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Describe a historical figure who you know about

IELTS Cue Card Question 138 with Model Answer:

Describe a historical figure who you know about.

You should say:
  • who is s/he
  • what s/he did
  • when s/he lived
and say why s/he is an important historical figure.  

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
Malaysia has a long history and different people have been renowned for their outstanding performances to enrich the country which has turned in the history today. Tunku Abdul Rahman is the former first prime minister of Malaya after independence and a historical figure.

Tunku Abdul Rahman is the former politician, chief minister of the Federation of Malaya after its independence from the British colonial rule and also served as the president of Malaysia for seven years (his tenure lasted from 1963 to 1970). His political career began after his graduation and served numerous purposes for the country. The countrymen commonly call him Tunku and are considered as the founding father of the country Malaysia. He is also termed as Bapa Malaysia and widely praised for his contribution to the development of the country. He has experienced and participated in numerous events ranging from the colonial rule and independent and had a direct role in the movements as he was a royal family member of the country.      

Tunku has lots of contribution to the development of Malaysia and nobody has thought about the country as like him in the days when the country experienced colonial rule. The country was being exploited by the rulers from different aspects and in such a situation the emergence of Tunku made the deal. He became the president of United Malays National Organization at first and won the election in 1955. Then he turned into the prime minister of Malaya. Gradually his political career advanced and then declared to be the chief of the country on media. But he did not want to be violent in grabbing the power rather sought simplified ways to get on the seat. He travelled to London for making the country independent and made negotiation with the rulers and finally, the country was free of the colonial rulers and he became the prime minister of independent Malaysia.

Tunku was born in 1903 in Malay on February 8. At that moment, the British domination was almost everywhere in the globe and Malaysia was not an exception. The British people have entered the places where they have found potentials to dominate the people and gain their benefits. So, Tunku observed many of the incidents of the British rulers and consequently shaped his mind to change the scenario. He had the opportunity to bring a change as he was born in the royal family and was the 20th child of his father. He studied in Debsirin School in Bangkok and for his exceptional merit; Cambridge University offered him a scholarship to continue his studies at the university. Though he studied law, he did not take the law as his profession and he also lost interest when he could not succeed in the exam in first chance in the early days of his life. Later, when he passed the exam after several retakes, he was appointed as the deputy public prosecutor before he joined in politics. He breathed his last at the age of 87 in 1990.

He is still an important political figure in the history of Malaysia. In the dawn of Malaysian independence, he raised his voice and understood that the country needs independence to move forward. His future vision has brought the country to the current position. His wide envision about independent Malaysia has become true today and now the country is considered as one of the most developed countries. If did not take the attempts to make the country free from the rulers and continued his post of deputy prosecutor, it is difficult to say that Malaysia could not have moved ahead. During the colonial ruling period, the countrymen experienced different troubles in their social and professional life and the issue of racism was more prevalent that many of the natives had to leave their jobs and social status being insulted by the rulers. The situations turn worst and Tunku wanted to solve without any bloodshed. Finally, he became successful and thus he took himself to a different height. People still remember his contribution to the country and pay cordial homage in his birth and death dates.



Model Answer 2:
Independence is the most desired thing in the world but it comes with lots of sacrifices. Joan of Arc is one the historical characters who had played an important role in the liberation of France from English domination. Thank you for the question. I am blessed to have this question in my share.

Joan of Arc is also known as Jeanne d’Arc in French. She had a nickname – “The Maid of Orléans”. She is one of the influential figures in the history of France for her outstanding contribution and sacrifice of her life for the nation. She was born into a peasant family in France and now is a heroine for her brave steps and roles at the Hundred Years’ War.

She took part in the Lancastrian phase of Hundred Years’ War. The war began in 1337 as a result of inheritance dispute of French throne. The French economy was destroyed as the result of this war and the detrimental impacts were across the nation. On the other side, the English domination was a trouble for the French. There were troubles both inside and outside of the country. The royal conflicts reached the peak over numerous issues. Some treaties were signed to control the situations but gradually the English started occupying some of the parts of France and the movement against them become stronger. Joan of Arc led some of the movements while the English occupied Orléans. 

Joan was born in January of 1412 in a locality in the north-east corner of France. The village, where she was born, was the part of the duchy of Bar. Her father owned around 20 hectares of lands. He also played the role of a village official too. In her days, the locality she lived in was surrounded by anti-French people and she also experienced many raids in her childhood and even she experienced the burning down of her village too. Due to the misery and unstable condition, she was unable to be educated. She used to write letters with the help of others. 

Joan was tried for her association with the movement to liberate France from English. She was caught by a faction of Burgundian and was handed over to the English. The Burgundians were allied to the English. At that time, Joan was only 19. She started to the vision of driving the English away from her country when she was only 13. But the English did not spare her for her ‘crime’ and various other charges and killed her by burning. It was May 30 of 1431 when she was burnt to her death. She proved her love to the country by sacrificing her life. So, Joan of Arc is an important historical figure in the history of France.


If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe a historical figure who you know about." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue card topics as well:
  • Describe a famous person in your country you know about.
  • Describe someone famous you would like to meet. 
  • Describe a well-known person in your country.
  • Talk about a person who has done a lot of work to help others. 
  • Describe a political leader you like. 
  • Describe a person you admire.

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