Friday, 16 January 2015

My Learning-To-Drive Journey - Chapter Sixteen.

I Have Passed!

Total Hours:  39/40

Oh My Gosh I Am So HAPPY!


I Am officially a fully licensed driver, and you wouldn't believe the excitement I hold.

I Passed yesterday (17th January 2015) with only 4 minors!


Feelings on test day.

I Hadn't had many lessons since the beggining of december, i had two this wednesday just passed and the hour before the test on the thursday.

The two practise hours on Wednesday where all the routes I could possibly come across upon test day. here there and everywhere with our focus on roundabout (I hate them so much!) and all the back routes which I was more likely to take since I had and early morning (8.20am) rush hour lesson.

Once my hour practise on the morning of my test was over I was quite nervous, I had butterfly's and belly ache, sweaty palms, you name it I had it lol.
 I was excited too that probably didn't help my butterfly's haha 


Arrival at the test centre.

Arriving at the test centre 10 minutes early, parking the car in a bay (bay parking for me is a nightmare - the only manoeuvre I haven't been able to master.) and parking whilst everyone is watching! Such a drag.

Go into the little office placing my driving licence keys and counterpart (paper part of my licence) on the table ready for when the examiners come out.

Use the loo.
Butterfly's are churning.

Go and sit back down with my instructor and wait with another 2 students and instructors for the test that can potentially change your life.

At this point you have to decide whether you want you instructor to sit in the back of your car whilst you are on your test, be present for the debrief at the end - where you find out why you failed or if you've passed.

I chose to have my instructor present at the end only for the debrief
(In most cases the instructor really doesn't want to sit in the back during the exam because they will be cringing at everything you do wrong and possibly put you off, and they really don't want to be responsible for that! lol)


The Time Has Arrived.

Out come the examiners, mine is last (typical) at the point of the first two examiners out I'm sure I heard my driving instructor give a small sign of relieve and a imaginary fist pump. Though I am most sure he is not allowed to favour any of the examiners.

Had I got a nice examiner?

So out the door the two other pupils go, off to their doom (only joking phahaha!!)
In comes my examiner. An older chap, probably in his 60's, possibly 70's, with squeaky hearing aids, which cannot be comfortable for his ears.

We exchange formalities, sign a declaration and head out to the car.

First things first I have to read a number plate about 5 car lengths away. This is to test your eyesight is good enough for driving and you haven't left any necessary contact lenses or glasses behind. 
That WOULD be worrying.

Into the car we get and along come two Show-me-tell-me questions.

Show me how you would put you headlights onto main beam and how you know when the main beam is switched on.

Since this was a SHOW ME question, I proceeded to talk through 
and physically do the following:

Turned on ignition. Switched on my headlights by twisting the top part of the left lever. Pushing the left stick backwards, away from me as it applies the main beam. Point to the symbol on my dashboard that show me my main beam is on.


Tell me where you would find the cars tire pressure and how you would measure the pressure in the tires.

I go onto explain that I would find the recommend tire pressure in the manufactures handbook and I would use a reliable gage, or go to a garage.


So, after a few moments of him filling in the details of my driving instructor onto the sheet and thankfully not writing any minors for my questions (which where fabulously easy as me and my instructor went through them 10 minutes earlier just in case - it was nice to have them all in mind because I'm sure I would have gone blank with worry!) 

So off we go.


But What About The Test Details?

I shan't go through all the details of my test as really, it is the same as the mock test  which is also in My Learning-to-Drive chapter. 

So you can go take a look at Chapter Fourteen & Chapter Fifteen as these both contain details of mock tests. 

If you can't be bothered to read (lazy ;] ) a full test consists of.

10 minutes of independent driving (please follow the signs to......)
1 manoeuvre (Bay Park, Parallel Park, Reverse Around a Corner, Turn in the Road.)
Emergency Stop (if a safe point to do so occurs)
General Driving Following Directions.
Stopping and starting (to make sure you observe via all of the mirrors and do over the shoulder checks)

A Total of Approx. 40 minutes.


At the end of the Practical Test. you arrive back at the Driving Test Centre and Park up. 

My driving instructor ran out as soon as i arrived and jumped in the back.

With just 4 minors which is Fab!

I gave a WAHOO of joy, causing the examiner and my instructor
 to laugh, celebrating with me.

You are given the option of handing over your license and having it automatically upgraded to the full license instead of the provisional or to  take it home and do it yourself (effort) so i had mine sent off.

Only problem is that i have no ID till it arrives in the post, in 2 weeks or less supposedly.

On the way home from the test centre you get driven by your instructor - don't want to be buzzing - or crying - behind that wheel do we!

By the time I get home it has mostly sunk in, my driving instructor asked to take a picture of me holding up my certificate for his facebook page, like he does with all his passes, he congratulated me once more, and gave me a tea cup and a t-shirt to remember the day (and the company of course).

 As I prepared myself to surprise my family with my pass certificate, I was feeling fit to burst with pride in myself - they didn't even know I had left that morning to do my test. 

 I had actually accomplished it, all by myself, with no financial back up from my parents (like most of my old school friends who passed when they were 17). I couldn't wait to tell my OH. He passed back in November, at one point we were racing to the finish line, but i always knew he was going to get there first but I finally got there and its the best start of the year I could have had.

 I can be proud to say i have done it. 
I Can be proud of myself.


Several Hours Later...

I was and still am over the moon, I still can't quite get my head around the fact that i can drive alone, that I have finally done it. 
I don't have to get up for early morning lessons, panic about failing or panic about 
my theory test running out of date...

So thats it?! It is all done and this series has come to a joyful end. 

I have really enjoyed writing down my story for all of you and for myself to look back on. It has definitely opened my eyes to the world of writing and I strive to get better at it. 

Even if this little series helps one person gain that confidence to start their driving journey even if it is the smallest step of practising for a theory test to the bigger ones like booking the Practical test (which you all know I had trouble doing) then I have accomplished what I set out to do in the beginning.

If you have stuck with me through this journey, Thank you so much. Though I may not be the best of writers, I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

" Well thats all from me for now...

...Hey, wait there! You don't think that I'm going anywhere soon do you?...'re going to be back soon right?...

...I've still got to show you the journey of buying my first car... ;) "




Drive safe, Be well and Be Happy.
Much Love