When you were sleepy but had to stay awake - Cue Card # 730

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

Describe a time when you were sleepy but had to stay awake.

You should say:

  • when it was and where you were
  • why you were sleepy
  • why you had to stay awake

and how you stayed awake at that moment.

[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:
Waiting for someone is bad enough as it is, but, it is even worse when you have to wait a long time for somebody to arrive while trying to keep yourself up and awake. But, that’s just exactly what I had to do – that is to stay awake and wait while feeling sleepy – about a year ago at one of my cousin’s home in my hometown.

However, up until that way, I never really thought that I would have a problem keeping myself awake, no matter what the situation was. But, I was proved wrong when my cousin and his wife asked me to look after their 4 years old kid as they were going out of the town for an important job. Needless to say, I gladly agreed to their request, but little did I know then that their 4 years old was so handful and difficult to reason with.

Of course, the first couple of hours were ok, but as more time started to pass, the little 4-year-old boy got restless. In fact, he started to run all over the place in his house while playing with virtually everything there. Soon, I realized that I was not strong and energetic enough to keep up with that little boy. Anyway, things went like this for about a few hours and then suddenly I started to feel sleepy. I guess that I was getting tired, trying to run after that boy every now and then during that busy evening. But, at around 11 pm, I felt like I couldn’t keep myself awake any longer, but I couldn’t leave the little unruly 4 years old alone either. Another hour had gone by like this until my cousin and his wife arrived to rescue me out of my misery.

I tried to keep myself awake on that night by watching some TV programme. But when watching TV was not working, I tried to wash my eyes with some cold water to keep myself awake. Sometimes, I was doing some light exercises to keep my eyes opened while also playing with the little boy at the same time.

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