IGCSE descriptive essay | 2010 May-Jun | Describe a time and place (real or imaginary) when you


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

Describe a time and place (real or imaginary) when you felt so embarrassed that it still makes you uncomfortable to this day. Describe how you felt and how other people reacted.

Model Essay

One of the most embarrassing moments of my life took place during my freshman year of high school. It was a typical Tuesday morning, and I was running late for my history class. As I hurried down the crowded hallway, my heart raced not just from the rush, but also from the anxiety of being late. I hated drawing attention to myself, and the prospect of entering a classroom late filled me with dread.

The history classroom was located at the far end of the building, and as I approached, I could hear the muffled voice of Mr. Thompson, our stern and no-nonsense teacher, already deep into his lecture. Taking a deep breath, I steeled myself and pushed the door open, hoping to slip in quietly and unnoticed. However, fate had other plans for me that day.

As I opened the door, I misjudged the step and tripped, sending my books and papers flying across the room. I fell face-first onto the floor with a loud thud. The room, previously filled with the sound of Mr. Thompson’s lecture and the occasional murmur of students, fell silent. Every single eye in the room turned to me, sprawled out in a heap of disarray. My face burned with embarrassment, and I could feel the flush creeping up my neck and cheeks.

Mr. Thompson stopped mid-sentence, his eyes widening in surprise before he regained his composure. “Are you alright?” he asked, his voice laced with a mix of concern and mild irritation. I scrambled to my feet, hastily gathering my scattered belongings while muttering apologies. My hands trembled, and I could barely meet anyone’s gaze as I tried to right myself.

The reaction of my classmates varied. Some looked at me with sympathy, their eyes silently offering words of consolation. A few couldn’t suppress their laughter, their snickers echoing in the quiet room and adding to my mortification. One of my friends, Emily, rushed to help me pick up my things, her kind gesture providing a small measure of comfort amidst the chaos.


As I finally made my way to my seat, I felt the weight of everyone’s stares. I wished I could disappear, to melt into the floor and escape the humiliation that enveloped me. My embarrassment was compounded by the fact that I prided myself on being organized and composed; this graceless entrance was a stark contrast to the image I usually projected.

For the rest of the class, I sat with my head down, my mind replaying the incident over and over. Each time I relived the moment, a fresh wave of discomfort washed over me. Mr. Thompson, to his credit, quickly resumed his lecture, allowing the focus to shift away from my blunder. Yet, I could still feel the occasional glance from my classmates, and each one felt like a dagger of shame.

Even now, years later, the memory of that day makes me cringe. It serves as a reminder of my vulnerability and the unpredictable nature of life. Despite the passage of time, the intensity of the embarrassment lingers, a testament to how deeply such moments can affect us. In hindsight, I realize that everyone experiences embarrassing situations and that they often become humorous anecdotes as time goes on. However, at that moment, it was nothing short of a personal catastrophe.

Looking back, I can laugh about it with friends and even share the story as a funny icebreaker. But every time I recount the tale, a small part of me still feels the heat of that long-ago embarrassment, proving that some moments, no matter how much time passes, leave an indelible mark on our memories.

Word Count: 608