Driving Test Preparation
Failing to prepare is – as a wise man once said – is preparing to fail. Or as Alexander Graham Bell put it;
Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.
So it came as no surprise to me that my latest customer who took a driving test was successful and came away with a Pass Certificate and a huge smile instead of disappointment and the prospect of paying for another test and more lessons.
The preparation started a few weeks before the test when during lessons I started to talk a little about what happens on test day and spent periods of the lesson driving independently where I observed and made mental notes instead of continually offering instruction, guidance and support.
I encouraged Em to self assess her performance and through discussion she developed strategies on her own of how to deal with certain situations. Of course her actions have to be safe and within the bounds of the Highway Code which is what I am able to advice on but through self reflection and learning a deeper understanding is achieved and real learning is taking place.
As the date loomed closer we conducted mock tests; some where I came in and out of ‘Examiner role’ when learning opportunities arose and some where I stayed in role throughout. We also visited the driving test centre and discussed what would happen on test day so that the fear of the unknown was not added to natural nerves. I directed Em to some useful reading to strengthen her confidence in her own knowledge and to identify any gaps that we were not aware of. Of course we practiced the manoeuvres that Em may ave been asked to complete and got to a stage where these were completed safely and accurately every time. The show me tell me questions were discussed and the controls and parts of the car to be used on the test where identified .
On the day of the test we meet up in plenty of time and had a short practice before we went through the Show me Tell me questions for a final time. Although Em was a little nervous as we got close to the time of the test, on a scale of 1 – 10 she claimed a 4, this I think was healthy and helped her focus on the task ahead. In the first couple of minutes of the test these nerves did surface but where soon overcome as a very competent display of driving followed which was duly rewarded. This even included dealing safely with a situation, just as we were heading back into the test centre, which involved a Mother and two young children on bicycles trying to cross the road at a junction as Em was turning into it. This made harder by one child crossing and one staying put with the Mother trying to control both!
All in all a very rewarding day. It has been a pleasure helping Em to learn and I wish her well for the future.