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Driving test changes - to cram, or not to cram

Hannah Clarke profile

Hannah Clarke

October 27, 2017

News Young driver stories 4 min read

If you’re a learner driver, then the chances are you know that there are some changes coming; different manoeuvres, using a sat nav, learners even being allowed on the motorway from 2018! The changes to the driving test are coming in on December 4th, so we’ve been hearing from learners on both sides of the cramming debate.

We’ve spoken to two of Marmalade’s own learner drivers – Anthony is desperate to get his test done and dusted before December, while Chloe isn’t. Here’s what they’ve each got to say!

Driving test changes - to cram, or not to cram?

“I don’t fancy the idea of the new changes”

Anthony works at Marmalade in the Learner Insurance Admin team, and is desperate to pass his driving test before the changes come into force.

How long have you been learning to drive?

Since May – I started slowly at first, with 1-2 lessons per week then a week off at the end of the month. Since September though, I’ve been doing up to 4 lessons per week.

Did you know about the changes to the driving test when you first started learning to drive?

No – hence the leisurely approach!

Why do you want to pass so badly before December 4th?

I don’t fancy the idea of the new changes, and I would have to spend more money on lessons! Also, motorways scare me and with learners driving on the motorway from next year, I don’t fancy going on them with my instructor. He shouts at me if I do something wrong and I don’t like the idea of being shouted at when loads of cars are whizzing by! I’d rather wait until I’ve passed and then build up my general driving confidence, before braving the motorway.

Does your instructor agree with you cramming to pass?

He would recommend that I wait, but he understands the reasons why I want to take my test before December, and thinks it’s wise.

Are you tempted by an intensive driving course?

Yes! I have one booked in for next month – I’ll be sick of driving by the end of it, but ready to pass!

We’re sure you will pass, but if you don’t…?

I’m not prepared mentally for that! I’ve been so focussed on cramming to pass, and I would be really upset, but would just have to do with it.

Driving test changes - to cram, or not to cram?

“The fact that there will be a sat nav in the driving test is a life saver for me.”

Chloe is Marmalade’s Social Media Executive, and she’s not cramming to pass her test before the new changes.

How long have you been learning to drive?

I started learning to drive over 3 years ago, but decided to stop taking driving lessons when I went away to university. Now that I’ve graduated, I have realised it is time for me to start learning again, so picked it back up in August this year.

Did you know about the impending changes to the driving test when you started learning?

Yeah I did. At first I thought I’d have passed with plenty of time to spare before the changes came in, but I was naive at how long it was going to take me to learn everything I need in order to pass.

Why are you not cramming to pass before December 4th?

Honestly, the fact that there will be a sat nav now in the driving test is a life saver for me. One thing I really struggle with is directions, so I can only see the sat nav as a bonus; I know I will definitely be using one when I have passed. I’ve already been learning some of the manoeuvers that will be on the new test!

Did you ever contemplate taking an intensive driving course?

My original plan from 3 years ago was that when I graduated, I would take an intensive course and pass within no time. I didn’t realise at that point how expensive they were, and I wanted to start completely from scratch with my learning because it had been so long since my last lesson. I started taking lessons again, found an amazing instructor who is so helpful, and found I didn’t want to push myself to pass before I was ready.

Have you got a timescale in mine for when you’d like to have passed?

Even though I’m not cramming to get my test in before the changes, I really don’t want the learning process to take forever. In regards to a timescale, I don’t really have one. I think both my instructor and I will know when I’m ready and when I am, I’ll go for it!

So there we have it…

Two learner drivers, two very different stories! We always love hearing from you guys, so whether you’re desperate to pass before December or taking the changes as they come, get in touch and let us know how your lessons are going!

Hannah Clarke profile

By Hannah Clarke

'Hi I'm Hannah! I'm a writer, country bumpkin, sports fan, music lover, and intrepid traveller. In my spare time I love to go rock climbing, see live music, eat a lot, and plan holidays. I passed my test a couple of months before turning 18 - second time lucky!'  See more posts by Hannah

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