IELTS Speaking Practice Test 24 – Topic : Being Late

IELTS Speaking Practice Test 24 - Topic: Being Late
IELTS Speaking Practice Test 24 - Topic: Being Late

How to talk about being late in the IELTS Speaking Test

Audio for IELTS Speaking Practice Test 24

Cue Card

Describe an (important) occasion you were late for.

You should say :

             When this happened

            What occasion you were late for

           Why you were late

and explain what happened as a result of your lateness.

One occasion that I was late for was not that long ago. What happened was that I had some important work to do, and there was a deadline on this work. At the time, in our house we need finances. Some unexpected things came up, and we were a little short. Then an opportunity came, almost like a godsend, a chance where I could make some extra money. On top of that, by the graciousness of my friends, who arc more like my family, they agreed to help me with this project that had a deadline to it. So I was very happy about that. Meanwhile I started thinking care of some business, but then 1 looked at my watch and noticed 1 was five minutes late for getting together with my friends. I thought, “Here my friends are whiling to help me with this project and deadline, and here I am, five minutes late.”

By the time I got there I was 10 minutes late, and there they all were waiting for me. You talk about embarrassing. Well, all I could do was apologize and thankfully they all accepted my apology and we moved on.

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Being Late

1. What are some of the excuses that people make when they arc late?

Well, “The alarm didn’t go on and the bus was late or I was caught in traffic.” Those arc just a few of the most-heard excuses. “My mom is sick, and I have to take care of her.” is another. “I have to take my brother to school ” will work sometimes. “I got caught in the rain.” helps in the spring time.

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2. Are people in China usually punctual when they have to be somewhere at a certain time?

Well, I wouldn’t say that they are there on time every time, but they are getting there, they are starting to have the same attitude with people in the West that “time is money ”. It really is a bit of a hard habit to break, as the style of life and the culture have not been that of arriving right on the dot. Of course if people really want to be punctual, and it is really important to them, then they will do everything they can to get there on time.

3. What do people in China think of people who are late?

Actually Chinese people arc pretty generous overall with people who arc late. They arc understanding and don’t make a big deal out of it. On the other hand, if they arc really bothered by people being late, you wouldn’t know about it anyway, as most Chinese people don’t reveal their feelings very easily. Overall they are pretty easygoing on people who are late.

4. Do you think it’s important to be on time? (Is punctuality important?)

Yes, I think it is very important to be on time. If you are not on time, then you are basically robbing the time of others. It really shows a lack of respect for others and that you don’t think their time is important.

5. For what situations is being on time important?

Immediately the first thing that comes to my mind is your own wedding. If any event is important I would say that is, getting to your wedding. There is a funny saying in the West. It goes something like this, “He would be late to his own funeral!” I suppose that is a little extreme but funny, though no one has ever been late for that. A job interview would be an important time not to be late. If you want to make a good impression, and they say “first impressions arc the greatest ones,’’ then you should try to be there early.

6. For what situations is being on time not very important?

If you were going to go and meet your friends for a game of basketball, and you knew they were going to be there for the afternoon, then you would not have to get there on the dot but would have a little leeway on arriving. If you were supposed to be home for dinner, but you came in a little late, that would be understandable. If you were going to your parents for the day, and you came a little late, they would understand. Most situations in which being late isn’t too important would involve friends and family.


7. Do you think modern technology gives us more time, or less?

Definitely less! If anything, modern technology has sped time up with things moving faster everyday. Because of email, now letters are able to be sent and received and answers are expected right away sometimes. With transportation, you can get to places faster and do a lot more. Things arc actually moving incredibly fast, and that means less time for all.

8. Did people in the past lead a faster-paced life or a slower-paced life than today?

Well, I think that there is no comparison with the life of the past and today; in the past things definitely went a lot slower. You know that two hundred and some years ago the fastest means of transportation was on the back of a horse, and now you can circle the globe in hours. There was no email 01 Internet, so information went creeping along at a leisurely pace. I think that maybe things were moving so slowly that some people felt bored with it, but now it seems that people arc bored with this last paced modern life that we live.

9. Do you think the current working hours of most people are reasonable?

I know that in the US people are working more and more hours, and even here in China people have to work overtime. It seems that your work should get accomplished in the time that you have during a nine to five day, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. It seems to me that however long it takes to get your work done would be a reasonable amount of hours to put in. I’m sure that people would like to work fewer hours, and that would be nice, but again it depends on what their job and goals are.

10. Is it reasonable for an employer to ask employees to work overtime?

Of course an employer should ask his employees to work overtime if it is really needed. Some people probably think that it is not needed, but if it is going to help the company, then they should be willing to do it. Now if some employees are doing their work and others aren’t, and all have to work overtime, then I would say that no—this is not really needed and the problem should be fixed first. Actually I think that if the employee is conscientious, then he would volunteer to work overtime if needed.

Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.

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