Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 503 - Describe a time when you missed a bus/ train/ aeroplane.

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

Describe a time when you missed a bus/train/aeroplane.

You should say:

  • when it happened
  • where you were supposed to go
  • how you missed it

and explain what you did after you missed it.

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


Model Answer 1:

I always try to remain punctual with schedule, whether I am attending an important meeting or casually meeting a friend at a café. But, I never thought that I would miss a train one day in spite of being a punctual person for the most part. Let me tell you what exactly happened on that day.

It was about a couple of years ago, one day, when it was raining really hard, and I needed to go out of the town to attend the wedding ceremony of one of my best friends. The plan was to take an “express train” and reach my friend as early as possible. I even purchased the train ticket well in advance because waiting till the last hour would put me to the risk of not getting the ticket at all.

Anyway, everything went according to my plan and schedule, but the non-stop rain, with occasional torrential storms, made it really difficult for me to catch a taxi in time. But, on the other hand, I was becoming a bit mad (at myself, perhaps) and nervous because the departure schedule for my train was approaching fast, and I just couldn’t do anything about it except waiting for the rain to stop. Anyway, eventually, the rain relented a little, and I finally got a taxi to arrive at the station. But, by the time I reached the train station after manoeuvring an ocean of traffic, which built up due to the bad weather and road condition, I was already too late.   

Anyway, after missing the train, I became a bit frustrated and immediately tried to get some information on the next train schedule and its itinerary, due to be heading in the same direction. But, unfortunately, it wouldn’t help me reach my destination in time. Next, I tried to catch a bus, but that too wasn’t much of a help because it wouldn’t hit the road unless the weather improved further. Finally, I called my friend and left the station, feeling a bit dejected, after explaining the situation to him.


Sample Answer 2:
Well, this is an interesting topic and I would love to talk about my experience when I missed a train. I have missed my bus several times and train only once. However, despite my travel on an aeroplane a few times, I have never missed my flight. For this cue card topic, I would like to talk about my experience when I missed my train from (...tell a train station name...) to (...another train station name...).

It was 2014 and I was around 21 years old at that time. We were invited to one of my cousins' wedding ceremony and my father asked me to attend that wedding party. My parents could not arrange leaves from their office and I did not have any class at that time. The wedding ceremony was arranged at my uncle's house in (...a city name...) which was almost 600 kilometres away from our residence.

I booked my train ticket online and paid for it using my credit card. My train was supposed to leave at 9.00 am and I reached the train station at around 8.30 am. My father dropped me off and I had a suitcase and a small bag with me. To my dismay, the train did not arrive on time and my father had to leave me due to his office. I got frustrated at 11.30 am as the train was yet to come! I contacted the train master several times and he could not give any definitive answer. Whenever I saw a train at the station, I ran into it only to find that it was not my train. This was probably the most disappointing experience until then.

I called my mother at around 1.00 pm and she was very anxious about me. I heard from an officer at the train station that there was a minor accident and that is the reason our train was delayed. I was hungry already and took my baggage with me and went to a nearby restaurant to have my lunch. After that, I went to a shopping mall to purchase some items to kill some time. My "fate" must have been against me! When I returned to the train station, I heard that my train arrived 20 minutes ago and had already left! I felt like I was hit by a thunderbolt. I hardly spent 40 minutes to finish my lunch and shopping and during this time, I missed my train!

I immediately contacted the trainmaster and he advised me to take another train that will leave at 3.00 pm. As I heard that it would not directly go to the (...destination train station's name...), I discarded this advice. I went home and took a bus the next day. There was no hiccup on my bus journey but the previous day's event, when I missed my train, became an unusual event as this was the first time I missed a train. Afterwards, I have never left the bus or train station while waiting for a train or bus to arrive.

Sample Answer 3:
I love to travel and in fact, this is a hobby I enjoy. But I have experienced a troublesome event to pursue it and now I am going to describe one such event that occurred during the last summer. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about it.

I am an IT professional and have to remain busy in my office. So, to get relieved from boredom or fatigue, I often travel to different cities and countries during my vacations. Accordingly, I planned a trip to France from the USA last summer. Almost all of the airliners were pre-booked on the day. I managed to get an air ticket at the last moment. Unfortunately, I missed the aeroplane and it was entirely my fault. I did not check the time properly. It was set to fly at 7 a.m. while I went to the airport at 7 p.m. - with a gap of 12 hours, I missed the flight.

France is a land of culture. A large number of people come here to enjoy this cultural beauty. Furthermore, I love French food. In 2014, I  visited the country with my family and loved it, especially our time in "Paris". So, I planned to go there again to pass some memorable days. I also wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum, the French Rivera, Sainte-Chapelle, Palace of Versailles, the Musée d'Orsay and other tourist spots. But I was very unfortunate to miss my flight.

I missed the flight because I did not look at the flight schedule properly. On the scheduled date, I took a taxi and reached the airport. But when I heard that the flight was in the morning, I felt sad for my negligence. The aeroplane left in the morning and I was there in the evening to get on board. What an irony that was!

The airliner authority had nothing to do about it. So, I admitted my fault and left the airport with dismay. I had a whole week before me to spend with nothing to do. Thereby, I made other plans to pass the vacation. I bought some books that I wanted to read. Besides, I watching movies was another recreational activity for me during this vacation.


Topic: Describe a time when you missed a bus/ train/ aeroplane.

1. Missing a bus is not an unusual event for me. In fact, I am habituated with the experience. But the consequences were horrible last week when I missed a bus to reach my office. I was set to go to my office located in the downtown of Hanoi. I was in a rush and reached the bus stop late for several reasons that day. So, I missed the bus and planned for alternative transportation. However, I reached office late on that day and could not attend the board meeting to set the strategic planning. My boss was not happy about it.

2. While my stay in Germany last year, I missed a bus. I was set to go to Munich to meet a friend. But I missed the bus as I reached late to the bus bay. After missing the bus, I had to wait for the next bus. But the next bus arrived after an hour. I waited until the bus arrived. And it was a lesson for me.

3. Last month I was set to travel to Italy from France but unfortunately, I missed the flight. Actually, I forgot about the flight schedule. The aeroplane flew in the morning for Italy and I reached the airport in the evening. It was the mistake of checking the time. I did not notice the time correctly. Later, I had to take another flight in the early morning the next day.

4. During the last summer in Atlanta, Georgia, I missed a bus. The bus was set to return to my own city and unfortunately, I missed that. It was entirely my fault to miss the bus. I actually had no idea that the bus stop was far away and I started walking to the bus stop instead of taking a ride. So, I missed the bus and I had to wait for about two hours for another bus. Actually, there were two buses available in a day to take passengers to my city and I missed the first one.

5. I went to Nepal last year for a pleasure trip and had the experience of missing a train. I was supposed to visit a tourist spot which was accessible by train only. As I could not understand the train schedule due to the language barrier, I missed the train and went to the station after around one and a half hours later. I had nothing else to do other than waiting. The moments were wasted.


Your ability to talk about this cue card topic would enable you to talk about the following topics:

1. Describe an unfortunate experience you have had.
2. Describe a time when you were late.
3. Describe an even when you were compelled to change your plan.

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