using a mobile phone was prohibited there, and thus I was unable to use the phone at the workshop venue.

4. I recently enjoyed a movie with my fiancé at a theatre where I could not use the mobile phone. In fact, the theatre authority wanted to reduce disturbance during the show and asked everyone either to switch off the phone or to use it in silent mode.

5. I work for a local restaurant as a part-time employee and my employer asked me to switch off my mobile phone at the job. So during my working hours, I am not allowed to use my cell phone.

6. I attended a social welfare meeting organised by a community and all participants were requested to turn off their mobile phone or at least enable the silent mode.

7. Recently, I went to visit a relative in the hospital and I turned off my cell phone as a large notice prohibited anyone to use their mobile phone inside the hospital.

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