Describe A Difficult Thing You Did And Succeeded

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card

Describe a difficult thing you did and succeeded.

You should say:

What it was?
How did you complete it?
Why it was difficult?
And how you felt about doing it?

Note: You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

Model Answer 1:

Well, I’m innovative, so I generally try to do or learn something new in my daily routine. Initially, new work is quite tricky for me, but I become habitual to it with practice.

Here I would like to talk about a time when I did something difficult and was successful.

What it was?
Actually, that difficult thing was driving a car in a metropolis where a huge crowd could be seen.

I vividly remember last year during my summer vacation; I was taking driving lessons from my father as he has a gifted hand in driving. So within few days I was able to drive a car in a local area of my hometown.

Why it was difficult?
However, I never drove a car in a city as I thought that it is a challenging task for me to drive a car in a crowded area.

I remember once my father was not at home, my grandmother’s situation was quite critical as she is a patient with high blood pressure.

And how you felt about doing it?
At that time, I felt blue because I had only a little education regarding driving, and it was arduous for me to take her hospital on my two-wheeler as she is feeble because of old age.

How did you complete it?
So, I had to drive a car in order to take her to the hospital. At that time, I drove the car in a city for the first time and saved my grandmother’s life. Honestly speaking, my father was very proud of me and really appreciated my work.

Despite the sorrowful situation, it was a win-win situation for me, as I saved my grandmother’s life and overcame my fear of driving the car in a crowded area. Now, I’m quite confident about driving a car in hilly areas too.

Overall, this was the difficult thing that I did and succeeded.

Model Answer 2:


  • Well, I have done many things in my life which I found difficult in the beginning but then with practice they became easy.
  • For example, I found cooking to be very difficult at first but now I can cook anything easily by just following the recipe.

What it was?

  • But one challenging thing I would like to talk about today is when I assembled my own Personal Computer two years back.
  • It was after my exams were over and I had requested my parents for a new desktop.
  • All my friends had bought branded Personal Computers from Dell and HP which came pre-installed with all the software.

How did you complete it?

  • However, being a gamer, I was more interested in getting a gaming computer with a more powerful configuration but buying a branded gaming PC was out of my budget.
  • So, I discussed it with one of my techie friends and he advised me to buy the computer parts separately and assemble it on my own, as it would cost much less than a branded PC.
  • Since I did not have much knowledge about computer hardware at that time, it seemed very difficult to me to do this task on my own.
  • But I still decided to go ahead and started reading a book on computer hardware and also started to watch computer assembly videos on youtube, which gave me a lot of confidence.
  • Through the videos I learnt a lot about the different computer parts and their functioning.
  • Finally, after I gained enough confidence, I ordered all the components online as it was much cheaper than the retail shops.

Why it was difficult?

  • It took me a complete day to put all the parts together and basically the most difficult part was building the CPU.
  • One has to be very careful while installing the processor on the motherboard and then installing cooling fans over it.
  • If this process is not done carefully it could lead to a short circuit and the processor could get damaged.
  • Luckily, I was able to put it all together perfectly in my first attempt and when I pressed the power button, I heaved a sigh of relief.

And how you felt about doing it? and Conclusion:

  • I was very nervous during the entire assembly process, but I also felt that if I hadn’t read the hardware book and watched the videos on youtube, I would not have been able to do this thing on my own.

IELTS Speaking Part 3 : Follow up Questions

Here some examples of follow up questions that you may asked during your speaking part 3 by examiner related to cue card “describe a difficult thing you did and succeeded”.

1. What kinds of jobs require people to be confident?
I think all jobs require a certain degree of confidence but the ones which involve dealing with customers require a lot more confidence. For example, if a salesperson is not confident enough then he will not be able to convince the customers about the product he/she is trying to sell.

2. On what occasions should children be encouraged? How?
I think children should be encouraged in those situations where they feel hesitant in doing something that is good for them. But also, the encouragement should be done to a certain limit, they should not feel like something is being forced upon them. For example, we can encourage children to learn something creative such as painting if they show interest in it. And to encourage them more, parents can take them to a museum so they can develop their interest further.

3. How do you help children stay focused?
There are many ways in which children can be helped. First of all, one can provide them an environment which is free of distractions, like when they are studying, they should not be allowed to use cellphones. Another way to help them focus would be to teach them about meditation in which they have to focus on their breath or a single sound.

4. What challenges do young people face today?
Well, I think there are two main challenges that young people face these days. The first one is related to the mind and mental health, nowadays everyone is aware of the rise in depression and suicide cases among the youth. Another challenge faced by them is the ever-increasing competition in education or their professional lives.


Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

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