IELTS Cue Card Sample 460 - A time when you had to wait in a traffic jam

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

Describe a time when you had to wait in a traffic jam.

You should say:

  • when and where it happened
  • how long you were stuck due to bad traffic
  • what you did while waiting

and explain how you felt when you were stuck in that traffic jam.


Model Answer 1:
I never really complain about the traffic jam because I have accepted it as the daily reality of busy city life. But, the other day, about a few weeks ago, I did feel a bit jittery about the waiting time in a traffic jam which, I thought, could be avoided rather easily. Let me explain what exactly transpired on that day.

It was around 6:00 pm on Thursday late afternoon when I was driving on a busy road to reach home. The traffic on the road was nothing unusual as all the vehicles were moving at a fairly reasonable speed. So, there was no chance of any sudden mishaps or built-up of traffic jam on the road which could keep me waiting for about 30 minutes or so. At least, that’s what I thought, but soon I was proved wrong as, after driving only about 5 minutes, I suddenly noticed that the traffic was slowing down.

Little later, the traffics on the road stopped completely. Initially, I thought that it was going to be one of those “short stops” on the road, probably either because some nutcase driver couldn’t light his cigarette properly or forgot to check his car’s “water reservoir” before hitting the road. But, I, again, was proved wrong as soon I came to know that the traffic jam was caused by a big wood-log carrying truck which accidentally had dropped a few logs on the road. Luckily, of course, nobody was injured, but it was going to take at least about 30 minutes for the police to arrive and move the logs aside. So, I just decided to listen to some music and talk to some of my friends over the phone until the road was cleared.

Anyway, I felt a bit frustrated, and perhaps also mad, because of the traffic jam. I also felt that the city authority perhaps could do a better job of keeping that busy road safe by preventing heavy trucks from using it during the rush hours.


Sample Answer 2:
Well, traffic jam in our city is not unusual and the regular commuters often suffer from horrible congestion on roads. A recent study shows that around 20 hours of time is wasted for an average commuter each month in our city and that statistics depicts how heinous the traffic jam in our city is. While thinking about a time when I had to wait in a traffic jam, I could remember many such events and for this cue card topic, I will talk about a particular event when the traffic jam was so pathetic that I literally went mad!

It was about a year ago when I went to our national airport to see off a relative who would leave for the United Kingdom. On our way to the airport, the traffic was usual and we reached there in a taxi that took around 45 minutes. After I saw of this relative, I went to the nearby bus station to pick a public bus to return home. I got a bus within 15 minutes and in the next 10 minutes, the road traffic was good. All of a sudden the bus stopped at a traffic signal and it did not move for the next 20 minutes. People on the bus got anxious and they started talking about what happened. I got off from the bus to investigate what actually happened. I tried to talk to traffic police but he was so busy that I could not even grab his attention. I got back to the bus and I heard more bad news. Some passengers were talking about an accident and how that had created the deadlock on the route.

I bought a newspaper and waited next 30 minutes very patiently and was expecting that things would get back to its normal condition soon. However, it did not and I heard that many students have blocked the road as one of their classmates died because of the accident. Police and those students had a hot debate and they were adamant to leave the road until the bus driver who caused the accident was arrested and punished. It was a situation that would not be resolved soon and that’s why many bus passengers left the bus to get back to their home. I had to reach home and I heard that the alternative road was also blocked. I was quite furious at that time but had nothing to do. My cell phone battery was beeping to indicate that it will be turned off anytime and the distance was more than 2 miles to reach home. I decided to walk and then again waited for a few more minutes. Thus two hours passed and at that time I left the bus to walk.

The walking experience was not that good. There were people everywhere and I felt stupid not to leave the bus earlier. I saw so many police officers and traffic police who were trying to handle the situation but I noticed things were getting even worse. Luckily I had no bag or anything to carry with me. Thus I walked for another 2 hours and finally I reached home quite exhausted and in awful condition.


Sample Answer 3:
I think life in Mumbai would have been prettier if there were no traffic congestions. A couple of weeks ago, I had to experience a terrible traffic jam while I was returning home from my office. Now I will narrate the event in brief.

I have joined as a junior executive at a multinational corporation in this year. The office is located in the central part of Mumbai. But my residence is at a corner of the city. Usually, it takes nearly 45 minutes to reach my office from my home and I can return home from the office within an hour. But on that day I experienced horrible traffic congestion on Bhuleshwar street. The street is one of the busiest one in the city but the jam was unusual on the day.  

I got stuck in the jam for over three hours. In fact, I had nothing to do to avoid the jam. I do not own any private car or motorbike. So I use public transports to move to places I need. Accordingly, I rode on a bus that will drop me at the stoppage which is a few minutes’ walk from my home. Besides, the journey was comfortable for me – there was no rush inside the bus. But when the bus arrived at the Bhuleshwar street, it did not move. The other vehicles on the street were halted as well. Anyone could not inform us what had happened with the street. Actually, the street remains busy after 6:00 pm but I was late to get out of the office. I rode the bus at 7.20 pm. So, I expected to reach within a short time.       

Luckily, I had my office laptop with me and it was charged fully. So, I did not have to worry about power for the machine. My boss assigned me with a presentation, in fact, he told me to make a draft. But since the issue was too complicated and I was ordained to submit him on the next day, I use the time to bring the idea. I developed a simple idea for expanding the market for a certain product and made the PowerPoint presentation right on the bus. But I could not send the presentation as I kept the internet modem at the office. So, I waited for the next day to show it to my boss. In fact, it was a blessing for me in the guise of a disaster.   

Initially, I felt bored with the horrific traffic congestion. I planned to reach home early so that I could think over the issues and prepare the presentation. It was the top urgent assignment for me. Simultaneously, I had some other important tasks to complete – attending a birthday party was one of them. A friend of mine asked me to attend the party as he was shifting in the USA. So, he wanted all of his friends to be present there. I thought that neither I could complete the assignment nor I could attend the party. Suddenly, the idea of completing the presentation crossed my mind and I completed that on the bus. After reaching home, I changed my dress and started at the birthday party. It was fun to be there. So, the night was not bad at all though initially, the traffic jam appeared to destroy everything for me.


More Ideas to talk about this Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card topic:

Topic: Describe a time when you had to wait in a traffic jam.

1. Oxford Street in London is always crowded with excessive cars and I got stuck in a serious traffic jam in this street last week. I had to wait for over 40 minutes at the same place. The moments were boring and I had nothing to do except chatting with my friends on Facebook. Honestly speaking, the traffic jam was an intolerable event for me. I felt highly irritated about the bad traffic and I have never experienced such a jam before.

2. If someone gets stuck in the traffic congestion in La Rambla here in Spain, it will take a long time to get rid of that. Unluckily this happened to me last week. I got glued in a traffic jam for about one hour at the spot. And it was the dullest event of my life. I tried to listen to the radio news but that appeared less interesting to me. In fact, I was in a rush and my friends were waiting for me. So, I could not focus on anything until the traffic became normal.

3. I have never found the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo free from the traffic jam. The entire area is congested with different types of vehicles and on last Wednesday, I got stuck in such bad traffic that wasted around two hours. In fact, it was unbearable for me to sit idly in the traffic jam. But I had no other options left except sitting motionlessly. I actually felt disgusted in the situation. Finally, when I got rid of the jam, I felt relieved.  

4. My suggestion for the newcomers in Hong Kong to avoid the Causeway Bay. I was stuck in a traffic jam for over 50 minutes in the street here. In fact, this is a place with the thickets population. Not only cars ply on the street, but it is also packed with people of different ages. So, driving here is a nightmare and I kept praying when I was stuck in the jam. I blamed the entire system and the authority for the failure of the traffic system of the area.

5. Undoubtedly, Time Square is the busiest place in New York. Last month, while returning home from work, I was stuck in a serious traffic jam. It took around 25 minutes for me to get rid of the traffic congestion. I listened to music during the entire period of waiting. But the experience was not a happy one. Actually, this is the place that always remains busy with people and vehicles. People around the world come to visit that area and thus an unwanted crowd is always there. So, this is tough for me to drive through the area.  

If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well:

  • Describe a traffic jam that wasted your time.
  • Describe bad traffic you have experienced recently.
  • Describe the traffic jam in your city.
  • Describe a time when you were late for an important appointment.
  • Describe an event when you were stuck in bad traffic.
  • Talk about a time when you had to walk a long distance.
  • Describe an accident you have seen.
  • Describe a journey that took a long time than usual.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.90 (5 Votes)

Huy Van
The content is good but I think it is quite long so maybe you guys should make use of the Vocabulary :D Good luck.