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

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Meridean Overseas

Updated On 10 February 2024 & Read Time 10 minutes


IELTS cue card questions like "Describe a time you were very busy" assess a student's ability to speak clearly and succinctly in a limited amount of time. The candidates get two minutes to discuss the matter and one minute to draft a response. After that, the examiner will pose questions about the subject.


Read this blog till the end if you're getting ready for the IELTS exam to find out how to respond to the "Describe a time you were very busy" speaking cue card type.


Describe a time when you were busy - Model Answer and Follow-up Questions

Check the following model answers for the cue card topic "Describe a time you were busy" and the accompanying follow-up questions. These are the same follow-up questions from the IELTS speaking part 3 round.


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


Describe a time when you are busy - Model answer 1



In today's busy world, managing time efficiently has become a common challenge for many. Balancing professional commitments and personal time is a struggle that often leads to a hectic lifestyle. Recently, I immersed myself in work-related responsibilities, leaving little time for personal pursuits.


When did it happen?

A few months back, we secretly organised a grand celebration for my sister’s 14th birthday. The entire family and relatives came together to make it a memorable event, bringing joy to everyone who participated. The joy on her 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 her. I excitedly gathered gifts, inviting all my relatives to join the evening function. Undoubtedly, it was a great time, as we all enjoyed the party and met each other after a long time.


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

On that day, my mother took my sister shopping, allowing me to decorate the house for the surprise party. I wanted to surprise her, so I cleaned and decorated my house with balloons and other beautiful sparkly stuff.


However, my mother called up and said that my sister wanted to return home early while I was in the middle of decorating the home. So, I panicked as I needed more time to prepare for the surprise party. I requested my mother to take her to a movie to avoid this situation.


Meanwhile, I got her a cake, a sash, and a birthday cap and completed the whole decoration. Apart from this, I also curated a short video for her, in which all her friends and our family members recorded warm wishes for her.


However, a sudden office work emergency added to the chaos. I quickly addressed it on my laptop, realising time was ticking away. Despite the challenges, I pressed on, getting ready for the surprise.


Before my sister arrived, everything felt so chaotic and stressful. However, fortunately, everything fell into place just in time. As she walked in, we beamed with joy, witnessing her surprise and happiness.


We celebrated by cutting the cake, giving her gifts, capturing pictures, playing fun games, and enjoying her favourite meal. Moreover, the highlight of the evening was a special video created by everyone, sharing stories from his childhood and creating laughter-filled memories.



That week was demanding with work commitments, requiring a delicate balance between regular tasks and event preparations. Despite the challenges, I ensured everything was organised properly. In the end, the effort paid off, as the event turned out to be a great success. Although it was a hectic week, witnessing my sister’s joyful face made every moment worthwhile.


Also, Read: IELTS Cue Card: Describe an Interesting Conversation that you had


Describe a time you were busy - Model answer 2


In the fast-paced world we live in, managing time effectively is crucial. One incident that stands out occurred a few months ago during my college semester exams when I received news of my grandfather’s accident. This unexpected situation presented a challenge, requiring me to navigate various responsibilities and balance my academic commitments and family duties.


When did it happen, and where were you?

In the midst of my college semester exams, I received a distressing message about my grandfather’s accident. Despite the ongoing exams, I immediately decided to rush home. The shock of the unexpected news lingered as I left the exam hall due to the unpredictability of life. 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 grandfather had an accident. While I was in the midst of my semester exams, my parents, preoccupied with contacting relatives, hadn't eaten. I prepared coffee and Poha intending to provide some comfort during a difficult time. Juggling exams and family responsibilities, I became their helping hand. Unfortunately, people gathered to meet him in the evening, adding to the stressful environment.


The following morning brought a renewed sense of determination. Despite the challenges, I answered all the exam questions to the best of my ability after completing the exam. I rushed back home to continue supporting my family during this tough time. Finally, I allowed myself to rest, feeling a mixture of relief and fatigue after the whirlwind of the past 24 hours.



In conclusion, that stressful day taught me the importance of managing multiple responsibilities effectively. Handling the news of my grandfather's accident, fulfilling my duties at home, and successfully completing my exams filled me with a sense of accomplishment. It reinforced the idea that even in the midst of a crisis, it is possible to navigate through challenges with resilience and prioritise what truly matters.


Also, Read: IELTS Cue Card: Describe a Chocolate you didn’t like


Describe a time when you were busy - Model answer 3


In our daily lives, whether at work or home, time management plays a crucial role. One memorable day at the office, I received unexpected news about my elder cousin's sister's engagement, leading to a swift change in my schedule.


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. As soon as I got the news, I quickly wrapped up my work and rushed home to partake in the joyous celebration with my family.


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

Upon arriving home, I found my family, along with my uncle, immersed in the busyness of sharing the good news. They hadn't even had time for lunch. Setting aside my own work commitments, I stepped in to assist, preparing tea and lending a helping hand in the preparations for the engagement ceremony.  In the evening, people gathered at our house for the engagement ceremony.


Balancing my professional responsibilities and personal commitments became a juggling act. I worked tirelessly until midnight to ensure everything was in order. 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.



That week was a myriad of activities, coordinating my cousin's sister's engagement amidst my regular tasks. It was undoubtedly challenging, but the satisfaction of witnessing the event unfold seamlessly made it all worthwhile. Despite the hectic schedule, the happiness on her face illuminated the success of our collective efforts.


Also, Read: IELTS Cue Card: Describe a Difficult Thing you did


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


#2 Are you often busy?

Yes, I am pretty 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.


#3 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.


#4 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.


#5 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.


#6 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. You must also meet someone and spend time diverting your mind from all the chaos. Start your day by exercising and doing mindful activities.


Also, Read: IELTS Cue Card: Describe an Invention that changed people's life



Ultimately, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 cue card on describing a busy period evaluates your capacity for coherently expressing your experiences. By addressing the when, where, what, and why parts of complex circumstances, Gaining proficiency in these areas guarantees a successful performance in this important IELTS speaking exam section. Since "Describe a time you were very busy” is one of the topics expected in IELTS speaking part 2, practise all the examples mentioned.


We hope now you have an idea of how to answer the “Describe a Time When You Were Busy” type of cue card questions in your IELTS speaking test. But, still, if you are, if you want to get further details or would like to prepare for IELTS, then you can contact our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). You can also take free online counselling through our website. Our expert counsellors will provide you with the best support and guidance you need for admission and visa. In addition, they will help you shortlist the universities according to your profile. For more information or any queries, contact or 1800-1230-00011.

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