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Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 559 with Model Answer:

Describe a time you were sleepy but had to stay awake.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • where you were
  • why you had to stay awake even though you were sleepy
and explain how you felt about it.

[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:

Introduction:
One memorable occasion when I had to battle my drowsiness and stay awake was when my younger sister fell sick and had to be taken to the hospital. It was an emotionally challenging and exhausting experience, but I knew that my presence and support were crucial to her well-being. That's exactly the night I could not sleep at all even though I was asleep. I will share this experience with you here.

When it was:
This happened a few months ago when my sister suddenly developed a high fever and severe cough. We rushed her to the hospital late in the evening, and I stayed by her side throughout the night.

Where you were:
I was in the hospital's emergency room, sitting on a chair next to my sister's bed. The atmosphere was tense, with doctors and nurses attending to various patients, and the constant beeping of machines added to the sense of urgency.

Why you had to stay awake even though you were sleepy: 
Although I was feeling increasingly tired and sleepy, I knew that my sister needed someone to be with her and provide comfort. Her condition required regular monitoring, and being the eldest sibling, I felt a strong responsibility to ensure that she was okay.

And explain how you felt about it:
It was a challenging experience to fight off sleepiness while worrying about my sister's health. At times, I had to walk around, splash cold water on my face, or engage in conversation with my parents to stay awake. Although I was physically exhausted, my concern for my sister's well-being kept me alert.

As the night progressed, I found myself reflecting on the importance of family support during difficult times. Despite my fatigue, I felt a sense of pride that I was able to stay awake and provide comfort to my sister when she needed it the most. As morning approached and my sister's condition began to stabilize, I felt a mix of relief and gratitude. While I was sleep-deprived, knowing that my presence had provided her with some solace made it all worth it.

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