A difficult thing you did well | IELTS speaking questions Part 2

IELTS Speaking Test Part 2 Questions | A difficult thing you did well

Describe a difficult thing you did well.

You should say:
  • what it was
  • how you did it
  • why (or how) it was difficult
and explain how you felt after you did it.

[Follow-up questions]
  • Have other people (you know) had this success?
  • Did people congratulate you for doing this?
A lot of IELTS test takers have problems with this question because of the word ‘difficult’ – they seem to think they have never done anything difficult in life, so they’re not sure what to talk about.

While you might think that a difficult thing is something like climbing a high mountain or something equally dangerous – not many people do things like that in their life. So consider difficult as something which requires effort, preparation or discipline, or something you are unsure about or feel uncomfortable about doing initially.

When you approach the question like this – you can talk about many things, such as:
  • Passing your driving test

    requires studying, preparation, you might feel nervous or uncomfortable, and not many people pass first time – so a degree of difficulty
  • Graduating from university

    requires effort, dedication, discipline, there is a possibility of failure – so a degree of difficulty
  • Saving money for a car

    requires determination, discipline, self-control and patience
  • Buying an apartment/house

    require saving money, navigating the legal process, searching for the right property and making some difficult decisions
  • Quitting a bad habit

    require will power, determination, self-control, usually quitting a habit is not easy – so a degree of difficulty
  • Telling someone some bad news

    this is normally an uncomfortable situation, it’s not an easy thing to do, you might feel nervous about how you tell the person
  • Improving your fitness

    requires discipline, patience, self-control, it’s not easy - because many people try but fail
  • Losing weight

    same as above – again many people find it difficult to do this – so if you have done it, you can say it was difficult because you succeeded
  • Moving to another country

    this can be emotionally difficult, being alone, nervous, away from family for the first time, making new friends, dealing with a new culture, everything being strange, etc.
As long as you can explain why it was difficult, what you needed to do to achieve it, and why you consider that you did it well – you’ll have no problem in responding to this IELTS speaking test question.

Here’s an example answer which responds to all of the points in the cue card.

Describe a difficult thing or task you did well | IELTS Cue Card Speaking Answer

Last year I passed my driving test. I was the last one in my group of friends to do this – and they all thought it was very difficult – so I was expecting a difficult time preparing for it. I studied the driving handbook and memorized all the information necessary for the theoretical driving test. I got my sister to ask me lots of questions about the information to make sure I could respond correctly and knew all about the rules of the road and what to do in certain situations and things like that.

I booked some lessons with a driving instructor and, personally, I found driving very easy. That might be because I had always been fascinated by watching my father drive the car when I was little, and, in fact, after the third lesson my driving instructor said that I was a natural driver.

After a few more lessons I applied for the road test and I was a little nervous on the day – but everything went very well and after the test had finished the examiner informed me that I had passed – and done it very well on the first attempt – which most people don’t do. He congratulated me and I was extremely happy and all my friends were surprised when I told them because most of them had done the test more than once in order to pass. So I had been the most successful in passing the driving test in my group of friends.

My family arranged a special celebration for me because they were so happy about how well I had done in the test. Now I’m going to buy my first car – because I’ve been saving for this a long time and now I have my driving license I can finally do it.

How would you answer this IELTS speaking test question about a difficult thing you did well?

  • What difficult thing would you talk about?
  • How would you explain that you did it well?

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