IELTS Speaking Part 2


Describe a time when you made a mistake.
You should say:

where you were
what you were doing  
what mistake you made   
And explain what was the result of your mistake.


Today, I am going to share with you a time when I made a mistake. This situation happened last year when I had to attend a final exam for my business management qualification.

The test required candidates to use a calculator because the exam involved doing a lot of calculations. I was sure that putting the calculator into my bag was the first thing I had done in the morning. As it turned out, I had not. I realized that I would definitely not pass if I was not be able to borrow a calculator immediately.

I really did not want to put myself at risk of delaying my graduation plan, because I had devoted a lot of valuable time to this subject, and had even paid money for the upcoming semester. In panic, I figured out that I had to ask for help. I decided to make a call to one of y classmates living in the dormitory to borrow her calculator.

Unfortunately, she was not in Hanoi at that time. As a result, I had to manage without a calculator to deal with this difficult situation. Although I scraped by in the exam, I failed to get a high mark. It was an extremely valuable lesson for me. I learnt the hard way that I need to be more careful and well-prepared for the important things in my life.


calculator: [noun] a small electronic device for dealing with numbers.
Example: As my course is based on mathematics, I always carry a pocket calculator with me.

turn out: [phrasal verb] to be discovered [for example, in a particular situation].
Example: The hotel room, as it turned out, was facing a busy road.

devote to: [phrasal verb] give an amount of time or attention to something.
Example: I devote two hours every evening to doing my homework.

upcoming: [adjective] going to happen soon.
Example: Who do you think will win the upcoming US Presidential election?

figure out: [phrasal verb] think about something until you understand it.
Example: I couldn’t figure out how to install the software, so I asked my best friend for advice.

dormitory: [noun] a room for several people to sleep, especially in a school, college or other institution.
Example: He shares a dormitory with 4 other students, but he would prefer to have his own private room.

manage: [verb] succeed in doing something difficult.
Example: Despite all the traffic on the roads, we managed to arrive at the airport on time.

scrape by: [phrasal verb] to succeed in doing something, but with difficulty.
Example: He is happy that he scraped by in the exam, because he did not do any revision.

learn the hard way: [expression] learn something by experience – usually in an unpleasant way.
Example: Since I fell off my motorbike last year and hurt my head, I have learnt the hard way that I should always wear a helmet.

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