‘Mock’ Part 3 Tests
I’d like to give you some food for thought about the value of the common practice of part 2 and Part 3 mock tests.
We’ve had many trainees tell us that they were amazed that they failed part 2 or Part 3, because they did really well on their mock test.
Similarly, we’ve had trainees tell us that the they have no hope of passing the test, because they did badly on their mock test and the trainer wasn’t very pleased with them.
We use mock tests as well. Both for part 2 and Part 3. But just as we have to be careful with role play, we have to be very careful how we use mock tests, and structure them properly.
Let’s just put things into perspective . . .
I am an experienced ADI trainer, and I have sat in the back on ADI Part 2 and ADI Part 3 tests.
However, I cannot hope to mark an ADI Part 3 test or ADI Part 2 test exactly the same way as an SE will on a real test
SE’s spend a considerable time in training how to mark the Part 3 test. As an experienced trainer, I have developed an extremely good idea of what they are looking for, but I will never be able to claim that I can be completely accurate in my assessment. No trainer can.
For me, a mock test gives me an idea of my trainees level of skills. Quite often, it doesn’t need to last a full 30 minutes to give me what I need. Mock tests give me an indication of where to focus my training, how to build the trainees skills, and as a great reason to positively celebrate any improvement that the trainee displays.
There are other reasons why mock tests need to be taken for what they are . . . just an indication . . .
On Part 3, the SE can take you anywhere, in any kinds of traffic. They can portray an infinite number of different characters, with different personalities, and different problems with their driving.
No two Part 3 tests are ever really the same. So how can any trainer tell you that you would pass or fail as a result of a mock test? We simply don’t know what the conditions will be on the day.
It always upsets me when a trainee tells me how disillusioned they became after a mock test. Their trainer simply highlighted all the weak areas at the end and said “see you next time”.
This is not training. In the section on Core Competencies we talk about the huge importance of dealing with faults actively. As a driving instructor, if you point out your learners weak areas but do nothing to help them improve, you become nothing but a bickering passenger. Your learner learns despite you, not because of you.
ADI training is exactly the same. If a trainer gives a trainee a list of what went wrong after a mock test and does nothing, or little, to rectify weak areas, the trainer becomes nothing more than a bickering driver.
There are many ADI’s who managed to pass Part 3 despite their trainers presence, not because of it. I know many of them personally. It’s such a shame.
An old saying in the teaching profession is that ‘people tend to teach in the way that they were taught’
You have the power to decide right now, that this will not apply to you. Imagine how your learners would feel after a mock test, if you give them a list of what went wrong and did nothing to rectify it.
The message is simple, as a trainer use mock tests carefully and constructively. Just like role play, a mock test can be a remarkably useful learning tool, but if used unwisely, it can be incredibly destructive.