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    Hi,

    I'm 21 yrs old. I have been driving since September 2015 and I had a 3 month break from Nov-Jan due to work and a holiday. I have pretty much covered the whole driving syllabus except parking. In total I have had about 24 hours of tuition with an instructor and no private lessons.

    I would ideally like to pass my test by May/June this year. I am looking at intensive driving courses as a means to speed up the process, and because I don't want to fork out a lot for more lessons. I know intensive lessons are quite expensive, so I am not sure whether I should just stick to block booking over time (but I do work several days a week) or if I should do an intensive.

    Does anyone have any experience with an intensive course? Or any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    UPDATE
    My instructor booked my test for May, so I am no longer considering an intensive course!
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    I know two people who tried an intensive course - both failed their first test, and ended up taking conventional lessons and passing that way. They both thought that the course sounded like a good idea, but realistically there is only so much learning you can do in a day when it comes to driving.
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    I have been exclusively teaching intensive courses for nearly 20 years with a personal pass rate of between 60% to 80% depending on test centre.They can be an extremely effective way to learn if properly managed but remember - no one can guarantee a pass.

    Just as there are good and less good instructors there are good and bad intensive courses.Many driving schools struggle to provide intensive courses, particularly if they have a plenty of hourly pupils. Understandably they are reluctant to cancel regular hourly pupils to provide a course for one. I discovered early on that an instructor can either provide intensive courses or hourly lessons but trying to do both just leads to unhappy customers.

    A good course will be one to one. Some courses may have two or even three pupils in the car taking it in turns to drive. You may have booked a cheap 30 hour course - but it is only cheap because you only drive a third of the time. Good business for the driving school not so good for the pupils. If I were a nervous learner or struggling with some aspect of driving I would hate to have some cocky know it all smirking at my mistakes from the back seat. You learn to drive by doing it. You will learn very little from watching someone else learn to drive. If you could learn that way we would all be experts by our 17th birthday from watching parents.

    Intensive courses are tiring. The whole day may be as long as 6 hours but should be in chunks of no more than 2 hours with a 15 minute break and a decent length lunch break away from the car. Rest time is as important as driving time. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can do your intensive course during the day and a part time job (or party) in the evening. Most of my pupils confess that at the end of each day they go home flop into an arm chair and promptly doze off.Having the test booked for the last day of a course is very common for intensive courses but not ideal for many pupils. Intensive courses are tiring. On a 5 day course you will be shattered come Friday afternoon. Not the best preparation for a driving test. My advice is take the weekend or even a week off then take the test when your are rested and refreshed. There is an added advantage. Everybody struggles with something when learning to drive. No one is a 'natural' driver. The pressure of a test looming in a few days can quickly turn a molehill into a mountain. But simply knowing that, if necessary, we can defer the test without losing the test fee is often enough. In practice I have never needed to defer a test - but knowing we could has helped a lot of nervous pupils to pass first time.

    A major advantage of an intensive course compared to hourly lessons is that you can get much wider driving experience. I routinely use a couple of different towns on my courses. One town is good for dealing with really large roundabouts, dual carriageways and slip roads. The other is all stop start traffic, pedestrians and parked cars everywhere. Depending on the route the road between them is great for practicing motorway style driving or we can take a typically dangerous national speed limit rural road. If I was only teaching 1 hour lessons I wouldn't be able to do that and feel that I was not doing everything I could to keep my pupils safe once they have passed their test.

    A problem with hourly lessons can be that you spend the hour struggling with something, then just as you start to get the hang of it the lesson is over. It is a week until the next lesson and you are right back to square one. With an intensive course there is less time to forget and confidence builds more quickly.

    On an intensive course there is more flexibility for the instructor. If the pupil is struggling with a junction it can be helpful to go off and do something else for a while or over to a different part of town. A really cunning instructor will then spend time on something equally important and not obviously connected to the problem junction - but it will help with that problem junction next time. Often there is not enough time to work that way on hourly lessons.

    In the end which is better 30 hours of driving on a wide variety of roads and junctions or 30 hours driving round the same housing estate?
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    Intensive courses are tiring and very long at at a time, but if you think you can do it then go for it! However you may benefit more from taking normal lessons, especially if you already know mostly how to drive. You will probably end up spending less. The waiting time at a lot of driving test centres is quite long at the moment so taking an intensive course might not pass you quicker anyway because you will still have to wait. Intensive courses put a lot of pressure on you to pass first time. This is just advice, you choose what you would like to do
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    I'm doing one at the moment, it's exhausting. There's a lot to take in very quickly and when there's 2 or 3 things to do at the same time I'm finding I know how to do them individually but I'll focus so hard on getting one part right that I'll slip up on something else. I'm sure with practice it'll become more natural and I won't feel as stressed. I'm not making many mistakes for the first hour of the day and for about an hour after the break, but it's the latter half of each drive that causes me problems - I only have a natural attention span of about an hour.

    Also, even as someone who walks a lot and has pretty strong legs I'm finding doing the pedal movement for 5 hours a day is causing the top of my left foot to ache like crazy! Plus, I'm a big guy so even with the seat right back the inside of my right knee is killing me from twisting my lower leg inwards for the gas pedal ... that's when its hard doing an intensive course because I'm limping out of the car every time I get out.
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    (Original post by IanDangerously)
    I'm doing one at the moment, it's exhausting. There's a lot to take in very quickly and when there's 2 or 3 things to do at the same time I'm finding I know how to do them individually but I'll focus so hard on getting one part right that I'll slip up on something else. I'm sure with practice it'll become more natural and I won't feel as stressed. I'm not making many mistakes for the first hour of the day and for about an hour after the break, but it's the latter half of each drive that causes me problems - I only have a natural attention span of about an hour.

    Also, even as someone who walks a lot and has pretty strong legs I'm finding doing the pedal movement for 5 hours a day is causing the top of my left foot to ache like crazy! Plus, I'm a big guy so even with the seat right back the inside of my right knee is killing me from twisting my lower leg inwards for the gas pedal ... that's when its hard doing an intensive course because I'm limping out of the car every time I get out.
    hey, can I ask whether you passed or not? was it worth it? I'm considering an intensive course rn
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    I don't see the point as driving is all about experience and an intensive course really crams it and makes it hard to learn from your mistakes.

    You tend to improve slowly as a learner driver, me personally, it took a while to get used to the clutch, let alone the highway code and the usual stuff of knowing how to deal with 'meet' situations on narrow roads. All of that takes time to get used to, but then again you do get people who pass with intensive courses so no harm in giving it a try if you are desperate.
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    If you already have a car then just insure that for learner driving and get loads of experience driving that with your mum /mates (who have been driving for 3+ years) in the passenger seat. Just drive for long enough that you have full confidence and don't have to think about most of the trickier parts of learner driving i.e. roundabouts, parking and reverse manoeuvres.
 
 
 
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