Testing my patience

It’s an exam that could take you anywhere. That sees you sitting with a complete stranger, in a small space, where no mobile phones are allowed. Being taken around random towns and villages that you have never seen before. A situation you would never willingly let yourself in to. The only exception being the day of your driving test.

It is no wonder nerves get the better of most people while sitting their driving test. A 40 minute practical test which is totally nerve-wracking and unpredictable. Being handed one of four manoeuvres to complete, in which looking the wrong way, at the wrong time could fail you. Being given a 10 minute independent drive in which you have to follow the signs to a completely random location, in which one wrong turn, could fail you. The only test when you start off with a clean sheet, and you don’t have to earn your marks, but one serious mistake (in that examiners eye), could fail you. Does every driving examiner have a different standard?

With 44% of people passing their driving tests altogether, it seems that this format of testing isn’t fair. It is not true to everyday driving. If the individual was not ready for their test, or safe to be using the roads, their instructor would never have put them forward for it. At a huge cost of up to £75 for each test, plus driving lessons and car hire, it seems that failing people sitting the exam is just another way for the government to make more money.

So is this test a fair judge of an individual’s ability? It seems not. Perhaps it is time to change the format of the driving test. Continual assessment could be one way to fairly assess each person’s ability, perhaps breaking driving in to modules, and paying to be assessed on each? People moving from other countries who already know how to drive, but only need to sit the test could sit all of these modules in one go.

As long as the government is making money, however, it seems that the way driving tests are conducted will not change, whether they are fair or not.

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3 Responses

  1. Good points. I’ve always wondered about night time driving, it’s not like the current tests examine that.

  2. I completely agree: and as well as all the things that you have mentioned that could make you fail your test, you’ve got the pressure of the day holding you back, along with the nerves. I for one suffer really badly from nerves in certain situations such as exams, and therefore the driving test won’t show my driving in a normal light. Plus the expense of the driving lessons, test, and hire of the car is absolutely ridiculous.

  3. I personally was extremely nervous for a few days before my driving exam but seemed to thrive under the pressure of the situation, and take hold of the moment. I do believe however, that the test does not challenge the driver fully enough, and leaves them unprepared for situations that may arise. Especially at the current price of lessons, their should be a more comprehensive service on offer.

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