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Dissatisfied with test feedback - worth complaining? watch

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    I was wondering if anybody has any experience of this type of situation:

    I had my driving test today, and unfortunately failed. I have no problem with this fact (though I'm kicking myself), but have an issue with the feedback I was given at the end of the test. The serious fault was explained to me, but none of the minor faults were; even though I explicitly asked for them to be explained the examiner refused.

    My instructor says that he should not have done this, especially as I asked. Personally I'm also annoyed - I would have liked to know everything that I did wrong so that I can improve; there may be underlying issues or bad habits which I need to address.

    Would it be unreasonable for me to make a complaint? I'm not looking for compensation or an appeal of the decision, but I would like to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

    Thanks
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    The same thing happened on my first test. Failed but only the major fault was explained. He gave me 15 minors an didn't explain how I got any of them. To be honest I think they are supposed to explain it to you but I don't think a complaint will get you far. from the areas you got faults on on your mark sheet your instructor should be able to help you tidy up those areas. I know its probably a bit frustrating, I felt the same but I honestly don't think you will get anywhere complaining, that's just my opinion but you could still try
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    (Original post by Sparklees)
    The same thing happened on my first test. Failed but only the major fault was explained. He gave me 15 minors an didn't explain how I got any of them. To be honest I think they are supposed to explain it to you but I don't think a complaint will get you far. from the areas you got faults on on your mark sheet your instructor should be able to help you tidy up those areas. I know its probably a bit frustrating, I felt the same but I honestly don't think you will get anywhere complaining, that's just my opinion but you could still try
    Thanks for the response. It might not go very far, but for £62 I would expect an examiner to be a able to explain 3 faults...
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    (Original post by DavidH20)
    Thanks for the response. It might not go very far, but for £62 I would expect an examiner to be a able to explain 3 faults...
    I agree... Seems like he's not the only one who does it though. This is exactly why I brought my instructor with me on my second test. Its entirely upto you, if you feel like it could possibly make a difference and prevent it from happening to others then go ahead...its is unfair of them not to explain minors and now that ive thought about it for a bit the fact that he refused is quite rude in my opinion and makes me think that you probably should complain about him. If it was based on the fact he just didn't explain I'd say don't bother but the fact he refused is strange especially as he's supposed to
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    (Original post by Sparklees)
    I agree... Seems like he's not the only one who does it though. This is exactly why I brought my instructor with me on my second test. Its entirely upto you, if you feel like it could possibly make a difference and prevent it from happening to others then go ahead...its is unfair of them not to explain minors and now that ive thought about it for a bit the fact that he refused is quite rude in my opinion and makes me think that you probably should complain about him. If it was based on the fact he just didn't explain I'd say don't bother but the fact he refused is strange especially as he's supposed to
    Just seems lazy to me...and reinforces the absolutely shocking notion that the driving test might not be about ensuring the best standard of driving, but might actually be more for profit.

    I'll ring them up tomorrow - their complaints line runs 8 - 12 apparently, despite what their website says...
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    To be honest I don't think they bother with the minor faults if there are any majors. Not quite sure why, and if there are only a few minors surely it's not going to hurt to take an extra minute explaining. I know they're often on a pretty tight schedule so I understand them not explaining a whole bunch of minors. I suppose it never really bothered me since I knew what I'd done wrong to deserve each minor in the 3 tests it took me to pass, knew I'd be getting a minor as each one happened.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    To be honest I don't think they bother with the minor faults if there are any majors. Not quite sure why, and if there are only a few minors surely it's not going to hurt to take an extra minute explaining. I know they're often on a pretty tight schedule so I understand them not explaining a whole bunch of minors. I suppose it never really bothered me since I knew what I'd done wrong to deserve each minor in the 3 tests it took me to pass, knew I'd be getting a minor as each one happened.
    Well, considering that I've paid for the privilege of the test, and specifically asked for the examiner to explain the minors, I wouldn't have thought it too much to ask. It's not like there were loads of faults - three, according to the sheet.
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    (Original post by DavidH20)
    Well, considering that I've paid for the privilege of the test, and specifically asked for the examiner to explain the minors, I wouldn't have thought it too much to ask. It's not like there were loads of faults - three, according to the sheet.
    Exactly, like I was saying it won't hurt them to take one extra minute to give a brief outline of what the faults were given for. I think it should be in the rules to give an explanation on request, but sadly it isn't. Was your instructor in the car during your test by any chance?
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    Have you read the back of the test sheet? It explains what each category is, and why you got a fault in that area. Really, that's going to be more helpful than knowing that at the left hand bend when the bus was coming in the other direction you mounted the kerb - because some people will just think "well, a bus won't be there on my next test" or think it's completely unfair as the circumstances were just a fluke, the bus times are really far apart so it will never happen again. They won't take away the point that their steering was unsafe and it could have happened anywhere, or that large vehicles (not only buses) need more room.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    Exactly, like I was saying it won't hurt them to take one extra minute to give a brief outline of what the faults were given for. I think it should be in the rules to give an explanation on request, but sadly it isn't. Was your instructor in the car during your test by any chance?
    Indeed...

    No, I was on my own.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Have you read the back of the test sheet? It explains what each category is, and why you got a fault in that area. Really, that's going to be more helpful than knowing that at the left hand bend when the bus was coming in the other direction you mounted the kerb - because some people will just think "well, a bus won't be there on my next test" or think it's completely unfair as the circumstances were just a fluke, the bus times are really far apart so it will never happen again. They won't take away the point that their steering was unsafe and it could have happened anywhere, or that large vehicles (not only buses) need more room.
    I have, and I know (or at least like to think that I know) how I should drive. However, I couldn't say why I received my minor faults - for example, I was given one for overtaking, which I believe he marked when I overtook a cyclist, but I genuinely can't see anything wrong with the way that I did it. Which suggests that in the same situation, I would do whatever I did wrong again, possibly causing harm.
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    (Original post by DavidH20)
    Indeed...

    No, I was on my own.
    I didn't have my instructor either, but I suppose the upside to having one in the car is to make sure the examiner isn't just being overly harsh. Then on the other hand, who really needs 2 pairs of eyes judging their driving? 1 is bad enough haha.
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    (Original post by DavidH20)
    I have, and I know (or at least like to think that I know) how I should drive. However, I couldn't say why I received my minor faults - for example, I was given one for overtaking, which I believe he marked when I overtook a cyclist, but I genuinely can't see anything wrong with the way that I did it. Which suggests that in the same situation, I would do whatever I did wrong again, possibly causing harm.
    Then you take the sheet to your instructor and go through overtaking safely. The most important thing when overtaking cyclists is to give them enough room - if you go and search youtube there are hundreds of videos from people who haven't and it makes the cyclists angry. This is a good example, as it shows a bad overtake and then some good ones.

    This is another nice bad example - in this one, they give enough room, but forget about oncoming traffic. The problem with focussing too much on what you did wrong means you might get fixated on that point and then get that bit right but forget about the other aspects.

    Going back and practising overtaking cyclists in general means that the whole aspect becomes much safer.
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    I'd write a compliant, but keep it nice and polite. You don't want to come across as someone who failed the test and seems bitter. (I didn't get this vibe from your post, but I can imagine how many people do complain). Compliment the fact that he discussed your major fault, but stress that even when prompted he wouldn't explain your minors. Most people I know who have done their test get a full debrief at the end of their test if they've failed (with or without their instructor present). At the end of the day, you've paid to take the test, and I think you're entitled to feedback on where you've gone wrong.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    Then you take the sheet to your instructor and go through overtaking safely. The most important thing when overtaking cyclists is to give them enough room - if you go and search youtube there are hundreds of videos from people who haven't and it makes the cyclists angry. This is a good example, as it shows a bad overtake and then some good ones.
    Thank you for the tip, but my instructor was previously happy enough with my overtaking for me to do a test, and has told me I need no more lessons until my retest. I overtook as considerately as possible, giving enough space so that if I were in the cyclists position I would feel comfortable (for reference she was already in a cycle lane).

    Anyway is it still not unreasonable for the examiner, when explicitly requested, to explain my mistakes?
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    (Original post by H0ls)
    I'd write a compliant, but keep it nice and polite. You don't want to come across as someone who failed the test and seems bitter. (I didn't get this vibe from your post, but I can imagine how many people do complain). Compliment the fact that he discussed your major fault, but stress that even when prompted he wouldn't explain your minors. Most people I know who have done their test get a full debrief at the end of their test if they've failed (with or without their instructor present). At the end of the day, you've paid to take the test, and I think you're entitled to feedback on where you've gone wrong.
    I think this is what I will do. I'm not bitter towards the examiner about failing me - though incredibly annoyed at myself for making the stupid mistake. I also thought I would be entitled to it, and that an examiner would be willing to help me improve...
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    I strongly recommend taking your instructor next time
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    (Original post by Sparklees)
    I strongly recommend taking your instructor next time
    My instructor's actually quite against it - he thinks it adds extra stress...
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    (Original post by DavidH20)
    I think this is what I will do. I'm not bitter towards the examiner about failing me - though incredibly annoyed at myself for making the stupid mistake. I also thought I would be entitled to it, and that an examiner would be willing to help me improve...
    Yeah, I get that. I don't think you're bitter at all but I can imagine those who complain just because they've failed or something silly. I agree with you completely, you should be entitled to know where you went wrong otherwise how do you improve? I think it's a bit silly that sometimes people disregard minors because well, they're "minor", people still want to improve on them! Especially if you're getting consecutive minors for the same fault, it could reveal a small flaw in one area. I'd definitely lodge the complaint and ask especially since the examiner refused, and since a couple of people have mentioned not having their minors explained, I'd enquire if this is standard procedure, even if the examinee asks for feedback. Good luck with your next test!
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    Officially, examiners are meant to debrief only the serious and dangerous faults after a fail. There isn't time to go through every single driver fault.

    Although you only had three, there are candidates who will have many more, many who argue about each one as they're explained, but examiners can't pick and choose whom they give extra debriefs to. They have to treat everybody equally. The only exception to this is where a particular driver fault is repeated and/or is close to becoming a serious fault, but only if there is sufficient time and the examiner isn't late back from that test.

    After a pass, the driver faults are explained as the examiner will be less pressed for time as there are no serious or dangerous faults to write up in his report.

    You don't mention exactly what the examiner said when asked. If it was a curt "No!", then he could have been more polite about it, but he's still doing what the rulebook tells him. If it were me, I may give three very quick short sentences if pressed about the three faults, or I may even refer them to their instructor who can hypothesise about them in more detail.

    A complaint about this won't be upheld as the examiner hasn't technically done anything wrong.
 
 
 
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