IELTS Cue Card Sample 5 - A website you often browse
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IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.
Describe a website you often browse.
You should say:
- what it is
- how long you have been using it
- what type of website it is
and explain why you often browse this website.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
- How long have you been using the Internet?
- How the Internet has changed our lifestyle?
- What would be the possible uses of the Internet in the future?
Model Answer 1:
I have just a few minutes to tell you about a website I often browse. I will tell you what the website is, how long I’ve been using it, a bit about what is on it and why I visit it so often.
The website is the BBC news website. You can find it at www.bbc.co.uk/news but I just have it as a favourite on my toolbar. I am a complete BBC junkie! I visit the website several times a day if I can, and have been using it for as long as I can remember. Possibly for as long as the website has been in existence but definitely for the past ten years or more.
The BBC news website is massive. It contains rolling headlines of breaking news, and from the landing page, you can jump to sections on different types of news categories. For example, there are tabs for world news; health issues; environmental reports; education; sport; education and science as well as entertainment and arts stories. You can read text-based articles illustrated with a few pictures – which is my preferred way of accessing news and information – or you can opt to see news film or audio clips. I think the website is really comprehensive and easy to use too.
The BBC News website, for me, is a one-stop location for all current affairs and news items. I really like that I can see headlines of breaking news almost instantaneously, but it also includes more thoughtful reporting. Detailed online articles with considered analysis of global or local events. I can also find out what the weather forecast is – always handy in the UK where it can change so quickly, plus I like to be able to keep an eye on what is happening locally to me in Sheffield where I live. I also trust the BBC website to give balanced reporting, I think it has journalistic integrity, so I feel if I read it every day, I will have a good perspective on what is going on in the world, and enough information to come to my own conclusions on current affairs across the globe. The only downside of the website is that I find it can be a bit addictive! Because it is updated frequently it is tempting to keep going back and having another look if there is some running news item that I am following. It can lead me to procrastinate when I am supposed to be working, but I tell myself it is important to keep up to date with what is going on in the world, even though I know that really, it wouldn’t hurt to limit myself to news ‘fix’ just a couple of times a day!
I wonder if others use the website too and if they do, whether they might as avid followers as I am!
[ Written by - Lucy Marris | Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]
Model Answer 2:
Sometimes, in these days, I really wonder as to what we really would do if we didn’t have any internet and if it didn’t allow us the opportunity to search for answers on a daily basis. More importantly, would the internet be considered effective and important enough if we didn’t have websites like “quora.com”, which I often browse, by the way. The simple answer is “no”.
So, why “quora.com”? Before we get into that discussion, please allow me first to tell what it really is. Well, quora.com, started its journey in 2009, is an American ‘question-and-answer’ where questions are asked, answered and edited by the “learned and expert” internet users. The answers could either be based on “facts” or “expert opinions”. Since then, “Quora” has worked to improve its navigational features and usability, as well as by adding and extending the features to mobile devices, mobile application, that is, which I have on my smartphone as well.
Quora has also introduced a “blogging” platform in order to allow users to post ‘non-answer’ contents. Today, with more than 300 million monthly users, Quora, which I have been using for more than last 5 years or so, has established itself to be one of the leading “reliable” online resources for different kinds of knowledge and information. This website also allows to display “ads” on a limited scale, and is published in at least 15 different languages to help the users from all over the world as best as it can.
Anyway, back to answering the question as to why I exactly use or browse the website. Well, I browse it mainly because it allows me to learn about many things and information by actually comparing the answers of different users without spending too much time. Besides, it also allows me to improve my “linguistic” abilities, as far as my English language is concerned, as I also contribute to this great website from time to time. Finally, this website gives me a “confidence” boost at an “intellectual” level when I get “upvote” or “encouraging” comments for my “2-cent” worth of opinions.
Sample Answer 3:
I've been using the internet for more than 10 years and from the very beginning until now, there are some websites that I use almost every day. www.yahoo.com is one of those websites and possibly I'll use this site forever or maybe as long as it exists!
Yahoo is basically an e-mail service provider and a popular search engine. I can still remember my first day at a cyber cafe where I browsed the first website of my life and that was yahoo.com and the cafe owner helped me to open an e-mail address and I still use it to send and receive emails.
Yahoo! is a popular search engine, possibly next to Google but as an email service provider, it is quite popular. This website has many other useful features. For instance, the homepage contains up-to-date news. Recently the www.answers.yahoo.com has become one of the most popular questions and answers website which is used by millions around the globe. Yahoo! was initially owned by an American multinational technology company named Yahoo Inc. and the headquartered of this company was in Sunnyvale, California. Now it is owned by Verizon Communications. It was founded around 24 years ago and it is still one of the most visited websites in the world.
I go to this website more than twice a day on an average. The email service it offers is quite excellent. I also participate in the answers.yahoo.com website to post my questions or to answer questions posted by others. The pointing system of this answer-question based sub-domain of the yahoo website makes it quite remarkable and popular.
Sample Answer 4:
I use the internet daily and there are many websites that I often browse for different reasons. But probably www.facebook.com is the one I most often browse. It is a social networking website and probably is one of the top 5 most visited websites in the world. The website mainly facilitates me to stay connected with my friends and helps me update and broadcast my news as well.
Though the primary purpose of this website is to let people communicate with friends and make new friends, it has many other features. It offers online games, eCommerce facility, email exchange option, chatting features, social marketing tools, different campaign creation options, fan page management feature and so on. I have been using this website since 2004 and it is important to me because all of my friends and relatives are connected there. If a friend has a birthday, the website notifies me and I can wish him/ her a birthday, if someone has a new photo or news to share, I can see it from my account. I can share my photo, video, updates, and thoughts as well. If someone opines on an issue, others can comment on it.
For me, the website is important because my childhood friends, adolescence friends, college & university friends are connected there. I get their updates regularly and can let them know what's happening over here. In no other way, I could have been connected to the people I am now connected via Facebook. I use this website from my computer and from my cell phone as well. For me, this is a social networking website where I remain close to my friends and relatives. But with its own right, it has become a powerful eCommerce platform, gaming place, marketing channel, and advertisement tool.
Nowadays everybody owns a Facebook ID. Making new friends is easy on Facebook and that helps people grow their friends beyond the boundary. Millions of people use Facebook and it is almost impossible to connect with people you care and know without this website.
Tips for answering this Cue Card question:
Pick a website which is popular and you often visit. If you prefer to talk about a website which is not known to all, mention that this is not a very popular website but I visit it for this particular reason. You can pick a social networking website, email service providing website, news channel website, your university or office website, a website you have developed and visit for updating it, Wikipedia type website etc. If you pick a website which is popular, do not give any fictitious information. Giving false information about a well-known website like Google, Yahoo or Facebook would create some doubts in the examiner's mind as s/he might also be a user of this website.
Do not worry if you do not know every detail of the website even if the question asks you to describe it. If you do not know the owner's name, operational year, technical aspects of the website, simply skip those parts instead of giving imaginary information. You can focus on what the website offers to the visitors and what you do with the help of this website. For instance:
Social Networking Websites:
Most of my friends are also connected to this website/ social network and I get their updates.
I can publish my updates and let my friends know about it.
It helps me find my old friends.
It offers me to use third-party applications and let me play games.
I can share my images and videos.
It helps me find out information related to my education/ job.
It offers a platform for chatting with my friends.
Email Service providers:
I send emails from this website.
I check the emails I receive.
I can send attachments.
It has a good spam filter service.
Wikipedia like Website:
Helps me find reliable and details information on various topics.
Loads faster and has a subscription option.
I can contribute to this website to update the information.
Most of the topics are covered and you can get almost all of the information you need.
Provides updated and latest news.
Both local and international news is served.
Has an email notification service.
Gives sports news and events details.
Offers interesting supplementary and magazines.
News presentation is outstanding and sources are very reliable.
Covers last-minute news as well.
Part 3: Details Discussion:
Q: How long have you been using the Internet?
Answer: I have been using the Internet since I bought my first personal computer in 2007. At first, I didn't know how to use it properly but as time went by I became aware of it. I use it constantly every day either for studies and work or for entertainment. I check my e-mails, read the news, watch movies and TV series, listen to music and so on. It's instantly accessible and I can find a massive amount of information on various topics such as health issues, environmental, economy, sports, education et cetera. I have become really dependent on that and I consume almost all of my spare time surfing the internet.
Q: How the Internet has changed our lifestyle?
Answer: This is a really controversial issue. On the one hand, the Internet has made our lives better and simpler as everyone nowadays seems to be moving online. It provides reliable and accurate information on many topics. It is user-friendly because you can find anything you need by just sitting on a chair rather than going to a library and of course it has made communication much easier and faster as it connects people across the globe. Furthermore, it results in developing our cognitive skills because we can gain or even expand our existing knowledge and this knowledge can be shared instantly.
On the other hand, the Internet has led to a kind of addiction and it declines the ability to interact and socialise. This leads to isolation and feelings of loneliness because we deprive of social interaction. Last but not least, the Internet can be risky in some cases, especially for kids, and for online transactions. Hacking, identity theft, and online crimes are some common drawbacks of the Internet.
Positive sides it fosters communication around the world, helps people make more friends, creates opportunities for business and e-commerce, offer online shopping at better prices, fosters tolerance and understanding, creates positive changes in attitudes, brings information at our finger tap, makes business transactions easier and helps in learning things in a better and efficient way.
Negative sides: Widespread use of the Internet leads to isolation. Moreover, identity theft, hacking, the spread of malware & virus are unwanted. Finally, the dependency on the Internet kills our social skill.
Q: What would be the possible uses of the Internet in the future?
Answer: My personal opinion is that driving is an activity that will be controlled entirely by the Internet in the future. Furthermore, it will be able to trace any kind of shortages of necessary goods in our houses, for example, if we run out of sugar, coffee, fruits and vegetables etc., the Internet will place online orders for those items automatically. It will have a predominant role in the field of medicine as well by making all kinds of surgeries and check-ups and doctors will only have to press a button. Another use that comes to my mind is in the universities. In the next twenty years or so, lectures will only be online and every student will have to attend university from their own personal computer. Moreover, people will primarily communicate using the Internet, landlines and cell phone networks would no longer be required. Finally, more interactive software and websites would be available that would connect the world data and would serve to the users.
[Part three-question answers were written by Mary, UK]
Some similar cue card topics you should be able to answer as well:
1. Talk about a famous social networking website.
2. Describe a helpful website that you have visited.
3. Describe a website you and your friends often browse.
4. Talk about a worth visiting website.
5. Describe a website that you would recommend to your friends.