IELTS Cue Card Sample 500 - Describe an exam that was very hard for you.

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe an exam that was very hard for you.

You should say:

  • what exam it was
  • when you took this exam
  • why you took this exam

and explain why this was hard for you.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Sample Answer 1:
Well, this is an interesting topic to talk about. This topic reminds me the admission test in Saint Paul college that I took in 1999. It was one of the toughest exams I have ever encountered in my life and performed very poorly. I did so bad that I was afraid to see the result and in fact, I did not see my admission result at all as I knew how poorly I had performed!

It is quite common in the colleges in our country to arrange the admission test each year to select the students they would allow for admission. I took part in the entrance exam in top five colleges in our country and Saint Paul college was one of them. This college was far away from my house and due to a bad traffic, I was 15 minutes late on the exam day. Being late on the exam day was a disaster for me and the college authority was reluctant to let me sit for the exam. Half an hour was already gone and I was feeling an immense pressure at that time. As soon as I opened the question paper, I was far more daunted and got stiffed as most of the questions seemed unfamiliar to me.

The college exam authority has changed their question pattern and has focused more on history and writing skill than mathematics and other science subjects! This was even a bigger disaster for me. I could not answer most of the questions and was expecting to get out of the exam hall as soon as possible. It was a suffocating and perplexing experience for me. After I left the college perimeter, I felt relieved and that proves that I was quite appalled and dismayed in the exam hall.

As I recall, I did not even go to see my result as I knew I would perform very poorly. Later on, I got admitted in the Prime Science College.  The exam I had in the Saint Paul's entrance exam was unforgettable and one of the hardest in my whole life. The bad traffic, arguments with the exam authority, different question pattern and my anxiety and tension made it even harder!


Sample Answer 2:
Before my admission to the MA at the Columbia University in New York, I had to appear for a GRE test. I had to pass some busy moments and thus was unable to prepare for the test. So, it turned out to be a difficult test for me. I would like to thank you for this topic and the time to let me talk about it.

Generally, the GRE test is taken before the admission at most of the USA universities. The GRE stands for Graduate Record Examination and this test is administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS). The test is easy when you have the right preparation but without any preparations, this is really a difficult one. Particularly, the analytical writing and critical thinking sections are troublesome for the newbies. It is really hard to answer questions when they are from any different field of study and this is the way to justify the fitness of any candidate for a postgraduate program at any USA university.    

I got admitted in the MA in last summer semester. I had to take the test in the middle of May last year. In fact, the classes of the university began in the second week of August. So, I was in a hurry to get admitted here. Usually, people take a good preparation for attending a GRE test. They take lessons from experts or get admitted at any private GRE training centre. There they take preparation for a certain period and thus secure a better score. They take preparation on the analytical, verbal and quantitative reasoning and practice a lot. So, when they are done with the coaching and some mock tests, they are confident to pass the test. They have undertaken all the necessary preparations to battle with the GRE test.    

I had to take the test as the university authority had made it mandatory for each of the postgraduate students to attend the test and secure a certain amount of grades to get admitted to the university. In my discipline, the university had the demand to score at least 157 average on verbal and 156 on average on the quantitative part. Without having the scores, the university authority would not allow the students to submit their admission form for the postgraduate degrees. Besides, it would also bring the inner potentials of me. Further, I also thought that attending the test would also be helpful for me in some other aspects like it would help me to analyse my skills and abilities on analytical issues. Considering all the issues, I took the test.   

But it was a hard one for me. First of all, I was not prepared for the sudden test. In fact, I had no idea that I would have to attend the test. As far as I knew, the test was for the foreign students in the USA but later I came to know that it was applicable for the native students as well. Actually, it was the university authority who decided for the test. They wanted that they should have the best students and thus initiated the test. The students or test-takers who get a good score in this test are usually of high intelligence. So, the university preferred the best pieces for the postgraduate sessions. Though I secured more than minimum average, it was really hard for me. Firstly, I did not have any preparation thinking that I would not have to appear for the test. Besides, everything around me was jeopardised. My dad was sick while the younger sister gave birth to a baby boy. And it was me who had to take care of all the things. Accordingly, it was hard for me to attend the test without any preparations. 


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