Cue Card Sample

Describe a famous scientist or inventor you know about - Cue Card # 621

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

Describe a famous scientist or inventor you know about.

You should say:

  • who he/she is
  • what he/she has worked on or invented
  • what are some interesting facts about him/her

and say whether his/her work or invention is still important.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

Born in the USA during the mid 19th century, Thomas Alva Edison is perhaps the most famous and influential inventors of all time. Prominent inventions like the phonograph, the electric light bulb, the motion picture camera, and the mass communication system are a few of his transcendent works. He is often credited as America's greatest inventor. I'd like to profoundly thank you to let me talk about this great mind whose inventions and work have shaped the pathway for the modern world.

Thomas Edison was a genius and very inquisitive from his early childhood. He was a prolific inventor, holding more than a thousand patents in his name. Despite suffering from hearing loss, having only 12 weeks of formal education, and experiencing a bumpy ride in early childhood, he invented and develops so many wonderful devices, perhaps due to his extraordinary mental and physical stamina.

Phonograph - device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound was perhaps his greatest invention. He also worked to improve the microphone for telephone, devised a commercially viable electric bulb, expanded DC power delivery system, designed fluoroscope  - a machine that uses the X-ray to take radiographs, improved telegraphs, enhanced motion picture camera and the mass communication system. However, the list of his invention is simply overwhelming and their utilisations are mostly practical in our daily life.

Edison - as a person and a scientist - had so many interesting and intriguing facts and in fact, I have already mentioned two or three of them. To reciprocate, he didn't learn to talk until almost four years old, had only 12 weeks of schooling, sold newspaper and candy on the railroad, suffered almost a total loss of hearing, had a great number of patents in his name and so on.

Definitely, his inventions and works are still important. He had, in a way, shaped the foundation for the scientific development in the modern era. We just have to look at the electric lights and telephones we have in our house to understand how rich his contributions still are in our life. He literally eliminated darkness around us to give us a luminous world.


Sample Answer 2: 

Having been born in 1879 at a place called “Ulm” in Germany, Einstein was an “average” student in his class but showed some keen interests in science and mathematics. Little did anybody know at that time that he, as the firstborn of a Jewish couple called Hemann and Pauline Einstein, would one day change the course of history in science and physics. 

Einstein worked on many things like Brownian movement theory or the zigzag motion of microscopic particles in suspension, the quantum theory of light” and the “theory of relativity” in which Einstein explained that time and motion are relative to their observers as long as the speed of light remains constant. However, his most famous work, in my opinion, was the invention of the formula E = mc2, relating mass and energy, which later on formed much of the basis for nuclear energy.

Of course, we all already know about these inventions, but what many of us perhaps didn’t know that Einstein renounced his German citizenship when he was just 16. We also perhaps didn’t know that he married the female student in his physics class at Zürich Polytechnic in Switzerland. By the way, Einstein also spent all his prize money to pay for the divorce of his first wife. The fact that surprises me the most about him is that Einstein was asked to be Israel's second president, but he refused, stating that he had "neither the natural ability nor the experience to deal with human beings". But then I wonder this is exactly one of the most prolific scientists of all time would and should do!

His inventions are still important and will remain so for a long, long time as it pretty much changed the idea of energy, motion and light, and how we use them to our advantage. In fact, the global positioning system, which we use today in our mobile applications, wouldn’t function without special and general relativity. Besides, Solar panels (photovoltaic panels) which convert the sun’s energy into electricity, and the photocell eyes, which are installed on the sides of the automatic doors, rely on the photoelectric effect, explained by Einstein. Finally, the electricity, that we use, is the result of nuclear energy, derived from his famous formula E = mc2.

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