Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam Cue Card IELTS

Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam  Cue Card IELTS

Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam Cue Card IELTS


Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam (Past Tense)

You should say:

When and where did it happen? (Past Tense)

How long you were in the traffic jam? (Past Tense)

What you did do while waiting? (Past Tense)

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam? (Past Tense)

Sample Answer 1 (Covid 19 lockdown idea)


In this contemporary epoch, traffic jams have become an integral part of our lives, and many times, I have to experience them.

Although I have been a part of many traffic congestions, one of them is worth mentioning.

When and where did it happen?

Two years back, there was Covid 19 outbreak in my city. Two tourists came from China, and because of them, this contagious disease started spreading.

To break the speed of the virus, the local administration announced a lockdown all of a sudden. Due to this, all people started rushing to their homes, and it led to chaos on the roads and streets.

How long you were in the traffic jam?

Since I was on the outskirts of the city and I had to reach the heart of the city. I had to spend six challenging hours in a traffic jam.

What you did do while waiting?

Being a productive person I do not have the habit of wasting time. Firstly, I completed my pending study work by writing notes of the assignments from college.

After that, I cleaned my car with wipes, and to my surprise, it started looking fabulous from the inside.

Apart from this, I called my friends and family members. While talking to them, the time passed quickly.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

For the first few minutes, I was upset, but then I realized that imposing the lockdown was the need of the hour. And traffic jam was due to the lockdown.

After coming to this reality, I started enjoying the traffic congestion.

Sample Answer 2 (Unlock Covid 19 idea)


Although traffic jams increase our stress, sometimes they are because of joyful moments.

When and where did it happen?

In 2020 my city went into lockdown because of the Corona pandemic. During that time, people remained confined to their homes.

Finally, when the outbreak stopped, the higher authorities lifted the lockdown and began the unlocking process. Upon receiving this news, people had a sigh of relief.

Remaining indoors for a long time is a daunting task for human beings, and the new freedom of unlocking was a time to celebrate. Due to this reason, there were numerous vehicles on the roads.

People were going out to meet their relatives, have food, go for a long drive, and umpteen other tasks. Due to this, there was a massive traffic jam on the roads.

How long were you in the traffic jam?

I had to spend two hours in that traffic jam because I was in the middle of congestion.

What did you do while waiting?

Since all people were in a festive mood, I played loud music in my car, and with my friends, I started dancing on the roadside. Other commuters joined, and there were more than a hundred people in a few minutes 

They were all shaking their legs at the latest chartbusters. Apart from this, I enjoyed snacks from a roadside bakery and my buddies.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

I felt enthusiastic, and my worries went for a toss—the gala time I had while dancing would always remain etched in my memories.

Sample Answer 3 (World Cup win idea)


It is unequivocal to say that traffic jams make us feel stressed and aggressive. However, I experienced traffic congestion a few years back, which was more fun.

When and where did it happen?

It happened in the year 2011 when India won the cricket world cup after 28 years. During that time, I watched the match on a giant screen at a fine dining restaurant. And when I left for my home, I got stuck in a massive traffic jam.

How long were you in the traffic jam?

I stayed in a jam for four hours.

What did you do while waiting?

Firstly, I called my family members to tell them that I would come late to home due to a traffic jam. After that, I called my friends to congratulate them on India winning the world cup.

Finally, I joined other people dancing on the road and shook their legs with them.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

I was over the moon, and I had no fear of reaching home plate. The prominent reason behind the happiness was the stupendous work done by the Indian Cricket Team.

There was a state of euphoria. The traffic jam was a source of enjoyment for everyone, and people were unwilling to move their vehicles. People were distributing sweets and dancing to loud music playing in their cars.

Finally, the local police came into action and handled the situation. After an ordeal of two hours, the cops cleared the traffic. That day’s fantastic time would always remain etched in my memories.

Sample Answer 4 (Ongoing construction idea)


Although I have gone through numerous traffic jams in my life, one of them was initially stressful but ultimate fun in the end. 

When and where did it happen?

Two years back, I went to the hill station Shimla to enjoy new year’s eve with my friends. In the middle of the journey, there was a traffic jam. It was due to the construction of a new tunnel.

How long were you in the traffic jam?

It took me three hours to come out of the jam.

What did you do while waiting?

Since the jam was massive, I had no option but to wait. Firstly I called my family members to tell them that I would reach late to Shimla. After that, all friends came out of the car and started relaxing on the roadside.

Suddenly, there was snowfall, and our anger converted into fun. We danced on the road and ate mouth-watering street food delicacies.

Since there were no police to clear the jam, I took the responsibility to do so. My friends and I gave the other car owners instructions, and with our support, the congestion cleared, and vehicles started plying.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

Initially, I felt upset because our planning to reach Shimla went for a toss in time. But the snowfall cheered us because our primary purpose in going to Shimla was to experience it.

Moreover, the experience I gained while clearing the traffic taught me a valuable lesson “The best way to be out of a fear is to get into that fear.” 

Sample Answer 5 (Demonetisation idea)


Due to the rising number of individuals, traffic congestion has become a pressing problem.

Although I have experienced numerous traffic jams, one of them was stressful, and it would always remain etched in my memories.

When and where did it happen?

In 2016, I experienced a massive traffic jam on the road to my home.

The jam was due to the announcement by the Indian prime minister regarding demonetization. As per the speech he made that day, from midnight, the currency notes of 500 and 1000 would not be legal tenders.

Hearing that news, people went berserk. Especially those who had black money were on the roads because they had only four hours to purchase goods and services with the cash at their disposal.

The high movement of people let to traffic congestion on all the roads.

How long were you in the traffic jam?

I stayed in a jam for five hours.

What did you do while waiting?

In the first two hours, I called my near and dear ones because I had plenty of time at my disposal. After that, I listened to music on my car stereo.

And in the last one hour, I played a PUBG game on my mobile phone and broke my previous record.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

I felt terrible not because our government imposed demonization. The government’s intent was positive, and it wanted to bring out the black money from the market. But the people who had a buttload of black money, their life became challenging, and to save their losing funds, they created the traffic jam. 

So my resentment was against those who hoard black money.

Sample Answer 6 (Covid 19 Vaccination Idea)


Sentence1. Due to the massive increase in private cars, traffic jams are a routine affair in the modern era.

Sentence2. Last year, I experienced traffic congestion which was beyond the conventional domain.

When and where did it happen? 

Sentence3.One year back, I was in the middle of a traffic jam in my hometown. 

Sentence4.The reason for the traffic congestion was unique.

Sentence5. In 2020 the whole world experienced lockdowns due to the Corona Pandemic. 

Sentence6.A large section of society had to remain indoors due to the contagious virus.

Sentence7.Finally, in 2021, the vaccine for Coronavirus came on the market. 

Sentence8.The government planned a massive drive to vaccinate the people.

Sentence9.On the first day of the drive, many people came out of their homes to get the shot.

Sentence10.Due to that, there was a massive traffic jam.

How long were you in the traffic jam? 

Sentence11.I spent five hours in a traffic jam.

What did you do while waiting? 

Sentence12.Luckily I had a book in my car, so for the first hour, I read the book. 

Sentence13.It was a fascinating experience because I love books, being a voracious reader, but I miss them due to a shortage of time. 

Sentence14.That day I finished two chapters of one book.

Sentence15.After that, I called my bosom friend Andrew. We both were schoolmates. 

Sentence16.To pursue higher education, he shifted to Canada, and we separated. 

Sentence17.That day I had a fascinating discussion with him, and we both felt nostalgic. 

Sentence18.Talking to him after a long time was an emotionally enriching experience for me.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam? 

Sentence19.I felt bad initially, but later on, I realized that it was not because of anyone’s fault. 

Sentence20.So I remained calm and enjoyed it.

Sample Answer 7 (Torrential Rainfall)


It is an accomplished fact that due to the growing population, traffic jams have become common. Although I have been through many traffic congestions, one of them is worth mentioning.

When and where did it happen? 

It happened three years back. There was scorching heat in my city, and to get respite, I decided to go uphills. Therefore I planned a road trip to Manali hill station with my family and friends and started the journey with pomp and show.

To my dismay, the happiness did not last long as due to torrential rain, and landslides halted the traffic. And I became a part of a massive traffic jam.

How long you were in the traffic jam?

It took me six hours to get out of that.

What you did do while waiting? 

Since I was in the group, so waiting was not a daunting task for me. Firstly I went to a nearby restaurant to pick some snacks to eat. The eatables were mouth-watering and sufficient enough to pamper our appetite.

After that, we watched a movie on the screens inside our cars. It was a gala time because I watched a film with my family after a long period.

And explain how you felt when you were in that traffic jam?

Initially, I was upset because a busy road where tourists travel round the year should not suffer due to the lack of infrastructure. The machine to clear the road came after two hours, and this unprecedented delay was a terrible mistake on the part of the local administration.

Since the economy of hill stations thrives primarily on tourism, it is the bounden duty of the local authorities to provide a seamless road experience.

However, this trip was a blessing in disguise because I tested my patience after a long time.

Follow up Questions

Here are some examples of follow-up questions that the examiner might ask during your speaking part 3 related to the cue card “Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam”.

1. Are traffic jams common in Indian cities?

The population in India has grown manifold in the last 100 years. Due to this reason the traffic is on an incline. Apart from this underdeveloped public transportation system is another reason for congestion on roads.

2. Why are cities today facing serious traffic issues?

The biggest reason is strengthening the bottom line attitude of the multinational companies. The big organizations are leaving no stone unturned to sell two-wheelers and four-wheelers through sales gimmicks. Due to this reason, the count of vehicles plying on the roads has grown substantially.

Apart from this, the higher authorities have done enough to improve the plight of the public transportation system. To save time people use private transport and this escalates traffic woes.

 3. What can be done to improve traffic conditions in cities?

The first and foremost thing is to limit the number of vehicles a household could possess. It would reduce the number of automobiles plying on roads.

Apart from this, the government needs to create mass awareness campaigns to educate the public regarding carpooling, use of public transportation, etc.

The collaborative efforts of all the sections of society are a must to handle this pressing problem adroitly.

4. Can developing public transport help resolve traffic issues in cities?

Traffic congestion has reduced considerably in those nations which boast a sophisticated public transport system. People find it comfortable to travel in metros and tubes.

Hence, putting earnest efforts into improving the public transport system is prudent.

5. How does a traffic jam affect our daily life?

Due to traffic jams, people from all walks of life suffer. Firstly, it leads to stress, because when we have to wait for unnecessary reasons, we feel pressured.

Apart from this, it leads to time wastage and, due to that productivity declines. Because with delay in work, our willpower declines, and completion seems like a daunting task.

6. Will traffic jams reduce in future?

In my opinion, traffic jams will reduce in the future, because of two reasons. First, the culture of working and studying from home is growing by leaps and bounds. Due to technological advancements, many people these days, work and study from home. And this has reduced the traffic on roads substantially, and the trend will continue.

Moreover, the higher authorities have realised the best way to reduce traffic is to develop public transport. The government have planned to improve the public transportation system. This initiative would reduce traffic jams.

7. How does sophisticated technology can help to reduce traffic jams?

There is no denying this conviction that we can make effective use of sophisticated technology to handle the conflicts related to traffic adroitly.

Firstly there should be a mobile phone application where people can share the current traffic-related information so that the travellers can know the route with less congestion to reach safely.

Secondly, technology can help us to bring a paradigm shift in the working of traffic lights. They must change their timings according to the need of the traffic.

Apart from this, a dedicated platform should be there to encourage carpooling where interested people can collaborate.

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1.Describe a time when you were stuck in a traffic jam IELTS Cue Card

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