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Time when you were stuck in a traffic jam

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 204 with Model Answer:

Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam.

You should say:
  • when it was
  • where you were going
  • how long you had to wait
and explain how you felt about this.

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

Model Answer 1:
India is a populous city and traffic jam is a very common issue for the citizens of the country, especially people living in urban areas. The situation is too irritating that sometimes people cannot control their emotions over traffic jam and start walking leaving their vehicles behind.

I also experienced such a situation recently when I was about to participate in a radio event organised by a local radio station. The event was supposed to be aired live and I was one of the key participants representing our own band. In fact, the radio event aimed to promote newly emerged band groups so that the mass people could come to know about the band groups and to praise their songs. The band group named – Dark Shadow is formed of five members and I am the vocal. It was set on the last night that I would attend the event as the other members were unable to make time. So, being the leader of the band, I had to take the responsibility to despite my reluctance.

So, the next day, it was probably mid-March 2016, I started for the radio station. It was located in New Delhi while my residence was near Delhi Cantonment. The distance between my place and the radio station was moderate and it would not take over one hour for me. So, accordingly, I started for the radio station. I failed to ride on public transports due to massive crowds. Besides, I planned to wait for the bus in a queue but the long queue discouraged me waiting there. So, simply I hired an auto and started for the station. I took my guitar with me to play songs at the radio event and some newly composed songs. Besides, I was prepared to answer any types of questions from the other sides. As this was a live radio program, my band members suggested me answering every type of questions with ready wits so that the audiences could get a positive idea about us.

Unfortunately, I could not reach the radio station in time and I had to wait for around two hours in the traffic jam. The auto driver tried to escape the increasing traffic but he could not do so. Though he tried to cross the main road using the narrows inner streets, he failed as the streets were too narrow to enter and again he had to join on the main road of the city. As a result, he got trapped in the jam perfectly that. So, I had to sit idly for two hours and by the same time I informed the issue to the radio authority who invited me. I urged them to reschedule the slot if possible for them and explained my real situations here. Initially, they said that it is not possible for them to shift the program on any other day but I tried to make them realise that I want them to hold the program on the scheduled day but a few hours later. I know it is difficult for a radio station to shift a program in any other slot, but they did it for me.

I felt worst on the day. Later, I came to know that the traffic congestion took place for a clash between two political parties while police had to control the situation. Some of the people also got arrested from the spots. So, the vehicles could not move easily and entering into the New Delhi streets became difficult for them. The radio authority also paid heed to my request as they might have realised about the real situation. So, they aired the program after I reached the station two and a half hour later after the scheduled time. But it was one of the worst experiences of my life.

Sample Answer 2:
I had an experience of getting stuck in a traffic jam a few days ago. Ordinarily, there is less traffic congestion in China. But if unluckily you are stuck in a traffic jam, it may take your life near to ordeal. The traffic jam may last for an uncertain period of time.

It was Monday and I was on my way to the office. Though I started for the office early in the morning, it took over two hours for me to reach there. Without any exact reason, there was a traffic congestion on the main street. I tried for some shortcuts but it took over 20 minutes to get on the main street track. Then I had to wait for the rest of the moments until the jam broken.

I was going to my office. It was an important day for me in the office. A new deal was to be signed with a party over some environmental issues. I was assigned to prepare the documents on the treaty signing issue. The company I worked for mostly deals with the environmental degradation and a group of the party from the UN came to China to sign the deal. If the deal is signed, my company will be responsible for creating a green environment in workplaces. Hence, it was an important matter for the entire office.

I had spent nearly two and half hours on the street. It was an unbearable experience. Earlier, I had the similar experience to get stuck in the traffic jams. But never had waited for over 15 to 20 minutes. This was a different experience with me. Luckily, I took a book with me and started reading the book to pass the time. Almost all the vehicles on the street were a standstill. I do not know what actually happened on that day. Waiting during a traffic jam is never expected by anyone. It kills time unnecessarily and makes the moments boring.

The feeling about the traffic jam was unpleasant. It made me late to reach office. So, I had to undergo some pressure from my superior authority. The deal was set to be signed at 10.00am while I reached office late. And also made late to prepare the necessary documents. In fact, all the documents were ready and needed a proofing and printing. The processes were simple but performing all the tasks took time unnecessarily. I blamed the traffic jam for all the undesired events. If there were no traffic jams, I would have reached office in time and did everything within due time. But it was my bad luck.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:

"Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam." 

Traffic jam is a very common issue across the world. Almost all the streets in the world are occupied with some sort of traffic jam. And it causes serious suffering to the commuters. This cue card wants to know about your experience when you were stuck in a traffic congestion. The candidate needs to describe a situation when s/he was stuck in traffic jam. Some additional clues here might prove beneficial for them.

-  Usually, there are fewer traffic congestions on the street of New York City. But last Sunday night, I had was stuck in a serious traffic jam. I do not know how it happened. I got stuck in the jam for around 40 minutes. I was late to return home. Later, I came to know from the news that there was a serious accident in the middle of the street I took to return home.

-  I cannot recall the day when I reached office in due time here in Japan. Actually, traffic congestion is a usual event for the streets and the day before yesterday, it wasted around 30 valuable minutes of my life. I was stuck in a traffic jam and got late like the other days.

-  The streets of Vietnam are often occupied with excessive traffic. Consequently, the commuters have to face traffic congestions. I also experienced a serious traffic jam last week. I went to meet a friend and it was in the evening. I do not know how the traffic congestion was created and it took over 40 minutes to get back to normal.

-  Generally, there are fewer traffic jams in Sri Lanka unless there are any unnatural events. I had experienced an unusual traffic jam last week. It took place for the protest of students against a government policy in their university. They demanded the autonomy of the public universities. So, they blocked the streets.

-  I had experienced the worst traffic jam in my life in last month here in Pakistan. Many of the common people came down to the street to protest against some government moves. And the protest hampered the lives of other working class people. I could not reach my office in time and it was late again to return home.

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