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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Explaining more about mock driving tests: 4 webinars and 2 podcasts

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Driving instructors, Driving test, Ready to Pass?, Resources for instructors

In June, I blogged about the work that we’d been doing at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to create guidance to help driving instructors carry out mock driving tests. We’ve done this because:

  • 1 in 5 people who fail the driving test incorrectly think it’s because they were marked too harshly
  • 1 in 10 people who fail the driving test say they failed because of their nerves

So far, the new guidance about how to carry out mock driving tests for your pupils has been viewed over 20,000 times. If you have not had chance to take a look at the guidance yet, I’d encourage you to take time to do it soon.

Positive feedback from our mock test webinars

Since I last blogged, we’ve run 4 webinars with over 1,000 driving instructors to tell you more and answer your questions. Thank you to everyone who registered and came along. We were asked some really great questions, and it was good to be able to answer them for you.

I’ve been delighted by the feedback we’ve had about the webinars. Of those who gave us feedback:

  • 96% said they found the content of the webinar extremely useful
  • 99% said they would recommend the webinars to other driving instructors
  • 99% said they would attend future webinars
  • 97% said they found the registration process extremely easy

Different perspectives

Here are some of my favourite comments that we received.

The dialogue opened up the different perspectives and priorities from ADIs and from DVSA. It certainly will contribute towards a collaborative, partnership, approach moving forward.

Although I have sat in on tests it's not something I have positioned positively with students, however understanding that you are encouraging this practice has already changed my attitude.

I found it all very interesting - being able to listen to questions and answers so that we can make it an easier conversation with our pupils about getting our points across - using the correct words/terms when doing mock tests and our everyday teaching.

Watch the presentation and question and answer sessions

I completely understand how busy you are and that it was not possible for most ADIs to come along to one of the sessions.

We recorded 3 of the webinars and you can now watch these back. We’ve split this into 2 videos.

Presentation about mock tests

In this 16 minute video, you can watch the opening presentation that we gave at the start of each of the webinars.

Question and answer sessions

In this 2 hour and 6 minute video, you can watch the question and answer sessions from 3 of the webinars.

To help you navigate to specific questions, we’ve added timestamps to the video description. You can select the relevant timestamp to jump to a particular question and answer. Or if you want to watch in full, you can watch it here.

I’m also grateful to Andrew Love, Training Team Leader at the ADI National Joint Council (ADINJC) for joining us as a guest in 2 of the webinar question and answer panels, and to my colleagues John, Nick and Adam for their support.

Talking on driving instructor podcasts

I’ve also been really lucky to be a guest on 2 driving instructor podcasts over the last few weeks talking about mock tests and other driving topics.

I’m very grateful for the warm welcome I received from Peter, Nick and Elliott at Dipod and from Terry at The Instructor Podcast.

I’d encourage you have a listen (and not just to the episodes featuring me!). Here are some links to get your started.

Keep a record of this professional development

And remember, watching the videos or listening to the podcasts all counts as continuing professional development. So keep a record of what you do.

Sharing and comments

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  1. Comment by S cosgrove posted on

    The main issue of getting people ready to test standard is different now to pre covid, having to book 6 months in advance is not ideal and when the test arrives candidates are not so keen in changing the date to another 6 month wait, something really needs to be done, the only way forward I can see is supply more tests, open pop up centres, 12 month leases on premises , temporary sites, also with the wait time for tests should the theory not be extended?

  2. Comment by Sean Francis Doherty posted on

    thanks for this webinar and Q&A session and all the other information It’s been really interesting and helpful. I already do mock tests but I’ve never done real training on it so was great to watch, I’m going to watch it again. I still use photo copies of an old test sheet an examiner gave me years ago. I use a different coloured pen each time so the pupil can take it home to ponder on it then hopefully see the improvements on the next one. I’ve got to be honest I’ve never really been one to tally up my pass rate but more concerned about the overall quality of the pupils I’m presenting for test, I tell my pupils if I was to keep taking people who aren’t ready for test and get a bad reputation at the test centre it would look bad on the ones that are ready having the examiner think oh no it’s one of Sean’s, I’m just going to carry on that frame of mind, sometimes things happen. In the past six or so months I’m finding it really difficult to get people to the standard I feel good about. The main reason for this is most of my pupils are now announcing they’ve booked a test themselves at a very early stage because they’re worried about the waiting times. I do tell them not to book a test until they’re ready and that’s why the waiting times are so long the system is being clogged with people who aren’t ready yet. Then it becomes a battle to get them ready and they can sometimes feel really offended if you have to tell them they must move the test, something I really don’t enjoy telling them too. Even my wife’s done the same with her instructor ( she’s doing auto ) she’s worried her theory runs out soon. Her instructor has advised her to move the test for sometime in December. I keep saying to trust your instructor she wants you to be a safe driver as I do too, but she’s saying I’m starting two hours lessons now. I feel bad for her instructor and hope she puts her foot down if she still doesn’t feel she’s ready I will absolutely back her up 100%. My wife’s very kind very easy going and very stubborn. It was so much easier before the lockdown where you could say ok you’re ready for your test and six or so weeks later the test is on. But it is what it is, these are unprecedented times we are in where the whole booking the test has become a monster that’s on a feeding frenzy, I say to my pupils we really have to up our game if the waiting times are long so we won’t need to book another test. I really do think there wouldn’t be such a long waiting list if people took our advice a bit more, I can see why there’s an almost two year backlog of people needing driving lessons but can’t see why there’s a two years backlog of test ready pupils. It’s going to be difficult to get back to how it was before the lockdown I’m hoping it might take about a year or so.
    Good luck everybody we have a great and interesting job I wouldn’t change it for the world.
    Kind regards

  3. Comment by John Ramsay Bell posted on

    Good evening Ms. Ryder,

    I would like to thank you and your staff for the latest package on, conducting Mock Tests.

    I watched all the webinars and as the secretary of the Highland Driving Instructor's Association, I am encouraging all the membership to do the same.

    As an association, we are looking forward to generating some initiatives to improve standards with our local TC.

    Let us hope, the era of collaborative working is here to stay.

    Thank you to all.

    Best wishes,

    Ramsay Bell

  4. Comment by Julia Paviour posted on

    Why is it so difficult to find test slots and centres with availability? What is being done about this? Young people are spending money on lessons and then not able to get a test booking. Is the booking system being looked at, as it is clunky and not user friendly.
    What is being done to provide more test slots eg recruiting more examiners so more tests can be happening at any one time, opening more test centres, adding more slots etc.