Cue Card # 1: Describe a time when you helped someone

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 1

Describe a time when you helped someone.

You should say:

  • whom you helped and why
  • how you helped this person
  • what the result was

and explain how you felt about helping this person.

[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:
First of all, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for this great topic. Well, I believe helping others is a quality that makes us human and it gives us an inner satisfaction that we can not feel in any other way, at least this is what I believe. So, I often lend a helping hand to others, even if it is in a small way, and for this cue card topic, I would like to share my experience of helping an old lady who was a complete stranger to me.

I still remember the event vividly. A few months ago I was returning home from the city train station. Unfortunately, the elevator repair work was in progress and when I was about to walk down the stairs, an old lady with her trolleys and bags was trying to do the same. She was hesitant to take the stairs as her bags and trolleys were quite heavy and she was trying to lift it up without any success. I felt the voice inside me told to help her and I cordially asked her if I could assist her in taking the stairs. Then I carried her trolleys and bags down the steep station stairs as she gradually descended behind me, holding the stair railings.

At the bottom of the stairs, I handed the belongings back to the lady and she instinctively said ‘thank you very much’. I think she was very happy to have someone to help her descend the stairs as she thanked me profoundly a few more times.

Honestly speaking, I think to be able to help her made me happier than it did to her. I really felt exhilarated and a surge of joy possessed me. I only feel this great sensation when I truly achieve something extraordinary – being able to assist someone is in a way a great achievement, I believe.


Model Answer 2: 
Extending a helping hand to the needy who ask for it is certainly a good thing. Helping somebody, who needs it badly but never really asks for it, is even better. I am thankful to you for this marvellous topic and would like to share my experience of helping a shopkeeper in a remote area.

A few years back when I was working on a project in a remote village, I met a gentleman probably in his early 50’s, running a grocery shop while serving some good tea for refreshment at the same time. He looked a bit too old to me for his age probably because of his constant battle with the bitter and unforgiving realities of life. I liked visiting the shop almost every other day for the purpose of buying a loaf of fresh bread for breakfast apart from enjoying its “famous” tea from time to time. Besides, I liked this guy because he was a very hard-working person and just too honest to live a very minimally decent life with his income.

Then, suddenly one day, I found the shop to remain closed. I wanted to find out about the reasons as to why the shop was closed. And when I found out about it, I became really sad. The shop was closed because of failing to pay its rent for a couple of months. I wanted to meet the shopkeeper, but I just didn’t know where/how to find him. Luckily, I met him one day by accident, when the shop was still closed, at a nearby vegetable market. I wanted to ask him about his closed shop. In fact, I wanted to offer him some help. But, instead of allowing me the opportunity to speak, he started to ask me about my well-being and my family as if he didn’t want to talk about his own problems!

Anyway, somehow I managed to offer my help to the shopkeeper, but he was really adamant not to accept any financial assistance from anybody in spite of requesting him repeatedly. But I kept insisting on my offer. Finally, I managed to convince him that accepting help from others, financial or otherwise, doesn’t really belittle anybody. The shop was open once again with the little financial assistance I was allowed to provide. I was happy to visit his shop once again and taste the delicious tea he makes.

In these days and age, while it is very possible that most of our help don’t really benefit the right causes at the right times, I sure am glad that I got to help a truly deserving person back on his own feet.

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