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Driving test pass in 4 days

 

Anthony Coe from Grantham has passed his driving test in 4 days

From the time of booking his BIG TOM intensive driving course to obtaining his driving licence was only 3 weeks and he received a tidy £30 discount due to his age.  His previous driving experience before the course was only 10 hours with friends/family.  He passed his driving test today in Grantham with just 4 faults recorded.

His driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“An incredible achievement from Anthony.  To pass his driving test on his first attempt having had so little previous driving experience is a real credit to him.  I think this just proves how trusted and reliable the intensive course is for getting results for Anthony and my other customers.  I know that this quick result is life changing for his family and his work prospects.  He can now get on with his life with a full driving licence.” 

Anthony says of his experience with BIG TOM:

“Big Tom’s course is fantastic!”

 

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Passed driving test using own car

 

Olivia Ronson (17) from Surfleet passed her driving test in Boston using her own car

She took her BIG TOM 5 day intensive driving course in early March and then made use of the driving test booking service and continued training with her parents.  She used the BIG TOM mock test service a week before her driving test and then went on take her test yesterday which she passed comfortably with just 4 driving faults recorded.

Olivia said of her BIG TOM intensive driving course:

Using Big Tom has been a very good experience for me. It’s very handy that he can pick you up from your home address and also the videos are very helpful, they get you ready for your driving”

Her driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“This is a wonderful achievement as Olivia came to BIG TOM with absolutely no previous driving experience at all and yet in the space of just 2 months she has passed her driving test on her first attempt.  On her intensive driving course she got experience of driving on the big Peterborough roundabouts, and in Spalding, Elton, Bourne as well as Boston.  This is particulalry pleasing to me as she and her parents had flagged up issues relating to anxiety when the course was booked; it just goes to show how the training can be adapted to suit all needs.”

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Pre-Course Preparation

BIG TOM Driving School Offers Customers Premium Pre-Course Resources

Being given the best head start to help to learn to drive is really important for BIG TOM customers.  The learning process starts before the in-car training and that means customers can engage in the resources sooner.  Tom Ingram is the owner of BIG TOM Driving School and says:

“It is truly staggering what progress can be achieved when pupils fully engage in our accelerated learning programme.  Time and time again, customers with little or no previous driving experience are able to learn to drive and pass the driving test in quick fast time, due to asking questions about the resources they read and watch.”

There are over 4 hours of specially prepared driving videos which are for exclusive viewing to BIG TOM customers as well as carefully prepared graphics and text explanations.  Topics include:

  • How to reduce stress when learning to drive
  • How to improve your manoeuvres
  • When, how and why drivers do mirror and observation checks
  • Identifying hazards on faster moving roads
  • The relationship between speed and gears
  • The skill of self-evaluation
  • How to learn from making mistakes when driving
  • What the clutch does
  • Practical tips for your roundabouts
  • Assessing risk
  • What speed to drive at
  • Goals, options, practice and reflection
  • Myths about the driving test

Previous BIG TOM customers say this about preparing for the accelerated learning programme:

“Tom gave me some brilliant resources to look at prior to my 5 day intensive course” Sam Smith

“Theory resources online are really good and the videos, especially for watching prior to the course to make yourself more comfortable when meeting Tom for the first time” Anna Forbes-Rogers

“He also has a YouTube channel with many videos which I knew I could watch the night before a lesson, or even if I wasn’t sure on something, there will always be a future reference, so yet again, he goes above and beyond to help” Adam Favell

“I thought the resources provided to help me were very useful” William Platt

 

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How does your intensive driving course work?

General Q&A with the owner of BIG TOM Driving School, Tom Ingram

What effect has the new style driving test had on national pass rates?

It is a little too early to know as yet. I appreciate that might come as a surprise to many reading, but the statistics are gathered quarterly so the next batch that covers January – March 2018 have not been published by the DVSA as yet. When they are, I rather suspect it will show a marked overall increase in the pass rate, but that is just my opinion; I will blog for my customers when the hard data is released.

Is it true that the new driving test is easier?

In so far as the technical aspects of manoeuvres, in my opinion, I would say it is. However, regardless of the driving test format, here at BIG TOM we train customers to the DVSA Driving Standard which is freely available online for the public to view and ensures new drivers are confident and competent to drive in a variety of driving conditions.

If I was to fail my driving test, what would happen?

I can offer accurate assistance to pupils if they allow me to observe their test but it is entirely their choice. There is a system in place should you fail a test that invites you to further develop the skills that were exposed as deficient. Another important factor here is confidence and in my experience, not to be underestimated the effect it can have on driving ability.

What guarantees do you provide on your intensive driving course?

The BIG TOM course offers customers theory study resources + pre-course resources + 20 hours of driving training + 2 hours use of the driving school car for driving test purposes. The one thing that cannot be guaranteed for a variety of reasons is the progress that a pupil will make on the course. A previous customer shown here demonstrates that it is possible to turn things around very fast with proper pre-course preparation even when they have minimal previous driving experience. However, the very latest DVSA independent research indicates that it takes pupils on average around 40 hours training with a driving instructor + 19 hours private practice and on average seven months to pass. We are very fortunate to have that very recent research provided to us in the industry and for the public.

Do I have to pass the theory test before doing your course?

I would recommend it yes because it then gives us the opportunity to apply that new knowledge while you are driving around. There are added safety implications as well as pressure on pupils if they do not have the theory knowledge, rules of the road while driving on them. Another important point is that a BIG TOM customer is entitled to a practical test booking for up to 30 days after completing their intensive driving course (with or without BIG TOM involvement), but the DVSA booking system prevents that if the theory test is not passed. For lots of reasons, it makes good practical sense to pass the theory test prior to the in-car training.

Why do your pupils drive in places where they don’t take their driving test?

Some locations are rather limited in what they offer to practice. Boston, for example, has no faster moving dual carriageways to practice entering/exiting or even overtaking. Peterborough has very few hills to practice controlling the car, whereas Grantham has plenty. Also, some customers specifically request to drive to some places due to the type of typical journeys they will do after they pass their driving test.

Can I continue to train with you after my intensive course?

Yes, you can. It is important to recognise that we are referring to practical skills when learning to drive and the ability of pupils to develop them can vary considerably. While some customers will complete their course and then make their own arrangements, others do like to keep going and have the consistency of driving instructor and driving school car. That is an important point to make because we do not switch pupils around at BIG TOM – that could be very unhelpful especially if they are happy and comfortable in their learning environment.

Do I need to be of a certain standard before booking my course?

At BIG TOM we have experience of assisting pupils with a wide variety of needs. We do not put any undue pressure on pupils to complete their training within the 20 hours because when pupils are working hard at learning to drive, they do not need added stress to do with timescales. Sometimes this kind of pressure that relates to focussing too much on driving tests can be very unproductive and inhibits learning. My advice would be to concentrate on developing the skills and have trust in the assessments that are provided to you. Pupils receive constant feedback when in the car training as well as formal assessments and these do offer the pupil the opportunity to realise the driving standard that is required.

Is it true you can fail a driving test for driving too slowly?

Yes it is, a driver who drives too slowly for the driving conditions can become a hazard to other road users. It is a skill to be able to identify what is the appropriate speed for the conditions and you get plenty of practice of that skill on the course.

Is it normal to get so frustrated when learning to drive?

The path we all take is pretty unique. What is apparent, natural or easy to one is not necessarily so for another, so it is unwise to make any assumptions about it. It is a fact that when learning things, humans do have a tendency to overinflate their perceived ability compared to the reality and that can create frustrations for people who have an unrealistic belief in their driving standard. The other thing to bear in mind is that the challenges we face are also pretty varied; physical hand/feet coordination, the perception of risk, the ability to anticipate. I also very much enjoy assisting pupils who have particular learning difficulties. As long as pupils have an accurate understanding of how to achieve goals, how to deal with obstructions to learning, then, in general, it is possible to overcome difficulties. Be under no illusions though; for some, it can be an intensely personal battle which it does pay to have realistic expectations of how much can be achieved in what timescales.

 

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8 day turn round

Stephen Carn from Moulton Chapel passed his driving test today at Boston on his first attempt

Stephen contacted BIG TOM in March with a particular date he wanted his 5-day intensive driving course in April. His previous driving experience was just 3-4 hours of driving lessons a year ago, so he was an absolute beginner. He bagged himself an automatic £40 discount from the price due to his age.  Just days later he passed his driving test first time and got his full driving licence.

His driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I’m really pleased for Stephen and it just goes to show what can be achieved with little previous experience.  I knew Stephen was capable of turning this around fast as he fully engaged in the pre-course resources that BIG TOM provides.  He was even taking them into his work and getting full licence holders to assist him.  It is a fabulous example of a pupil getting properly prepared for our accelerated learning programme and should reassure prospective customers what can be achieved in literally 8 days by using BIG TOM.  He also benefitted from our home collection service considering he lives out in the sticks.”

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Zero faults on Easter driving test

Clean sheet driving test pass on Easter intensive driving course

Kingsley Harrison from Morton (shown here) got in contact with BIG TOM 7 days ago and passed his driving test this morning at Grantham with zero driving faults. His driving instructor Tom Ingram says:

“I’m really pleased for Kingsley as I know it was very important to him to get his full driving licence quickly.  The 7-day turnaround is a trademark of BIG TOM but also customers should feel confident that the mock test service that we provide is accurate. Kingsley did a mock test the day before his driving test and had just 2 minor driving faults assessed.  It is incredibly beneficial and important to customers to have trust in the service being provided to them; knowing it is technically accurate.” 

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Driving Test Availability over Easter

Good news for busy customers over the Easter holidays

The DVSA are still providing driving tests over the Easter holidays.  While there can be no guarantees of which driving test centres will have availability it is good for BIG TOM customers to know that there are still examiners working over the holiday period.  At the time of writing there is still availability of BIG TOM intensive driving courses over the Easter holidays for weekday or weekend courses. If you snooze you lose, give us a call!

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Driving Instructor Professional Conduct

Raising public awareness of driving instructor professional standards.

The DVSA have just released some essential guidance for members of the public relating to the professional conduct of driving instructors that are on the DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency) approved register.   At BIG TOM Driving School all driving instructors are expected to comply with the ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) code of conduct.  Also, it is compulsory to be a member of a national driving instructor association who have their ‘code of conduct’ requirements.  The driving school provides clear direction regarding the complaint procedure and offer opportunities for customer feedback as standard practice.

The guidance expands on the following subjects:

What pupils can expect from a DVSA registered driving instructor regarding professional conduct

How to formally complain

Safeguarding advice

Assistance in choosing a driving instructor

Tom Ingram (Owner of BIG TOM Driving School) says:

“This advice is very much welcomed in our industry. The public (whether that be pupils undertaking driving training or the funders of the training) need to be made aware of what they can reasonably expect to receive for a paid service.  Matters relating to safeguarding are extremely important to be aware of due to the nature of the 1:1 training within a confined learning environment.  While it is true that pupils can be as young as 17 when they start to learn to drive, I think this guidance from the DVSA is equally as relevant for all members of the public.”

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How to assess risk

On the BIG TOM intensive driving course, the safety of our customers is our number one priority.

One of the skills that help equip our pupils for long-term safe driving is the ability to assess risk.  Take for example these freezing temperatures around the UK.  Is it wise to be driving in temperatures below zero degrees?  Can the route you take increase/decrease the risks involved?  Are there plans that you can make before a journey that will reduce or eliminate possible outcomes?

When learning to drive it is very easy to ignore these considerations and only concentrate on the requirements of the driving test (by the way, icy conditions are a factor that driving examiners take into account when deciding if it is safe to conduct a driving test).  Assessing risk is a vital skill to develop while learning to drive.  Where you choose to bay park, how you park up, eg forwards or reverse, how you minimise distractions when driving, methods to deal with fatigue.

So if our customers do not feel comfortable with the prospect of driving in temperatures below freezing, at BIG TOM, we respect that, and we are happy to adjust the training times accordingly.  There may be knock-on effects to any postponements that arise this time of year, but we hope all customers can appreciate that maintaining safety is a top priority – zero accidents since 2009 is a benefit that we are proud to reassure and pass on to our customers.

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New Driving Test Feedback

BIG TOM Driving School is committed to keeping our customers up to date with all the latest information that will assist them to achieve their goal.

A typical customer wanting the BIG TOM intensive driving course is wishing to reserve a booking between 1 – 3 weeks in advance.  Timing is essential to them,  and they expect a quick response.

The DVSA have released feedback about the new driving test which started on 04/12/2017.  With two months of data now available to them, they can provide some initial feedback which will be vital information for BIG TOM customers.

More “serious” and “dangerous” faults are being committed for the show me ‘controls’ section of the driving test.  While driving an examiner asks the candidate to perform a specific task such as opening a window or sounding the horn or clearing the rear windscreen. In the old driving test, this question arose in the car park of the test centre when the car was parked up.  Now, due to the car moving, it is possible for a driving fault to occur while performing this task.

At BIG TOM, we do cover this comprehensively as it is always essential to have complete control of the car.  We also raise with our pupils how to cope should a situation like this crop up where they genuinely do not know the answer.

The DVSA are also telling us that the initial two months of data from the new driving test indicates that there is not sufficient progress on faster moving roads.  This issue lends itself very well to the training offered on the BIG TOM course as our customers do travel between towns and cities, even across county boundaries.  It is a delicate balancing act of keeping up with traffic, yet driving at a speed within your comfort zone.  This skill increases with experience and confidence; two things that are actively encouraged in our course.

The last piece of feedback being given by the DVSA relates to rural roads and their bends.  Remember that this new driving test was changed to enable examiners to see candidates driving more on these kinds of roads.  Where BIG TOM operates covering Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire, we are often in this class of road,  so our customers get plenty of experience driving on them.  We also do explain an advanced driving technique using “limit points” that helps our pupils to judge the severity of a country road bend.

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