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    Hi All,

    I need some assistance. I am currently revamping my driving lesson plan structure so that I can give an even better service to my pupils. As part of this review I am clarifying precisely what I teach and how long it takes, as a proportion of the whole learning process.

    When written down in black and white, the total number of hours that I think I need for an average pupil is 36, below the DSA average but higher than a lot of my pupils.

    I am very interested to hear those experiences of anyone taking less than 36 hours and even more so if you have taken less than 15 hours of professional tuition. Did you have any private practice? If so how much? Did you have any relevant experience before having professional tuition? Did you pass first time? If you had less than 15 hours, how long were your lessons and did you cover more than one subject per lesson?

    Any information would be much appreciated. If you would prefer to PM me, please feel free to do so.

    Thanks very much

    Emma
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    Well personally I paid for 20 odd lessons but my instructor was such a nice guy and always went over and gave some extra free lessons when i failed so it was closer to 30. I didnt have any private practice on the roads though but i practiced with my mums car maneuvering in the back garden and empty car parks. Parallel parking using wheelie bins was a favorite...

    I'd say for me it was really a confidence thing.. After 10 hours I felt confident controlling the car but other motorists and traffic systems always worried me. Controlling test nerves was also a problem, and was worse after i failed and lost the little confidence i had..
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    I think instructors should point out the reasons which students can fail in a test after the first few lessons. It keeps it fresh in their mind so everytime they make that mistake it helps them to avoid it next time.

    Also I did my test and failed because I was too impatient at a Zebra crossing and drove through after someone stepped onto it. But I was waiting for like 5 minutes.

    I don't get private tuitions but I do 2 hour lessons, which I learn and remember things much more easily. I just think mirrors have to be habit and would have liked my instructor it express how important it is my pulling me over everytime I didn't check.

    My second test is next Wednesday and hopefully I'll keep calm and pass
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    I took 22 hours of professional instruction, and no private hours. My instructor was really good and made me fell confident after about 10 lessons and then we got all the manoeuvres in and BANG took the test on my 23rd lesson and passed first time!

    Thanks
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    I took and passed my test at around the 36 hour mark actually, my instructor was a friend's dad so it consisted of paid lessons and some extra free practice.

    Was never in the car for more than an hour and a half at a time, preferred to keep it short and have a couple of lessons a week, was ready for my test after about 3 months.
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    not sure how many hours i managed to get but it was definitely below 36... i would say closer to 25 maybe...


    i passed 1st time


    i practised with my parents though in my car.
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    I passed my test first time in about 14 hours I did a little bit of driving on the side but my instructor was quality so I'll put it down to him rather than my driving skill!
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    I had 20 hours with a great instructor and no private practise [I had have no access to a car, outside my lessons ].

    He was always very positive. He would use careful questioning, so I always identified where I had made a mistake or things I could improve on and thus know where to focus my attention. We did the reversing activities on an ongoing basis, rather than say spending a lesson on bay parking - it was just dropped into lessons as and when. That kept everything fresh in my mind. I was also able to drive on a wide range of roads, from the A1 to country lanes to the centre of Durham etc. I felt like I had experienced lots of different types of roads and traffic conditions.

    He was [is] a great guy and wouldn't let me book extra lessons before my test. He really gave my confidence a boost by having faith in my ability to drive... It must have worked, as I passed my test first time.
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    im currently driving around with my dad so ill be taking fewer lessons as i can drive. the lessons are more on the rules, bad habits i've picked up and stuff. a few off my friends did prior driving and 1 only needed 12 lessons till he was ready for the exam
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    Frankly, anyone who passes with less than 15 hours of lessons is probably a fluke, and I'm not sure how I feel about having those people on the road. It'd be fairly easy to pass a test with a bit of luck, anticipation of what's needed of you and calmness, but too much emphasis is placed on simply passing and not really on being able to drive consistently. I'm certain you can cover all the content you need (manoeuvres etc.) but it's the practice that's most important, and you just can't have enough practice to get used to the road properly with such little time driving. I had around 35 hours - I personally feel I was ready a bit earlier than that, but it was just about when I could get my test.

    N.B. I don't include people who have had private practice/went driving with their parents outside of lessons in this.
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    you can't make a formula for learning. if you wanna make your driving school a success i would propose that you treat every individual as exactly that. my guess would be that would result in satisfied and good drivers.
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    (Original post by Emma-Ashley)
    Hi All,
    I am very interested to hear those experiences of anyone taking less than 36 hours and even more so if you have taken less than 15 hours of professional tuition. Did you have any private practice? If so how much? Did you have any relevant experience before having professional tuition? Did you pass first time? If you had less than 15 hours, how long were your lessons and did you cover more than one subject per lesson?

    Any information would be much appreciated. If you would prefer to PM me, please feel free to do so.

    Thanks very much

    Emma
    I passed (first time) in 22 hours with maybe a couple of hours of private practice? I don't count the private practice though as it terrorised me rather than improved my driving!

    I personally wasn't told what I was going to be covering in each lesson by my instructor - if we were doing a 3 point turn he'd just make sure that while we were driving around we happened to pass a suitable place

    (Original post by martin jol)
    you can't make a formula for learning. if you wanna make your driving school a success i would propose that you treat every individual as exactly that. my guess would be that would result in satisfied and good drivers.
    I agree to an extent with what this guy is saying. Sure, have the framework in place, give them an idea of what they'll be learning and when, but if someone is progressing quickly let them continue to do so, surely?
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    I passed first time after about 20 hours of lessons (10x 2hr lessons). Had a couple of hours private practice, although this was more just driving from A to B on the odd occasion, rather than any sort of tuition from my parents.

    I learned to drive with Mercedes Driving Academy and had done a few hours at Mercedes Benz World beforehand (although spread out between the ages of 14 and 16), so I was fairly comfortable with the car.

    The usual lesson would start with a 5 minute drive to take us to an appropriate location for a certain thing to be taught (e.g. nearby to a specific type of junction, or a quiet road for manoeuvres). We'd then go through the detail of a certain topic, mostly via use of diagrams on a mini whiteboard. This might also include looking at certain situations that could arise, and how they would be best dealt with. Following that, I'd spend some time practising what I'd just learnt.

    In most of the lessons we covered more than one topic. For example, having been taught about a manoeuvre or junction, I'd practice it a few times, and then move onto something else. Then in the latter stages of the lesson as we were driving around, we might practice the manoeuvre again if we happened to stumble upon an appropriate place to do it.
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    I passed first time with 30 hours practice. No private practice at all. I had no previous experience when starting my driving lessons.

    For me, it took around 8-10 lessons before I was completely comfortable with the car. I learnt in a Hyundai i20.

    I spent the last 5 lessons brushing up on my manoeuvres, and I passed with 8 minors (3 of which were for gears, 2 for incorrect signals, 1 for steering and I can't remember what the other two were for).

    In my lessons, we'd cover a range of things usually, such as manoeuvres, junctions, lane discipline etc. Obviously, the first 10 lessons focused on one area only, such as turning left or right and bay parking.

    Although you can have a framework, I do not think you can apply a 'one size fits all' approach. Some people may not need x amount of lessons on one thing, whereas some pupils may need more. I, for example, did not need to spend loads of time on left corner reverse and parallel park. You can put a couple of lessons aside for things, but depending on the pupil's ability, you may need to spend more or less time on the topic area.
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    I passed first time at 17.

    I took somewhere between 30-40 one hour lessons (which were often about 40-45 mins as my instructor would come late/drop me off early and/or be on the phone to someone for a few minutes almost everytime i was with him).

    I had no previous experience at all and nor did i practice with a parent (ever).

    If i was a driving instructor, I'd make sure I appear on time and give them the whole hour. Id avoid the casual chit chat and focus on manouvres mainly. I dont really approve of 'crash courses'. I have several friends who just booked their test and passed (a couple that failed rebooked it and eventually passed) and within months of independant driving had quite serious car accidents. I think the best way is to learn over a period of time. My lessons were split over 10 months. I have been driving for almost 2 years now and never once crashed etc.. except a tiny non-visible scratch that i got from reverse parking.

    My instructor might think he was drawing a lot of money from me but in the long run....... I havent recommended my instructor to anyone. Other instructors that my friends had who imo were better have been recommended to younger friends who are currently learning with them.

    moral? dont think of the money, focus on producing the best, safest drivers.
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    First I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who have taken the time to respond to my request for information. You have given me things to think about - which, after all, was the purpose of the original post.

    Secondly, it has never been my intention to come up with a 'one size fits all' approach to driving instruction. Everybody who sits in my car is an individual and treated on that basis. However, it is important for me to always know what it is that I have to teach and is useful to know, in the most general of terms, what aspects of driving cause the biggest problems.

    Now, I already have a good idea of those things but hearing other people's views always help.

    (Original post by muh123)
    I think instructors should point out the reasons which students can fail in a test after the first few lessons. It keeps it fresh in their mind so everytime they make that mistake it helps them to avoid it next time.

    I don't get private tuitions but I do 2 hour lessons, which I learn and remember things much more easily. I just think mirrors have to be habit and would have liked my instructor it express how important it is my pulling me over everytime I didn't check.
    I'm not sure that I agree that we should point out reasons for failing tests unless the purpose of driving instruction is solely to teach people to pass the test. :confused: As far as I am concerned I am teaching someone to drive first and passing the test is simply confirmation of that ability.

    If the instructor is doing their job according to the DSA guidelines, they will be pointing out missed mirror checks every time they happen.

    (Original post by joe1_der)
    I passed my test first time in about 14 hours I did a little bit of driving on the side but my instructor was quality so I'll put it down to him rather than my driving skill!
    Your reply interests me. I reckon that there are at least 12 different subjects which need to be taught, probably more, plus practice in handling changing traffic environments. To achieve that in 14 hours means, to my mind, that you had a maximum of 1 hour on each subject. To achieve, say, roundabouts in one hour is impressive! It is this aspect that I find interesting. I would have thought it is very difficult to learn 2 manoeuvres, to the standard expected, in one hour. Do you see my point?

    (Original post by affinity89)
    He was always very positive. He would use careful questioning, so I always identified where I had made a mistake or things I could improve on and thus know where to focus my attention. We did the reversing activities on an ongoing basis, rather than say spending a lesson on bay parking - it was just dropped into lessons as and when.
    Sounds like you had a very good instructor! So, did you ever spend a lesson, or part of a lesson, learning a specific manoeuvre, and then continued to practice it on an ongoing basis?

    (Original post by agoetcherian)
    Frankly, anyone who passes with less than 15 hours of lessons is probably a fluke, and I'm not sure how I feel about having those people on the road. It'd be fairly easy to pass a test with a bit of luck, anticipation of what's needed of you and calmness, but too much emphasis is placed on simply passing and not really on being able to drive consistently. I'm certain you can cover all the content you need (manoeuvres etc.) but it's the practice that's most important, and you just can't have enough practice to get used to the road properly with such little time driving. I had around 35 hours - I personally feel I was ready a bit earlier than that, but it was just about when I could get my test.

    N.B. I don't include people who have had private practice/went driving with their parents outside of lessons in this.
    This kind of ties in with my thinking. The importance of practice cannot be underestimated.

    (Original post by martin jol)
    you can't make a formula for learning. if you wanna make your driving school a success i would propose that you treat every individual as exactly that. my guess would be that would result in satisfied and good drivers.
    See my answer above. I have satisfied and good drivers!

    (Original post by wibletg)
    I passed (first time) in 22 hours with maybe a couple of hours of private practice? I don't count the private practice though as it terrorised me rather than improved my driving!

    I personally wasn't told what I was going to be covering in each lesson by my instructor - if we were doing a 3 point turn he'd just make sure that while we were driving around we happened to pass a suitable place

    I agree to an extent with what this guy is saying. Sure, have the framework in place, give them an idea of what they'll be learning and when, but if someone is progressing quickly let them continue to do so, surely?
    Love the comment about private practice

    So did you never have any kind of briefing at the beginning of any lesson?

    A framework, flexible yet comprehensive, is what I am after.

    (Original post by Over The Rainbow X)

    Although you can have a framework, I do not think you can apply a 'one size fits all' approach. Some people may not need x amount of lessons on one thing, whereas some pupils may need more. I, for example, did not need to spend loads of time on left corner reverse and parallel park. You can put a couple of lessons aside for things, but depending on the pupil's ability, you may need to spend more or less time on the topic area.
    See my comment above...

    (Original post by tpxvs)
    I passed first time at 17.

    I took somewhere between 30-40 one hour lessons (which were often about 40-45 mins as my instructor would come late/drop me off early and/or be on the phone to someone for a few minutes almost everytime i was with him).

    If i was a driving instructor, I'd make sure I appear on time and give them the whole hour. Id avoid the casual chit chat and focus on manouvres mainly. I dont really approve of 'crash courses'. I have several friends who just booked their test and passed (a couple that failed rebooked it and eventually passed) and within months of independant driving had quite serious car accidents. I think the best way is to learn over a period of time. My lessons were split over 10 months. I have been driving for almost 2 years now and never once crashed etc.. except a tiny non-visible scratch that i got from reverse parking.

    My instructor might think he was drawing a lot of money from me but in the long run....... I havent recommended my instructor to anyone. Other instructors that my friends had who imo were better have been recommended to younger friends who are currently learning with them.

    moral? dont think of the money, focus on producing the best, safest drivers.
    Disgusting behaviour by the instructor...good on you for not recommending him.

    Very interesting observation about crash courses - appropriately named perhaps.

    Focussing on manoeuvres is an interesting suggestion. Can I counter it by saying that you spend 99.5% of your time going forward in a car so to spend lots of time practising going backwards seems inappropriate?

    Once again, thanks to all you respondees and please do continue to comment.

    Emma
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    I passed 2 months after my 17th birthday, had 6 1 1/2 hour lessons so 9 hours.
    I also did around 3 hours private practice in my own car with my dad (he used to be a driving instructor).
    Passed 1st time with 1 minor.
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    (Original post by Emma-Ashley)
    Love the comment about private practice

    So did you never have any kind of briefing at the beginning of any lesson?

    A framework, flexible yet comprehensive, is what I am after.

    Once again, thanks to all you respondees and please do continue to comment.

    Emma
    Not really... the briefings were usually at the end of the lesson, discussing what was going to happen in the next one (he was pretty flexible, if I wanted to practice parallel parking for example, all I had to do was ask). Usually a chance for me to ask some questions about my driving or what he would have done in a given situation

    Although he was a good instructor and a sound bloke, he was ridiculously disorganised I have to say. I had lessons rearranged by him (because he didn't use his diary properly) as I was just starting and I almost changed to another instructor.
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    (Original post by Emma-Ashley)

    Disgusting behaviour by the instructor...good on you for not recommending him.

    Very interesting observation about crash courses - appropriately named perhaps.

    Focussing on manoeuvres is an interesting suggestion. Can I counter it by saying that you spend 99.5% of your time going forward in a car so to spend lots of time practising going backwards seems inappropriate?

    Once again, thanks to all you respondees and please do continue to comment.

    Emma
    I don't it does seem inappropriate because almost everyone gets the hang of driving forward in a car.. theres nothing tricky about that once you've figured how to reach the bite and work the gears. Also, you can't be constantly doing manoeuvres.. i.e going straight from one reverse round the corner to parallel parking to turn in the road etc which means by focusing on doing manoeuvres you still do the "forward driving" like by going from a bend in the round to practise reverse parking to an open wide road for a 3-point-turn to a car park for some reverse or bay parking etc and to get from one place to another you can focus on the other key aspects of "forward driving" be it overcome roundabouts, junctions, or just the mirrors -> signal -> positioning -> speed -> look routine.

    Also, i dont think you can find a one-programme-fits-all. People are very individual, i'll take my own example: I found the manoeuvres really easy (which conventionally learners find difficult) but what my instructor always said my down-fall was as a learner was my positioning (??) whether this was true or not i don't know. My examiner didn't mention it once, i had 2 minors - both for being too careful and slowing down/giving way when i shouldn't have (i guess it was just nerves). And also, since passing I always used to ONLY reverse park, what i found really hard was just the bog standard bay parking, and i'll admit even now I often just reverse into a bay if I can(if there arent many other cars obstructing).

    Personally, i think its important to not only teach them how to pass their driving test.. but more importantly how to be a good, safe driver once you've passed. Eg, till date, I have never had to reverse around a corner.. whereas i park into a bay atleast once a day.

    Anyway good luck :-)
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    (Original post by hannahvm :))
    I passed 2 months after my 17th birthday, had 6 1 1/2 hour lessons so 9 hours.
    I also did around 3 hours private practice in my own car with my dad (he used to be a driving instructor).
    Passed 1st time with 1 minor.
    This raises an interesting issue. Does the example set by parents, friends, colleagues etc., affect your learning process?

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