The importance of mock tests 

Recently (21st June 2022) the DVSA issued new guidance that they highly recommend mock tests.

As the owner of a driving school for the last 14 years all of my pupils and my instructors’ pupils have been having mock tests.

Our mock tests are run very similarly to a real test, as we want to recreate/prepare them for the experience.

We have another instructor who we use very regularly, so that we know the quality of what the student will receive. We normally book the session for 2 weeks before their actually test and usually give him at least 3 weeks’ notice so that we can ensure a suitable date.

What do we do?

On the day, we meet him in a car park.

Introduction between mock tester, and pupil. We explain how long they have been driving, is the drive at home outside of lessons, with parents or whoever, when their test is etc.

There is then a structure that I have set up, which is as I said really close to the real driving test.

An eyesight test is done, then a Show me tell me question is asked.

Both people then get into the car. The sat nav is already pre-programmed.

The mock tester then carries out a 40–45-minute test (longer than a normal test, as we cover all eventualities).

The pupil is asked to follow road signs and a sat nav, and does all possible 4 reversing manoeuvrers. Therefore, if there is an issue on mock test, the instructor and learner can fix anything on lessons before their actual test.

The actual test is roughly 37 minutes long, with only sat nav or following road signs not both, and only 1 reversing manoeuvre.

The mock test is then ended back where it started.

The learner and their instructor are then debriefed by the mock tester. The ADI 25 (test sheet) is left with the instructor and learner to improve what has just been recorded by the mock tester. It’s very rare that a student will ‘pass’ the mock test, even though they are a good driver and have the skills. The mock test is used to ensure they communicate that road knowledge effectively and help reduce nerves.

Learning from experience

As you see we are already implementing everything that the DVSA is now recommending for student.

The process is so effective it is amazing. None of our learners are allowed to go to test without one. My test results are 90% with DVSA & first-time passes is about 97%.

I see no difference between doing a mock test for your GCSE’s, A Levels and other exams that you take in life than this exam.

It is all good experience, and someone else’s opinions, thoughts, advice and more is invaluable.

Our first mock tester was a fellow driving instructor, our current one was previously a driving instructor and is now an ambulance driver trainer. Both with amazing experience in driving/coaching and teaching.

The DVSA advice is great, albeit a bit late….

They have been trying to improve driving instructor teaching ability and test results for years. So, it’s reassuring to see them recommending the practices we implemented years ago.

We specifically chose to use a different instructor do the mock test. It reflects test conditions more accurately with a little more pressure for the learner having someone they don’t already know in the passenger seat. This means they know exactly how it feels and will be likely be less nervous on their actual test.

I hope you found this overview of out mock test useful, the full DVSA guidance can be found here.

If you need an instructor to do a mock test for you let us know and we will check the availability of the Always Pass instructors or connect you with someone else local.

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