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IELTS Speaking Test 2

Describe a time you needed to use your imagination
You should say:
✻ what the situation was;
✻ why you needed to use imagination;
✻ what the difficulties were; and explain how you felt about it.


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, 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.

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