Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 34 - A famous person you know from your country

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

Describe a famous person you know who is from your country.

You should say:

  • who the person is
  • why he/she is famous
  • what makes you mention specifically him/her

and describe what positive changes this person has brought to your country.

Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes people famous?
  • What are the differences between a famous person and an ordinary person?
  • Tell about one internationally famous person in your country.


Model Answer 1:
My country, India, has been lucky to have become the home to many renowned personalities, from word-class sportsmen to world-famous scientists, who have made “India” great. Today, I would like to talk about one such famous person who is also known as the “missile man” of India.

Yes, he is none other than Mr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. Being born in a Muslim family in Tamil Nadu, India, in 1931, the great man studied physics and aerospace engineering in order to become arguably the most prominent Indian nuclear scientist ever.

Holding many important roles and positions in the Indian government, this eminent scientist, and also a politician at the same time, gave India one of its most major and important breakthroughs in its "defense technology" by developing the ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes.  Later on, this world-renowned scientist also became a president of India.  

I want to mention this famous person specifically, primarily because he was a very simple and easy-going person, even though he had such extraordinary achievements on his name. Mr Kalam has been an inspiration to millions in the world, who had a great many virtues, dedication, self-mastery, and exceptional scientific aptitude. Born in a rather humble family, this gem of a great leader worked his way to great success. In fact, he was an “epitome” of hard works and success.  

And as for the positive changes, he dedicated his whole life to his motherland.  Mr Kalam didn’t only pioneer the Indian nuclear and missile defense programmes but also encouraged Indian automobile makers to enhance vehicle technologies in order to “triple” their productivity and efficiency. This great guy also was concerned for young people of his country as he encouraged them to learn in a good way. His message for the youth of India filled them with new confidence. In fact, many of his inspirational books and speeches reverberate through Indian cities and villages, which constantly motivate both the youth and adults, by saying “I can do it. We can do it. India can do it”. This great person, who is still an inspiration for millions, died in 2015.


Model Answer 2:
Ooh, I thought at first the cue card meant someone I know personally or had actually met! That would be really hard, I’m not very well connected. Erm, there are so many famous people in my country – England, part of the United Kingdom. I could pick the Queen, I think she is one of the most recognised people the world over, but I think that’s too easy and predictable. I’m going to pick, instead, a famous person from English history, you may never even have heard of her, but she is really important in terms of contributing to political change in my country, and although perhaps not everyone knows her name, most people would know about what she did.

I’ll tell you who the person is, why she is famous and what makes me choose her. Finally, I’ll try and explain how she has contributed to positive change in the UK.

This person is Emily Wilding Davison, she was born in the 1870s and died, famously, in June 1913. She is famous, or even infamous because she was a militant activist who fought for women's suffrage – that is for women to have the same rights to vote as men - in Britain. She was one of a number of women who protested in different ways about the inequality that existed. At that time, only men were allowed to vote in elections, something that seems incredible today. Some of the protestors took direct action, leading to them being arrested and imprisoned for their views. Once imprisoned, some took it further and went on hunger strike, leading to them being force-fed – Emily herself was jailed on numerous occasion – nine I think, and force-fed nearly fifty times. The reason though, that she is particularly remembered amongst the many women who campaigned so vociferously, is that it was her who apparently died for the cause. On 4th June 1913, she stepped out in front of the King’s own horse when it was racing as part of the famous race the Epsom Derby (this horse race still takes place each year today). She suffered fatal injuries and died a few days later. There was a huge public funeral, and thousands of suffragettes accompanied the coffin and tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London.

People have different opinions about whether she actually intended to kill herself, or just to disrupt the race to bring attention to her cause. Personally, I think she would have wanted to live on to continue her protests and contribute to the debate, but her life was cut short aged only 40 years old, by accident. I have chosen her because I think she was a brave and principled woman. I might not approve of all her actions, but without her efforts, and people like her, women would not have ultimately gained the vote in this country, which I consider to be a basic right. Women fought hard for that equality, so I think it’s very important that all people (men and women) exercise their democratic right to vote. It was a right that was hard-won but potentially easily lost. Democracy is an imperfect system, but it the political one we have in the UK, and I believe women and men should have equal influence in how it is executed. It takes courage sometimes, to stand up for what you believe in, and her courage cannot be disputed.

It is hard to say that anyone action or person brought about the enfranchisement of women, but certainly, her actions on that day brought the debate about women’s equality to centre stage. It led to more men supporting the campaign, widening the voices of arguing for equal rights and overtime. Some women got the vote in 1918, after the first world war, but only those who were householders over the age of 30 (6 million women); women over 21 did not get the vote until 1928, so perhaps it’s only then you can say there was equality.  She, therefore, contributed to the positive change of bringing about equal rights in voting for men and women in the UK.

Over time in this country, people have come to take the right to vote for granted, I think the contribution of the suffragettes in general and Emily Wilding Davison, in particular, might come to be forgotten over time. I was pleased therefore to hear that a new film is coming out on exactly this period of history, it’s (unsurprisingly) called ‘Suffragette’! I haven’t seen it yet – I wonder how close it will be to the truth of those times – perhaps we’ll never know!

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


Sample Answer 3:
I am from Australia and Hugh Jackman is one of the most famous persons in my country. His full name is Hugh Michael Jackman and he was born in 1968. He is a famous and critically acclaimed actor, producer and revered superstar for his superb performance in TV, film and musical theatre.

He is well known for the superhero character Wolverine in the X-Men series and his leading roles in many well-known movies like Australia, Kate & Leopold, Les Misérables, Van Helsing, The Prestige, Real Steel,  and Prisoners.

I mention specifically him because I’m a big fan of his acting and performance. I have seen almost all of his movies and TV serials and consider him to one of the world’s most prominent actors alive.  

He was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and graduated from University of Technology, Sydney, in 1991 with a BA in Communications. He is a philanthropist and is an active supporter of micro-credit. He is also one of the founders and the global advisor for the Global Poverty Project. Besides, he is an ambassador of World Vision and participated in the climate week NYC ceremony.  He is also an active supporter and donator to some charity and social welfare programmes.

Through his acting, fame and donation he is trying to fight poverty and is trying to help the people in need. That’s a great way of extending the helping hands for people in need and can be exemplary for others.

He is a world-renowned actor and is revered by his countrymen. Through his acting, he has increased the impression of an Australian-born actor and through his charity and philanthropic activities, he is helping others.


Tips for answering this Cue card topic:

Talk about a famous person from your country. S/he can be a famous person from any profession and you should be able to give some statistics on her/ his life and achievements and successes. Not necessarily you have to describe a famous person who is still alive. You can talk about a famous deceased person who is famous and is from your country. Usually, we know more details about famous writers, politicians, movie personnel and sportsmen than other famous persons. Pick someone about someone you would be able to give some details.

Some of the ideas for taking about a famous person:

  • A famous leader or political figure in your country.
  • A famous writer or a poet.
  • A famous movie star.
  • A famous sportsman.
  • A famous businessman.
  • A famous scientist.
  • A famous inventor.
  • A famous artist.

If you prepare for this cue card question, you should be able to answer the following cue card topics as well:

1. Describe a writer you know about.
2. Describe a successful sportsman in your country.
3. Talk about a famous person you would like to meet.
4. Describe a political leader you admire.
5. Talk about a scientist from your country.
6. Talk about a person who is well known in your country.
7. Describe a person you really admire.
8. Describe a successful person from your country.
7. Talk about a person who has great contributions to your country.

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