Describe a Time you were very busy (IELTS Speaking cue card)

Describe a Time You Were Very Busy - IELTS Speaking Cue Card

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Describe a Time you were very busy


The IELTS speaking test is a face-to-face, in-person interview that assesses your speaking skills for English proficiency. Your IELTS speaking exam will be taken by a certified examiner, which takes 11-14 minutes.

IELTS speaking is divided into 3 parts, and IELTS speaking cue card topics are the second one of them. So, there can be any topic on which you are asked to speak. Today, we will walk you through one of the IELTS speaking cue card topics - Describe a Time you were very busy.

IELTS Speaking Part 2: Cue Card

In the cue card round, the IELTS examiner will give you a card along with a topic written on it, such as describing a time when you were very busy. In the IELTS speaking exam, you will be given 1-2 minutes for preparation before every part and 3-4 minutes to speak on the topic given to you. 

Describe a time you were very busy

You can explain:

  • When did it happen?

  • Where were you busy?

  • What did you do?

  • Why were you that busy?

Describe a time when you were busy - Model answer and follow-up questions

Head down to the model answers mentioned below for the cue card topic “Describe a time you were busy” and the corresponding follow-up questions, which are the associated follow-up questions from the IELTS speaking part 3 round.

Describe a time when you were busy - Model answer 1


Life has become quite hectic, and people often struggle with time management and the challenge of allocating it effectively. I find myself overwhelmingly occupied with professional commitments, leaving limited me-time for personal pursuits.


When did it happen?

A few months back, we secretly organised a grand celebration for my brother’s 15th birthday. Our entire family and relatives came together to surprise him. The joy on his face made all the planning worthwhile, creating cherished memories for everyone who joined the celebration.


Where were you?

I was at my place yesterday, purchasing decorative items and gifts for him. I enthusiastically invited all my relatives to join the evening celebration at my home. The day was filled with joy as preparations unfolded, promising a memorable gathering for everyone.


What did you do, and explain why you were that busy?

On that day, my sister took my brother shopping, giving me a chance to decorate the house. I wanted to surprise him, so I cleaned and decorated my house with balloons and other beautiful sparkly stuff.

But then, my sister called and said my brother was asking to come home. I got worried as I needed more time to prepare for the surprise party. So, I told her to watch a movie with him to buy me some extra time. Further, I ordered the cake and got the decorations done. His friends and my cousins came to help, and we also asked our relatives to make videos telling about memories related to his childhood.

However, I suddenly faced a problem when some urgent office work came just before the surprise. I opened my laptop and completed the work my manager asked for. Well, time was running out, and it was 6 pm already. I didn't give up and got ready for the surprise.

Before my brother arrived, everything felt so chaotic and stressful. Luckily, everything got done just in time. We all gathered and beamed with joy as he walked in. He was so surprised and happy to see everyone there.

We celebrated by cutting the cake, giving him gifts, capturing pictures, and enjoying his favourite meal. Moreover, the most special part of the evening was watching the special video everyone made for him. It had stories from his childhood, making us laugh and reminiscing about the best times.


People may also visit: Tips for IELTS Speaking Part 1



I had a hectic week at work. It was a lot to handle, balancing my regular tasks and preparing everything for the event. Even though it was tough, I adhered to it and ensured everything was organised. In the end, it paid off because the event went really well. It was a hectic week, but seeing his joyous face made it all worth it.

Describe a time you were busy - Model answer 2


In today's busy world, juggling time is crucial. I remember the day when news of my uncle's accident reached me during college. I quickly navigated through responsibilities to rush home. Balancing responsibilities amid the hustle is a challenge, and moments of crisis emphasise the importance of being present for those who matter most.


When did it happen, and where were you?

A few months ago, in the middle of my college semester exams, I got a message about my uncle's accident. As soon as I finished the exam, I rushed home, shocked by the unexpected news. It was a distressing situation, and I hurried back to be with my family during this challenging time.


What did you do, and explain why you were that busy?

Months ago, my uncle had an accident. While I was in the midst of my semester exams, my parents were busy contacting relatives to inform me of the news. Learning that they hadn't eaten, I quickly made coffee and Poha. Juggling exams and family responsibilities, I became their helping hand. In the evening, people gathered to meet him, adding to the stressful environment.

Exhausted, I managed a brief rest before hastily reviewing my notes. The next morning, I somehow answered all the exam questions, rushed home, and finally rested, feeling a mix of relief and fatigue.



Despite a stressful day, I managed the news of my uncle's accident, my responsibilities at home, and my exams, feeling proud of handling both challenges adequately.

Describe a time when you were busy - Model answer 3


Time management is highly important for everyone, be it in a professional or personal life. I remember the day I heard about my elder cousin's sister's engagement while I was in office.

Swiftly, I handled my duties to reach home quickly. Juggling tasks in a busy schedule is tough, but moments like these add excitement to our routine and bring sudden joy to our family.


When did it happen, and where were you?

Some days earlier, in the middle of my office meeting, I got news about my elder cousin's sister's engagement. So, immediately after my meeting, I hurried back home, surprised by the unexpected news. It was an exciting situation, and I rushed back to join my family in celebrating this joyous occasion.


What did you do, and explain why you were that busy?

At that time, my family, along with my uncle, were quite busy. They were making calls to share the news about my sister’s engagement ceremony. It was very hectic for them, and I learned that they hadn’t had lunch yet.

Keeping my office meetings and work aside, I quickly made them tea. I became their helping hand, doing whatever they needed. In the evening, people gathered at our house for the engagement ceremony.

Balancing my professional life and personal life, I worked until everything finished around 12 pm. After a brief hour’s rest, I hurriedly prepared my presentation for the next morning's meeting, and somehow, I managed my office work. Afterwards, I headed home, took a well-deserved rest, and reflected on an eventful day.



I had a busy week preparing for my cousin's sister's engagement. Managing my usual tasks with event preparations was challenging, but I somehow managed to ensure everything was well-organised. The hard work paid off when the engagement went smoothly. Despite the hectic week, the happiness on her face made it all worthwhile.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 - Follow-up Questions

Now that you have an idea of how to speak in part 2, let’s have a quick look at the IELTS Speaking Part 3, where you will get the follow-up questions regarding a similar cue-card topic.

The IELTS speaking part 3 is conducted by the same examiner who took part 1 and 2 in hardly 4-5 minutes. So, the topic we are talking about today is “Describe a time when you were very busy”.


#1 Are you often busy?

Yes, I am quite often busy these days. I attend spoken English lessons in the early morning, start my office work at 9 am, and come home at 7 pm. In the evening, I take another hour of spoken English lessons. After preparing and eating dinner, I go to bed around 10.30 pm.


#2 Why is everyone so busy nowadays?

In this 21st century, everyone’s on the go for a myriad of reasons. Thanks to modern technology, people are keen on squeezing out benefits like making some extra cash, discovering their passions, and staying connected with their loved ones.


#3 Is it good to be busy all the time?

Well, being busy is good in so many ways. Busy people don’t overthink and won’t process unnecessary thoughts. It makes people more organised, prioritises important things and makes them more productive.


#4 What are the pros and cons of being busy?

Being busy has its pros—it keeps negative thoughts at bay and helps you stay focused on your goals. However, the cons is that it might limit the time you can spend with friends and family on occasion.


#5 How can someone stay focused and healthy amidst a hectic schedule?

One should not be stressed to stay focused and concentrated. You must take small breaks and keep your mind free. Along with that, you must meet someone and spend time to divert your mind from all the chaos. Start your day by exercising and doing mindful activities.


#6 Do you think children should learn through playing games or under pressure?

Children learn best through play, not pressure. Games foster creativity, problem-solving, and social skills, offering a joyful and effective learning experience. Stressful pressure can hinder their development and overall enjoyment of learning.


To conclude, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue card on describing a busy time assesses your ability to articulate experiences coherently. You demonstrate proficiency in communicating complex scenarios by addressing when, where, what, and why aspects. Mastering such topics ensures effective performance in this crucial segment of the IELTS speaking exam. Practise all the provided samples for the topic "Describe a Time When You Were Busy", as this is one of the topics anticipated in IELTS speaking part 2.

Now that you have insights into tackling "describe a time when you are busy" in your IELTS speaking test, for further details or preparation, connect with Prepare IELTS (PI) expert counsellors. They are ready to offer additional guidance and support to enhance your IELTS preparation. 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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