Describe a Difficult Thing You Did and Succeeded IELTS Cue Card

Describe a Difficult Thing You Did and Succeeded IELTS Cue Card

Describe a Difficult Thing You Did and Succeeded IELTS Cue Card


Describe a Difficult Thing You Did and Succeeded

You should say:
What it was?
How did you complete it?
Why it was difficult?
And how you felt about doing it?

NOTE – The examiner gives you one minute to plan your answerand to help you prepare for the topic, the examiner provides you with a pencil and a notepad. You’ll have to answer the questions given on the topic for one-to-two minutes

Sample Answer 1


It is a gospel truth that challenges are an integral part of our lives; however hard we try, life cannot be a smooth ride. Despite our best efforts, we have to encounter difficult situations to do our work efficiently.

I had a situation when I had to work hard to come out of a challenging situation.

What was it?

During my college education, I had to submit an assignment I completed in time and save it on my computer. However, to my dismay, the computer stopped working two days before the submission because its hard disk crashed.

I lost all data stored inside. I ran from pillar to post to revive the data, but my efforts went in vain.

I didn’t have much time, so I decided to rewrite the assignment. It was daunting because I had to write 20,000 words in three days.

How did you complete it?

To complete it, I worked tirelessly with determination, dedication and discipline for three days.

I called one of my friends for support; he helped me to type the date in a short period.

Why was it difficult?

It wasn’t easy because it required proper research. I had to refer to three-four websites to make a draft. And after that, I needed to include images, graphs and videos inside the content to make it appealing.

Moreover, it had to do such a collosol task in three days.

And how you felt about doing it?

I was under immense stress while doing it, but I carried on with dogged determination and submitted the assignment on time.

Sample Answer 2


Being a strong-willed person, I love to take on challenges. I took a challenge to achieve a tough goal in a stipulated period, and I succeeded.

What was it?

During the Corona Pandemic, I remained indoors due to the stringent lockdown. During that time, I gained a lot of weight and turned obese.

Suddenly my dad fixed the wedding of my elder sister. I didn’t want to look obese on my sister’s special day. I vowed to lose 20 kgs weight in three months.

How did you complete it?

To achieve my aim, I consulted a dietician named Rimple Sharma. I met her through one of my friend’s recommendations.

She told me to follow the process of intermittent fasting to lose weight. In this technique, you have to eat food in fixed hours, and after that, you need to give rest to your stomach.

She advised me to take all meals between 9 am to 6 am. Although I was apprehensive regarding her plan, I followed it and achieved my target in the time frame.

Why was it difficult?

It was challenging for me because I used to take dinner at 11 pm, and the plan advised me to have it before 6 pm. The initial days were difficult, and I thought of quitting. However, my sister advised me to continue, and my persistence paid off.

And how you felt about doing it?

It was a dream come true moment for me. I received many compliments regarding my new look, and my personality enhanced considerably.

Sample Answer 3


It is unequivocal to say that challenges are integral to our lives. In our personal and professional life, we encounter many difficulties, and we have to give our best to overcome them.

One year back, I had a difficult situation, and I came out and succeeded.

What was it?

I was playing a cricket match at my college. Our team was chasing a target of 190 in 20 hours. Due to the effective bowling of the opponent team, our eight wickets were down in 15 hours, and I had to score 70 runs in 30 balls.

How did you complete it?

To complete it, I targeted a weak bowler from the opponent team. I scored 30 runs from that over by hitting four sixes and one four. After that, I had to score just 40 runs in four overs, which we somehow achieved by hitting one boundary every over.

Why was it difficult?

It was a challenging task for me because my primary skill is bowling. I had two issues; the first was to score almost two runs per ball, which was daunting. Apart from this, we did not have many wickets in hand.

So the task was to score runs at a reasonable strike rate without losing wickets.

And how you felt about doing it?

During the play, my brain was running like a computer. I worked on various permutations and combinations. I decided to keep my cool and bat with determination, dedication and discipline, and we won the match in the final over.

I got the man of the match award, and my team gave me a standing ovation.

Sample Answer 4


Although I have handled numerous difficult situations in my life, one of them is recent, in which, despite many ordeals, I achieved success.

What was it?

Last year my mother slipped, and due to that, she had a fracture in her leg. She was bedridden for one month and could not do household chores.

Moreover, my dad was on an official trip. Due to that, it was my responsibility to manage the house. As my exams were nearby, I was under immense stress.

I tried to arrange a maid, but the doctor advised me not to allow outsiders in the house due to the corona pandemic.

Finally, I decided to do everything on my own

How did you complete it?

To manage both home and study, I made a timetable and followed it with determination, dedication and discipline.

It is a gospel truth that we have high willpower in the morning. Hence I decided to make productive use of the morning hours by studying from 4 am to 9 pm. After that, I used to do household chores.

After one month, my mother recovered and started doing the house chores, and I breathed relief.

In the given period, I managed my house perfectly and passed my exams with flying colours.

Why was it difficult?

Managing my home and my study was challenging because I had never done household chores earlier in my life.

Furthermore, after studying for five hours at a stretch, I felt exhausted and did many tasks with less energy.

And how you felt about doing it?

It was a challenge for me. Although I suffered a lot during that month, I learned a valuable lesson that our body always follows our mind.

If we believe we can do a task, our body automatically gets the energy and courage to do that.

Sample Answer 5


There is no denying this conviction that life is full of challenges. Recently I had a difficult situation in my life in which I emerged as a winner.

What was it?

Last year our country experienced the 2nd wave of the corona pandemic. Seeing the deadly virus spread, the local government had no option but to impose a stringent lockdown.

During that time, the eatables shops were closed. My sister’s birthday came during the lockdown, and she was depressed that she couldn’t celebrate her birthday.

I decided to make her special, and I decided to bake a birthday cake for her.

How did you complete it?

To do so, firstly, I read a book containing cake recipes. From that, I got the list of the ingredients. Fortunately, most of them were at my home, and I arranged the rest with my neighbours.

After that, I watched a video of the Masterchef show on Youtube. From there, I got significant input on how to bake a cake perfectly.

As I was doing it for the first time, it was a daunting task for me. I failed thrice, but I persisted with determination, dedication and discipline. To my joy, my 4th attempt was successful, and I got successful in my mission.

Why was it difficult?

It wasn’t easy because that was the first time I was cooking something, and I was unaware of the basics of cooking.

And how you felt about doing it?

My efforts paid off when I saw a vibrant smile on my sister’s face when she cut the cake. The gala time I had with my family that day was the most cherished moment.

Sample Answer 6


There is no denying this conviction that difficult situations are an integral part of our lives, and we must handle them adroitly.

I have had one such situation in the past.

 What was it?

It was during my school days. I had two bosom friends, Gordon and Andrew. We three were given the tag of fabulous three, and we were famous in the school with this name.

However, due to some understanding, there was an altercation between Gordan and Andrew which took the shape of a fight, and they hit each other.

During their fight, I was not present; that is why I could not mediate. However, once I came to know, I tried to make both Gordon and Andrew meet each other to clarify the differences, but both said no.

That incident shattered me, and one day my teacher told me to bring Gordon and Andrew together for a badminton match as double players. Since they were the best players in school, without them winning the trophy was impossible.

How did you complete it?

As it was important for four schools to have Gordon and Andrew in one team, I made another attempt to bring them together, and this time, I achieved my aim, and both of them worked in collaboration to win the trophy for our school. 

Why was it difficult?

It wasn’t easy because both of them were not ready to work as a team. To convince both Gordon and Andrew, I told them about past incidents where they both helped each other, and finally, I told them that if they did not play together, I would stop talking to them. This one sentence worked like a charm, and both of them agreed. They shook hands and hugged each other in the presence of our class teacher.

And how you felt about doing it?

While doing it, I felt that relationships are the most important thing in this world, and we should refrain from ruining them over petty issues.

Sample Answer 7


Despite our best efforts, sometimes we get into tough situations; I have had one experience where I managed to come out of a difficult time.

What was it?

It was during the last winter. I went to my hometown to spend the new year with my family. I started at 4 pm, and the journey was 3 hours, so I planned to reach around 7 pm.

However, to my dismay, I got stuck in a massive traffic jam in the city, and it took me two hours to come out of it. Finally, when I reached the main road, I saw immense fog with minimal visibility. At that time, it was risky to drive, but I was in the middle of the journey, so I had no option but to continue.

How did you complete it?

I put my car behind a truck, maintained a safe distance, and followed it for four hours. Fortunately, it was going to my hometown. Once I reached the main road of my hometown, the real challenge started because the truck moved forward, and there was no other vehicle available that I could follow.

The distance was just 5kms, but it was daunting. I drove slowly, and after 1 hour, I reached my destination and sighed in relief.

Why was it difficult?

It was difficult because of poor visibility. The chances of an accident were extremely high.

And how you felt about doing it?

It was challenging, and I kept praying to god to reach my destination safely. Moreover, I decided never to take such a risk again.

Follow up Questions

Here are some examples of follow-up questions that the examiner might ask during your speaking part 3 related to the cue card “Describe a Difficult Thing You Did and Succeeded”.

1. What kinds of jobs require people to be confident?

In my opinion, in this modern era, all jobs thrive primarily on confidence. However, those tasks where one has to deal with customers require it the most. Especially in sales jobs, a lack of confidence makes it challenging for you to churn sales.

2. On what occasions should children be encouraged? How?

I believe children should be motivated in those times when they feel reluctant to do something worthwhile for them. But also, there should be a limit to the encouragement, and the children should not take it as a burden. For instance, we can motivate children to indulge in creative activities like painting, provided they are interested. And to motivate them further, parents can plan to visit a museum to develop children’s interest further.

3. How do you help children stay focused?

There are many ways to provide children with unabated support to stay focused. Firstly, we can offer a distraction-free environment, especially when studying, by refraining them from using cell phones. 

 Another way is to indulge them in various physical and mental workouts like playing football, yoga, meditation etc. These activities burn the stress and help us to do our tasks with dogged determination.

 4. What challenges do young people face today?

In the modern era, youngsters face many challenges due to fierce competition and spiralling inflation.

Due to cut-throat competition, they have to leave no stone unturned to lead their lives toward an impressive growth trajectory.

Apart from this, rising inflation is another stumbling block for them. Due to this, youngsters have to work tirelessly to make ends meet.


1. Gospel Truth

Meaning: an entirely true statement

Sentence: It is a gospel truth that hard work brings success, and we must ingrain the principle of working with determination, dedication and discipline in our minds.

2. To my dismay

Meaning: A shocking moment

Sentence: To my dismay, the efforts I put in do not produce tangible results, and due to that, I am in a state of absolute disarray.

3. Collosol task

Meaning: A big task

Sentence: Maintaining a perfect balance between personal and professional lives is a collosol task for most individuals.

4. Dogged determination

Meaning: Determination that doesn’t decline with time.

Sentence: Virat Kohli was an average cricketer when he started playing for India. After the 2011 world cup, he worked with dogged determination to lead his career towards an impressive growth trajectory.

5. Stringent

Meaning: Rigorous

Sentence: Although Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not a stringent captain, he managed his resources skillfully to bring out the best.

6. Unequivocal

Meaning: Leaving no doubt

Sentence: It is unequivocal to say that working from home has encouraged a sedentary lifestyle, and the percentage of people dealing with physical and emotional disorders is burgeoning at a considerable rate.

7. With flying colours

Meaning: With a distinction.

Sentence: Being a voracious reader, I am interested in studying for long hours, and this practice helps me pass my exams with flying colours.

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