Cue Card Sample

Cue Card 578 - Describe a story about space

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

Describe a story about space (real or fictitious) that you have read or watched.

You should say:

  • when you read or saw the story
  • what happened in the story
  • whether the story has any significance today

and explain how you felt about reading or watching this story.

[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.]


Model Answer 1:

Space, which is often shrouded by myths, mysteries and fiction, has always fascinated me since my childhood. Not to mention, of course, this fascination led me to some book buying spree and reading them like there is no tomorrow. “Chasing New Horizons” is one such book that I would like to talk about today.

This book, based on a true story, was published only a year ago or so, but I didn’t know about it until after a few months when one of my librarian friends told me about it. However, it is worth mentioning there even though, I didn’t get the chance to read this amazing book until recently, I was very much aware of the news when the “New Horizon Spacecraft” flew past “Pluto” planet in the year of 2015.

Anyway, Chasing New Horizons tells the story of that space mission - like how it was designed, funded, built, launched, and operated – where its narrative is as recalled by Alan Stern, the mission’s principal investigator, and written up by the Astrobiologist and science communicator David Grinspoon. Together, these two prolific scientists and narrators have tried to deliver a meticulously detailed, riveting chronicle of America’s history-making mission to Pluto, escorting readers through the immense hurdles and hard work involved in the landmark mission. Of course, even though, it is a very powerful and epic description of a space journey that captured the hopes and dreams of a team of enterprising scientists and engineers and incorporated fascinating details from the spacecraft’s construction, the story has very little or no significance today, primarily because “Pluto” is no longer considered as a regular planet like the others.

Anyway, after reading this book, I felt that it takes a lot more than just a good idea and talented scientists to fly a successful space mission. Besides, I also felt that there weren’t that many people in this world who could narrate such an intrepid planetary exploration in such easy terms and language without the use of technical “jargoning”.  Finally, I was really glad to have learned about so many other unknown things about a fascinating interstellar trip or journey.

Sample Answer 2:

Two or three weeks ago, I missed the college for some bowel disorders and stayed home round the day. Usually, I do not have much time to spend on movies for my academic activities. So, I watched a movie named The Martian. It was a science fiction and I was amazed at the movie and its making. Overall, it was a nice experience for me. This is a splendid cue card topic and I like the questions. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about it.

The movie was made from a novel of the same name that was published in 2011. It was a story about an astronaut. While conducting an expedition on Mars, he got stranded. His team members thought that he was dead and failed to find him during a solar storm on the planet. So, they returned to the earth leaving him behind on Mars. But the astronaut did not die and had to struggle a lot to survive on that lonely planet. Later he, communicated with the base in earth and rescue operation was done to bring him back.

This is a significant story. Though it was a fiction in the movie, the days are not far when humans will conduct research and experiments on different planets. But they need to take precautionary measures so that there are no such events. Conducting a rescue operation on another planet takes much time and it is expensive as well. So, it was a kind of message to us to be careful about the things we are dealing with.  

I felt thrilled with the movie. In fact, living alone on an entire planet is really tough and if there are less or limited supplies to live on, the situations become worse. It takes patience and perseverance to survive in such deserted situations and return to earth again.


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a story about space (real or fictitious) that you have read about or seen in a film or on TV.

1. Recently I have enjoyed a movie made about space. In the afternoon of last weekend, I enjoyed the movie. The plot was about the communication of an alien with a human and they gradually fell in love. I think the story is not significant today but it may happen so after a few more years if the existence of aliens could be proved. But I felt interesting after watching the movie. The ending made me emotional.

2. I read a book about the existence of aliens. It was a fiction and the plot aimed to entertain the readers. Some aliens came into the earth and took the shape of humans. But they had some extraordinary skills. And they saved some lives from a disaster. I think the story might be significant in the present context. In fact, we need support from external sources to remain alive amid unstable situations across the world. I enjoyed the story on the last page.

3. I read the story in a newspaper on Monday last. It was a nice story that dealt with an outer space matter. The story was about hearing some weird noise in the moon during a lunar orbit. In 1969, Apollo 10 was sent to the moon and the astronauts heard some whistling types of music. Even the sound is recorded too. The story is significant today. It will help to discover the existence of life in the outer space. The story amazed me greatly.

4. The book – Two Sides of the Moon was interesting. I had read the book in the last summer vacation in Paris. Landing on earth from space often becomes difficult for technical reasons. The author experienced such an issue and landed in a deserted place. Survival was troublesome for him and his crewmate. The story bears great significance. Repairing the potential technical errors is the best way to deal with it. I was thrilled reading the experiences of the author.

5. I read a story about the troubles of space travelling. I read it during a journey by bus inside a German city. The story was science fiction. A small boy went to a spacewalk and met with some space giants. They chased the boy and he survived using his ready wits and smartness. I think such stories do not have any significance today but the days are not so far when a majority of the people will travel in space. I enjoyed the story and liked the smartness of the boy to get rid of troubles.

6. The storyline of the movie amazed me. I enjoyed the movie at a theatre complex in Japan on Last Saturday. The movie was about the love of two aliens and they descended on the planet for survival from their own species.  But I believe such stories are worth to enjoy they will not take place in real life. However, the emotional movie plot entertained me to the fullest.


Part 3 - Two-way Discussion:

Examiner: Let's talk about attitudes towards space travel.

Q. What do you think fascinates humans about outer space?
Q. Do you think that's why some stories about space travel have been so 'imaginative'?
Q. How do you think people's attitudes towards space exploration have changed since the first Moon landings’?
Q. To what extent do you think governments will continue to fund projects in search of life on other planets?

Similar other cue card topics that you should be able to answer with your preparation for this cue card topic:

1. Describe your favourite film/cinema.
2. Describe a movie based on a real event or a real person.
3. Describe a movie you enjoyed watching.
4. Describe a science fiction movie you have watched and liked.
5. Describe a story you have recently heard or read about.
6. Describe a TV programme you really liked.

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