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Describe an Important Journey That Was Delayed - Cue Card Sample Answers

Updated on 04 December, 2023

Akansha Semwal

Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert


The IELTS Speaking section often presents candidates with the task of discussing personal experiences, such as a significant journey that was unexpectedly delayed. Such topics test your ability to convey emotions, handle unexpected situations, and reflect on the impact of these events.

Sample Answer:

The Unanticipated Holdup

Journeys, much like life, are seldom free of obstacles. One such journey, pivotal due to its purpose and the lessons learned, was my trip to the Interview of a Lifetime. This expedition was not just about the miles traversed but the patience and resilience tested.

The Morning of the Interview

The day dawned with a promise of new beginnings. Clad in my best suit, I set out for what I hoped would be a career-defining interview. Scheduled to fly out at dawn, I was at the airport by the first light, only to be greeted by an unforeseen fog that shrouded the city and the airport in a thick, impenetrable blanket.

The Waiting Game

As minutes turned to hours, the departure board flickered with delays and cancellations, mine included. Anxiety and frustration became palpable among the stranded passengers. My mind raced with contingency plans, but the fog was indifferent to our collective plight.

The Journey Continues

The delay, which stretched an entire day, taught me that some elements remain beyond our control, and sometimes, all one can do is adapt. When the skies finally cleared, the journey resumed not just towards the destination but towards a newfound understanding of acceptance and resolve.

Follow-up Questions & Answers:

Q1: How did you feel when you first learned about the delay?

A1: Initially, the news of the delay was a jolt of sheer panic. The stakes were high, and the thought of missing the interview was unacceptable. But as the delay prolonged, I learned to temper my anxiety with rational thought, planning alternative solutions.

Q2: What steps did you take to manage the situation?

A2: I immediately contacted the interviewers, explaining the situation. Transparency and proactive communication were essential. Additionally, I used the time to review my notes, refining my preparation for the interview.

Q3: What did you learn from this experience?

A3: This ordeal was a lesson in patience and the art of remaining calm under pressure. I learned the importance of having a plan B and the power of clear, concise communication during unforeseen circumstances.


Tips for Cracking the IELTS Speaking Test:

Tip 1: Understand the Cue Card: Before diving into your response, take a moment to fully comprehend what the cue card is asking you to describe.

Tip 2: Organize Your Thoughts: Structure your answer with an introduction, a development of ideas, and a conclusion.

Tip 3: Stay on Topic: Ensure that your discussion stays relevant to the cue card topic to maintain coherence.

Tip 4: Use a Range of Vocabulary: Employ varied lexical resources to express your ideas more vividly.

Tip 5: Practice Fluency: Work on speaking at a natural pace and avoiding long hesitations.

Tip 6: Work on Pronunciation: Clear speech can aid in better understanding and a higher fluency score.

Tip 7: Be Mindful of Grammar: Use a mix of complex and simple sentences to show grammatical range.

Tip 8: Engage with the Topic: Show enthusiasm and interest in the subject you are discussing.\

Tip 9: Prepare for Possible Questions: Think about follow-up questions the examiner might ask and how you would answer them.

Tip 10: Reflect Personal Growth: Discuss what you learned from the experience to add depth to your answer.


Describing a delayed journey in an IELTS Speaking test can be an opportunity to showcase not just your English skills but also your personal growth and adaptability. The journey, albeit delayed, continues beyond the destination, culminating in a wealth of experience and a story worth telling. With the right preparation and mindset, you can turn any speaking cue card topic into a compelling narrative that captivates the examiners and propels you towards the score you desire.

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Akansha Semwal

Study Abroad Expert

Akansha Semwal is a content marketer at upGrad and has also worked as a social media marketer & sub-editor. Experienced in creating impressive Statement of Purpose, Essays, and LOR, she knows how to captivate the attention of Admissions Committee. Her research-driven;study-abroad articles helps aspirants to make the prudent decision. She holds a bachelor's & master's degree in Literature from the University of Delhi.

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