You should say:
– what it was
– how you achieved it
– what others thought about your success
– and explain how this success influenced your life.
The biggest success I have ever had was passing the university entrance examination.
As you know, this exam is very challenging and requires careful preparation over a long period of time. Therefore, since the very beginning of high school, I always tried my best to study well.
Every day, I paid attention to every lesson at school and wrote down important points carefully. Besides the required classes, I attended some extra ones to broaden my knowledge as well as review what I had learned before. Moreover, at the weekends, I joined a few study groups where I could discuss and solve difficult exercises with my friends. I must say that I worked my fingers to the bone in order to get into my dream university.
Finally, my efforts paid off. I passed the university entrance exam and became a student at my favorite school. Of course, my parents and relatives were very proud of me. And this success has motivated me to set and achieve other goals in my life.
- to pass an exam (passing) [verb]: to get the required grade or score on a test that allows you to get into a program, a university or receive a certificate
Example: I hope I pass my exam on my first try; I don’t want to have to take it twice.
- careful preparation [adjective+noun]: taking care when you prepare for something, when you get ready for something, like a test
Example: Becoming a prima ballerina takes careful preparation over many years.
- to pay attention [expression]: to carefully watch or listen to someone or something
Example: He thought he had paid attention to his boss when he was giving him directions, but later that evening he realized he didn’t really know how to finish the report.
- to write down [phrasal verb]: to write something on a piece of paper, to jot down, to take notes, to record in written form
Example: My teacher suggested that I write down only the key points of the lecture, rather than trying to write down everything I hear.
- required [adjective]: necessary, something that you must do, a required class is one that you must take for graduation or to receive a degree or a certificate
Example: In order to graduate, there are 20 required courses in math, science, English, social studies and art.
- to broaden my knowledge [expression]: to learn more about a specific topic or to learn more about a variety of things, in general
Example: My professor said that I should broaden my knowledge of the banking industry, and so he gave me three books to read.
- review [verb]: to study or look at (something) again
Example: The night before a test, I review my notes and work through some sample problems in order to prepare myself to do well.
- study group [noun]: a group of people who come together specifically to study a topic by discussing and working through problems together
Example: Our physics study group meets every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- discuss [verb]: to talk about something with another person or in a group
Example: Last night we didn’t have time to discuss what we will present at the conference, so we decided to meet again tomorrow morning to figure that out.
- to work your fingers to the bone [expression]: to work really hard at something, to the point of exhaustion
Example: She worked her fingers to the bone and still wasn’t able to complete the project by the deadline.
- dream [adjective]: most desirable or ideal
Example: My dream vacation would include swimming with dolphins.
- efforts paid off [expression]: your work yields good results
Example: Her efforts to improve her math skills paid off; she got a 98% on her math test.
- to motivate [verb]: to provide with a motive or reason for doing something
Example: Watching his father finish his first marathon motivated his son to train hard for six months to be able to run a marathon along with his father.
- to achieve [verb]: to bring to a successful end; carry through; accomplish; to get or obtain by effort
Example: The young man achieved his goal of learning French in one year.