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Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way IELTS Cue Card

Updated on 26 April, 2023

Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

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The IELTS Speaking section includes a Cue Card task where the candidate is given a topic to speak about for 1-2 minutes. One such topic is "Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way." The candidate is expected to talk about a person they know who showed exceptional problem-solving skills and explain how they solved the problem. They must also provide details such as when and where the incident took place, and why the person's approach was considered smart. The candidate may also be asked follow-up questions related to the topic.

Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way.

  • Who this person is
  • What problem they solved
  • How they solved the problem
  • Why you think their solution was smart

Model Answer 1:

I'd like to talk about a person I know who solved a problem in a smart way. His name is John, and he's a software engineer at a tech company.

A few months ago, John's team was tasked with creating a new app that would help streamline their company's communication system. The app needed to be user-friendly, efficient, and compatible with various operating systems.

John knew that creating such an app would be a challenge, but he was up for it. He began researching different programming languages and methods that could be used to build the app, and after several weeks of testing and refining, he came up with a solution.

John's solution was to use a hybrid programming language that would allow the app to run smoothly on multiple operating systems. He also incorporated a unique feature that would automatically update the app whenever a new version was available, thus eliminating the need for manual updates.

I think John's solution was smart because it was both efficient and effective. He took the time to research and experiment with different programming methods before settling on the best one. Additionally, his solution addressed all of the requirements of the project and provided an extra benefit of automatic updates.

Overall, I think John's problem-solving skills are truly remarkable, and I'm glad to know him.

Tentative Band Score: 5

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Model Answer 2:

The person I want to describe is my friend Sarah. Sarah is a computer science graduate and works as a software engineer in a leading tech company. Last year, her team was working on a project to develop a new feature for their company's flagship product. The project was very challenging, and the team was struggling to find a solution to a particularly tricky problem.

Sarah took the initiative to brainstorm possible solutions to the problem. She came up with several different ideas and presented them to the team. After some discussion, the team agreed that Sarah's solution was the most promising. However, there was a catch: implementing her solution would require a significant amount of extra work and could potentially delay the project.

Undeterred, Sarah decided to take on the extra work herself. She spent several long nights working on the solution, often staying in the office until the early hours of the morning. Her dedication paid off, and her solution ended up being a huge success. Not only did it solve the original problem, but it also made the entire project more efficient and streamlined.

What I admire most about Sarah's problem-solving approach is her willingness to take on extra work and go above and beyond to find a solution. She never gave up, even when the problem seemed insurmountable. Her dedication and hard work inspired the rest of the team and helped them to achieve a successful outcome.

In conclusion, Sarah's problem-solving skills and dedication to finding a solution in a smart way helped her team overcome a significant challenge and achieve a successful outcome. Her example shows that sometimes the best solutions require extra effort and a willingness to think outside the box.

Tentative Band Score: 6

Describe a person who solved a problem in a smart way Follow Up Question

Q1. How did the person you described approach problem-solving in general? Were there any particular strategies or methods they tended to use?
A1. The person I described, John, tended to approach problem-solving in a systematic and analytical way. He would start by gathering as much information as possible about the problem, and then analyze it carefully to determine the root cause. From there, he would brainstorm potential solutions and evaluate each one carefully before choosing the best option.

Q2. In your opinion, what qualities make someone a good problem-solver? How do these qualities apply to the person you described?
A2. I think that good problem-solvers tend to be analytical, creative, and persistent. They are able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems. These qualities definitely apply to John, as he was able to use his creativity and persistence to develop a unique solution to the problem his team was facing.

Q3. Have you ever had to solve a complex problem yourself? What did you learn from the experience?
A3. Yes, I have had to solve complex problems in the past. One thing I learned is that it's important to stay calm and focused, even when the problem seems overwhelming. It's also helpful to break the problem down into smaller, more manageable parts, and to seek out advice and input from others who may have different perspectives.

Q4. In what ways can technology be used to solve problems in our society? Can you think of any examples where technology has been used effectively in this way?
A4. Technology can be used to solve a wide range of problems in our society, from environmental issues to healthcare challenges. For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms can be used to help doctors diagnose and treat diseases more effectively. Smart grids can help reduce energy waste and improve efficiency in the power sector. And mobile apps can be used to provide education and support to people in remote or underserved communities.

Q5. Do you think that problem-solving skills are innate or can they be learned? What steps can people take to develop their problem-solving abilities?
A5. I think that problem-solving skills can be learned and developed over time. Some people may have a natural inclination towards problem-solving, but with practice and experience, anyone can become a better problem-solver. Some steps people can take to develop their problem-solving abilities include seeking out challenging problems to solve, practicing brainstorming and idea generation, and seeking feedback and advice from others.

Q6. Are there any specific industries or fields where problem-solving skills are especially important? Why do you think this is the case?
A6. I think problem-solving skills are important in almost every industry and field, as every job requires some level of problem-solving ability. However, some fields where problem-solving is especially important include engineering, software development, healthcare, and finance. These industries often deal with complex systems and require creative thinking to solve difficult problems.

Q7. How do you think our education system could better prepare students for problem-solving in the real world? Should problem-solving be taught as a separate subject or integrated into other areas of study?
A7. I think our education system could do a better job of teaching problem-solving skills by integrating them into other areas of study. Rather than teaching problem-solving as a separate subject, we should be teaching students how to apply problem-solving techniques in the context of their other coursework. This would help students develop a more holistic understanding of problem-solving and how it can be used in a variety of situations.

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Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

Mrinal Mandal is a study abroad expert with a passion for guiding students towards their international education goals. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering, earned in 2018. Since 2021, Mrinal has been working with upGrad Abroad, where he assists aspiring students in realizing their dreams of studying abroad. With his expertise and dedication, he empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of international education, making their aspirations a reality.

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