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IELTS Cue Card Sample Question – Describe a Piece of Art that You Want to Buy

Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking Test, often known as the ‘cue card‘ segment, is one of the aspects of the test on which you should concentrate more.

Why? This section of the test is perhaps the most difficult since you must speak for two minutes without interruptions or queries from the examiner. 

We are here to help you with your IELTS journey thus in this article, you will find sample replies to the cue card question ‘Describe a piece of art that you want to buy.’ Keep reading.

What is the IELTS Cue Card Question?

In this part of the IELTS test, the examiner will hand you a topic card with a topic and a few talking points. This is referred to as a ‘cue card.’ 

You will also be given a pen and paper to help you prepare. You have one minute to plan, followed by one to two minutes to speak.

The topic will be something near and dear to your heart. You can be asked to recount an experience or explain why you like or dislike something.

The examiner will enquire you 1-2 follow-up questions about what you said after your discussion of the topic.

The entire segment lasts roughly 3-4 minutes.

How to Answer this Specific Cue Card Question: “Describe a Piece of Art that You Want to Buy”?

 Topic / Question

Describe a Piece of Art that You Want to Buy

Guidelines to answer this question:

You should say:

  • What this part of art is
  • How you learn about it
  • How you think you would be able to buy it

And explain why you want to have it.  

  • Think of a piece of art that you want to have for yourself. Remember that a piece of art does not always have to be a painting. It could also be a sculpture and, at times, a piece of furniture or a jewelry item. Think quickly and ensure that whatever you have chosen, you have enough knowledge of it. 
  • The moment you have chosen the subject of your speech, start writing down notes. Remember that you only have 60 seconds to plan. 
  • Take notes on what this piece of art is and how you learned about it. Describe how it looks and what makes it appealing to you. Remember to include how much you think it would cost you and how you will be able to buy it. Only write keywords and phrases, not sentences. 
  • Utilize advanced vocabulary and complex grammar structures. Remember that these two are major criteria for marking you in this part of the test. 
  • Write as quickly as you can but ensure that your handwriting is understandable. It does not matter if the examiner does not understand it. You are marked on how you deliver your speech and not what you have written on your notes.  
  • You may glance at your notes once in a while to ensure that you cover everything you have written. It is fine. You do not lose marks if you do so. 

Sample Responses: “Describe a Piece of Art that You Want to Buy”

Sample Response 1: 

“I enjoy a variety of artworks, but that does not imply that I am an expert in them. Nonetheless, I shall do my best to describe a work of art that I want to buy. Anyway, the piece of art I’m about to describe is titled “Mont Sainte-Victoire.” It is, in fact, a series of oil paintings by the French artist Paul Cézanne, who completed them sometime in 1905.

The artwork displays a lovely view of Aix-en-Provence, the town where Cézanne was born, from a peak in France named “Mont Sainte-Victoire”. I first saw it in an international art gallery in my country a few years ago. I didn’t mind it at the time, but after seeing it again in a famous painting book featuring all the famous artworks from the twentieth century, as well as on the internet, I gradually began to realize how beautiful and articulated this series of artworks truly is, particularly the limestone peak of Mont Sainte-Victoire. In his words, the artist attempted to bring order and clarity to nature by employing basic shapes such as triangles, flat planes, cylinders, rhomboids, and so on.

Furthermore, he is observed to be very conscientious about preserving flawless geometric motifs in this artwork while employing two excellent color schemes in order to produce a natural ambiance around the mountain peak as well as the depth of the mountain. He also employs layers of paint to create a series of horizontal planes that lure the viewer’s gaze in from afar.

Anyway, I enjoy this piece of artwork because, though the mountain peak in the image dominates the area surrounding it and commands our attention, filling our eyes and brains, it may be surprising to learn that such a magnificent natural landmark can be so far away from us. Furthermore, I appreciate it because it is a breathtakingly simple artwork that will catch your attention from the moment you gaze upon it. The painting is rather expensive and I have been saving for it for the last few months. I wish to have it as a birthday present for myself when I turn 30 in August.”

Follow-up Question 1:

Paintings are worth a fortune. Why do you think lots of people want to have them anyway? 


“As a person who enjoys art myself, I can say that one of the reasons why a lot of people want to own most of them is to express the kind of personality we have. Paintings are also masterpieces of great artists, and it feels amazing having such items hanging somewhere at home.”

Follow-up Question 2: 

How do you think art forms have changed over the last few decades?


“I don’t believe that the most popular creative forms have changed much in the last 20 or 30 years, but I believe that the way younger people express themselves is changing. That is to say, classic art forms are still prevalent today, but they are beginning to give way to more modern art forms. For example, there were few abstract painters 20 years ago, but today I see an increasing number of new artists developing more experimental, modern art pieces to display. Although progress has been modest thus far, I believe that art will alter much more dramatically in the future.”

Sample Response 2:

“Earlier this year, I had the chance to visit Florence, Italy. While there, I spent a day at the Uffizi Gallery, which has one of the world’s best art collections. I wandered across the entire collection, taking in hundreds of paintings and sculptures, but I think Sandra Botticelli’s picture, “The Birth of Venus,” captivated my imagination the most.

This is a big oil painting from, I believe, the 15th century. It is one of the most famous paintings in the world and is regarded as an emblem of the Italian Renaissance. Despite being an Italian painting, the subject matter is Greek mythology. Venus, a goddess worshiped by the ancient Greeks, is depicted in the center of the picture. The fact that she is riding a gigantic scallop shell is what helps make the scene so unique and memorable. Of course, this was before artists began attempting to depict perspective and light as they seem in reality, so the painting isn’t very accurate. Instead, the artwork is meant to tell a tale and make the viewer feel something. I enjoy it because when you look at Botticelli’s art, you are lured into the painting and get inquisitive about the prominent character.

I do not like art so much, but if there is something I want to have for myself, it is this one. I don’t know yet when I would be able to buy it because it’s definitely an expensive art piece. It leaves you wondering where she is headed and what will transpire, as well as the importance of the numerous items and people surrounding her. I could gaze at this for hours, as I do at many excellent paintings.”

Follow-up Question 1:

When do you think a painting is considered good? 


“Well, I think that is a question with a lot of possible answers. We see art forms differently and what may be perceived as a good painting by others may seem different for others. But since you are asking me, a person who is into abstract painting, I can say that a good painting is something that will make the viewer think.”

Follow-up Question 2: 

Would you be willing to buy a painting worth a mansion? 


“That’s a tough one. If ever I would be in that position, having the money to buy an extremely expensive painting, then yes. I think I would. Why? Because if that painting is worth a mansion now, then it must be a masterpiece and a painting of great value. It means that its value would increase in the future.”

Vocabulary List for Answering the Question: “Describe a Piece of Art that You Want to Buy”

Below are some terms from the sample responses for the cue card topic Describe a piece of art that you want to buy.’ with their meanings and sample sentences for your reference. 

WordPart of SpeechDefinitionExample Usage of
the Word in a Sentence
ambiancenounA location’s character and environment“The ambiance of the restaurant is calm and relaxed.”
articulatedadjectiveExpressed in words“They have articulated strategies and goals and have garnered voter support.”
breathtakinglyadverbIn such a stunning or awe-inspiring manner as to steal one’s breath away“Robbie felt her insides flip as his craggy features transformed into a breathtakingly gorgeous smile.”
captivateverbTo capture and maintain someone’s interest and attention“His fascinating story captivated the children.”
conscientiousadjectiveA person desiring to do what is right, particularly to perform one’s work or duty well and thoroughly“He was a well-respected and conscientious public servant.”
dominateverbTo have a powerful influence on; have authority over“Lower pricing points are dominated by large corporations.”
dramaticallyadverbBy a startlingly enormous amount or to a startlingly large extent“When they moved to France, their standard of living rose dramatically.”
emblemnounAn object that serves as a symbolic representation of a specific attribute or notion“A similar issue emerges when a person wears an offensive emblem on his outfit.”
flawlessadjectiveWithout any faults or mistakes“Despite the fact that his content was flawless, the teacher was continuously scoffing at his handwriting.”
gazenounA steady, attentive expression“He switched his gaze away from the child and toward the mother.”
peaknounA mountain, particularly one with a pointy summit“The mountain peak could be seen through the fog.”
prevalentadjectivePervasive in a specific location or at a specific time“The practice of worshiping forefathers is prevalent among these tribes.”
prominentadjectiveImportant; well-known“He was prominent in the fashion sector.”
schemenounA large-scale systematic strategy or arrangement for achieving a specific goal or putting a specific notion into action“The scheme did not receive unequivocal acceptance.”
transpireverbTo happen; occur“We have no idea what will transpire when we get a new boss.”

Additional Reading — IELTS Speaking Cue Card Questions


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