Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 506 - Describe a time when you had to wait in a long queue

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

Describe a time when you had to wait in a long queue/line.

You should say:

  • when it was
  • how long the queue/line was
  • what it was about

and explain how you felt about waiting in this long queue or line.

[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:
Nobody really likes to wait in a long queue or line. But, that’s just a wishful thinking in a very densely populated country, where people need to get in the line even to buy some eggs on discounts because there are just too many customers to buy them without creating any chaos. Anyway, like many others in my country, I also needed to wait in a long - I mean, really long - queue once about 4/5 years ago.

Of course, I was not trying to buy any eggs on discounts back then, but rather I was only trying to get my national ID from my local government authority. By the way, about 4/5 years ago, the government of my country had announced a programme to give a national ID card to all of its adult citizens within a certain period of time. And, if anybody had failed to obtain his or her ID card within that stipulated period of time, he or she would have to go through a lot of unnecessary hassles of providing extra documents to the legal authority for the purpose of citizenship verification.  

But, anyway, since I didn’t want to go through all that bureaucratic hassles, I decided to get my ID within the regular scheduled date, but little did I know that I would need to wait in the queue of as many as 200 people that stretched over at least quarter of a mile. First, I thought, it was going to be a quick process, because I assumed that they had an efficient system in place, but I was proved out to be wrong because the process was taking way too longer than what I had initially anticipated.  

Anyway, after waiting for almost an hour and a half, I finally did get my ID, but the agony of that long waiting period hunted me for a long time. In fact, my legs started to pain because of standing for a long period of time, and I was calling the officials with all sorts of “bad names” because of their sheer incompetence and negligence, which was silly of me, I guess!


Sample Answer 2:
I think this is an easy topic for me and I be able to speak about one such recent event when I had to wait more than an hour in a very long queue. Thank you for this nice cue card topic.

It would not be more than 3-4 months ago and it was just before the Christmas and New Year time. On a Sunday evening, I went to a supermall near my home to do some necessary shopping. I spent almost 45 minutes to pick up all the essential items and the number of items I purchased was more than usual! Then I approached the checkout point of the mall. While shopping, I noticed that many people were buying items for the Christmas and New Year celebration. Due to this, the crowd seemed a bit larger than usual. However, as soon as I reached the checkout point, I was bewildered. I had no idea how large the queue in this shopping mall could be!

There were more than 5 checkout points but each of those was surprisingly crowded. I could not decide which queue to stand in! Strangely, people behind me were forcing me to go ahead and I had no other alternatives but to stand in the nearest queue. I actually counted the number of people who were also waiting in my queue ahead of me. It was probably 21 or 22 and I got quite anxious to leave the shopping mall as soon as possible. The cash registers and the salespersons were very busy and most of the customers' shopping carts were full.

At a point of my waiting in this long queue, I thought to put back my items on the shelves and leave the shopping mall. However, I discarded the idea as those items were important for me and my family. Many items were for the Christmas and the New Year celebration and I could not leave without buying these items. Moreover, I thought moth other shopping centres would also be packed at this time of the year. After 30 minutes or so, I started playing games on my mobile phone. I did so for about half an hour and then I noticed that the line in front of me had become smaller. On the other hand, the number of people behind me had grown to more than 50! Most of the people were shopping for the two major approaching festivals and all of them were waiting in the queue peacefully. The air was filled with the aroma of the festivity and people looked happy and cheerful even though they had to wait in a very long queue for a long time. This thought calmed me and after approximately 25 minutes I paid my bill and the salesgirl wished me merry Christmas. I greeted her back and she apologised for the long queue. I told her that I understand and it was not a problem for me. However, I knew how irritating and tough it was to wait for such a long time in a large queue. As soon as I got back to my car and started the engine, I felt much better and I was happy to finally have my shopping done! 


Sample Answer 3:
Thank you, sir/madam, for this nice cue card topic. New Year is ahead and marking the celebration, a wide number of preparations are underway. I want to meet my parents who live in Belgium and thus went to buy a train ticket for me at Frankfurt Central Station three days ago. There I had to wait in a really large queue.

It was a bright and sunny day and I started from the dormitory I live in. I reached the station within 25 minutes but I was surprised at the long queue that exceeded the train station building. It was unusual. In fact, everyone was in a rush and went there to book their tickets in advance for the New Year travel.

The queue began from the ticket counter and was getting longer every minute. Luckily I could manage a space to stand in the middle of the queue. Later I came to know that the ticket-selling stopped for a network-related problem and even before the personnel at the station started offering the tickets, peoples started to form the queue. Amid a huge rush, people wanted to secure their seats and berths on the train. Journey by train in Germany is quite comfortable and many Germans love to travel by train.

Everyone wanted to buy tickets, so they went to the train station as early as possible to get it without any trouble. But during this time of the year, the queue gets longer and longer. I had to wait longer than usual as the computer network had a glitch.

Waiting in a long queue of people is not always pleasant. I have heard of such long queues but never experienced before that day. So, it was a new experience for me. Thereby, I did not enjoy standing. Moreover, I felt a cramp in my leg due to standing for so long. I had to wait for over two hours in the queue. Finally, we all got our tickets once the network was restored and I was happy about that. Hopefully, I will visit my parents next week.


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

Topic: Describe a time when you had to wait in a long queue.

1. Right before the cricket match between India and Australia, I had to wait in a long queue. It was a very long line that I could not see the end. In fact, everyone was about getting their entry tickets to the stadium here in Australia. It was a high voltage match between the top two teams in the world. But waiting in the queue was not such a bad experience for me as I started feeling the vibe. It was a nice experience for me indeed.

2. Collecting the college admission form for my younger sister took me more than two hours due to a very long queue. Around two hundred people were standing in front of me and I failed to estimate the number of people standing behind me. It was almost a year ago and the bitter experience still lingers. In fact, admission to a reputed college requires a good result from the students’ end, and the guardians need to wait in the queue to collect and submit the admission form. I had to collect the admission form for my sister as my father was busy in his office. At a time I felt quite bored.

3. A local theatre hall in Paris was filled with an audience. But I had to stand in a long queue before entering the hall. The gate was supposed to open at 6.00 pm sharp but the authority opened it 30 minutes later. People who arrived at the theatre hall formed a queue before the entrance. But none could enter until the gate was opened. I was one of them. So, I had to wait in the queue for over half an hour. But the moments passed by talking with the other people and I heard many interesting remarks about the show from them.

4. I went to Mumbai from Kolkata before the Diwali and had waited in a long queue to collect the train ticket. It was my first visit to Mumbai by train and so I was thrilled. But the long queue made me frustrated. Over hundreds of people were in the line to get their tickets for the train. Besides, the sellers inside the booth appeared working too slowly. So, it was taking more time than usual. I was irritated with the matter but waited patiently till my turn came to collect the ticket.

5. Meeting with the Prime Minister is a matter of luck but I was invited to meet the Prime Minister of my country, Pakistan. But I had to wait in a long queue to meet the Premier. It was a courtesy call with the Prime Minister with all the journalists. And as a reporter, I was lucky enough to meet the head of the state. Hundreds of people were in the queue and I was behind almost fifty people. I did not feel any monotony to wait in the long queue because it was a special day in my life.


Similar other cue card topics that you should be able to answer if you prepare for this topic:

1. Describe a time when you had to wait for a long.
2. Describe an event when you felt uneasy/irritated.
3. Describe something unusual you did recently.

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