Monday, 2 August 2010
ver the years, I've done a lot of mock tests.
Most of my pupils get one as they approach test standard. I use it to find out what I need to work on to make them truly independent, as well as giving them a feel for what it's like to be on test.
It's a different situation from your usual driving lesson, in that I give instructions, but the pupil is expected to carry out those instructions for themselves to the best of their ability. Because I use it as a fault finding exercise, and because the lack of conversation means quite a tense atmosphere in the car, it really can make for an interesting session.
Last time I did a mock test, my pupil aproached a T junction far too quickly. Normally, I'd have sorted him out, but because it was a mock, I had to give him a chance to sort it out for himself, and so I've ended up hitting the brakes hard and late to stop him driving straight out in front of another vehicle. (actually, even if the vehicle hadn't been coming, I'd have stopped him anyway) This really shook the poor bugger up. I made a grown man cry! And eventually, we had to finish the lesson early and I drove him home.
But this mock led to a very good lesson next time round. He's a far better driver as a result of it.
Because I use the mock to find faults, everybody fails. How they fail forms the basis for future lessons, but everyone fails.
Having bigged up the mock, and pointed out that nobody ever passes, my pupil, Leanne, went out today in a brand new car that she'd never driven before, and did almost everything perfectly, and nothing o badly as to incur a serious fault.
She cried too. And gave me a big hug.