Describe a time you successfully did something difficult | IELTS speaking cue card

Describe a time you successfully did something difficult - IELTS speaking cue card

PI - Prepare IELTS


Describe a time you successfully did something difficult


IELTS cue card questions such as "Describe a time you successfully did something difficult" assess a student's ability to speak fluently and clearly in a short amount of time. The candidates get two minutes to discuss the topic and one minute to formulate a response. After that, the examiner will pose questions about the subject.


Go through this blog post all the way through if you're preparing for the IELTS exam and want to know how to react to the "Describe a time you successfully did something difficult" kind of speaking cue card topics.

Describe a time you successfully did something difficult cue card - sample answer 1


Life often presents challenges that may seem daunting at first glance. However, with determination and perseverance, we can overcome them. In this narrative, I will share a challenging experience I faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.


What was it?

I gained a lot of weight during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when my friends noticed that I was overweight, one of them challenged me to drop 10 kg in four months. Although the goal seemed intimidating, I accepted the challenge, knowing it would require hard work and dedication. Initially, the thought of losing weight felt overwhelming, especially considering my bulky physique.


How did you complete it?

To kickstart my weight loss journey, I began with a combination of walking and running. Each morning, I covered three kilometres by walking and one kilometre by running. As I progressed, I incorporated yoga and gym sessions into my routine. My coach provided me with a structured diet plan, which I diligently followed. I continued to work out and followed those charts. I used to work out every day; it became my habit.


Why was it difficult?

Working out was really unpleasant and tough for me because I was overweight. In addition, I have cheated on my diet plan, which has caused me to acquire extra weight. Despite my efforts, progress was slow, with only a one-kilogram weight loss in the first month. To ensure accountability, my coach closely monitored my adherence to the prescribed diet and exercise regimen.


How did you feel about doing it?

Three months later, I had dropped 9 kgs. The visible transformation astonished my friends, reflecting the significant progress I had made. I was also very satisfied with my transformation and body shape. In four months, I completed the challenge and lost 10 kg of weight. Despite the difficulties encountered along the way, the journey was both challenging and rewarding.



Completing the weight loss challenge was a significant milestone in my life. I am grateful to my friend for initiating the challenge, as it spurred me to take action and reclaim control over my health. Without their encouragement, I might have continued down a path of weight gain and diminished well-being. This experience taught me the importance of setting goals, staying committed, and persevering through obstacles to achieve success.

Describe a time you successfully did something difficult cue card - sample answer 2


Success means different things to different people. While some might equate it with material possessions like a nice house or luxury car, for others, it's about finding fulfilment in their career. However, the success story I want to share today doesn't involve money or possessions. Instead, it's about developing the ability to break a really bad habit.


What was it?

For me, success came in the form of breaking free from the grip of smoking and drinking. While some might not see quitting as a success. But for me, it was a significant victory.


How did you complete it?

My journey towards breaking these habits began after listening to a podcast by a renowned health and fitness expert. Their words opened my eyes to the dangers of smoking and drinking, prompting me to recognise the importance of breaking these harmful habits.

By the way, the doctor also advised me to stop smoking as soon as possible about a year ago due to some health issues. However, I chose to disregard the advice. But listening to that podcast made me realise that it's time for me to act like an adult and give up smoking completely for the benefit of my health.


Why was it difficult?

After nearly four years of smoking and drinking, breaking free from these habits wasn't easy. It required determination and perseverance to reduce my consumption and eventually quit altogether gradually.


How did you feel about doing it?

Initially, giving up smoking was tough, and I felt frustrated that I couldn't indulge in my usual pastime. However, by keeping myself occupied with activities like going to the gym and playing video games, I adapted to life without smoking.



Conquering these habits was a crucial achievement in my life. It not only improved my health and productivity but also strengthened my relationships with my family. Additionally, it allowed me to save money that I had previously spent on cigarettes, leading to positive changes in various aspects of my life.

Describe a time you successfully did something difficult cue card - sample answer 3


One of my most important life milestones was learning to drive a four-wheeler. When I turned 18, I realised that if I wanted to be independent and have the freedom to go places, I had to learn how to drive.      


What was it?

I needed to learn how to drive to become independent and go wherever I wanted to go. Since I didn't know anything about driving, it was even harder. But I knew I had to do it to succeed on my own.     


How did you complete it?

Initially, to start practising, I purchased a second-hand car for myself. In the morning, I used to go for a driving lesson with my coach and then take on the task of learning to drive on my own. After a month of lessons, I practised on quiet roads and empty parking lots for hours. Further, as my driving confidence grew, I began to practise on peaceful roads at night when no one else was there.   


Why was it difficult?

Learning to drive was tough because I had to learn a lot of new things. As a beginner, I had to pick up the fundamentals, such as shifting gears, braking, acceleration, and mirror checks. In addition, I had to be mindful of an element of risk associated with driving. Furthermore, there's always a risk when you're driving. Driving alone without anyone to help was scary, too.    


How did you feel about doing it?

It was hard at first, but I got better with practice. However, I ultimately got the hang of it as I gained more confidence with time and practice. I felt proud of myself for overcoming my concerns and learning to drive, even though I was first afraid. Honestly, I never thought I could do it, so feeling confident as a driver was amazing.   



Learning to drive wasn't easy, but it was worth it. It gave me the independence to go wherever I wanted. Even though it was tough, I'm thankful I learned how to drive.

IELTS speaking part 3 - Follow-up Questions

Question: On what occasions should children be encouraged? How?   

Answer: In my opinion, youngsters who are afraid to undertake something healthy for them should be supported in those circumstances. Additionally, they shouldn't feel as though they are being forced to accept the support; it should only be given up to a point. If kids show interest in learning something creative, like painting, we can encourage them to do so. Parents can also take kids to a museum, science park, or planetarium to further stimulate their curiosity and help them grow.  


Question: What kinds of jobs require people to be confident?    

Answer: While confidence is necessary for many jobs, it's especially important for positions involving decision-making, leadership, and public contact. For example, jobs in marketing and sales require assurance when presenting goods and convincing consumers. Any organisation's leadership positions demand self-assurance in order to manage teams and make choices. Publicly visible professions like broadcasting, acting, and public speaking also require a high level of confidence. A confident demeanour is beneficial in any position where you are required to influence others, push your ideas, or represent a company or product.  


Question: What challenges do young people face today?  

Answer: Today's youth must overcome several obstacles. These involve managing the intricacies of the digital realm, including the demands of social media and an excess of information. Anxiety and sadness are two mental health conditions that are becoming more common in young people. With competitive job markets and high expectations for achievement, substantial pressures are associated with education and careers. Climate change and other environmental issues are another primary concern for a large number of young people. Common difficulties also include social issues like prejudice, inequality, and the quest for a sense of purpose and identity.   


Question: How do you help children stay focused?  

Answer: We need to remove any outside distractions before we can assist the kids in maintaining their focus on a single task. In addition, there should be role-playing activities where students learn the value of staying focused in their lives from professionals. Through a variety of plays and stories from the protagonist, they should clarify how his focus allowed him to steer his career toward remarkable growth.  


Question: What can we do to overcome the thought that everything is difficult?  

Answer: In my opinion, nothing is hard until we give it a shot. Even though we are unaware of the consequences, we should attempt it first. Trying something new is not a bad thing.   


Question: What are the most difficult things for youngsters to do?   

Answer: When young, there are many tough decisions to make. A person's youth is a stage when they are prepared to embark on their journey as independent individuals. Apart from this, during this time only, they had to face a lot of physical and hormonal changes, which affected their behaviour.   


Cue cards that ask applicants to "Describe a time you successfully did something difficult" are a fantastic approach to demonstrate how well they can organise their thoughts and reason through a difficult experience or accomplishment. To answer this cue card, one needs to think about the challenges faced and the knowledge gained. Examiners look for in-depth speech that takes into account the difficulties, examples, and outcomes. It is imperative to respond with a well-defined framework and smooth concept transitions. This cue card differentiates speaking competence levels and produces a thought-provoking and engrossing monologue. Because there are numerous possibilities to provide examples from their academic, professional, or personal lives, the majority of test takers are able to speak fluently and in-depth on this cue card.

We hope this blog helps you to have a clear idea of what to say when you receive the cue card that says, "Describe a time you successfully did something difficult" If you are looking for more details or would like to prepare for IELTS, you can contact the Prepare IELTS exam (PI) expert counsellors for further guidance. Our team of education experts is dedicated to providing you with the best test material and guidance to ace the IELTS exam. You can get a one-on-one counselling session and an IELTS online practice test via our platform. Contact us at or call us at +91 9773398388 for further queries.


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