IELTS Cue Card Sample 14 - Describe a museum

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a museum that you have visited.

You should say:

  • when you visited the museum
  • describe the museum
  • how you felt after going there

and describe your experience of the visit.

Possible Answer:
I have visited 5-6 museums in total in different countries and enjoyed visiting the (tell a museum name you know about) in (say the country name). I went to the museum 2 years back while visiting the city. Visiting the museum was not in our tour plan and yet we went there as it was prominently expressing its present in front of us. I went there with my 2 friends and one cousin who were my tour partners. My cousin and one of my friends were not at all interested to roam inside the museum as they had other plans. I insisted them to go there and convinced them by saying that if you do not enjoy it; I would pay for the dinner!

After we bought our tickets, we entered into the museum and the colossal front side of the museum building and the large open garden in front of it mesmerised us. At that time I had a feeling that our time would worth the visit.

After we entered inside the museum, we found that the place is even larger than we initially thought it would be. There were 5 floors in the museum and the inside architecture reminded us the imperial age. We could see the top of the building from the ground floor. People from different age groups and countries were closely observing the museum. Taking photo was prohibited and yet I was sometimes lured to take some hidden snaps especially when I saw the colossal dinosaur fossil and alien ship!

The first floor of the museum had some art from a famous artist of the world and sculptures from a different era.  The first floor gave us the impression of visiting a theatre or art gallery rather than a museum. We came to know that some of the arts were so expensive that one can buy an island by selling it! Then we moved to the second floor which was full of Second World War memories. Guns, tanks and other war materials from 1945 WW II had been arranged there. A video was showing some of the fighting scenes of WW II.

When we reached the third floor, it’s been already 2.5 hours. We found all the costumes and traditional things from different parts of the world have been placed here. One can easily learn about the customs of different ages and countries just by visiting this floor. The next floor had more adventure and surprises for us. It has placed all the major inventions of different ages and they were historically famous. I felt overwhelmed seeing the First computer, Speed boat, Wheel, Motor Engine and many more famous invention of history at this floor. I was so much dying to touch the first 4 wheeler that had been placed there.

We had visited the whole museum as much as possible and spent almost the whole day. We were so enthralled to visit the place that we literally forgot to have our lunch. The overall experience was fantastic and I learned so many things in few hours. As soon as I left the place, I planned to revisit it someday. 

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. How often do you visit museums?
A. Although I would love to go to museums more often, I have only visited three of them until now and that would make it three times that I have been to museums!

All of them were of archaeological type but I still remember the last one- in Greece. It was the Acropolis Museum and I went there at the age of 16, during a school programme for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles which are located in the British Museum. It is a magnificent building and it reflects the greek civilisation with the inclusion of statues, monuments and even documentaries with the purpose of informing visitors not only from overseas but also from Greece about its exhibits. I strongly believe that it was the best educational experience of my life and I would induce people to pay it a visit when possible.

Q. What type of museum is popular in your country?
A. I come from Greece so I'm going to talk about the type of museums famous there. It is widely known that Greece has a really important culture and history, so there are numerous museums throughout the country. Archaeological and folklore museums are the most common kinds and those are visited by the majority of people. Apart from these, biographical, ethnographic and historic museums are also really rife in our country. Furthermore, there are art museums and galleries and some other that are about industry, science and technology. To conclude, there are plenty of categories that satisfy everyone's preference and desire but Archaeological and folklore museums are most popular in our country.

Q. What do you think of the importance of museums in history?
A. My personal belief is that museums are of paramount importance and constitute an integral part of a country's history. As it is known, these constructions provide information about culture and heritage; in other words, museums keep history alive. To be more precise, museums include artifacts and different objects from the past and by placing them there, people are reassured that the items they see provide clear and accurate information about the history, rather than reading books and magazines in which most of the details are subjective and theoretical. In addition, if I'm allowed to speak in economic terms, I would say that museums are history's brands and trademarks.

Q. How do you think of the heritage of a country?
A. It seems to me that a heritage of a nation isn't determined by only one thing. To begin, monuments, sculptures and temples are essential and they are representative examples as far as heritage is concerned. For example, the Parthenon in Greece, Statue of Liberty in the USA, Hatshepsut's Mortuary Temple and Pyramids in Egypt, Tower of London in the UK are only some the most significant structures that reflect each country's legacy. History composes an important part as well, by informing people about the achievements and failures of a territory and the reason why something is known and studied by many. Lastly, museums which we were talking about earlier couldn't be missing from this list, not only for all the important aspects they have but also because they are connected with the beauty and grandeur of a country.

Q. Compare the museums nowadays and in the past.
A. Anyone who pays a visit to museums could say that nowadays museums are more beautiful, modern, have a rich collection, and convenient to visit than in the past. To elucidate, in the past, only a few people had access to them but these days they are open spaces for public knowledge. Furthermore, much attention is given to the maintenance of the museums now than the past and most of the museums are renovated not only for their preservation but also to attract more public interest. In addition, technological advances have played a fundamental role; with videos and audios helping visitors understand what they see and that makes their experience more pleasant, informative and interactive than the past when these technological usages were absent.

Q. Have you ever been to a foreign museum?
A. The truth is I have never been to a museum outside my country, but I would really like to go someday. The first museum that comes to my mind is the British Museum in the UK and despite the fact that I have been living in England for the last three years, I never managed to visit this renowned institution. Some other museums that I definitely want to visit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Portrait Gallery in the USA and the National Museum of Ireland.

Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

While describing a museum you should pick the national stadium of your country. If you have already visited the museum, you should be comfortable describing it. Since this is the museum that the examiner might also know about, you should give the factual information of it. Start by saying when you visited it, with whom you went there, the number of times you went there, the exterior or interior of the museum, number of floors of the museum, things you did there, the things present there and so on. If you can't remember an exact museum try to visualise one and describe the museum as if you have visited it. If you ever been to a foreign country and visited a museum of that city, you can also mention that museum. If the cue card topic asks you to describe a museum in your country, you would then have to describe a museum located in your country.

Some of the common features of a museum:
1. A museum is a place where a collection of artefacts and other things are preserved for public exhibition.
2. Almost all of the countries have museums in their major cities.
3. The things preserved there are generally of scientific, cultural, historic and artistic interests.
4. Things are arranged and categorised on different floors for the convenience of the visitors.

There are several types of museums based on the types of things they present for public exhibition and you can talk about any type of museum you like and know about. General categories of museum are as following:

Cultural museum, historic museum, science and technology museum, craft museum, fine arts museum, archaeology museum, natural history museum, children’s museum, modern art museum, military history museum, aviation museum, universal museum etc.

A botanical garden or a zoological garden is also referred as a museum but avoid describing one of these two unless you have no clue about the other types of museum. If you plan to describe a botanical garden or a zoological garden as a museum, make it clear at the very first level of your speaking so that the examiner does not have any confusion.

Following are some of the museums in different cities of the world that you can google to find the details about them:

USA:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum; National Portrait Gallery; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum.

India:
National Museum, New Delhi; Indian Museum, Kolkata; Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad; Government Museum, Bangalore; Victoria Memorial, Kolkata.

Indonesia:
National Museum of Indonesia; Jakarta History Museum; Museum of PKI Treason; Bali Museum.

Australia: 
Australian History Museum; Macleay Museum; Sydney Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre; Fort Denison.

Germany: 
Deutsches Museum, Pergamon Museum, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Neues Museum.

Malaysia
The national museum; Petrosains museum; Maritime museum; National science museum.

Singapore
Peranakan Museum; Asian Civilisations Museum; National Museum of Singapore.

UK:
British Museum; Natural History Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; National Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts; Tate Modern, London.

Ireland:
National Museum of Ireland, Ulster Museum, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Pakistan:
Lahore Museum; National Museum of Pakistan, Peshawar Museum, Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Sindh Museum.

Philippines:
National Museum of the Philippines, Ayala Museum, UST Museum of Arts and Sciences, Casa Manila.

South Africa:
Apartheid Museum,  Iziko South African Museum, South African National Gallery, Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History.

Iran:
National Museum of Iran; Azadi Museum, Reza Abbasi Museum, Pars Museum, Malik National Museum of Iran, Zagros Paleolithic Museum.

Spain:
Reina Sofía; Institut Valencià d'Art Modern; Guggenheim; CaixaForum Barcelona; MACBA.

China:
Nanjing Educational Museum; Capital Museum; Tianjin Museum; The National Museum of China; The Capital Museum; Beijing Planetarium; Xibaipo Memorial.

Kazakhstan:
Abai Kununbaev Museum; Museums and Art Galleries; Almaty City History Museum; Central State Museum; Geology Museum; Kazakhstan Museum of Arts.

Russia:
Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts; State Historical Museum; State Hermitage; State Darwin Museum; State Russian Museum; Zurab Tsereteli's Art Gallery; Novosibirsk State Art Museum; Moscow Kremlin.

Greece:
Acropolis Museum; National Archaeological Museum of Athens; Benaki Museum; Athinais Culture Center; Athens War Museum; Archaeological Museum of Komotini.

Italy:
Vatican Museums, Rome; Galleria Palatina, Florence; Musei Capitolini, Rome; Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.

Vietnam:
War Remnants Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, National Museum of Vietnamese History, Museum of Cham Sculpture,

Turkey:
Hagia Sophia, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Istanbul Modern Art Museum , Jewish Museum of Turkey. 

France:
The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée Rodin, Palace of Versailles.

Thailand:
Royal Barge Museum; Museum of Siam; Bang Khun Thien Museum; Bangkok Planetarium; Prasart Museum.

Nepal:
National Museum of Nepal, Hanumandhoka Palace Complex, Pujarimath Museum, Kapilvastu Museum.

Iraq:
National Museum of Iraq; Mosul Museum, Tikrit Museum, Baghdadi Museum.

Japan:
Tokyo National Museum; National Museum of Art, Osaka; Adachi Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, Toyama.

 

Some other Cue card topics that you should be able to answer as well if you prepare for this cue card:

1.  Describe a worth visiting place in your city.
2.  Talk about a museum you have visited.
3. Describe a place where you would like to go.
4. Describe an interesting place you have visited.

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