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WHEN AM I READY TO TAKE MY DRIVING TEST?

The DVSA recently launched their READY TO PASS? campaign. It is directed at Students, Parents and Instructors to outline when you should be taking your driving test for the first time. Hopefully the only time! In this blog I will put together my thoughts on the key points they make that should be the guide to when you sit your driving test. 1. You do not need help or prompts from your driving instructor.


You should be driving consistently and safely in all road and traffic conditions. Its essential that during your training you are exposed to as many different road and traffic layouts as possible. This may mean in some cases changing the times of your lessons, to take on board different traffic, heavy/light can make all the difference in how you judge situations. This should not mean your instructor in sitting in silence. In fact it gives them an excellent opportunity to ask coaching questions during the drive. Why did you make that decision to go? How would you have dealt with an emergency vehicle here? Why did you chose to wait here? What made you stop in this situation? A question you may ask yourself. Could I pass my driving test in an unfamiliar area?

2. You do not make silly mistakes when you’re driving.


You need to be a good driver to pass the driving test. If you regularly make silly mistakes during your driving lessons, you’re not ready to take and pass your driving test.

If point 1 has been fully appreciated then you should not be making silly mistakes. It's something we often here on social media. I failed because I made a silly mistake. Consistency is the key, but its also more about understanding why you made a silly mistake. I wrote a blog recently about ' I never do that on my driving lessons '. Silly mistakes often come down to confusion and lack of experience. A silly mistake is not putting sugar into your cake mix. You still have a cake but it tastes bland. A silly mistake in driving may mean you just lack those skills to self evaluate your driving. Understand why you did something and what could have been done differently and what would the outcomes have been. As driver trainers we have limited time during lessons to cover every scenario. Night Driving. Emergency Vehicles. We could drive for 100 hours and never have to deal with an emergency vehicle, but at the same time we need to be able to deal with these situations if they arise. 3. You pass every mock driving test you do.


Whilst mock driving tests can be an affective tool when learning, they should be used wisely. We have all seen the worry videos online from YouTubers who post their students videos for the world to see only to see in many cases the students fail. A mock driving test should not be used to prove a point.


I often here this from driving instructors who conduct mock driving tests just to show a student how bad their driving is. If a learner drive has been taught to self evaluate their driving then they should have a fairly good idea of their standard. The aim is to drive safely, if you achieve this understanding the marking of a driving test has no meaning in the context of gaining your licence. The use of mock tests should be used wisely during the training and there are different ways to assess and candidate during the whole process.

4. You can control your nerves.


Without a doubt you need to remain calm during your driving test. Understanding your thoughts and feelings is key to this. There are many factors surrounding being anxious or nervous. A key element would be lack of preparation. In some cases a mock driving test may help you to understand more about how you will feel on a driving test. Its all in the preparation. There is no point getting to the big day and discussing it outside the test centre, these issues should be addressed from day one.

5. Your driving instructor says you’re ready.


I like to think its a two-way thing. Of course I may have the final say but if it comes to that then I have lost the rapport with my client and feel I should have done better before that point of no return was met. Driving Instructors will know what's best. We don't want you to fail the driving test and will give you the best advice. If you are honest with yourself and your own evaluation of your skills then you should know when that time has come.


What happens now?


The DVSA have a website dedicated to helping students passing their driving test and know when they are ready to take the driving test. Ready to Pass?


During the pandemic driving lessons were stopped for well over 9 months. Driving test centres were closed for much longer. Its possible that there could be well over 1million candidates in the system waiting for driving tests, if you include those that were not able to take their test during 2020/21. Its estimated that the amount of tests being conducted if less than pre covid. The tools are in place. I'm not sure the DVSA target of 9 weeks by December 2022 will be met, certainly not this December. Given time and certainly over the less busier period from September onwards we may start to see more available tests in the system.

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