IELTS Cue Card Sample 29 - Describe an old person you admire

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

Describe an old person you admire.

You should say:

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

and say why you admire him/ her.

Sample Answer 1:
This is an easy topic for me as I know exactly who I want to tell you about!  I’ll say who she is, how long I have known her, a bit about her special qualities and why I admire her so much.

I don’t think of this person as old, but I suppose she is because she will be 90 next year, and that’s certainly a good age.  She is a distant cousin of mine, she now lives in a residential nursing home, which makes me sad, but she has had a full and interesting life and done many amazing, brave and brilliant things.

I think I have known her about twenty one years, but the story of how we came to be friends is a little strange.  I was about to go travelling to Australia, and was staying with my parents in London overnight before catching a plane from Heathrow the following day.  Whilst I was there my parents told me about this distant cousin who had been in a road accident and was in a hospital.  She was/is a very well educated woman with many academic and cultural interests, and they were wondering what to take her to read during her stay.  I offered some of my collection of short story books.  I wasn’t sure they would be to her taste, they dealt with political issues and were not by any means what I would have expected an elderly sick relative to be interested in.  The volumes were by Alice Walker, Susan Hill and other such writers.

My cousin loved them!  She wrote to me whilst I was in Australia to tell me, and also mentioned that she herself had worked in Australia for many years. She had a very illustrious career as a paediatric pathologist, but also did research on things like mammalian hearts which took her all over the world.  She asked me to look up an old friend of hers whilst I was there, which I did with some reluctance as I wasn’t sure what I’d find.  I met another amazing woman who lived in the middle of a beautiful rainforest and was passionate about conservation.  When I came back to England a year later, I visited my cousin to tell her all about my travels, and that was the beginning of an ongoing friendship. We have always corresponded with one another and I find her wise and a great role model.  We have shared interests and I think our personalities are also rather alike – for better or worse!  Opinionated and stubborn at times, but also caring very much about the world and those around us and constantly curious and restless.  Endlessly wanting to go and explore and experience new things.  We share a wanderlust at least!

My cousin is intelligent, well-travelled and very independent.  She has insight and great skill in academic writing.  Over the years I’ve shared with her my own writing efforts, looked to her for advice on what to do when facing certain decisions, and gained inspiration from her lifestyle.  She is very good at setting herself goals and getting on with things – it would be fair to say she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, so she is certainly someone who will put you straight on things.  I think of her as a ‘critical friend’ I know she cares about me a lot, as I do her, but that doesn’t mean she’ll indulge me at all if she feels I’m being foolish in any way.  She never married, and I too am on my own, so I think we sort of understand one another, and we both like our own space, which can be confusing for some people at times.

I admire her hugely, her health is frail now, and that makes me sad, but she has achieved so much in her career, life and network of friends.  If I can do half as well in the time I have I’ll be very content with that!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]

Possible Answer 2:
The aged person whom I really admire and like is my grandmother. From my childhood, she has always been a caring person and loved me very much. Till now she is a good friend of mine with whom I share so many of my personal information. She is a benevolent and good person who possesses a good heart. She tries to help others with her highest efforts. I know her from my childhood as she has been living with us for a long and we have lots of happy memories together. 

She is a successful mother of 4, including my father. She has devoted her entire life for the betterment of her kids and made them educated and helped them greatly to be established. She possesses a nice and charming personality that always pleases people around her. She is a kind and a wise woman.

I love and admire her for many different reasons. The most important reason is because of her unconditional love and affection for me. She is a good mentor who can show me positive ways and guide me in my distressing time. Talking to her is a soothing experience and the stories she tells are always attractive and full of morality. I have learned many positive attitudes and good thinking from her. For all those reasons and a strong bonding between us, I admire her very much.  

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

You can talk about one of your relatives who is is a senior citizen like your grandfather, grandmother. If you talk about one of your grandparents, you would be able to give lots of details since you know a lot about them.  Alternatively, you can talk about one of the aged persons who is your relative, neighbour, friend's grandparents, teacher, a renowned person of your country who has great contribution in some ways. 
It is advisory not to talk about a person who is dead. As the issue expects you to talk about the old person who is alive and have some sort of interaction with you or had some intimacy or influences on you.  While describing the qualities s/he has, remember that you should talk in a way so that you can conclude by saying that you admire his/ her for all the previously said qualities s/he has and because of your intimacy/ relationship with him/ her. 
Usually, we like a senior person for some of the following reasons:
  • S/he is a relative and has intimacy with us. 
  • We have some good memories with this person. S/he ha does many things for us. 
  • We are close to the person and we share our updates. 
  • S/he is talented and gives us good advises when needed. 
  • Is a successful person and exemplary for others. 
  • Have some contributions for the betterment of others. 
  • Is an honest, brave and very talented person. 
  • You have learned a lot from him/ her. He still gives you good advises. 
  • Is kind and a well-wisher. 
  • Is bit strange and you like his/her qualities.
  • Successful parents and led a great life.
  • You do some short of activities together.

Follow-up Questions:

  • What are the qualities of people that attract you?
  • What special qualities do you have?
  • What are your strengths & weaknesses?

Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. What average age is normal for retirement in your opinion?

Q. What are the good things about being retired?

Q. How does the government in your country treat the retired people?

Q. Can young specialist substitute the old ones who are in retirement in the workplace?

Q. What do you think is it necessary to give retirement to people? Why/ Why not?

Q. What are the pros and cons of being retired?

Finally, let’s talk about the role of advertising.

Some similar Cue Card topics: 
1. Describe someone in your family. 
2. Describe a teacher from your past. 
3. Describe a senior citizen you like.
4. Describe someone who is a successful person. 
5. Talk about one of your neighbours. 
6. Describe a person you often seek advice from. 
7. Describe an old person you know. 
8. Describe a person who led an idea life. 
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