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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question – Describe a Situation that Made You Upset

Are you taking the IELTS Test anytime soon? If you are, then this article is for you. We are providing you with tips on how to ace Part 2 of the Speaking Section of IELTS, also referred to as the Cue Card Section

You might have heard that this is one of the hardest parts of the IELTS test.

You need to speak for a longer period about a given topic you might not fully understand. At the same time, the time allotted for you to prepare is relatively short. But do not panic! 

In this post, we are giving you sample responses for the cue card topic ‘Describe a situation that made you upset.’ Please keep reading. 

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

The examiner will present you with a card with a topic written on it as well as some prompts to assist you in answering the question in Task 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test.

This card is what they call a cue card. If you choose to take notes, you may use a pencil and a sheet of paper that the examiner will also provide. You have one minute to formulate your response.

Then you must speak for one to two minutes regarding the subject that has been given to you. If you speak for longer than this, the examiner will stop you after two minutes.

The examiner might also ask you 1-2 follow-up questions once you have finished speaking, to which you should respond swiftly and succinctly.

How to Answer this Specific Question: “Describe a Situation that Made You Upset”

Topic / Question

Describe a Situation that Made You Upset

Guidelines to Answer this Question

You should say:

  • Where it happened
  • When it happened 
  • Who you were with

And explain why you felt upset. 

  • Recall a specific situation that made you upset. Whatever it is that you decide to share, ensure that you have a good recollection of it to have enough information to share later on. 
  • The moment you have a subject to discuss, stick to it. Keep in mind that you do not a lot of time in case you decide to change your mind. 
  • Begin writing notes and ideas. State what happened and when and where it took place. Include who the people you were with at that time. Lastly, explain why you felt upset. It would be better if you can share what you learned after that incident. 
  • To utilize your time to the maximum, do not write sentences. Simply write keywords and phrases. 
  • Remember to employ a wide range of vocabulary and complex structures of grammar. These two contribute to half your mark in this part of the test. 
  • Write as fast as you can but make sure that you will understand what you have written later on. If your handwriting is not readable by the examiner, it is okay. You are assessed based on the content and delivery of your speech. 
  • Make it a point to glance over your notes once in a while. It is acceptable. You will not lose marks for it. It is why you are provided with a pen and a piece of paper. 

Sample Responses: “Describe a Situation that Made You Upset”

Sample Response 1:

“Something happened a few days back that upset me. Looking back, it was foolish to become enraged, but that was how I felt at the moment. My internet service has been giving me problems lately. It had gotten inconsistent during the previous several days, and when I woke up the next morning, it was completely dead. There was no signal at all.

I initially assumed it was just another internet outage that would be resolved in a few minutes, but I eventually decided to phone the customer care hotline to find out what the issue was. So, as is customary these days, your internet service provider has one of those vexing automated menus that you must listen to before picking the desired choice by inputting the correct digit. I listened to the first menu and chose the most relevant option, which led to another menu, where I chose another option, and then I had to wait, and wait, and wait. I started timing it, and after 5 minutes of listening to the worst music I’d ever heard, I simply hung up. I’d had it with it and couldn’t take it any longer. I made the decision to go do something else and then try calling again later.

To keep a long story short, I finally got through to someone after calling a few more times and they sent a technician out to fix the problem, which he did, but even that wasn’t as smooth as it should’ve been. I had to call again later before the internet signal was fully functional. I was upset and frustrated by the entire experience since it should have been so straightforward and quick, and it wasn’t.”

Follow-up Question 1:

Do you get easily upset? 


“To be honest, I’m really a patient person, and I rarely get upset. Whenever I feel like I’m in a situation that might upset me, I calm myself down and try to think clearly. However, there are really those situations when I can’t help it and lose it, just like the experience I’ve shared with you earlier. It frustrates me that some people couldn’t just do things the simpler way.” 

Follow-up Question 2:

What other things upset you? 

Response 2: 

“Well, I do get upset easily when someone is late. Let’s say we are going somewhere and have agreed to meet at a specific time, and they show up late anyway. What’s even more upsetting is they would sometimes make excuses such as heavy traffic and all. If you are late, just own up to it, no excuses.” 

Sample Response 2: 

“Let me tell you about a recent incident that made me feel both upset and angry. I was planning on taking a business trip to another city via plane a few weeks ago. However, I became a little concerned and didn’t get much sleep that night. So, the next morning, I awoke late, at 9:00 a.m., and my flight was scheduled at 11:00 a.m. It was critical because the trip to the airport would take nearly an hour. I took a taxi in a hurry and instructed the driver to drive as quickly as possible.

But, regrettably, as soon as we reached the expressway leading to the airport, we became trapped in heavy traffic. We were moving so slowly that I became enraged. I was terrified of missing my flight to see my clients. I asked the driver to move faster several times, but he said there was nothing he could do. Finally, it was discovered that the problem was caused by two smashed cars in one lane, and it took me an additional 30 minutes to get past them, nearly causing me to miss my flight.

I was frustrated and powerless because there was nothing I could do to change the situation, and I didn’t know how long I’d be waiting. When I finally realized what was causing the traffic, I was furious at the two drivers who were so reckless and caused the automobile collision, which wasted my time. If I were to miss the plane that day, it would be a major loss for both my firm and myself.”

Follow-up Question 1: 

Do you believe it’s okay to express your feelings when you’re angry?


“I believe it depends on whatever the situation may be and how you express your emotions. When I’m furious with a friend or a member of my family, I find it’s best to explain the situation and try to articulate my feelings. However, I don’t believe it is beneficial to argue with others when you are furious; instead, I believe it is preferable to contain your anger and explain what is wrong.”

Follow-up Question 2:

Do you believe men and women are both enraged by the same things?


“Men and women, I believe, have distinct values, which can cause them to be furious about different things. I feel that women are more likely to become enraged than men by irresponsible behavior, whereas males are more likely to lose their cool. However, some issues, such as violence, may elicit rage in both of them.”

Vocabulary List for Answering the Question: “Describe a Situation that Made You Upset”

Below are some words from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe a situation that made you upset.’ with their definitions and example sentences to guide you. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
customaryadjectiveAccording to the conventions or common practices of a specific community, location, or set of circumstances“It’s indeed customary to provide guests a drink or a snack.”
enrageverbTo make very angry“He was enraged by their petty criticisms.”
foolishadjectiveA person or conduct that lacks excellent judgment or reason‘Her foolish behavior could ruin his entire future.”
furiousadjectiveEnraged; violent or intense“He was furious because I was late.”
inconsistentadjectiveNot remaining the same all the time“His argument is inconsistent on its own.”
outagenounA time when there is no power or other services available, or when equipment is turned offOutages are being reported around the region due to a windstorm in the city.”
powerlessadjectiveLacking the capacity, influence, or power to make a difference“In the face of calamity, they felt powerless.”
recklessadjectiveWithout considering or caring about the ramifications of one’s actions“A lot of people believe that reckless drivers are given too much leeway.”
regrettablyadverbUnfortunately; used to convey regret or sorrow for somethingRegrettably, we are forced to shelter families in these substandard apartments.”
relevantadjectiveClosely associated or suitable to what is being considered or done“At the court, duplicates of the relevant documents should be filed.”
resolveverbTo come up or settle a solution to a problem, dispute, or contentious matter“How do we resolve this seeming conflict?”
smashverbTo crash and damage severely‘They had to smash through the ice with a hammer.”
straightforwardadjectiveBasic and simple to do or comprehend“The instructions are straightforward enough to follow.”
terrifiedadjectiveIn a state of extreme terror “Like a terrified child, he hunched in the corner.”
vexverbIrritate, frustrate, or worry someone, especially about petty concerns“It vexed me to think that others were gossiping about me behind my back.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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