Hello from West Sussex

A good place to post when you join - it is a good idea to post here first so that people know something about you, and you will get a nice welcome.
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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Bumblebee16 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:25 pm

I have just sent my email to my Observer as I had only sent a short text yesterday to break the news to him.

On my last observed drive, my Observer was being observed by another (higher) Observer, who I will call Tina.
I met Tina when I had first joined the group and she took me on my first drive. On that occasion, she commented that the drive was safe and good, but needed to be sharpened up to be advanced level. The two main concerns were my left hand bend road positioning and that I had used my indicator too often, when it hadn't been necessary to do so.

I had a moment to talk to Tina following the last observed drive and she said that it had been an enjoyable drive and agreed with my Observer that I should put in for my test straight away.

I had already done a pre-test drive with another IAM examiner and he was so professional.
He talked me through the test process and what to expect on the test. He gave me a really good grilling on car maintenance and on the meaning of POWDER. He tested me on road signs throughout the drive and gave me a very good commentary before asking me to do a commentary.

Unfortunately, I had arrived late to the pre-test as my car had failed its MOT a couple of hours before, and was unable to be repaired in time. Therefore, I took the pre-test in my daughter's car. My drive was not as smooth as it would have been in my own car and I made a silly mistake which meant I did not deserve to pass. However, I knew that the drive had not been to the required standard and I had not expected anything other than a fail.
Last edited by Bumblebee16 on Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Gareth » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:28 am

Commiserations, Bumblebee16, hope it goes better next time.

A few reactions to your comments ...

Bumblebee16 wrote:Examiner quickly flashed ID Card on arrival.

Is there an issue here? You've arranged to meet someone at a particular place, so if they say the right words it's most likely the right person.

Bumblebee16 wrote:Did not seem interested in being shown around the car when invited, so I just commented that I had washed it ready for the occasion.

Why not just verbally run through the pre-drive checks you did before you set out, and only expect to show the examiner if they ask. Not really sure why you washed it in preparation for the test, nor why you mentioned it. Presumably you'd normally wash it if it were dirty, and mentioning it makes it seem like you'd not normally bother, if you see what I mean.

Bumblebee16 wrote:Did not ask any questions relating to car or any checks made on the car (POWDER)

Same as above - up to you to tell the examiner if that's what you want to do, not up to them to ask.

Bumblebee16 wrote:Did not carry out an eye sight test

I'd be surprised if an examiner did this? What are others' experiences?
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby crr003 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:57 pm

Gareth wrote:
Bumblebee16 wrote:Did not carry out an eye sight test

I'd be surprised if an examiner did this? What are others' experiences?

Is this an IAM Test under discussion?
Maybe an Admin could move the relevant posts to a more suitable topic.

Anyway, if it is an IAM Test, the latest documentation clearly states:
"After the document disclaimer is dealt with the examiner will conduct an eyesight check........"

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Bumblebee16 » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:58 pm

I took the IAM test. On my pre-test I was given a few tips, such as
Arrive punctually
Ensure the vehicle is clean and tidy
Invite the examiner to look around the vehicle. He/she will want to check the condition of tyres, damage, etc
Ensure you can reel off the meaning of POWDER/Y fluently when asked
You will be given an eyesight test
You will be read the disclaimer
I was asked to confirm that I am insured to drive the car.
I was informed I would be required to do a rolling brake test, and if not, I should offer it to the examiner.

During the mock test, I was given an example of commentary and asked to give commentary, as it is a part of the advanced driving test.
I was constantly being asked about road signs we had passed.
Directions were given clearly and in good time (e.g. turn right at the roundabout, that's the 3rd exit, signposted to ...)

The mock test was a completely different experience to the actual test. I had expected the test to meet set standards/criteria.

As a gesture of goodwill, I have been offered a retest at IAM's expense. However, at the moment I don't know if I will accept their offer. The reason I started the advanced driving was to regain driving confidence following a collision last year. The advanced driving course has served that purpose and I am a better driver than I was before I started the course. I was distraught when I hadn't passed the driving test, so is there really any need for me to put myself through the process again after this experience? I would probably be more nervous next time round!
Last edited by Bumblebee16 on Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby akirk » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:42 am

Do it :) yes you may be more nervous but explain that to the examiner, but think how much confidence you will gain from passing and from your comments there is no strong reason why you shouldn't...

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby M1ke H » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:02 pm

To echo Alasdair's comment - Do it!

I had an Associate a couple of years ago who challenged an IAM test result. Like you, he was offered a re-test at no cost, but was also told he could ask for another examiner and/or another area if he wanted. For reasons that I never understood he declined, but he was eminently capable of passing and to me, would have proved to himself that he could do it and could do it well. With this one exception I've never had an Associate who hasn't enjoyed the test experience, even if they have found it nerve wracking to a greater or lesser extent :) . All have come away with positive feedback and learnt a lot from the debrief.

My suggestion would be to seek advice from your local group and Observer and possibly arrange for a different examiner in a different location if that works for you.

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby martine » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:31 pm

Bumblebee I too would urge you to take another test with a different examiner. It does sound like you had an inexperienced car examiner who slipped up on a few things.

How about going for a refresher drive with an observer, getting some honest feedback and going for it again? I think you may be pleasantly surprised and I'm sure it would be satisfying to 'complete' the process and get a certificate to prove it!

Treat it as a learning exercise and remember there is always more...more skills, perfecting existing skills, higher tests (if that is your thing)...it's never-ending.
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer, Group Secretary, Masters (dist), DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Bumblebee16 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:07 pm

Thank you for your positive comments.
I have been beating myself up today for being such a nasty person! :bash:
I will consider taking a retest.

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby superplum » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:47 pm

Bumblebee16 wrote:Thank you for your positive comments.
I have been beating myself up today for being such a nasty person! :bash:
I will consider taking a retest.

Well, we'll consider you to be a "nasty person" and do the beating up if you don't take a free retest - have confidence, you've worked for it!

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Re: Hello from West Sussex

Postby Bumblebee16 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:34 am

akirk wrote:
Bumblebee16 wrote:Thanks, Alasdair
I have no excuse for the speed. I knew the limits and didn't manage to stick to them.
It was icy this morning and maybe I was relying on gears to slow down further, rather than braking firmer before the gear change.
The right hand bends have never been an issue for me before today. I do tend to hug the left side of the road, but there were some areas this morning where it would not have been safe to do so because of the state of the edges.
Whatever the reasons, the result is the same.

icy roads are interesting - the gears v. brakes is a psychological trick of the mind - we tend to think that we will use gears to slow the car down to avoid issues with slippery road and tyres - however...
- your car slows down because of either inertia (in which case just take your foot off the accelerator) or because of friction against the road from the tyres...
- both braking and engine braking still rely on tyre - road interface
- engine braking will only brake the driven wheels, so on most cars that is half as many as braked wheels
so braking is better :)

there is validity in choosing to not hug the bend - but your driving should be deliberate, so:
- correct speed & hugging left of bend is okay
- slightly slower speed to compensate, a little further into the road, commentary saying that you are avoiding slippery edge of road = okay
- examiner not having a clue why you are doing what you are doing = not okay :)


Thank you for this. It is very helpful and something I will be putting into practice.
Last edited by Bumblebee16 on Sun Dec 11, 2016 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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