ARE INTENSIVE COURSES EFFECTIVE ? intensive courses seem to be the fashionable way to learn to drive these days, but are they effective? it’s true that many people have busy lives and more often than not have to take holiday from work in order to learn to drive. More over some people have to learn quickly in order to secure an existing job or gain one. In light of my 28 years experience of the profession there are many pro’s and con’s of doing your lessons this way.
As a matter of fact they are expensive because they take up a lot of an instructors time in a short span. As a result we can’t teach many others at the same time. Similarly there is pressure on both sides to achieve fast results. The heat is on to turn someone who cannot drive into a person fit to be let lose on Britain’s roads in a car alone. So in light of this, the question you need to ask yourselves. Before applying for and thinking about taking an intensive course. Is do you think you can gain enough knowledge in a short space of time in order to drive unaccompanied on all different types of road? Could you see yourself dealing with the many difficult situations the road can throw at us at any time?
WHAT EXACTLY IS INTENSIVE ?
What’s your take on the word “intensive”? of course that depends on your situation. If you have driven before and have got to or are very nearly test ready then a short block of say 10 / 20 hours in a week to 10 days could be beneficial and are generally not too stressful. If you have never driven before and are a complete beginner then trying to learn to drive in a week, in my opinion, is a disaster waiting to happen. These courses tend to be daylight robbery in terms of pricing and in my humble opinion are dangerous.
There is absolutely no way a person can go from never driving a car to a competent driver in a week. More over these courses are done in a fashion whereby you drive from 8am in the morning until 5pm with short comfort breaks. Personally I refuse to do them.
Teenagers in particular have trouble concentrating for long periods of time. This can be due to many factors. One at least maybe because they are in general doing A levels or going to University at that age and have enough pressure already. In fact they generally chose intensive in order to get “driving out of the way”. I hate to burst a lot of bubbles but it doesn’t really work like that.
HOW WE PROCESS INFORMATION
If you try to learn to drive from scratch in a week. Drive from one end of a day to the other, it is fact your brain will reach a plateau . This means it will reject any new information for a period . Our brains take time to process information and store it. As a result if lessons are longer than two hours .( with the exception of motorway lessons ) , then the time spent after that is lost time and money.
Sometimes doing lessons in blocks of 10 hours at a time can be both time and cost effective. In fact having say 10 hours a week could be a very good compromise. In my experience most people irrespective of age group learn quicker if lessons are close together in terms of days. Some of my best results have come from doing 2 hours a day over a month. This tends to tick all the boxes. Still dine quickly, the brain retains all the information received and so it’s money and time well spent. This method does also look after your bank account, not to mention your sanity and your instructor’s.
The above two links on attention span make for interesting reading. The next link below contains some helpful pointers for improving attention span.
So take everything into account before deciding which way you want to learn. Remember a driving licence is one of the most important things you will ever achieve. It’s a huge responsibility and will open so many doors for you. It is life changing. So spend wisely and learn as much about the road and the car as you can before driving alone. A driving test is the assessment that decides when you are safe to drive unaccompanied. It’s a big decision for the person sitting next to you for that 40 minutes. Would you want that decision ?