IGCSE descriptive essay | 2010 Oct-Nov | You have to get to an important event or meeting,


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

You have to get to an important event or meeting, but the vehicle you are in is held up in a traffic jam. Describe what is going on around you and your feelings during the delay.

Model Essay

The morning sun climbed higher in the sky, casting a golden hue over the cityscape as I sat in the back seat of the taxi, growing increasingly anxious. I glanced at my watch for the umpteenth time—8:45 AM. My important meeting was at 9:30 AM, and the heavy traffic that clogged the streets seemed determined to keep me from making it on time.

The taxi was ensnared in a sea of vehicles, a cacophony of honking horns and rumbling engines surrounding us. Buses, cars, motorcycles, and delivery vans were all locked in an agonizingly slow procession. The air was thick with the smell of exhaust fumes and the occasional waft of street food from a nearby vendor. My fingers drummed impatiently on the door handle as I peered through the window, hoping for any sign of movement.

Outside, pedestrians wove through the stationary vehicles, some with the hurried gait of those trying to make their own deadlines, while others ambled leisurely, seemingly unaffected by the chaos. Street vendors took advantage of the gridlock, approaching car windows with an assortment of wares—bottled water, newspapers, snacks, and even flowers. A young boy, no older than ten, tapped on my window, holding up a basket of freshly cut roses. I shook my head apologetically, and he moved on to the next car, his hopeful expression undeterred.

The driver, an elderly man with a kindly face, turned to me with an apologetic smile. “Traffic’s worse than usual today,” he said, his voice tinged with frustration. “There’s some construction up ahead. We might be here a while.”

I forced a smile in return, trying to mask my growing anxiety. My mind raced with thoughts of the meeting I was on my way to—an opportunity to present my project proposal to a panel of executives. Months of preparation and countless late nights had led to this moment. The thought of missing it made my stomach churn with a mix of dread and frustration.

I glanced out the window again, my eyes drawn to a group of construction workers huddled around a large hole in the road, their bright orange vests and hard hats stark against the gray asphalt. They appeared to be discussing something intently, oblivious to the chaos their work was causing. Nearby, a traffic officer attempted to direct the flow of vehicles with limited success, his whistle blowing shrilly above the din.


Time seemed to slow to a crawl. Every minute that ticked by felt like an eternity. I fidgeted in my seat, checking my watch again—9:00 AM. Panic started to set in. I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself. There was still time, I told myself, trying to stay optimistic.

As the traffic inched forward, my mind wandered to a technique I had learned in a stress management workshop—visualization. Closing my eyes, I imagined myself walking into the meeting room, composed and confident. I pictured the executives nodding in approval as I presented my proposal, their faces lighting up with interest and enthusiasm. For a moment, I felt a sense of calm wash over me, the chaos outside fading into the background.

When I opened my eyes, the traffic had begun to move, albeit slowly. The driver caught my eye in the rearview mirror and gave a reassuring nod. “We’ll get you there,” he said firmly. I nodded back, clinging to the hope in his words.

As the taxi finally began to pick up speed, I felt a surge of determination. I might be cutting it close, but I was resolved to make the most of whatever time I had. The traffic jam had tested my patience and composure, but it had also steeled my resolve. No matter what, I would walk into that meeting and give it my all.

By the time we arrived, it was 9:25 AM. I thanked the driver hastily and bolted from the taxi, my heart pounding with a mix of urgency and relief. I had made it, just in the nick of time.

Word Count: 668