Describe a time you successfully did something difficult IELTS Cue Card

Describe a time you successfully did something difficult IELTS Cue Card


Describe a time you successfully did something difficult
You should say:

  • When it was
  • What you did
  • Where it happened
  • Explain how you felt about it

Sample 1

Being brave, I like to do difficult things, and I have had many experiences where I have indulged in challenging tasks. One of them is unique and, hence, worth mentioning. It was two years back when there was a lockdown in our nation due to the coronavirus pandemic, and during that time, many people, especially those living in slums, were having a difficult time making ends meet.

At that time, I decided to arrange funds so that we could provide them with eatables, and to do that; I took special permission from the local authorities to allow me to step out of my house to generate funds for the people.

 I did something beyond the conventional domain. Instead of doing door-to-door campaigning, I created a page on Facebook, and there I posted the details of and the photographs of those living in abysmal conditions due to the lockdown because, all of a sudden, their work came to all. They had no job to do.

My initiative worked like a charm because people paid me in colossal amounts, and within a few days, I managed to collect 10 lakh rupees. It happened in my hometown. I did not go anywhere. I received the money in my bank account, which was specially created for that purpose.

 I distributed some of the money between the people and gave them eatables, books, stationery, etc. so that they could have meals and children could study.

The overall experience was overwhelming because it was a difficult task. After all, getting money from someone is a daunting task. It was a challenging job during the pandemic because most of us did not have jobs, but somehow, I managed to convince the people to work for this noble cause, and the appreciation I gained during that time will always remain in my memories.

Sample 2

As an adventurous person, I have an uncanny knack for attempting challenging tasks. There have been many incidents, and one is worth mentioning.

It was two years back when all of a sudden, my mother was ill, and she went on bed rest, and my father was transferred to some other place. So, he was not there to take care of my mother. And my brother also got admission to an overseas college, so he shifted to Canada.

I was the only one who could take care of my mother, and I had my board exams going on. So, at that time, I had to take care of my mother and do household chores. Simultaneously, I had to study, and I did all these things at home. I didn’t go out, and I used to call the doctor at home. So, every day, I would start my routine at 4 am. After waking up, I would make my mother do physiotherapy exercises in bed.

After that, I would also prepare breakfast for myself and my mother. At 8 am, she would sleep again, and then I would balance household chores like mopping, dusting, etc.

Afterwards, I would study for two hours and then prepare lunch for my mother. Then, I would study again. After making dinner for her, I would study again. So, it was a combination of all three tasks clubbed together. It was tiring because my subjects were challenging at that time.

So I had to burn the midnight oil. I often felt like quitting by not taking my exams, but it could have cost me one precious year of my life. So, I persisted. I worked with determination, dedication, and discipline. And finally, my mother recovered, and I passed my exams with flying colours.

Moreover, I learned new skills like cooking, dusting, and mopping. So overall, the experience was good. And it taught me that in our life, we set our limits; we shouldn’t set our boundaries. Irrespective of the difficulties, we should work hard. And in that way, we can lead our lives toward an impressive road trajectory.

Sample 3

My school had a competition, but I needed to get information. At that time, I realized that on competition day, my teachers asked me to draw a beautiful portrait, but it was challenging for me to draw because I did not do any practice, which has become difficult for me.

But when I was sitting in that competition at that time, firstly, I closed my eyes and imagined a picture of a portrait, and after that, after 2 or 3 minutes, I started to draw.

Firstly, I did the outline of that portrait. The portrait was of a person walking on a busy street. Firstly, I outlined, and secondly, I filled in the colors in that portrait.

But after 30 minutes, I realized it was not beautiful, but I continued to draw that portrait. When I completed that, I showed it to my teacher, who told me it looked beautiful.

The next day, I won that competition and achieved the second position, but drawing that portrait was challenging.

Sample 4

Difficulties are part of life, and I have done a lot of difficult tasks during my life, some of which I succeeded in, and some were complete failures for me. And here, I would like to talk about a situation where I did a difficult task.

It happened during my childhood when there was an annual function at my school, and I was selected to give a speech about a famous person in front of the school, the audience, and the guests.

So, at first, I was hesitating, but then my teachers motivated me to do so. So, I was a person who needed to become more familiar with the stages, and I needed to learn how to talk. You can feel me like I was in the 9th standard, and my mind was not fully developed. And it was like my legs shook whenever I went on the stage.

But that’s the situation where I had to do that task. For that, I got the help of my uncle, a role performer, and he gave me many tips on how to talk and greet the audience. So he gave me the topic of Doctor Ambedkar.

He was a famous person in India, and he had a lot of degrees. He made a lot of changes to mitigate casteism in India. So I took the topic and gave a speech on it. At the start of the speech, I was shaking but felt very good after some time, as if it was an easy task.

Then I did. Everyone praised me and gave me a standing ovation. So after that, I felt really good. I took a deep breath, and I felt less stressed.

And it was like a huge burden taken from my head. So, that was a situation where I had to do this task, which was very difficult, but I did it successfully.


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 time you successfully did something difficult ”.

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

Although people need to be confident in all jobs, those requiring confidence deal directly with the prospective consumer. And apart from this, those jobs where the life of someone is at stake require people with confident attitudes. So, the job of a teacher, a salesman, or a hotel receptionist requires a boat of confidence. Moreover, people engaged in medical professions, like doctors, surgeons, and people doing laboratory tests, also require immense confidence.

2. On what occasions should children be encouraged, and how?

The children need encouragement whenever they do something out of the box. Childhood is when we build our creative muscles; we need motivation to do so. So whenever a child tries to do something, whether he’s successful at that or failure at that, we must encourage him so that they get enough fuel to try again and think beyond the conventional domain.

3. How do you help children stay focused?

To help the children stay focused, we must first remove the distractions around them so that their concentration is on one task.

Apart from that, there must be awareness campaigns in the schools where psychologists or other professionals should teach children the benefits of remaining focused in their lives, and there should be role-play exercises where, through various plays and stories, the protagonist

should explain how focus helped him lead his career toward impressive growth.

4. What challenges do young people face today?

Youngsters, these days, face immense challenges. The first and foremost is fierce competition. Due to the burgeoning population, there is cut-through competition in every field, so youngsters have to burn the midnight oil to climb the ladder to success.

Apart from that, there are enough distractions at their disposal. So, concentrating on a single task is challenging for them. Apart from this, there is spiralling inflation, and due to that, in some cases, it is problematic to make ends meet. So these are the challenges young people face these days.

5. What do you consider to be the most challenging task you have ever faced? 

When I was learning to drive a car, in the first part, like in the beginning, I was really scared of driving a car.

How can a person drive a car by sitting at the side of the car? The steering should be in the centre, which is like a nuisance. It was also challenging for me to learn how to drive the car.

6. Can you describe a difficult decision you made recently? 

As I remember, I don’t think there’s any difficult situation in which I had to make an important decision. But there was one thing that happened when I had to choose, like whether I should buy a headphone or a watch. After checking the needs and the uses, I found a watch that was perfect for me.

So I went with that. Yes, it was an important decision for me. It cost around $350, which is a really good amount.

So, yes, I need to be more careful while using this. So that’s a situation where I made a difficult decision.

7. In your opinion, what are the most difficult aspects of learning a new language

 We need to consider many things when learning a new language. The first thing we should need to learn is English because English is a common language, an international language. We can say that.

And every language should be based on the English language. To learn a new language, we should prepare for English. After that, we should watch the people’s accents and the language we learn.

We should also use newspapers, TV shows, and music, which can be helpful when learning a new language. 

 8. Is it important to challenge yourself regularly? 

We indeed play a very safe game and must keep challenging ourselves. Sometimes, it’s a weight loss challenge; sometimes, it’s a healthy eating challenge; and sometimes, it’s a getting up early in the morning challenge.

9. Is it important to challenge yourself regularly? 

Yes, it is important to challenge yourself regularly. If you do not challenge yourself and come into your comfort zone, and once you come in, life becomes boring because you tend to do the same daily tasks. So when we challenge ourselves, life becomes interesting.

10. Have you ever had to work with difficult people?

 Oh, yes, like it, it happened like every day. First, I prefer to avoid the supervisor with whom I have to work. He’s good at work but very bad at making decisions.

My colleagues and everyone else are also very good except for one. So what is important, like, which happens in every company, like one or two members are, what we can say that, like, not responsible or serious about their jobs. So, yes, I have to work with that kind of people.

11. What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of your current job? 

The important aspect of my job is to maintain the schedule. Right now, we have a lot of orders. Managing my workload is the most challenging part of my work at my workplace right now. There is an average of 12 to 13 orders daily, which we must ship the next day.

So we must prepare for ourselves and complete that task before the next shift. That’s the only thing I find very challenging right now for me. 

12. How do you stay motivated when faced with difficult tasks or obstacles?

 I’ve been working for three years now, and I don’t have to face many challenges because I know everything about my company.

But yes, there are some situations where I have to face some challenges. So, over there, I take a deep breath and prepare myself for that task. Firstly, I am looking for possible ways to complete that task.

And which is more effective, I choose that one. Then I will do the work with that part, that decision. So, with this, I prepare myself and tackle those challenging situations.

13. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to learn a difficult skill or subject in a short amount of time? 

Yes. There was a person who worked in my company; he usually used to weigh the parts. So, he was sick last month.

And he said he needed a vacation for 14 days, 14 or maybe 15 days, but no one could cover him. As I said, my supervisor could be better at making decisions. So he put me over there.

So then I had to learn both tasks as if I were doing my job. And I had to learn that skill, like how to weigh the parts. So, I learned that thing.

I was familiar with that but still needed to; I didn’t have the official training, but I learned it within three days. The actual time is four weeks, but I learned it in three days. So yes, that’s the situation where I had to learn the skill quickly.

14. What advice would you give someone facing a difficult situation and feeling stressed? 

The best advice I could give to people facing challenges is not to panic. Whatever the situation, every situation has a key to success, and everything should be done in a plan. So a person should prepare himself for that.

Currently, we have a lot of technological features like YouTube and other things by which we can learn how to do a task. The only thing I can say is don’t panic and don’t take too much stress, which makes the work worse rather than solve it. So don’t panic in that situation.

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