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 comprises a cue card section that evaluates your speaking competencies for English proficiency. The speaking section of IELTS is classified into three parts wherein the second part is the cue card topic, in which you are asked to speak on any given topic for 2 minutes straight, which might seem daunting to you.

Therefore, we will walk you through one of the IELTS speaking cue card topics - Describe a time you were very busy to evade your fears and help with cue card preparation.

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.


Under the topic “Describe a time you were very busy”, you can explain the following things:

  • When did it happen?

  • Where were you busy?

  • What did you do?

  • Why were you that busy?

Describe a time when you were very busy - model answer 1


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


When did it happen?

We secretly organised a grand celebration for my brother’s 15th birthday a few months back. Our entire family and relatives came together to surprise him. The joy on his face made all the planning worthwhile.


Where were you?

I was at my place yesterday, purchasing decorative items and gifts for him. 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. So, I got in a hurry to decorate the house.

However, I suddenly faced a problem when 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 already 6 p.m. But 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.



Lastly, I had a hectic day balancing my office work 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.

Also read: Top 7 Cities for IELTS Preparation in India – IELTS Coaching

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Describe a time you were very 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. Managing obligations in the midst of chaos can be difficult, and emergency situations highlight how crucial it is to be there for the people 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 stressful 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?

When I arrived home, my parents were busy contacting relatives to inform me of the news. Learning that they had no food, I quickly made coffee and Poha. Juggling exams and family responsibilities, I became their helping hand. People gathered to meet him in the evening, adding to the stressful environment.

Exhausted, I somehow managed to review my notes before going to bed, although I barely slept that night. The next morning, I attempted my paper, 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.

Also read: Describe a festival that is important in your country IELTS speaking cue card

Describe a time when you were very 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 the office.

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 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 and 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 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 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.



I had a busy week preparing for my cousin's sister's engagement and managing my usual tasks simultaneously. This situation was challenging, but I somehow managed to ensure everything was well-organised. The hard work paid off when the engagement went smoothly, and my presentation was appreciated.

Also read: Describe a Birthday Party - IELTS speaking cue card

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.


Q: Are you often busy?

A: 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.


Q: Why is everyone so busy nowadays?

A: 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 extra cash, discovering their passions, and staying connected with their loved ones.


Q: Is it good to be busy all the time?

A: 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.


Q: What are the pros and cons of being busy?

A: 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.


Q: How can someone stay focused and healthy amidst a hectic schedule?

A: One should not be stressed but stay focused and concentrated. You must take small breaks and keep your mind free. You must also meet someone and spend time diverting your mind from all the chaos. Start your day by exercising and doing mindful activities.


Q: Do you think children should learn through playing games or under pressure?

A: 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.

Also Read: Comparing IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE: Which English test should I take?


To conclude, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue card on describing a busy time assesses your ability to articulate experiences coherently. By addressing the when, where, what, and why aspects of challenging situations, you demonstrate proficiency in communicating. Mastering such topics ensures effective performance in this crucial segment of the IELTS speaking exam.

Now that you have insights into tackling "Describe a time when you were very busy" in your IELTS speaking test, connect with Prepare IELTS exam (PI) expert counsellors for further details or preparation. 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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