Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 122 - A time/period in your life when you were very busy

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

Describe a time/period in your life when you were very busy.

You should say:

  • when it was
  • what you were doing then
  • how you managed your busy schedule

and explain why you were so busy then.


Model Answer 1:
I think that over the years, I have been reasonably good at time management except for some occasional hick-ups. But there was a time when I become really busy, and I was struggling to manage my time when I was doing my Master’s degree from a university about 3 years ago.

Of course, I wouldn’t really be so busy, to begin with, if I had not chosen such a difficult thesis topic. On top of that, I was also serving as a "teaching assistant" which itself was like a full-time job to check and mark the term papers of almost a hundred students. So, while I was busy attending the classes on a regular basis, I was also involved in conducting the regular research works to complete my thesis and also checking the term papers of the undergraduate students at the same time since most of my teachers were very strict about getting all of his student to participate in regular class discussion.

By the way, studying an undergraduate programme and graduate program is a different story. It can be said that while in an undergraduate program, a student is able to build on previously learned concepts and skills, a graduate student has to spend a lot of time making his or her own discoveries. On top of that, the post-graduate supervisors, teachers or educators very rarely offer any lifelines to their post-graduate students. In other words, the post-graduate educators hardly provide ever any deadline extensions as far as the date of paper/thesis submission is concerned. 

Anyway, remaining busy is a natural thing for a graduate student because a lot depends on the results of a Masters degree as far as the question of a better career and a better life is concerned. So, it was only natural for me to remain busy at that time because I wanted to finish my university life on a good note. Besides, I also wasn’t able to manage my time that efficiently back then which made my life even busier as a graduate student.


Sample Answer 2:
We all get busy in times when we have exams, or a family member gets sick, or when we have strict deadlines and so on. Though most of us wish to lead a relaxed and hassle-free life, the situation demands our promptness in action, and we all get busy then. One such busy time I still remember was the time when I had a deadline to submit my thesis paper in the final year of my university.

I had about 2 months to complete the thesis paper, but I did little progress with it during the first two weeks due to my job pressure. I joined a company as a part-time employee at the beginning of my final term and had to work for about 4-5 hours per day. I had classes to attend, exams to prepare for, work at the office and all these made my schedule very compact. I had hardly any time for my personal stuff, and I was worried that I was falling behind my schedule for my thesis paper submission. The topic of the thesis was complex and I had to visit libraries, browse the internet, do group discussions, and brainstorm a lot to organise the writing for the thesis. Moreover, I had to visit some local offices to collect data for my thesis. Those days were so tough, and I had been so busy that sometimes I slept for 4 hours only at night.

The work pressure, tension, tight schedules, deadlines, moving from place to place, classes and study were my life. I did not visit my parents for the whole semester. There was hardly any month that I did not go to my hometown to meet my parents but during that period I did not have the chance to do so. In fact, I was unable to go to my hometown for about 7 months. I usually watch 2-3 movies on my computer each week, go for walks each morning, visit some close friends, maintain my social networking profiles and update my blog, but during this period, I was so busy that I did not do any of these activities I usually maintain.

I was so lucky that I finally completed the thesis and submitted it in due time. To my surprise, I got a straight 'A+' in my thesis, continued my job and did well in my term final. But for that, I had to sacrifice a lot and maintain a strict routine. Moreover, to finish things in time, I stopped a lot of the other activities that I usually did back then. Thus I had been able to handle the pressure and deadline. I also have to thank some of my teachers, classmates and friends without whom it would have been impossible for me to finish everything in time.


Similar Cue Card Topics:

Your preparation for this cue card topic would help you talk about the following cue card topics as well:

  1. Describe a busy day you have had.
  2. Describe a stressful time you remember.
  3. Describe a busy time you remember from the past.
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