Monday, January 5, 2009

driving - #30

lucky number: 130

have not updated my mega revision post for ages. In total, i took 29 lessons; 17 for subjects 1 to 30 from 19 Sept to 31 Oct, then 12 more revision lessons from 7 Nov to 3 Jan. The revisions took longer because of exams, and of course a 2 months wait for TP slot.

this was my last lesson, which is the warm up before TP. Booked the 0915 hrs slot, warm up was at 0820.

my past popular mistakes were...

- not stopping at stop line (learnt this the hard way, tio kan by my regular instructor too many times)

- directional change (mount kerb when reversing in or moving out from lot)

apparently, this is the #1 immediate failure reason for auto learners at SSDC too, because testers will often bring us to 17A which is the narrowest of all directional change lots. The Civic body is larger than most other L plate car models, also the turning radius is not as wide.

- some exotic instructions not given before requiring multiple manoeuvres in the circuit. A typical scenario is to do lane change and right turns after turning out from minor road, all in less than 20 metres. Lots of points can be awarded if careless.

the warm up was largely fine, except i forgot to stop at the stop line after doing ramp (terrible habits die hard, immediate failure!) and improper technique for e-brake.

then the instructor brought me up to level 3, helped me handle the paperwork and i sat at the waiting area for my tester and test route. About 10 testees for the test session, all looked so tense. I didn't get nervous until i was the 3rd last to be called. One uncle called me in a business tone, told me my test route (#1) and told me to wait at my test car.

then he took so darn long to come down la! Only left 2 girls driving manual waiting at the test area. Had a chance to say hello to one of them before we finally left.

- 17A (directional change)
- 25 (parallel parking)
- 16 (s and crank course)
- 14B (vertical parking)
- 27 (slope)
- 13 (ramp)
- test route #1 (u-turn at AJC)

demerit: 2 points for turning steering wheel while car is stationary at 25. The lot has uneven surfaces, so not much of a choice unless i stepped on the gas and risked knocking down poles.

went back to school, hastily parked the car and followed the tester up. Then he showed me my result slip! Watched the graduation video, picked up my training booklet from counter 1.

thanks to these instructors. Fierce or kind or boring, they facilitated my learning process:

- Mr Raup (5833); took me for first 2 lessons
- Mr Tan KP (5532); very friendly+fatherly instructor
- Mr Yeow SC (5621); my most regular instructor, no-nonsense principle in teaching. Screw up and you're dead. But he gets his job done.
- Mr Ramesh (5414); took me for last few lessons, extremely encouraging

- Mr Tham KY (5643 and Chiau TK (5428): riding instructors, met them only once but knew my weaknesses and made me improve on them.


my humble advice to those learning in progress...

- learn as much as you can during practical lessons

- don't cram lessons if you cannot absorb (i'm guilty of this, luckily i had enough revision lessons)

- don't rote learn according to notes (that's what i did), learn to perform corrective actions advised by instructors

- don't be embarrassed to make mistakes in circuit, it's not painful as long as it's not your TP

- maintain constant --> frequent revision lessons towards test date. It was during revisions that my funny problems crop up... such as the mount kerb problem. During training, no such problem.

- aim to get your license to DRIVE on the road, not to pass TP.

looking for buddies to teach me real life parking!

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