IELTS Cue Card Sample 14 - Describe a museum
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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.
Model Answer 1:
In the distant past, I have always thought of visiting a museum as a boring thing and just a waste of time. But, I had to change my opinion about it, as I felt really good and informed, after visiting one of the largest museums in my country called “...(Your country name)... National Museum about a year ago or so.
...(Your country name)... national museum is a multidisciplinary museum which has some rare collections from several disciplines such as history, archaeology, arts and natural history. After entering the museums, I could see the first ten galleries very much dedicated to the natural heritage of my country, having displayed collections like “flora and fauna” like cereals, pulses & lentils, various insects and birds, herbal medicinal plants, sea life of our country, rare geographical specimens of deer, tigers and so on. The galleries also contain dioramas of birds and mammals in their natural habitats along with a large skeleton of a giant whale sawfish and different types of beehives, butterflies and reptiles among other things.
The Museum also has a history and classical art section that displays such as ancient and medieval coins, different kinds of terracotta that were used for wall decoration in the medieval architectures. Hand axes, potteries, magnificent stone and bronze sculptures, fascinating ancient architectural specimens, ancient inscriptions and coins, manuscripts, historical documents, medals and miniature paintings are also some of the collections that are displayed in this museum in order to remind us about our glorious artworks.
Anyway, the experience of visiting the museum was multi-dimensional as it didn’t only allow me to learn about many unknown and interesting facts about my country but also encouraged me to dig even deeper into some other aspects of our history and achievements that are largely ignored. Besides, the visit also allowed me to have some interesting conversation with a number of my fellow countrymen as well as international visitors who surprisingly had a lot more knowledge about my country than me! Finally, visiting the museum made me realize that we should always appreciate and remember our history, no matter how turbulent it may be, because our “past” failure and success are what made us the “nation” or “community” we are today.
Sample Answer 2:
I have visited more than ten museums in total in different countries and enjoyed visiting the (tell a museum name you know about) in (say the country name) the most. I went to the museum almost two years ago while we had been in (...the city name...). Visiting the museum was not a part of our original tour plan, but we went there as it was prominently expressing its presence to us when we visited the area for a different reason. I went there with two of my friends and a cousin who accompanied me during the tour. My cousin and one of my friends were not interested to visit 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 dinner!
After we bought our tickets, we entered the museum and the colossal front of the museum and the stunning garden in front of it mesmerised us. At that very time, I realised that the inside would be more astonishing.
Once inside, we realised that the place was far larger than we initially thought it would be. There were five floors in the museum and the interior of the building reminded us of the imperial age. We could see the ceiling of the building from the ground floor. People from different age groups and nationalities were closely observing the museum and I had a feeling that most of them were enjoying it. Taking photos was prohibited and yet I was sometimes lured to take some snaps especially when I saw the colossal dinosaur fossil and the alien ship!
The first floor of the museum had some artworks from a few famous artists around the world and sculptures from different epochs in history. The first floor gave us the impression of visiting a theatre or an art gallery rather than a museum. We came to know that some of the arts were so expensive that one could buy an island by selling it! Then we ascended to the second floor which was filled with the Second World War memoirs. Guns, tanks, documents, and other war materials from 1945 WW II had been on display there. A video documentary was showing some of the real events from World War ||.
When we reached the third floor, it’s been already 2 and a half hours. We found that many costumes and traditional items from different parts of the world have been placed there. 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 waiting for us. It has placed all the major inventions of different ages. I was overwhelmed when I saw the first computer ever built, speedboat, the wheel, motor engine and a few famous inventions of history on this floor. I was so much dying to touch the first four-wheeler that had been placed there!
We spent almost the whole day inside this museum. 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 a few hours. As soon as I left the place, I planned to revisit it someday.
Model Answer 3:
I am really grateful to you for allowing me to talk about my experience of visiting a museum, and for this topic, I would like to tell you about the British Museum which I visited a year ago. The experience was superb and I will never forget the rich collection this museum has.
I went to visit my elder sister and her family in the UK in 2018 and I was lucky that my sister took me to the British Museum. Established in 1753, the British Museum is located in London, in the United Kingdom and it is considered the first national public museum in the world. It has more than 4 million works and the collection is awe-inspiring.
The British Museum is massive and overwhelming. Once I reached there, I was fascinated by its exterior and building. Once inside, I got lost in history. I could not believe that a museum could preserve the entire human history- from the very beginning until the present. It's extraordinary collection spans over two million years of human history and culture. Over 7 million visitors every year, it is one of the most famous museums in the world. The Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, Aztec Double-Headed Serpent Egyptian mummies, the Elgin Marbles, and the Lewis Chessmen that I saw were remarkable. Before visiting this museum, I did not know how massive a museum and its collection could be. The museum also epitomizes the long British traditions of exploration, quirkiness and obsessive collecting. I felt like I could spend weeks there! I thanked my sister for taking me to the museum.
While I was there, I felt like I was taken to an alien planet! After an hour or so, I felt like I had been travelling in a time machine and the history was happening in front of me! At a time when my sister urged me that we should leave, I felt like I still had so many things to see. I told myself "I will return here again and enjoy the remaining collection if I ever visit the UK again". I can tell you that, this is a "must-visiting place" if you ever visit the UK. To me, it is the best museum I have ever been to.
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 artefacts 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 the 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 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.
Q: What are the tourist attractions in your city?
A. I live in Hatfield which is 30 km north of London and there are many things tourists can see and do there. Firstly, it is really worth seeing Hatfield House which is on the eastern side of the town. Secondly, Mill Green Museum and watermill, Hatfield Park Farm and Hatfield Public Library are places that someone should visit without a doubt. Finally, the University of Hertfordshire and The Galleria Outlet Shopping are some good and interesting structures for everyone.
[Tips: Think about your city's attractions and try to tell a few things about them. For example, you can talk about libraries, universities, monuments, museums, temples or even some locations that are preferred by many when they visit your city.]
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 the 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 to 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:
Metropolitan Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum; National Portrait Gallery; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum.
National Museum, New Delhi; Indian Museum, Kolkata; Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad; Government Museum, Bangalore; Victoria Memorial, Kolkata.
National Museum of Indonesia; Jakarta History Museum; Museum of PKI Treason; Bali Museum.
Australian History Museum; Macleay Museum; Sydney Harbour Bridge Visitor Centre; Fort Denison.
Deutsches Museum, Pergamon Museum, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Neues Museum.
The national museum; Petrosains Museum; Maritime Museum; National Science Museum.
Peranakan Museum; Asian Civilisations Museum; National Museum of Singapore.
British Museum; Natural History Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; National Gallery, London; Royal Academy of Arts; Tate Modern, London.
National Museum of Ireland, Ulster Museum, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Lahore Museum; National Museum of Pakistan, Peshawar Museum, Pakistan Museum of Natural History, Sindh Museum.
National Museum of the Philippines, Ayala Museum, UST Museum of Arts and Sciences, Casa Manila.
Apartheid Museum, Iziko South African Museum, South African National Gallery, Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History.
National Museum of Iran; Azadi Museum, Reza Abbasi Museum, Pars Museum, Malik National Museum of Iran, Zagros Paleolithic Museum.
Reina Sofía; Institut Valencià d'Art Modern; Guggenheim; CaixaForum Barcelona; MACBA.
Nanjing Educational Museum; Capital Museum; Tianjin Museum; The National Museum of China; The Capital Museum; Beijing Planetarium; Xibaipo Memorial.
Abai Kununbaev Museum; Museums and Art Galleries; Almaty City History Museum; Central State Museum; Geology Museum; Kazakhstan Museum of Arts.
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.
Acropolis Museum; National Archaeological Museum of Athens; Benaki Museum; Athinais Culture Center; Athens War Museum; Archaeological Museum of Komotini.
Vatican Museums, Rome; Galleria Palatina, Florence; Musei Capitolini, Rome; Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.
War Remnants Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, National Museum of Vietnamese History, Museum of Cham Sculpture,
Hagia Sophia, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Jewish Museum of Turkey.
The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée Rodin, Palace of Versailles.
Royal Barge Museum; Museum of Siam; Bang Khun Thien Museum; Bangkok Planetarium; Prasart Museum.
National Museum of Nepal, Hanumandhoka Palace Complex, Pujarimath Museum, Kapilvastu Museum.
National Museum of Iraq; Mosul Museum, Tikrit Museum, Baghdadi Museum.
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.