Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 37 - Describe an important invention

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

Describe an important invention that you think has positively influenced the human race.

You should say:

  • what the invention is
  • who invented it
  • what changes it has brought

and explain how it has positively influenced the human race.

Follow-up Questions:

  • Mention 2 famous scientists in your country?
  • Why should we invest more in research?
  • What is the single most important invention in your opinion?


Model Answer 1:
Over the last couple of centuries, our world has been lucky enough to see many important innovations, which have brought many positive changes to the life of its inhabitants. However, I would like to talk about one of those innovations here today which probably has done more to influence the entire human race than anything else in the world.

The name of this particular innovation is “Telephone”. In plain English, it is a device that converts sound and electrical waves into audible relays and is used for communication by using a microphone and speaker.

Many people had tried to play with the idea of coming up with such innovation, but it was Mr Alexander Graham Bell, who finally succeeded in doing it in 1876.  Of course, as with every other thing, when the telephone was first introduced, only the rich people could afford it as the materials, needed to use or connect the device, were quite expensive. But, as people slowly started to understand its full potentials, the telephone became an every household item, as it allowed them to communicate with each other seamlessly, no matter where they lived, whether they were maintaining a long-distance relationship or doing a multi-million dollar business in another country.  In fact, communication would never be the same after the introduction of the telephone.

Anyway, the positive influence of telephone can be seen in the ease of communication and carrying on with our daily activities 24 hours a day and 365 days a year without any interruption. It also led to the development of city centres, office buildings and the concept of an urban worker society. Besides, it has also lead to the creation of many jobs by changing the pace of business. The telephone has also provided security and helped in emergencies.  However, probably the most positive influence has come in the form of a whole host of new inventions, like the smartphone and the internet, with which, we can now not only talk but also see each other live on video at the same time.


Sample Answer 2:
It is really tough to pick one particular scientific invention that had positively influenced the human race as there are possibly hundreds and thousands of such inventions. I would like to pick the 'Light Bulb' as one such invention that has very positively influenced the human race.

This single invention of science has uplifted the human race towards prosperity and the modern world. Think about the world without any lights in the dark and we would have been no different than living in a cave. The great scientist "Thomas Edison" is credited to invent the light bulb and till then many improvements have been done to it.
The bulb is the main source of illumination and light at night time when the Sun is hiding at the opposite side of the world. We are so habituated with the electricity and light bulbs that we might wonder if it is a life-changing invention or not.

But think about living your life for a few days without the bulbs and then you would realise the true importance of this single invention. Some may argue that the fuel-powered lighting system could have been alternative to it, but the reality is that that would have been too expensive and could not have been an easy source for lighting the houses,
Think about the other living beings other than human; they mostly get back to their living place in the evening and except some nocturnal animals and birds, most of them stay at their living place till the morning.

They rarely do anything at night and that's because they are afraid of the dark and have no vision to see at night. As the human, we could have some lighting system if we did not know how to illuminate the light bulb but that would not have been so widespread without the invention of the light bulb. Scientific inventions are interrelated and one invention or theory inspired and accelerates the invention of other important inventions.

The Light bulb is one such invention that has inspired the invention and research of other inventions. This is the single invention that has made us free from being active only at day time when the sun is there.


Tips for answering this Cue Card Topic:

This cue card should be an easy one if you can talk about any important invention, a bit about the inventor and how this invention has affected our lives. Note that invention and discovery are different.

Discovery is exploring and finding out something that preexisted and nothing new to the world. Only people did not know until the discovery if it existed or not. Meanings of discovery are: to make known; reveal; disclose and from these meaning, we can find that discovering means to reveal something of finding something that already existed but we did not know where. For instance, discovering America.

On the other hand, Invention is creating/ giving an idea or making something entirely new either using objects that preexist to create something entirely new or to create something that is first of its kind. Meanings of the word invention are- to come upon, to create. From the meaning, we can say that invention is creating something entirely new of its kind. To invent this new thing the inventor may use preexisting materials but the final outcome has to be completely new. For instance, we say 'invention of the telephone'.

You would need to talk about a famous invention as the cue card asks you to talk about that has positively affected the entire human race. Very insignificant inventions may have affected some people of a certain geographic location but there are many inventions like telephones, computers and televisions have greatly affected the whole human race. So to perfectly talk about such an invention you should talk about such an invention that has affected the lifestyle of the people of the world and are widely used in the world.

Following are some of the most influential inventions that you can talk about. Pick an invention and get some idea of this invention and practice talking about it.

1. Telephone
2. Computer
3. Television
4. Automobile
5. Camera
6. Sewing Machine
7. Steam Engine
8. Light bulb
9. Paper

There are several other important inventions in history that have changed the world. But in the above list, you would notice that only the very common inventions that we know from our daily use have been added so that you can talk about these known inventions. Pick an invention and do some Googling. You would get details information about the invention and you should take some notes from those details to prepare for this cue card topic.

If you can answer this cue card, you should also be able to answer the following topics:

1. Describe something that has changed the world.
2. Describe a tool or device you know about or use daily.
3. Talk about an important invention of history.
4. Describe an electronic device that you use.
5. Talk about an invention that has made our life easier.
6. Describe an inventor who has a great contribution to the world.
7. Talk about an electronic device that you use at your home.
8. Describe an important modern invention.


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Sahil Gupta
Awesome description.
Zeeshan Mukhtar
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Naveed Iqbal