Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 422 - Your favourite means of transportation

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

Describe your favourite means of transportation.

You should say:

  • what it is
  • when and how often you use it
  • why you use it

and explain why it is your favourite means of transportation.


Model Answer 1:
Well, as much as I love driving, I must say that train is, and always has been, my favourite means of transportation. In fact, I have been travelling by train since my early childhood when my father needed to take us (me and my little sister) to our grandparents because they (my grandparents) just loved us too much.

But, that’s just a long time ago when I still didn’t know much difference between travelling by bus and train. All I knew back then that I just loved the rhythmic sound (some would call it “noise”) of a moving train while whistling through the tunnels and trees. Now, add to it is the excitement of meeting grandparents and their spoiling love, there just didn’t seem to be anything better than a train journey.

But, now, of course, I am much older and as such just don’t have the same kind of excitement. Rather, I have a great sense of security when travelling by train. After all, the train is probably the only public means of transportation in my country which provides a very high standard of travel safety and security at a very reasonable price. However, the problem is that in my country, there are not enough trains for short commuting, probably because there is just too much pressure of long-distance travellers on this popular means of public transportation.

So, I can’t really use this transportation as often as I would like to.  In fact, I use the train mostly when I travel a long distance in order to meet my friends and relatives, and that too not more than once or twice in a few months.

Anyway, the train is my favourite means of transportation, mainly because it offers me a great sense of comfort and safety at a rather affordable price. After all, a train is more spacious with bigger seats.  It is my favourite means of transportation also because it offers me some good freedom to do other things, like reading and chatting with my friends, in my privacy.


Model Answer 2:
Favourite means of transport? That’s easy! I love going off on adventures, and there is one particular form of transport that I strongly associate with starting off on a voyage of discovery. I wonder if you will feel the same way about it, or whether you might think I’m a bit odd for thinking about it in such a romantic way!  

I’ll tell you what it is, when and how often I use it as well as why, and try to convey to you why it is my favourite way to travel, even if the reality isn’t always as magical as my imagination would like it to be.

My favourite means of transport is the train! I don’t really use the train all that often, but that is part of the attraction. For day to day getting about town I tend to walk, or use the local bus, or if there is no public transport where I want to go then I’ll take my car. However, if I’m heading off further afield I always like to take the train, so that might be just a few times a year, and always for a longish journey – perhaps three hours if I’m going to London, but a lot longer if I was travelling right up to Scotland for example.

I use the train for lots of reasons. The practical reasons are that it is usually a comfortable way to travel as long as you go off peak. (I DO NOT enjoy being packed on a commuter train in the rush hour – that is a completely different railway experience). In cars or coaches, I can get a bit travel sick if I’m a passenger, but there is something soothing about the trundle of a train. I never feel ill journeying that way. Trains are also reasonably efficient at getting you from city to city towards your final destination, and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic, so although it can be an expensive way to get about, it is always reassuring that you will probably get to wherever you are going on time to say catch your flight or make your meeting appointment.

Those are the practical reasons, but there are more emotional reasons why I like train travel. It is the anticipation you get sitting on a train, heading for a maybe new city, or to get a plane to an unknown destination and you start to think about all the exciting possibilities ahead. It is the first step into the unknown of travel, and it makes you feel alive!  Then, there is the joy of seeing new scenery unfolds as the train passes through towns, cities, countryside. Even if the route is familiar, it will always look different on any day depending on the time of year, the weather, the time of day. You get little snapshots of other people’s lives as you can see into their back gardens, watch them walking through the countryside, or even (if I’m honest) peering into their houses. The view from the train window may not always be beautiful, but it will always be interesting.  Depending on my mood, I like to look at the other passengers and imagine what their stories and destinations might be.  Some travelling alone like me, maybe carrying suitcases or backpacks and will be going off on holiday somewhere. There might be others wearing suits and clutching briefcases trying to get to important work meetings. Screeching groups of friends could be on their way to a reunion or party, and then there are quieter couples of individuals who might be going to the shops, visiting a friend or family member in a hospital. I like it when you see gangs who are clearly on their way to the same destination such as a day at the races (all wearing enormous hats and ‘posh’ clothes that would normally be out of place in the middle of the day). Sometimes it might be fans going to a concert or people from one particular profession heading to a work conference. I try and guess where they are all heading.

Amongst this throng of fellow travellers, you sometimes strike gold. British people have a reputation for not talking on trains, and generally, this is true. You do have to be a bit careful about how you read other people’s body language before you strike up a conversation. However, sometimes something will happen – the train is delayed, or you have to talk to each other as you are finding your reserved seat, and then to coin a phrase you’ve ‘broken the ice’ and talk flows.  I’ve had some of the best conversations and experiences of my life talking to strangers on a train. I have a theory that if you are talking to people you will probably never see again, you can be honest and direct in a way you would never risk in ‘normal’ chit chat. I can recall a few. One day I was on a train that was delayed for several hours due to an accident on the track ahead. Probably a suicide I think, although the announcements were a bit vague. This delay led to me having a really profound talk with the woman alongside me. We discussed quite literally attitudes to life and death, personal experiences of dealing with family illnesses, and notions of identity. We also had much more light-hearted conversation about fashion malfunctions and embarrassing stories about ourselves! We talked for hours, but at the end of our journey said our goodbyes and I don’t even know her name. I’ve had other amazing conversations too, one with a guy who claimed to provide personal banking services to millionaires – I’m sure it wasn’t true, but it was fascinating hearing him tell his tales ‘in confidence’ trying to impress me. On another occasion, I met an elderly woman who said she’d been a spy in the war – doubtful, but great to hear her stories all the same. Then there was the youngish man who chose me to unburden his soul to about his relationship problems with his girlfriend. I was surprised by the intimacy of his disclosures, but nosy enough to listen to it all anyway!

So trains are great.  They not only take you to glorious destinations, they are in themselves a snapshot of the world. If you are cautiously open enough to engage with others around you, you can gain insights into other worlds and experiences. You might even get some good advice along the way!

Sadly, not all train experiences are like this. Some are crowded, exasperating, squashed up against the armpits of others, getting increasingly annoyed at the fumes from the overflowing loo and being angry at the noisiness of drunken youths a few seats down. On those journeys, I try to close my eyes, concentrate on the rhythmic rocking of the train and imagine myself back on one of my more life-affirming journeys. Maybe next time I get on a train it will be like that all over again!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris:  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Sample Answer 3:
Transportation is a great issue to consider here in Jakarta, Indonesia. It is really hard to move with public transports and meeting deadlines for reaching office. So, I have my own transport. I will describe the topic here and would like to thank you for this nice topic.
I work for a multinational company headquartered in Indonesia. In fact, I am the country manager for the company here and have been assigned to deal with lots of issues together. Earlier, before having the car, I used to ride on public transports. But it was difficult for me to reach the office in due time and complete my responsibilities. Even though I got out of the home about one and a half-hour before the office hour began, I was unable to reach by 9.00 am. The sluggish movement of the transports and congestion on the roads caused the delay. So, I bought a Fiat 500L. Now it is no more a problem for me to reach office. Further, I can use the car after my will and the movement inside the city has become easier for me now.

I use the car frequently. Actually, I rely on it for my movements inside and outside of Jakarta. Often I have to move for visiting markets and production plants. And at the same time, I have to meet some strict deadlines. I use the car almost every day in the week. Mostly I use it for visiting my office. The car is kept in the office garage during my office hours. Generally, I move from my home to the office in the morning. I start my journey at 8.10 am and reach the office by around 8.50 am. It takes almost half of the times than public transport.

I use the car for different purposes. When I did not have the car, I was unable to do everything so exactly as I am doing now. I failed to attend meetings in time, missed the deadlines of reaching in production plants and so on. Moreover, I had to wait for a bus or taxi which was also difficult. But waiting did not ensure that I would be able to ride on the bus while the taxi drivers demanded three times more than the usual fare. Riding on a crowded public bus was really a trouble for me. But now, they have vanished. I also use the car for moving to any parts of the city with my family. It is really a great advantage for me. It appears that I have got freedom.  

The car is my favourite transport for many reasons. First of all, while riding a car, you do not need to think overreaching the destination in time unless there are no accidents of huge traffic congestions on the roads. The public transports make the delay as it carries a large number of passengers and they need to ride or get off to different destinations. Besides, the transports wait for the passengers in the stoppages which also play an important role to kill time. As a result, a huge number of working hours are wasted. But with the car I own, there are no such issues. I can start and stop the journey at any time or at any place I need. Moreover, I drive the car and use apps to avoid traffic congestions on my way to the destination. For all such reasons, the car is my favourite mode of transport.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.25 (6 Votes)