IELTS Cue Card Sample 603 - Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination

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

Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination.

You should say:

  • what the situation was
  • why you needed to use your imagination
  • what the difficulties were about it

and explain how you felt about it.

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

Model Answer 1:
Thank you a lot for allowing me the time to talk about a time when I had to be inventive to accomplish something. I will tell you when it was, why I was in a situation to use my imagination, what hurdles I faced and my overall impressions of the whole event.

To commence with, it happened approximately a year ago when my family shifted to a new apartment. My previous room was comparatively smaller than the one I got at that new flat and I had only a small number of furniture back then. The new room, on the contrary, was large and I had to plan to decorate it carefully. I wanted to give my room a delightful ambience and to do so, I had to face a big challenge. While I was in the planning phase, my elder sister had already tidied up her room in an adorable fashion. This made my challenges even more complicated.

I had few savings of my own and I bought two oil-paintings, a large rag, a new sofa set and some pot plants. Then I was confronted with the real challenge of placing them in the perfect position. My imagination was already at work and it took me two days to finish decorating my room. I must have been very creative as my father, who scarcely appreciate, remarked very emphatically. I felt quite relieved and exhilarated at the same time for this achievement. My imagination, choice and creativity to prepare my room in a way inspired me to plan everything beforehand from that time.

I am sure my elder sister had never agreed but with the pot plants, oil paintings and stylish sofa, my room looked better than her room! I felt a sense of accomplishment and a great pleasure.

Sample Answer 2:
I studied history at the University of Calcutta and completed my graduation from that very university in 2017. In my early years, I often found myself in a position in which I was yet to complete the whole syllabus before the exam. Thus I was often forced to use my imagination during the written tests! If I look back to these days, I feel kind of proud for my ability to score well with my capacity to imagine the scenario and then pen down the answers. But, I soon changed my habit to score better.

During the semester final of my third year, I completely relied on my imagination and memory to answer one of the questions related to the Mughal Empire. I would like to talk about this event and this is a lovely cue card task for me.

I often skimmed the book before the exam and could write the answers and my regular attendance to the class and ability to recall teachers' lectures saved me many times. However, a very hard question related to the Mughal Empire baffled me on an exam and I had to rely on my imagination to answer it.

Dealing with this was not easy, especially in an exam room. Firstly, I had very little idea about what I should be writing and the time was ticking. I had some knowledge about the Mughal Empire and used them to expand the stories and explained them in my own point of view. It might sound absurd but I got a good mark on this test!

This particular scenario was a lesson for me. Though I felt proud to be able to answer questions without memorising them, I felt I should have been more careful to get a better score and properly studying before the exam was the only solution to it. I did not abandon my creative writing approach but became more serious about studying afterwards.

Model Answer 3:
This is quite an interesting topic for me and I would like to profoundly thank you for allowing me to describe an event when my imagination saved my day.

It was roughly two years ago when the quote by the greatest scientist Albert Einstein -  “Imagination is more important than knowledge", was proven correct once again in my life. I was in a job interview and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company asked me a very tricky question. If I recall everything precisely, it was my second job interview after my graduation and I was apprehensive to face interviews at that time. The question the COO asked was nothing I was prepared for. He asked me whether I did my homework about their company and products and as soon as I said ’yes’, his next question came to me as a shock. He told me to describe a few negative aspects of this company or things they are doing wrong. He also asked me to propose a solution to the problem.

I was silent for around 5 – 10 seconds and noticed that every one of the interview panels was looking at me very sternly. And that made the whole situation more challenging for me. I took another 10 seconds to start talking and I decided to express my true feelings about the downside of their company. I had to be very imaginative and creative and I decided to express some faulty ways they were operating their business. Talking about poor customer management system they have had and how their competitors had gained more market share over the past few years was not easier and I did not tell everything from my knowledge, rather I let my imagination take control. Proposing the solution to this problem was not easier either but when I let my imagination take control, I noticed some interests in the eyes of the interviewers.

This all happened in the blink of an eye, or maybe this is what I felt. The interviewers' eye contact with each other persuaded me that I was on the right track. The interview prolonged for another twenty minutes or so and I felt the room with a great deal of confidence.

I felt positive and confident and the thank goes to my timely imaginative power. I believe our imagination is highly related to our knowledge and experience and it can often be more powerful than we think it actually would be.

Before I end my answer to this cue card topic, I would like to inform you that I actually was offered the position in this company and I still work for them.

More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card topic:

Cue Card Topic: Describe a time when you needed to use your imagination.

1. Last semester, I had a project to complete on artworks for children. I needed to use my thought in that case. I imagined deeply and made some fine works for children. Finally, the project was approved.

2. I was telling stories to my niece. But I did not know how to tell a tale, especially to a smart kid who can anticipate the story! Then, I used my imagination. I formulated some stories with my imagination that night. I told stories about the adventures of some brave kids and at last. Interestingly, the kid liked them a lot.

3. I work for a multinational company in Paris and last week I needed to make a presentation in my office. I had to devise some potential perspectives and how they would be. With the imagination, I completed the presentation and it was appreciated.

4. Writing is hard if the writer lacks imagination. I wrote a short story about the socio-economic status of poor people living in Athens in 1900. I imagined how they lead their lives and dealt with many other issues. It ended up to become a good piece of writing.

5. Before starting a garden project in front of my residence, located in Shinjuku, Japan, I had to use my imagination and use my creativity. In fact, there was not a large empty space in front of my one-storied residence than I actually needed for the garden. So, I needed to imagine everything – how the garden will look like etc. Finally, I had been able to build a nice garden and I am very much proud of it.

6. Working as a graphic designer needs to use creativity, imagination and experience. Recently, I had to take advantage of my imagination power before starting the new project. It was about designing a television show background for a children’s event.

7. I do not have sharp imagination power but I needed to apply that last Monday while describing my plan to my superior authority. In fact, I was not ready with the ideas and instantly generated them with my imagination.

8. Blessed are those who have extraordinary creative skills. But I also need to demonstrate the skill (though I do not have much) while answering a critical question. I was asked to set a strategy to increase sales for a software company. Seems like my idea was not as bad as I thought it was! Others appreciated what I presented to them.

9. Taking part in an art competition is tough. I understood that when I took part in such a competition that was held at my college in Mumbai, India. A topic was given and the contestants had to create a painting on the theme. I used my imagination to paint it. Though my painting did not receive any prize, I was proud to be able to finish it.

If you can talk about this cue card topic, you should be able to answer the following topics as well:

1. Talk about a time when one of your ideas was appreciated.
2. Describe a situation when someone gave a great idea.
3. Describe a creative idea that you used once.
4. Describe something unusual you did recently.

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