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Describe your experience of a stressful event

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 361 with Model Answer:

Describe your experience of a stressful event.

You should say:
  • what the situation was
  • what you did
  • how other people might have behaved in this situation
and explain how you felt about it later.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]



Model Answer 1:
I think we would hardly find a person who hasn’t gone through some stressful situations at some point in his or her life. I am no exception either, as I have also experienced a number of stressful events in life, and I am about to talk about one of them here today.

It was on a fine August morning about 5 years ago, when I was about to go to my job, which I had just started a couple of months earlier. As it was my new job, I made it my habit to arrive at my office well ahead of the schedule. However, on that fine morning, I wanted to arrive at my office even earlier because my company “Chairman” was visiting to meet us, especially the new company recruits like us, from the corporate headquarter, and I just didn’t want to be late on my first meeting with him.

So, as usual, I took a direct bus to my office that morning also. Everything was going well until I suddenly noticed that all the traffics were being rerouted to another road because of some kind of emergency road construction service works. Initially, I thought that it was not such a big deal, but as I was falling behind my schedule to arrive at my office on time, because of huge traffic ahead of me, I started to take stress on me. I even tried to call my office to inform them about the possible delay with my arrival, but my supervisor wasn’t very pleased with the news, no matter how hard I tried to convince him, by getting very frustrated at one point, that it was not my fault.

Well, I have a feeling that other people might have behaved the same in such a situation.

Anyway, later on, I felt that I shouldn’t have gotten so frustrated with my supervisor as he was also trying to do his job. I also realized that my supervisor was only wishing well for me because he also didn’t want me to be late for my first meeting with our company chairman.


Sample Answer 2:
Having a nasty quarrel with my husband last month was a highly stressful event for me. I was unable to control my temper and it was one of the most nerve-racking events for me in a long time.

He started the fiasco and I protested the attitude he was showing. I was not silent as well and the situations turned from bad to worse and from worse to the worst! Finally, after two days, we both admitted our guilts and then everything went back to normalcy. But I experienced a very stressful two days that was one of the worst I have ever experienced.

When I was blamed for something I knew nothing about, I tried to control my temper. But later with the heated debate, I lost my patience and got involved in the quarrel. We usually do not quarrel and that's why when we do, it makes me very frustrated and mad. I was angry with my husband and me.

I think quarrels and heated arguments in a relationship, especially among couples, are not so rare. But certainly, it is different for different couples. Many people I know, I believe, would have reacted the same way that I did. And obviously, a few very intelligent and sensible women I know who might have handled it better than I did.

Since we rarely have quarrelled in our seven years of married life, I feel so dejected and sad whenever I get involved in an argument or altercation with my husband. This time the aftermath of the quarrel was even longer- whole two days, and that's why I felt more depressed and unhappy.

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