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Describe a frightening experience you once have had

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 451 with Model Answer:

Describe a frightening experience you once have had.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • when it was
  • what happened
and explain why it was a frightening experience for you.

[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 wish I didn't have to experience such a frightening event, but this is life, and we can't control everything about it. For this topic, I'll share an event with you when I encountered one of the most daunting experiences in my life. 

It took place approximately two decades ago when I was just six or seven years old. I, along with three of my friends, went to play in a nearby playground just after 4.00 pm on that eventful day. The playground was quite popular among children. It was huge, and it had excellent security measures so that children could play freely without hurting or harming themselves. As local kids, we were known to the guards and security personnel, and that's why they allowed us to play there without the supervision or presence of our parents or guardians.

On that fateful day, one of my companions, who was barely seven years old, proposed that we should leave the playground and visit the nearby lake and try to catch some fish as it was the perfect time for fishing. To our childish and inquisitive minds, it was an excellent idea. But little did we know that it was a risky and imprudent decision!

We were four kids in total, and the most senior among us was just nine years old. We quickly walked out of the playground as if we were on an important stealth mission, and reached the lake after 25 minutes or so. The area was deserted, and we could not see anyone near us. It did not bother us either. So, we got busy trying to catch some fish with our bare hands, and it proved out to be very difficult within a few minutes. In my desperate attempt, I went deeper into the lake, and to my horror, found myself plunging into the water all of a sudden. The horrifying experience still lingers even after so many years.

It was a frightening experience because the feeling of drowning is indeed a mortifying experience. As a child, I had a near-death experience that day, and it was so horrifying and shocking that it was ingrained in my brain. I was gasping for air while my body almost lost its control due to the lack of oxygen. I was so lucky that two people noticed the event and quickly responded to save me. I still feel grateful to these two brave persons who saved me on that day from drowning and dying.

Model Answer 2:
One of the most frightening experiences I have had was a near-death encounter during a hiking trip in the mountains. It was a moment that left me trembling with fear and forever changed my perspective on adventure and risk-taking.

This incident occurred last summer when I decided to embark on a challenging hike in a remote mountain range. It was a sunny day, and I was accompanied by a group of experienced hikers. We started early in the morning, eager to conquer the steep trails and enjoy the breathtaking views.

As we reached the summit, the weather suddenly took a turn for the worse. Dark clouds rolled in, and a violent thunderstorm ensued. The rain poured down heavily, and strong winds lashed against us. In a matter of minutes, visibility deteriorated, and we found ourselves in the midst of a treacherous storm. While attempting to descend the mountain, we encountered a narrow and slippery path along a steep cliff. The wind howled ferociously, making it difficult to maintain balance. Suddenly, a lightning bolt struck dangerously close, illuminating the surroundings and intensifying the fear within me. It felt as if time had slowed down, and my heart raced uncontrollably.

Realizing the imminent danger, our group quickly huddled together, seeking refuge under a rocky overhang. We waited anxiously for the storm to subside, praying for our safety. It was a nerve-wracking experience as the thunder boomed and the lightning continued to strike in close proximity.

This experience was terrifying for several reasons. Firstly, the sudden change in weather caught us off guard, turning a seemingly enjoyable hike into a life-threatening situation. The intensity of the storm and the dangerous conditions heightened my fear of being exposed to such unpredictable elements. Secondly, the proximity of the lightning strikes added to the fear factor. The crackling sound and the blinding flashes of light served as a constant reminder of the potential danger we faced. The daunting thought of being trapped in such a perilous situation, with no immediate means of escape, amplified the fear and anxiety I experienced.

This experience served as a stark reminder of the power of nature and the importance of being prepared and respectful when venturing into the outdoors. It instilled in me a deep respect for Mother Nature and a heightened awareness of the risks associated with outdoor activities.


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