Failed Driving Test
Woke up this morning feeling okay, no sign of test nerves, dropped my child off at school and took a trip to the local supermarket where I filled the car with some fuel, topped up the screen washer bottle and gave the car an inspection to make sure everything was okay for the driving test. The test was for 13:33, but I had a one hour lesson with the pupil at 09:30. I met the pupil and explained that we were just going to drive around, with me giving the least amount of tuition, and my pupil driving as if it were a test.
The first 15 minutes went okay, by this time we had done the turn in the road, mini roundabouts, local traffic conditions, junctions and were heading towards the major roundabout at Mill Hill circus (a Mill Hill driving test route) where we were to join the 3 lane A41 dual carriageway.
My instruction was 'at the roundabout turn right, take the 3rd exit' just like the driving test examiner, unfortunately my pupil got stuck in the 2nd lane just before the 3rd exit due to a bus blocking the exit. After a while, we were on the move again, heading for the notorious (for a learner) Apex Corner, again I wanted my pupil to turn right at the roundabout taking the 3rd exit so we could pick up the national speed limit part of the A1, again a road used on the Hendon driving test Centre route. For some reason my pupil decided to approach in the far right lane, even though there were 2 lanes for turning right, this caused the pupil to end up in the 3rd lane of the A1.
We got back into the left hand lane, with the speed limit being 50mph, my pupil was doing about 45mph so was okay, then we went past the first national speed limit change, without my pupil changing speed, on spotting the repeater sign I prompted what is that sign, 'National speed limit' replied my pupil, and the speed is what I questioned, '60mph' came the answer. On a dual carriageway I countered? 'Oh 70mph' my pupil replied.
We were now getting close to the roundabout where we were going to make a U-turn to return back to London, so I gave the instructions, and we headed back to our training area. I finished the driving lesson off with the Emergency stop and reverse round the corner.
I debriefed the pupil for the driving test, with the main point being to try to keep those nerves under control, not rushing into situations, allowing enough time to deal with hazards and junctions. We agreed to meet back at 13:00 for a quick drive, and then go for the test.
At 13:00, we drove to a quite area, where we had a look under the bonnet, and had a quick recap on show and tell and then drove around a few roads close to the test centre.
We drove into the driving test centre at 13:30, parked the car, as we walked to the waiting room, I told my pupil to put all we had done today behind, treat the test as a blank sheet, and put the best effort into the test.
Five minutes later with the paperwork done, and license checked they were out of the door, I walked out, and started to chat with another instructor. I noticed one of the examiners was walking back to the office (not the one that went out with my pupil), I wasn't sure if that examiner had terminated a test, as she was walking alone, a few minutes later she re-emerged with a mirror in her hand, so I knew someone with a private car had forgotten the interior mirror for the examiner.
Forty minutes after they left, I saw my pupil drive back, and I walked up to the car as they stopped. While the examiner was counting the errors, I was looking for the tell tale marks in the S or D column, and spotted one. As the examiner put the total number of driving faults in the box, I heard those words every learner dreads, 'That is the end of the test, I'm sorry...'.
Final report 8 driver errors, 2 serious, 1 for being too wide on a parallel park, the other for observation while emerging.
I had really been hoping my pupil would pass the driving test, as I've just had 3 new pupils, and I could have really afforded for the pupil's slot to be freed up for one of the new ones.
My pupil was of course disappointed, but not emotional, I asked if it was okay to drive back, and my pupil didn't have any problems with that, I did notice my pupil did not signal at the first junction, and mentioned it, but the pupil probably didn't care about following procedures at that moment.
Oh well, today wasn't a driving test pass day for me.
Some driving test advice to help pass practical car category B test