Some people have a pretty good idea of how far along the process of learning they are. Their self perception matches my assessment of their ability.
Some people though, think they’re far better than they actually are, and when I get them to drive independently, they make a lot of mistakes, and have to re-evaluate their opinion. They can occasionally be the hardest people to teach, as they feel that they already know what they are doing, and are reluctant to take on board the changes I feel they need to make.
The flipside, of course, is that some people are actually a lot better than they think they are. When they’re given the chance to find they have the control and understanding they need, their confidence generally follows.
So it was with Emma, from Wallasey, who passed her test this morning. Emma came to us needing to pass her test quite quickly. She had a lot of experience, but was very nervous. I quickly found that she was actually a very good driver – someone who drove to a high standard as a matter of course. She was very worried about being tested, both for her theory test and her practical driving test. There were a few small issues to be resolved, but most of the work we did was aimed at getting her to do what she could do, when under pressure.
It worked beautifully. She was in tears during her pre-test lesson. I put a lot of space into that session, and did my best to reassure her that she was more than good enough, but she still approached it like it was a firing squad.
And then she went out on her test, and got on really well with the examiner, and came back, not just with a first time pass, but with just a single minor fault.