Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 198 - An interesting news story that you watched on TV

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

Describe an interesting news story that you watched on TV.

You should say:

  • what the news story was
  • which TV channel broadcasted it
  • when you watched it

and explain why the news story was interesting.


Model Answer 1:
I am always on the lookout for interesting news stories on TV except, of course, they don’t become available to be broadcasted on our TV every hour or every day. But, about a few months ago, I just got lucky one day and found out that ABC (Australia) news channel was broadcasting a piece of weird but interesting news.

Anyway, the news story was about a person in some part of India who could survive weeks just by eating grass. Initially, I couldn’t quite believe the news, thinking that the news presenter was probably asking us to think about a hypothetical situation where one would need to survive weeks by eating only grass. But, as the news presenter started to show the activities of a person in a small Indian village, who was chewing grass and swallowing them, I stopped doubting the authenticity of that news.

The news also presented the interview of the strange Indian man where he was seen to be answering different kinds of questions. For example, he was asked about why and when he decided to start eating grass. The questions like how it really tasted to eat grass, and what his family members think about his grass-eating habit were also asked.

The news story (more like a mini-documentary) about that person had continued for about 10 minutes where the details about his life, his family, his profession and his other activities were also discussed, apparently in an effort to prove that he was just another regular person, not some superhuman, except that he just had an incredible ability to survive by eating only grass for weeks.

All in all, it was an interesting news story because it successfully managed to put together the extraordinary habit of a rather ordinary person from another part of the world. Besides, it also went to a great length in presenting the facts on the ground in order to prove that if people really want to do something or learn something unique, they can do so with their courage and determination.


Sample Answer 2:
Though I seldom watch TV nowadays, I watch news, documentaries and sometimes talk shows whenever I sit in front of the TV set that we have in our living room. An interesting news story caught my attention a few weeks ago, and it presented an intriguing case file of police who caught a serial killer. This news story was broadcasted on Fox News.

The news channel represented the story like a documentary and used some actors and actress to depict the real story to the audience. The news story went like this - the police expert team in a small city all of a sudden found some connections among some gruesome random murders. They kept working really hard and collected more evidence and then started suspecting that a single person perhaps was responsible for all those murders.

They struggled for several months and ran after every single lead-  only to find that they were chasing a dead end! Eventually, the case became cold and was not investigated any further. The team concluded that the serial killer was either dead or stopped his or her crime.

After 5 years, the case was reopened because a similar atrocity was committed by an unknown offender. It was now investigated by a special team of police and they started reinvestigating the case from a fresh perspective. With their huge effort, dedication, extensive experiments and strong determination they finally started finding connections among the murders. They talked with different people about the places where the murders were committed, and they went through every detail of the previous files and talked elaborately with the police officers who were engaged in the case for the first time. With 8 months' effort, they finally caught the murderer, who to my surprise, was an ordinary housewife of a happy family and a mother of 3 kids. She accepted the fact that she had committed the crimes and that was revenge on the people who abused her during her career as a rising model in a suburban area.

I watched the whole news story with great enthusiasm. The news story by itself was brave and exciting. Moreover, the news channel represented it like a movie presentation which made it more appealing and watch-worthy.


Tips for answering this Cue Card Question: 

Please note that you are asked to talk about a "news story", not a piece of news you watched on TV. Do not talk about the news programme you usually watch daily on TV that gives updates about local and international events. Do not talk about a talk show either. A news story is usually a broad story of public/historical/national or international interest and is usually lengthier than a single piece of news.
A news story can be usually one of the following topics: 
1.  A recent "talk of the town topic" that gives details of the event or shows it live on TV.
2.  A piece of news coverage on war. 
3.  A piece of news made much like a documentary and is shown to the public. 
4.  News story on a historical or mysterious topic. 
5.  Details on a major sporting event. 
6.  News coverage on advanced technology. 
7.  A piece of news coverage on a social or political issue. 
8.  News details on an interesting crime and criminal. 
You can mention a news story that you know about or you watched on TV. Say, which TV channel broadcasted it when you watched it, how interesting the news story was, what was the main topic of the news story and give some details on the programme.

For the questions why you enjoyed it or, why it was interesting, you can say that the news topic itself was very interesting, the TV channel represented the news story in a very attractive and interesting way, you learned something new from this programme, it revealed a past mystery/explained a political/international crisis and suggested some solutions, and finally, gave some unprecedented insights.
If you can talk about this topic, you would also be able to talk about the following topics:
1.  Talk about a TV program you enjoyed.
2.  Talk about a documentary you watched on TV.
3.  Describe a program you watched on TV.
4.  Describe an interesting TV program you have watched.
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