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Describe life in a particular period of history

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 326 with Model Answer:

Describe life in a particular period of history.

You should say:
  • which period it is
  • what was so great about living then
  • what were the main drawbacks then

and explain if you would like to have lived then.

[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:

Life in the Middle Ages was completely different than we see it today. Some reflections of the life of that period are found in history books and TV documentaries but they are just a glimpse, not the whole picture. People often say that the Middle Ages or the medieval period was filled with social classifications and the feudal system, people used to believe in many superstitions, and medical science was not advance at all.

From some perspectives, living in the medieval period was advantageous, at least some people think so! To begin with, life for most ordinary people was simple, technology was not prevalent and social tie was strong. People used to live close to nature and pollution was not an issue at all. Perhaps the other important benefit of living in this period was that people did not have to face such cut-throat competition that they face nowadays.

But things were not all rosy and simple at this period either. Social classifications were so severe that they refused any potentials that young people had. A boy or a girl of a poor peasant was never destined to be someone important in society, and poverty for many was a life-long companion. The so-called noblemen in society used to rule people in whatever way that suited them and could do whatever they wished. This made life for ordinary people often miserable. Moreover, the scope of entertainment was very limited and the lower parts of society had no or very little access to many social amenities.

I would like to have lived in that period of time for a couple of months or at most a year, just to get a first-hand experience of it, but I would not agree to live my whole life then. I enjoy my life the way it is now, and I would not like to take a risk of living in a completely different epoch when I know technology had not made its way yet and there were very few amenities to enjoy.  

Model Answer 2:
Thank you very much for this nice topic. I am a Chinese citizen, and I have learned that China went through different epochs. As a country, it was ruled by a notable number of rulers and its life was different in different periods. The French ruled this territory during the mid-19th century, and it was a remarkable period in the history of the country. I would like to talk about this specific period of our country's history.

I believe that there were very few benefits of living at that time although the country had a long history of a traditional and simple lifestyle. Some employment opportunities were created because of the opening of some ports for European trade facilities and someone might have enjoyed working in such beautiful areas. I think Chinese people used to live a more traditional and simple lifestyle at that time about which I am often curious.

Since China was under colonial rulers then, I believe, living at that time in China must have been quite difficult. Foreign soldiers used to occupy the country and they ruled people the way they felt would benefit them. Sometimes skirmishes and small-scale wars took place which claimed many innocent lives. The territory was under foreign domination and it took away freedom from the Chinese people.

I am not sure if life at that time would have been something that I would have enjoyed. I would surely like to know more about the lifestyle of people and how things were then, but living at a period when the country was under colonial rulers is something that I would take seriously and say "no" to living at that period.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:  

"Describe life in a particular period of history." 

Life began on earth even before history was recorded. Human civilization has changed during the course of time and experienced different ages. This cue card question asks you to describe how life was in a particular period of history and here are some other hints to answer it.

1. Life in the Stone Age was really tough for humans. They did not have any modern tools and hunting was their main way of managing food. They even did not learn to harvest and that made their life really challenging. The age is also divided into several periods, and it is thought that the concept of family and socialization began at this period.

2. The invention of some very basic mathematics was the best achievement for the humankind in Bronze Age. The Age is named so due to the rise of bronze tools and their widespread usage. This is an important period in human history.

3. The application of iron-made materials and tools began in the Iron Age, and this is an important age in the expansion of human civilisation. People in this epoch started using iron massively in their day to day life. Many advancements of human civilisation took place in this age. It also lay the foundation of industrial progress.

4. The civilization of ancient Egypt plays an important role in human history. The duration of this civilization was between 3000 and 300 BCE, and it mostly expanded beside the Nile. The age is remarkable for technological, military, cultural and religious advancements. Pharaohs controlled the states and we know many historic aspects of this era through history books and documentaries.

5. A large part of the world was under the domination of the Roman empire during the 1st century. Christianity appeared in this century and it gave birth to many other political and religious events. Expansion of literature was a remarkable achievement in this age.

6. The 15th century is considered the foundation for the renaissance, middle age and modern period. Fall of empires, mapping of the world, development of renaissance etc. are the key events of this century that shaped the world that we know today.

7. The 20th century- also known as the rapid expansion of technological advancements is a remarkable time in human history.

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