Describe a Person Who Influenced You

The idea of a “influential person” could be introduced in many possible ways. It could be “describe an influential person” or “describe someone who has influenced you.” It may not even say “influence,” but just hint at it: “describe someone who has guided you in your life.”

Here is the cue card that we will look at today:

Describe someone who has had an important influence on your life.

You should say:

  • who the person is
  • how long you have known him/her
  • what qualities this person has

and explain why they have had such an influence on you.

SAMPLE BAND 9 ANSWER

Here is how I would respond to the above cue card:

When I was in my final year of secondary school, I was invited to a university open day. At this point in my life, I did not plan on going to university, but for some reason I went along. A man called Mr Peters gave a speech that day that really changed my life. In fact, it wasn’t the speech but the man who gave it. He was so enthusiastic about education and, in particular, this university, that by the end of the day I had already decided I would apply to study there.

On that first day, I listened to his speech and then followed him around the campus as he gave a guided tour of the facilities. Finally, I got a chance to have a conversation with him and he was just as charming in person as he had been when speaking in front of a crowd. There was something magnetic about this person. The way he talked was just inspiring.

The following year, I got to study at that university and I met him several times. In my second year, I actually got to take some of his classes and again he was tremendously influential on me. He taught me so many valuable lessons. I don’t mean that I just remembered the interesting things he taught, but rather he taught me how to learn. He preached the importance of questioning sources and asking why something was written. All these years later, I still try to follow his advice.

I can hardly overstate the importance of Mr Peters on my life, even though I have not spoken to him for a very long time. He was the reason that I went to university and therefore he is partly responsible for everything that came after that. I would simply not be the person I am today without him.

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