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Passed my UK driving practicle test, first attempt !! (at South Norwood)

posted 19 Aug 2011, 07:20 by Hussain Kothari   [ updated 19 Aug 2011, 17:13 ]
After listening to the horrific stories and experiences of other drivers, I was certain that any one would require at least 2-3 attempts to get their driving license and this I would deem as common.

There was only one friend that I knew passed his driving test in his first attempt, but he had to take two attempts to pass his theory! So I am the only one I know (and now you) who passed his theory and practice in just one attempt :-) !

The waiting time to book yourself at a practical test center is about 12 weeks! So its better you book yourself a test immediately after your theory exam or you may want to keep checking the DSA website for cancellation or use this wonderful software for £20 that will inform you and make a booking visa text message as soon as there is a cancellation!

The next hardest part is to find a honest instructor. First I tried the AA driving school. I guess some of their instructors may be good, but the one allocated to me seemed to be after my monies! And the worst part was I was not sure if I was learning the right thing, as I wouldn't trust him. With word of mouth, I was referred to an instructor in south London who charged me the lowest fee and got me ready in 15 lessons! If you can find a honest instructor, more than half your job is done. I wouldn't mind paying more for extra lessons but only if I need them.

I was booked at the South Norwood test center. I used to get there by train and my instructor used to teach me there. He made me aware of all the routes, round abouts and tricky bits of that place.
A copy of all the routes can be found here. I also plotted all the round abouts on a Google map and that can be found here. There are some interesting videos on you tube that helped me deal with round abouts. I suggest everyone taking a test to have a look.
A good idea would be to have a look at the forums as well. This will give you some confidence when you can see words of encouragement from other posters and you will know you are not that bad at driving. A good thread to read is thestudentroom and 2pass.

Before the test, drive for about 30 minutes and practice the maneuvers once. This would calm your nerves. During the test, I spoke to my self. This I think is a good idea as it gives the examiner an insight as to what you are thinking else it is left to his speculation. During the first 10 minutes, at reversing round the corner, I thought I had touched the curb. I corrected this immediately. I was feeling that I have failed the test and was loosing my concentration. Somehow I managed to complete the test without making any more majors. Its difficult to do your best when you are aware that its all over anyways. After the test when the examiner told me that I passed, it struck to me that eiher the examiner has excused my mistake or did not realize it (or maybe i was hallucinating!) . I would have been a complete fool to have thrown it up. So never never assume that your mistake has gone down as a fault. At the end, you just got to remember, that you will get your license when ever you are capable of driving safely!

If any one needs a reference to a honest and good driving instructor, please contact me. This writeup and a photo of him as a gratitude for his teachings!

Hussain Kothari,
19 Aug 2011, 17:03