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Different ways to do a Mock Test

January 30, 20140 Comments

Do you always do mock tests with learners when they are nearly ready for their test? Have a look at this very short blog by Blaine for some useful tips about how to carry out different types of mock tests that can be an integral part of your pupils’ learning and really give them a sense of what it will be like when sitting with an examiner.

If you find this blog post entry useful then come and join our free Simple CPD Live Chat about mock tests this Thursday 6th February 2014.

Feel free to comment at the bottom of this page about what you think of mock tests and how you carry them out.

Need to find another instructor that you can team up with for reciprocal mock tests? Have a look at our Buddy Map and if you want to fill out a few questions we will add you to the map also.

Watch the Webinar on Mock Tests

On Thursday February 6th at 8pm Blaine and Lou hosted a FREE live webinar chat on mock tests. If you are a member and missed the webinar, then don’t worry you can go to the Simple CPD archive and watch it again (will be available a day or two after the webinar). If you are not a member then why not join the site and watch this webinar and lots more at your leisure.

Video Transcription

Welcome to a quick blog on doing mock tests with your pupils and why I think it is important. It is important because I believe a lot of people fail their tests as they are not prepared for what is happening on the test. It is not that they are not ready and able to drive but are not prepared for what is actually going to occur like the silence in the car, the terminology and the pulling up and stopping quite a few times and general things like the independent drive, for example. The mock test will get them used to these and to the person next to them just marking the sheet and not helping them, guiding them and all of those things we normally do as instructors. Of course, we do step back on our level of instruction as our pupils progress, but just having someone different in the car can set them back. There are several ways you can do a mock test.

You can do your own prompted mock test. Basically, I start these reasonably early on when the pupil is independent at certain things and can do a prompted mock test on these things. How this works is I will let them drive whilst giving them directions exactly as a mock test. I will tell them what I am writing down and why. For example, I will say “I’m just going to write down your left mirror use now Jim because you didn’t check it and there could have been a cyclist there.” Or “I’m going to mark you down for coasting there as we went a bit fast around that corner didn’t we?” In doing this it is still part of their learning process. They are still learning and I’m not just sitting there quietly, I’m just teaching in a slightly different way.

Then I will progress to a prompted mock test but where they prompt me. This is where they may say “I’ve just marked myself down there Blaine because…..” or I might say “I’m going to mark you down there. What do you think it’s going to be for?” Hopefully the pupil will say “oh it’s going to be because I did ………. as I got a bit close to that car when I was pulling up” or whatever it happens to be. During this prompted mock test I am looking at their own self-reflection and helping them to see the faults for themselves. This is a really powerful tool.

After this I will lead on to doing a mock test where we don’t say anything and we drive until we get to ten driving faults or a serious and then we stop and discuss it. You will find that by doing a few of these you will get further and further before you have to stop and discuss it.

Once I know my pupil is ready and comfortable I will do a full mock test. Normally I will try and do this with another instructor, which we call a reciprocal mock test as I will do the same for one of their pupils. I ask the other instructor to sit in the passenger seat as an examiner will and they will conduct the test for my pupil whilst I sit in the back to observe and mark my own sheet. This is a really useful exercise because the pupil has someone else next to them and has you in the back; there’s lots of pressure. People make mistakes on test when under pressure and although we can’t eliminate those mistakes, we can minimise them by getting them used to being under pressure. It’s like the footballers practicing penalties. They can practice all day long on the training ground with no problem but as soon as the result of the FA Cup Final depends on it they may miss because they can’t really practice that pressure. It is quite important that we get our pupils to practice under pressure because it’s a really important thing for them to get used to before their test.

Hopefully that has been useful to you.

Author: Blaine Walsh

Filed in: Teaching Learners
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About the Author ()

Blaine Walsh is the owner of, has been a driving instructor trainer for 15 years and a driving instructor for over 20 years. When he first qualified Blaine admits his was not a very good instructor, became disillusioned, was not retaining pupils and not making any money, so he quit full time teaching. After spending time self-reflecting, he had a light bulb moment and realised that he needed to put more explanation, effort and enthusiasm into teaching learners. Since then he has not looked back and is now regarded as one of the top trainers in the country.

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