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Describe A Difficult Thing You did - IELTS Cue Card

Updated on 02 February, 2024

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

In this IELTS speaking cue card, you have to describe a difficult thing you did. Describe any task or achievement that was tough for you and talk about how you accomplished it. Also mention what was going on in your mind while pursuing the task and your thoughts at the end. Here are two sample cue cards that will help you get the drift.

Describe A Difficult Thing You did: Sample 1 

The topic asks for a description of a difficult thing that I did. Personally, for me, it would be climbing a mountain. No, I am not being flippant here. I have always been scared of the mountains. Even on our family holidays to the mountains, I have always been scared of walking on undulating and curving hilly roads, struggling to catch my breath and manage my anxieties. 

My difficulties began when I was chosen for the Scouts and Guides camp at school. I had won a few medals for my school in football and athletics. It would be a mountain expedition with rafting, mountain climbing, and living in tents. I desperately pleaded with my class teacher and then the headmaster to excuse me from the camp. However, my pleas fell on deaf ears as they were convinced that a promising young athlete was destined for such an expedition. My parents, too, believed that the experience would toughen me up and build my natural resilience. Hence, needless to say, I was packed off to the waiting train on the appointed date for the camp. 

After a few days of trekking, learning how to put up tents, and cooking basics, D-Day arrived. We were to be taught mountain climbing. I was about to pass out when the instructor bound me with the harness and asked me to start climbing. I felt numb, and my ears seemed to have gone cold. Yet, I found myself an hour later, sitting nervously with my fellow mates on the summit. I had managed to conquer my fears after all. I believe that somehow I could channel my inner strength to accomplish my most challenging task in life. And thank God that I did!

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ielts sample essays

Describe A Difficult Thing You did: Sample 2

We often hear the phrase pushing your limits, as a clarion call toward conquering one’s worst fears. That is what I heard in a television advertisement with a catchy jingle and what motivated me on the toughest day of my life. I am a budding chef currently studying/working at a trainee kitchen of the institution. 

One day, our director said we would have special guests visiting us for a practical training exercise. He announced the names of the cast of an upcoming blockbuster (many of them mega-celebrities) while stating how we would all cook signature dishes for them. I was given the task of making breakfast for one of my favourite celebrities. They arrived on the dot. I was frantically busy in the kitchen. I had chosen an elaborate spread of American-style pancakes with Eggs Benedict for my guest. 

I got hold of my ingredients and was making a list of the steps in my mind. And then it all went blank. I was numb and saw that I had wasted ten minutes doing nothing. I could not remember anything and felt my legs shaking. I was about to throw in the towel. I had never cooked any major meal before. And then the advertisement jingle suddenly started playing in my mind. The rest is history. I managed to finish the dish on time and personally served it to my favourite celebrity. 

Later our director singled me out for special praise, saying how the actor had loved my dishes. My lack of confidence is now a thing of the past. That sudden task was the toughest job of my life, but I managed to persevere and succeed even after a brain fade. It shows that when the going gets tough, the tough get going!

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.