The DVSA sometimes publish average pass rates for their test centres. The fact that they do this leads many people to make the mistake of thinking that examiners have to stick to a certain pass rate.
Pass too many or too few and they move out of the accepted 'normal' range and stand out as unusual.
I've met many examiners and senior examiners across the UK, and in all my discussions with them it's quite clear that this is not the case at all.
Unfortunately, I've also met quite a few driving instructors who are only too keen to tell their learners that they failed because the examiner had to stick to his figures.
Such nonsense doesn't help anyone. All it does is leave their learners feeling despondent and bewildered by the whole thing.
Read on for a discussion about published pass rates and why you should be happy about them.
It's certainly nothing to worry about.
Why Publish Pass Rates?
Every company, organisation, public service department etc. etc. publishes, or at least calculates, average rates or all sorts of things. It's the way large organisations know that things are going well or perhaps not so well. Public agencies like the Police or NHS are terrible for this. They spend time on figures that could be far better spent on other work, but let's not digress.
Examiners have to be trained to a good standard to make sure that the people they pass can all drive safely. They'll watch carefully for any driving faults because the last thing the government, you or I need are lots of dangerous drivers on the roads. To keep us all safe examiners need to be certain that the people they hand a full licence to are fit to be on the roads, capable of driving unaccompanied, and able to deal with any situation they encounter. A good thing to remember is that the examiner will base much of their decision making on your use of the MSM routine.
Think about it. If one examiner passes 95% of the people they take on test whilst another passed only 10%, wouldn't you be concerned?
Surely, the overall standard of learners can't vary to such a wide degree over a long time, so the only thing to conclude would be that these two examiners were assessing the same types of drivers very differently.
That can't be right. That just wouldn't be fair to anyone, it's very important that each of us has the same chances to succeed at whatever we do. If you put in a lot of work, you wouldn't want to be denied your driving licence because the examiner wasn't assessing you the same as an examiner from a different test centre would you?
That's why the figures are collected by DVSA. They are there to protect you and to make sure that all the examiners 'sing from the same hymn sheet'.
Remember, there isn't just one test centre. You'll know your local test centre and I'm sure on your lessons you'll spend a fair bit of time nearby to it, but there are many test centres all over the UK. It's really important that the standards are not just good and fair across all these test centres, they need to be seen to be good and fair, and that's why the figures are published.
When pass rates are seen to be similar from examiner to examiner, test centre to test centre, it's not an indication of a massive conspiracy to cheat some people out of a pass. It's an indication that the examiners are all working to a similar standard and that you can have confidence in the results.
What If I Don't Pass?
If you fail to pass your driving test it's far more constructive to be completely honest with yourself.
Be truthful and try to understand why. The examiners are always willing to go through it with you and leave you in no doubt about what went wrong. If your instructor is with you it's normal for the examiner to ask if you'd like them to be present when they debrief you.
It's entirely your choice but my advice is always to have your instructor with you. It's normal to be upset and it's normal not to remember exactly what the examiner said. With your instructor present you'll have a better understanding and can discuss it afterwards.
By being honest and constructive you can work to put it right. By blaming the examiner or 'pass rates' you are avoiding responsibility for your own learning. More distress lies down that route.
Once you take responsibility for your own learning and your progress, your ability will soar and you'll be through your test as soon as you're ready. You'll look back on any disappointment and it'll soon be a fading memory whilst you're on the road with a full licence. It's a great feeling and you can do it.