The Driving Test as a Skill and Luck Assessment

How much of a driving test is skill and how much is luck. There certainly seems to be an element of both in tests. We can say some of our pupils pass with a bit of good luck and others fail with a bit of bad luck. But the more skill we have the less luck we need.

If a minor fault is something that is potentially serious, surely the luck element is that it was only a minor. It could have been a serious, or worse still a dangerous fault. This would then lead us to say that no fault should be accepted in order to pass.  How realistic is that. 


I did the Diamond Elite Test which was 90 minutes and I passed. But it was tiring to drive to that standard for that length of time or at least it was for me. Realistically I do not drive to that standard all the time. I try to drive well and am very aware of my faults.


How much can we expect of a learner who is only just starting out. Driving is not a perfect process and getting safely from A-B can be viewed as solving a series of problems or potential problems. 


One of the things with writing this section is the thought that we are not all perfect and driving is not a perfect process. Quite often the difference between a minor fault and a serious one is the presence of another vehicle. So passing or failing for our pupils can often be a matter of luck.


So how do we deal with that. Most of the time our mistakes are forgiving. But sometimes a statistic leaps out of nowhere and changes our lives. 


With this aspect of things we should be encouraging and asking our pupils to reflect. They are unlikely to be having more lessons after passing. So they need something in their driving skills tool kit to keep them safe after passing. This is safe driving for life. Reflect on that!

What should we take away from this view of things:

  • The more skill we have the less luck we need
  • A bit of reflection can make us more skilful