When learning to drive, most people’s main aim is to pass the driving test. Although this is of course the only way you can get out and drive on your own, it is important to remember that driving is a very important life skill and will always require care and attention even after the test is passed. Simply passing the test doesn’t mean you are free to drive how you want, break speed limits and other small road rules. We feel it is important to teach our pupils not only to pass the test, but to become safe, responsible drivers.
We want our pupils to pass just as much as they do but we will not let a pupil go to test if they are not ready and will also not string out their lessons unnecessarily. We find it is a great incentive to have the theory test passed so that a practical test can be booked as soon as the pupil is test ready and can have something to aim for, rather than just learning and being held back by not having the theory passed or having no real aim. Having a test booked is a real goal the pupil can aim to achieve, making them more focused on their lessons.
The driving test can be quite daunting for some pupils and can create nerves that affect their driving. Having someone else in the car next to them can be quite strange as it’s not what they are used to. Even the thought of not having their instructor there to tell them what to do can cause worry in the pupil. A lot of things can cause nerves but there are ways to overcome them. If a pupil is nervous It is best to look at why they feel nervous. If they are nervous about safety, they can remember they are in a dual controlled car with an experienced driver. They should also think about the fact that their instructor has bought them to test because they believe they are ready. They believe the pupil is a safe enough driver and this should help instil some confidence in them. If a pupil is adamant they are going to fail, they could be setting themselves up for failure. If they believe they will not pass anyway, they may not worry about doing what they need to as they don’t think it will be enough. Being positive and focused can push the pupil to try their hardest and succeed in passing the driving test.
Driving instructors have an important role to play in helping the pupil to believe in themselves. Sometimes a pupil can make mistakes but it is important to not dwell on them or make them feel bad about them. Simply correct the error and try to improve whatever it is. If the instructor constantly openly shares their worries of the pupil failing with the pupil or even tells the pupil they are going to fail, this will rub off on the pupil and knock their confidence. The instructor must work with the pupil to get them ready for the test and help them to become a confident driver afterwards.