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When you needed to repair a broken item

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 375 with Model Answer:

Describe a time when you needed to repair a broken item.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • what item it was
  • how you managed to fix/repair it
and explain how you felt after you had it repaired.

[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 usually like to handle things, be they valuable or not, with great care. Therefore, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that I hardly ever need to repair anything – the things which I personally use – except on an occasion when I needed to repair my smartphone.

It happened about a couple of years ago at a time when I was walking on the side of a busy road in my hometown. Walking on the side of a road itself wouldn’t be much of a problem if I wasn’t also busy talking on my smartphone at the same time. We all know how dangerous it can get if we are not careful enough when using our mobile phones on a busy road. Anyway, so, when I was busy talking on my smartphone, a young boy hit me from behind with his bicycle. As soon as the boy hit me, I lost control and eventually dropped my phone.  It was a strong and versatile device, but not strong enough to sustain the “crushing pressure” of a running private car, as its display and touch screen were both broken in seconds.

But, I wasn’t ready to let go of my little old electronic gadget, which I had kept safe for about 3/4 years, just yet. So, I decided to take it to a phone technician, only to find out that he didn’t have any spare parts for this device anywhere in my country, as it was an old model. However, he also told me that if I was ready to allow him extra time, he could buy the “display” and “touch screen” from another country to fix my phone. I told him to go ahead and do whatever it would take to fix my phone.

Anyway, after repairing my phone, I was finally able to have a “part of me” back in my life, as I had carried the little device for a long time through thick and thin. Besides, I also told myself that I certainly would be more careful in using my mobile phone from that point on.

Sample Answer 2:
Thank you very much for this topic. For it, I'll describe a time when I needed to repair a broken item. It was a couple of months ago when my young nephew's beloved toy car broke. This little toy car was his favorite plaything, and he was very upset when it stopped working.

The toy car was a miniature remote-controlled racing car, and it had experienced some damage while he was playing with it a bit roughly. The wheels were jammed, and the remote control wasn't responding. As my nephew's birthday was just around the corner, I wanted to surprise him by fixing it.

To begin the repair process, I first examined the car carefully. I noticed that the issue was primarily with the wheels and the internal wiring. I decided to open the car carefully using a small screwdriver. Once I had access to the inside, I discovered a loose wire and a small plastic gear that had slipped out of place. These seemed to be the culprits for the malfunction.

I reconnected the wire and carefully repositioned the plastic gear where it belonged. Then, I reassembled the car. The most challenging part was putting everything back together exactly as it was. It required patience and precision. Once the car was fully repaired, I tested it to ensure it worked perfectly. I was relieved and overjoyed to see it zooming around as before, responding to the remote control with precision.

The most gratifying part of this repair experience was the look on my nephew's face when I presented the fixed toy car to him. His eyes lit up with joy, and he couldn't have been happier. Seeing his happiness and knowing that I was able to restore something so precious to him made me feel incredibly satisfied and content.

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