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Describe a time when you needed to use imagination (IELTS CUE CARD)

Describe a time you needed to use imagination
Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:56 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Describe a time when you needed to use imagination (IELTS CUE CARD)

You should say:

  • what the situation was
  • why you needed to use your imagination
  • what difficulties you faced
and explain how you felt about it.
[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.]


I would like to talk about the time I had to get out of my comfort zone to join an Innovation Challenge Contest which made me think out of the box and work flat out to become the runner-up.

This annual contest is open to all undergraduates and post-graduates around the world. Each year this contest draws the attention of more than 30 000 people so it was really competitive and challenging for me. Therefore, when I was awarded the runner-up prize, I was deliriously happy and extraordinarily excited.

The goal of the Challenge was to recognize individuals and organizations that were working on internet-based solutions to promote education and economic empowerment in countries throughout the world. Therefore, it really required

creativity and imagination from each team joining the contest. I had to buckle down and brainstorm ideas for the challenge until I came up with the best one to be accepted for 4 consequent rounds.

At the end of the day, my team and I had really gone extra miles to become the runners-up and it was really an unforgettable experience to me. After all, I can take pride in myself for all the thing I achieved with my imagination and creativity.


Get/Step out of the comfort zone: Do things that you wouldn’t normally do

Example: If you want something you never had, I should step out of your comfort zone and work flat out to fulfil your dream.

Think out of the box: Think differently, unconventionally or from a new perspective

Work flat out: work very hard

Runner-up: A team/player/competitor finishing in second place

Deliriously happy [collocation] very happy

Extraordinarily excited [collocation] very excited

Empowerment: the giving of an ability, enablement or permission

Example: The government believes strongly in the empowerment of women.

Buckle down: to begin to work seriously at something. Example: If you don’t buckle down to your job, you’ll be fired.

Brainstorm: a good idea; an idea that enters one’s head suddenly. Example: I had a sudden brainstorm and got out of bed to write it down. Go the extra miles: to do more than one is required to do to reach a goal Example: My teacher goes the extra mile to help us.

Take pride in: to feel pleased about someone or what they have done

Example: They take pride in their son’s many accomplishments. He takes pride in the fact that he’s never asked his parents for any money.

At the end of the day: in the end

Example: We interviewed many people or the job, but at the end of the day, we don’t think any of them could handle it.


Model Answer 1:

I was never a very “imaginative” person in the past, bet it in making up a story or making up an excuse. But, all that changed one day during my school years when I was suddenly named to take part in a debate, on a subject which I had no prior knowledge about, instead of another person due to an emergency situation.

The topic, we were supposed to debate on, was whether the developed countries of the world only should be paying for the greenhouse effects and environmental pollutions thereafter, caused by their industrial emissions, or not. Of course, the problem was that I had no concrete idea about environmental pollution, and as such, I just didn’t know who should have been blamed for damages.

But, I needed to deliver my debate on whether I knew about the topics or not. So, I started to imagine (more like delivering my “common sense”) about the possible extreme natural phenomena of my country, like drought, longer summer and shorter winter. Then I also started to imagine about the things which were being done by the developed countries, like the USA, Canada and Japan, but not by poor countries, and thus offering a list of possible reasons for which developed countries should have paid for the environmental damages.

Anyway, I felt like I was stranded in the middle of nowhere with no compass to provide me with any direction as I never cared to learn about any kind of environmental pollution and damages, be them natural or man-made. I also felt like if my team was to lose the debate, it would probably be because of me.

However, on the bright side, I also felt like I could at least use my common sense to help my fellow debating partners. In fact, it was very comforting for me as my school authority thought of depending on me to take part in the debate. We lost the debate, of course, but I personally didn’t lose because I stood up for the challenge during the crisis of my team.

Model Answer 2:

I would like to thank you before I describe a situation when my imagination saved my day. This is a great topic to talk about and it reminds me of the famous Einstein quotation “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution”.

It was approximately a year ago and I had to step out of my comfort zone to do well at the global Innovation Solution Competition. Initially, it was a group content but as we progressed to the semi-final round, we had to prove our individual approaches to real-life problems that the authority decided for us.

This annual contest is open to all undergraduates around the world and we had to contest with more than 30 teams at the initial selection round. Being able to reach the semi-final round was both inspiring and challenging. Therefore, when I was given a problem to solve all by myself, I completely relied on my imagination and winning the tournament as the third-best team in the global competition in Australia was deliriously felicitous and extraordinarily exciting.

My task was to propose a feasible solution to the global waste management problem. As soon as I looked at the topic and realized that I had only 2 hours to finish my article of 600 words, I knew that I would have to be extremely imaginative yet creative to propose a great solution.

The Innovation Solution Competition recognizes individuals and teams who propose practical solutions to pressing global problems to promote creativity and awareness. This competition aims to bring university students from around the globe together and expect them to show their creative thinking to propose solutions to problems the world is facing.

Thus it was not a simple competition where I could have done well by proposing something ordinary. This was highly challenging as the other competitors were already working on their own to secure their position to the next round. On top of that, the problem I was given was something new to me.

I had to buckle down and brainstorm ideas for the challenge until I came up with something I was personally convinced about. The clock was ticking and I was lost in my thoughts for the first couple of minutes. I knew I had to come up with something that would fit in the global context. Fortunately, a convincing idea emerged that I proposed in my article and the next day I was both happy and perplexed to become the runner up on this stage. In the final round, we were announced as the third-best team in the global competition and I was very proud of me and our team for the fabulous achievement.

imaginative – कल्पनाशील

phenomena – घटना

emerged – उभरा

perplexed – विकल

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