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#1 07-04-11 09:37:15

sherazade
Member
From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

At What point to put in for your test?

I'm confused. I've only had about 20 hours driving tuition and 1 hour of private practice(scrap that, 1 hour of arguing with dh and I won't go out with him again). Yet my ADI is telling me to book my test for about 4-6 weeks time (I have 1 1/2 week tuition). My driving has come on leaps and bounds in the last two weeks, generally I know the correct gear (although occasionally i put it in 4th instead of 2nd but always manage to save myself and sort the thing out), I'm ok with junctions but do get confused on big roundabouts especially as I have slight dyslexia and forget where I'm going. My manouvers are usually ok although I have needed prompting but when asked always provide the correct answers and steer the car accordingly.
Lets say in general I'm not too bad but in my opinion not good enough for a test. I'm a forty year old female and according to all the info online with my age and sex I should need a vast amount of lessons to pass.

It takes around 4 weeks to get a test appointment at my nearest test centre and I do know you can always change the date for a later one but I'm the sort of person who'd rather book on the last minute and go for it then without having a date loomining ominously on my calander (did this with my theory and I scored high).

Would an ADI tell you to put in for a test if he didn't think you were up for it? He's got a good pass result and the majority seem to pass first time - which puts extra pressure on me! Is it me? Could it be that I'm too critical of myself and lack confidence in my ability? I know no one on here has seen me drive but what do you think?

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07-04-11 09:37:15

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Re: At What point to put in for your test?




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#2 07-04-11 09:44:41

Hilary Hughes
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From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Personally, I would say it's far too soon if you don't feel in control of both the car and the situation. What proof do you have of the ADI's pass rate?

Hilary.


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#3 07-04-11 10:09:44

sherazade
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From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Hi Hilary thanks for your repy,

Only proof I have of pass rates is off him telling me. Is there another way I can find out?

The majority of the time I do feel in control of the car. Situations I don't feel on top of; I feel pressurised by other road users and under stress at roundabouts. The dh says I know all the basics but need to do everything more smoothly and not be as nervous. I feel I'm nearly there but not there if you know what I mean.

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#4 07-04-11 10:30:25

Hilary Hughes
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From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

What exactly is it about other road users and roundabouts that stresses you out?

Hilary.


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#5 07-04-11 11:35:17

sherazade
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From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Roundabouts bother me in that I can never remember what exit I'm to come off. I'm fine if taking the first/second left but when it comes to multiple exits they all look the same to me. Getting on them is Ok, its getting off them that stresses me.

Other road users.... a few years ago my husband was nearly killed on his bycycle by a car driver on the wrong side of the road driving with a dog on her knee. I saw the car immedietely after the accident (it was a hundred yards from our home)with the windscreen and front drivers pillar caved in and all my husbands blood, flesh and skin down the side. I've also been in accidents where every time its been the other persons fault and still have damage to my bones to prove it. For many years I was put off learning to drive as I thought everyone would aim for me. neutral
In fact for my first lesson I'd panic whenever I spotted a car coming towards me (even if it was on its own side of the road). Obviously I'm not like that now but I suppose I'll always be suspicous of other drivers.

Also I get the feeling other road users are looking at me and saying ' look there's a learner, look how slow they are!' That makes me want to rush and its when I rush that I make mistakes. If I try to put their imagined muttering out my head I'm fine. Not perfect but ok.

I'm feeling rushed now by my DI. I'm confused as to why he keeps mentioning tests to me when I'm willing to pay for more lessons. I do know after what's happened to me I have confidence issues so wondering if its just me or if other learners feel like this when their DI mentions tests to them? How do you tell if you are ready?

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#6 07-04-11 12:07:54

Hilary Hughes
Verified Member
From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

First of all,  Sherazade, I can imagine there are lot so of instructors reading this thread that are thinking Why can't I have pupils like this? More often than not, the difficulty in teaching people to drive is not that they cannot do it, rather more that they can't be bothered to learn properly. To have a pupil who is as keen as you are to learn properly ( presumably because of your past experiences ) puts you among the most ideal of pupils ( I am not just saying this out of sympathy for your plights , believe me! ).

Now, let's see what can be done on what you've told me so far:

Roundabouts
- I could be wrong, but if you're doing the safety checks required to exit from the inside of the roundabout ( what I would call  lanes 2, 3 or 4 etc ), perhaps you're not comfortable making those checks themselves? You should have a feel for who is around you as you proceed round the roundabout and feel confident enough to be making mirrored observations as you go. Then, make a left hand shoulder check before changing lanes. If this is an issue - try coming off the gas before you check ( sorry, if that's a daft suggestion but you'd be surprised…). If you're not comfortable on the roundabout and don't have that feel for the traffic, I would suggest just driving round and round it checking  the mirrors and letting up on the gas a bit so that you become both comfortable with the feel of both the vehicle and traffic might help.

Also, you may want to practise changing lanes on  straight but busy roads more before transferring that skill to the roundabout.



Past experience psychological
…This may sound as though I 'm skipping over this but, simply put, you can never be completely safe on a road but you're usually safer in a car than on foot  or two wheels.
Very common with lots of people this, btw.

Pressured for going too slow
. Once agin, very common. Chances are that you're already a better driver than a lot of people you will meet on the road. Never assume they have passed a test, let alone are a good driver, so try not to let others rule you. Practice the art of  evaluation - that is, if you do something well, give yourself a pat on  the back - if you mess up, accept what you did wrong , learn and move on. With evaluation, people are good at criticising themselves but tend to forget what they did well. Write anything down that you feel you think has been a good learning process.
One place I find my learners feel pressured is corners and bends ( they are scared to slow down to what I deem to be a suitable speed because most drivers slow down on the bend or corner - not before it). Suffice to say, if you have done your mirrors, signal and activated your brake lights all in good time and not left it too late, then you are probably doing what you can ( and much more than a lot of others ;-)

Too early for test?

Take control and tell your ADI you're just not comfortable yet and would just like a little more breathing space before embarking upon it because you feel that to fail would put you back.

Hilary.


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#7 07-04-11 12:56:27

sherazade
Member
From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Thank you Hilary for such a detailed and insightful reply.

I do want to drive well and safely (hence arguing with the dh who learnt a long time ago and I feel has too many bad habits that I don't want). I try and read everything I can on driving, how a car works and watch all the vids on Youtube etc. Not because I have a distrust of my DI (who never loses his temper, always willing to show me alternative explainations and I get on with well etc) but because sometimes questions don't occur to me at the time and I feel I need the extra edge to improve myself. Think I may go too much into things at times...

Your suggestions on roundabouts I found very helpful indeed. I'm pressurised by others speed to go faster coupled with fear of using the wrong exit and changing lanes. I don't know the area the test centre is in and its all new to me. I think I need to also practice changing lanes on straight roads as this will help me - just like you suggested.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. My DI has suggested a mock test to see how I cope; I doubt I'll pass but am regarding it as a challenge and it will be interesting for both of us to see how I go on.

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#8 07-04-11 13:12:30

Hilary Hughes
Verified Member
From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Just remember that most driving skills are transferable and roundabouts are really only a combination of Emerging, Turning, changing Lanes & Anticipation.

I mention anticipation because this is what can be the final piece in the puzzle for some. To help with this at roundabouts, look out for the  sign ( you want to see it as far back as you possibly can ) and imagine the shape on the sign as a sort of miniature of what you're about to drive round. This gives you a mental picture of what to expect and then keep anticipating where the lanes are going, how far apart the exits are etc. as well as being aware of the vehicles behind ( as I mentioned above ).

You have to have good car control to do the complex roundabouts in order to implement good anticipation.

Just one last thing, are you struggling with spiral roundabouts? If so, remember you cannot follow a true circle on these as they spiral outwards against what is our natural vent. This is just something more to anticipate as you go.

Let us know how you get along ( or around, I should say...)

Hilary


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#9 07-04-11 14:37:53

sherazade
Member
From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Just one last thing, are you struggling with spiral roundabouts? If so, remember you cannot follow a true circle on these as they spiral outwards against what is our natural vent. This is just something more to anticipate as you go.

Let us know how you get along ( or around, I should say...)

Hilary

Thank you. You've given me a lot to think about in your posts.
We don't have spiral roundabouts around here (I've never ever seen one apart from on the net and neither has anyone I know) so the roundabouts I'm wary of are only the normal basic but busy ones. I'll try to visulise the sign as you suggested and also work how close each exit is so I can have more time to make my checks etc. Hopefully, I won't have any idiots undertaking me in future either!

I'll give an update on my mock test.( I got nervous when the 'test' word was mentioned and prefer to think of it as a driving challenge.) I've decided I'm not going to be pushed into booking a test until I'm confident and will just book another batch of lessons to take the pressure off.

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#10 07-04-11 15:00:58

Hilary Hughes
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From: Stockport, Manchester
Registered: 25-06-04
Posts: 1,232
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Good - let us know how you progress.

Hilary.


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#11 26-04-11 00:04:49

ACJ
Verified Member
Registered: 17-02-09
Posts: 51
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Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Hi, counting the exits out loud as you go round the roundabout may also help you as people often get disorientated as they start driving around the roundabout.  So when you look at the sign work out which number exit you need, as you slow down have a look at where that exit is and once going round, count out the exits. When you've gone past the one just before your number then start your observations, signal and positioning to come off.

Remember alot of roundabouts will have an entrance and an exit road from each direction (1&2) - so if you're coming off at exit 3 it will be as if you're counting 3 roads before obs, signal & position ready for you to come off at road 5 (road 4 will be the on road for exit number 2).

Hope this helps  smile

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#12 26-04-11 07:15:23

FRANKS
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From: WALES
Registered: 05-06-06
Posts: 530

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

sherazade,

Its quite simple, if you're not ready in your mind then you don't have to put in for your test. Your the customer and your paying for the services of your instructor. He/she can advise you when you book your test etc but it's your money your investing in yourself so you decide.

Don't put yourself under pressure about your instructors pass rate and first time pass rate. If this is important to you ask for proof of their pass rate. (This is one of the most protected pieces of information that instructors keep to themselives. They all say they've got high pass rates, they are not going to tell you they are crap are they!!)


Try always to be honest in everthing you do.
Be an 'HONEST BUSINESS PERSON'
Gain respect in ever thing you do

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#13 26-04-11 07:23:57

lucy
Verified Member
Registered: 28-09-06
Posts: 175
Website

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

ACJ made a good point about the exits at roundabouts counting the exits is all very well but sometimes if things are going on you can get distracted and forget which number you've got to so the other thing to do is when on approach you count the exits actually look at the one you're going off on, maybe there will be something to remember about it a set of traffic lights after is, the way the bus went etc.... Roundabouts can be hard especially if they're busy ones as it can look confusing, but by taking your time (not being unduly hesitant though) can help you will find as you get more competant you will get quicker (not too fast though) 

I have taught a pupil that sounds very similar to you, she wanted more lessons and I wanted her to get her test booked, I just let her have the lessons she felt she needed gently reminding her that she could pass a driving test.  She did indeed pass her test first time and was very pleased and not at all fussed that she'd had more lessons as she said it was good practice.  So like Franks said dont feel pressurised into putting in for your test if you dont feel ready after all you are the customer, and we all like to feel we're ready for exams/tests and some like more practice than others and as you're not getting private practice you may well feel happier with more hours with your instructor.

Good luck with you lessons and with your test.

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#14 26-04-11 07:41:51

triplea35
Guest

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Just to  put the othjer side of the argument:

I have often told my pupils to put in for their test when I can see the light at the tunnel. You say you have come on leaps and bounds so your instructor maybe seeing this and so is advising you to put in for your test rather than waiting for you to reach the point you are ready for your test and then you having to wait another 4 to 6 weeks.

A couple of my pupils have had these concerns but I have assured them that it is quite easy to postpone the test when they get within a few days of their test if they dont feel quite ready or increase the frequency of the lessons in the weeks leading upto it.


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#15 26-04-11 08:02:14

Loopy Lou
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 554

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

sherazade,

Its quite simple, if you're not ready in your mind then you don't have to put in for your test. Your the customer and your paying for the services of your instructor. He/she can advise you when you book your test etc but it's your money your investing in yourself so you decide.

Don't put yourself under pressure about your instructors pass rate and first time pass rate. If this is important to you ask for proof of their pass rate. (This is one of the most protected pieces of information that instructors keep to themselives. They all say they've got high pass rates, they are not going to tell you they are crap are they!!)

Sorry Franks but how can an instructor "prove" their pass rates?

There's no published lists the customer can check, there's no "pieces of paper" that the instructor can show to the customer - there is nothing tangible that can "prove" an instructor's pass rate.

As for putting in for a test well in advance, round here the usual test waiting lists are around 12 weeks, so pupils almost always have to apply before they (or the instructor) "feels" that they're actually ready - test dates can always be moved if progress slows a bit smile


It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...

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#16 26-04-11 09:41:10

sherazade
Member
From: Top of the Faraway Tree
Registered: 01-04-11
Posts: 10

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Thanks for the replies and roundabout advice.

Since writing my original post I had one terrible lesson where I did everything wrong, a two week break and on my following lesson when under a lot of personal stress and lack of sleep had a really great lesson where I ironed out a lot of small problems that were affecting my driving.
I also learnt how important the state of mind is while driving - despite being tired (and hence not expecting great things of myself) I was far more relaxed and confident in my ability to handle situations that arose as they appeared rather than constantly worrying about what might happen. This lesson gave me a lot of confidence in myself - something my DI says I lack .

I've decided to complete my block of lessons that are prepaid and then consider booking a test at the test centre closest to me for the mid/end of June giving me plenty of time for practice (those roundabouts and dodgy spots in the test town) and something to aim for. If I don't feel right nearer the time I'll cancel and rebook.

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#17 26-04-11 18:11:50

metalmicky
Verified Member
From: Chesterfield
Registered: 10-01-11
Posts: 802
Website

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

You shouldn't be concerned in the slightest about your instructors pass rate, whether it is good bad or indifferent.  Your test day is about you, not your instructor.  Some of the instructors with the lowest pass rates are actually a lot better than the ones who claim to great because "they have a high pass rate". Perhaps they only cherry pick good pupils and find an excuse to get rid of the ones they think will struggle.  The ones with the patience, knowledge and expertise to teach / coach those that struggle with some and don't find driving as easy as others are sometimes the best, but have low pass rates because they will teach anyone and everyone, regardless of ability.  People who may take several tests before passing. 
If your instructor is bothered about their pass rate it will put extra pressure on you to perform well.  You will need to be in as relaxed a state as possible when that day comes.  The more relaxed you are, the more natural you will drive and the better the outcome should be. 
It is very easy as an instructor to tell a pupil there is no need to be nervous on that day, but it can be completely different feeling that way. 

Good luck with it all, hope it goes well and make sure you go at your pace when it comes to your test.  Too many people rush into it.


Just because I'm a driving instructor, it doesn't make me a dual control freak. 
www.way-ahead-driving.co.uk

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#18 26-04-11 18:22:25

FRANKS
Verified Member
From: WALES
Registered: 05-06-06
Posts: 530

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Loopy Lou

Any DSA ADI can ask the DSA for their fault analysis report which runs from 01/04 to 31/03.

This is how I can prove my pass rate, if requested by my pupils.


Try always to be honest in everthing you do.
Be an 'HONEST BUSINESS PERSON'
Gain respect in ever thing you do

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#19 26-04-11 18:27:40

metalmicky
Verified Member
From: Chesterfield
Registered: 10-01-11
Posts: 802
Website

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Would be even better if the kept accurate records franks but yes, the report comes back very quickly as well.  Just wish all examiners would always put your ADI number and certificate number on DL25.


Just because I'm a driving instructor, it doesn't make me a dual control freak. 
www.way-ahead-driving.co.uk

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#20 26-04-11 19:14:51

Loopy Lou
Verified Member
From: Berkshire
Registered: 03-11-07
Posts: 554

Re: At What point to put in for your test?

Loopy Lou

Any DSA ADI can ask the DSA for their fault analysis report which runs from 01/04 to 31/03.

This is how I can prove my pass rate, if requested by my pupils.

Yes, but as metalmickey says, how accurate is it?

If it's not 100% accurate, it's not worth the paper it's printed on.

The DSA are not renowned for either up to date or accurate record keeping. One of my instructors looked at his supposed "Pass Plus" record and found pupils listed who had not done PP and numerous omissions of ones that had.


It's too bad that stupidity isn't painful...

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