Describe a time when you had a problem with a piece of equipment


You should say:

  • What equipment it was
  • What problem you had
  • When you had this problem
  • And explain what you did about this problem.

Band 8 Sample

I am actually very quick when it comes to technology and devices, but I am going to tell you one time when I really couldn’t deal with a technical problem on my phone.

This story dates back to when I got my very first smartphone. You know, at that time, about 7 – 8 years ago, most students only had a basic phone, or, a dumbphone, which could only serve 2 or 3 functions. Having a brand new, updated iPhone seemed to be such a big deal, and I immediately became the target of jealousy when I brought my phone to school.


At first, it was really great to be the centre of attention, but after a while, I realised that my friends tried to download a ton of applications to my device. When I got my phone back, one of them secretly told me that a boy had installed a harmful app which would cause serious battery drain, and right after that, the phone shut down. It came as a real shock to me as that was just the first day I had that phone. I was speechless for hours, paralysed with fright. I didn’t know how to tell mom and dad about the incident, because I was very sure they would kill me the second they found out about it. Also, I couldn’t get my phone fixed at the store because I was flat broke then. In that moment, I really thought that my life was over.

My desk mate noticed my silence and turned to see my eyes full of tears. I thought she was going to say something to cheer me up, but no, she just laughed so hard at me until my whole face turned red. I stopped crying and looked at her with curiosity, and she told me to turn my phone on. It worked. It turned out that I was actually fooled by my classmates.

That’s how I fixed the problem with my phone, in such a surprisingly easy way. Thank you for listening.

Vocabulary highlights

  • technical problem: a problem involving the way a machine or system works
  •  be a big deal: to be a thing considered important.
  •  jealousy: the state or feeling of being jealous.
  •  centre of attention: a person or thing that excites everyone’s interest or concern
  •  flat broke: be completely out of money


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