I finally got my license!

February 17, 2012

My G2 road test was this morning – the fourth time I’ve taken the test in as many months, but this time I passed!

I’ve been working really hard on the driving practice stuff ever since the last test, in the first week of January – I figured that I knew what mistakes I was making, so I made an effort to drill on those things when I was out driving with my brother – left turns, stop signs, roadside stops, three-point turns, and parallel parking. I took an extra hour of paid instruction with my driving teacher from A-1 academy, and he said that he thought I was doing well and shouldn’t be nervous about taking the test again.

So, the test appointment was booked for 10:10 am this morning – I picked the day because this is the week before reading week at McMaster university, so I thought the streets would be a bit busier in the morning next week. Tried to get to bed early last night, had a bit of trouble nodding off, but I woke up at quarter to seven feeling pretty good. Hopped into the shower first thing, grabbed oatmeal and logged into the work network to finish some tweaks on the ratesheet interface while I waited for 9.

At nine, my brother came by to pick me up – we went by McDonalds to get him a coffee and a muffin. I drove around a bit, just trying to loosen up – I did a roadside stop along Kentley drive, where the examiner had me do it last time, and my brother said that I was closer to the curb than I needed to be, but I didn’t touch it, so I felt good about that.

Then to the testing center to sign in, and back out to the car to wait for the examiner. I’d brought a CD to play while I waited – it was a somewhat odd mix, and I ended up singing along to Little Big Town and Roger Whittaker. Noticed all the instructors that I’d had before go to other cars while I waited. (The guy that I had in November and January was really nice, the lady that tested me in December seemed grumpy and made me more nervous.)

When my tester came out, he seemed pretty cool too, and I felt myself driving in the zone as I started going through the test. It was the same route as I’d driven in January – but he didn’t tell me to do the roadside stop along Kentley, or anywhere else. I remember thinking as I turned off Kentley that “Okay, now I don’t know when it’s going to come”, and then figured out when he told me to turn up Kenora towards the test center that he might not have me do it at all. I was also thinking, then, that I wasn’t sure if I was passing, but I was driving well and giving it my best shot.

I didn’t have to do a proper roadside stop. I did the three-point turn and the parallel park in the test center parking lot, and he asked me, as I finished the parallel park, which way I should turn my wheels if I was parking uphill. That was it.

I have a few checkmarks for ‘Needs some improvement’ on my official evaluation paper – incorrect vehicle position in the 3-point turn, observation while backing up, and turning too wide. But I’ll have plenty of time to work on those before I take the next road test, for the full permanent G license.

Next step – car shopping! I’ll let you know how that goes soon.

My drive to get a G2 licence – update

January 14, 2012

So, I took another G2 road test on Monday, and did much better than last time,¬†and somewhat better than the road test I had in November, but I still didn’t pass. Hopefully one more try will do the trick – if I keep devoting time to driving practice, drilling on some of the maneuvers that trip me up, and build some of what I learned from this last try into behind-the-wheel habits.

One of the big problems, which I feel a bit foolish about, was that I’ve gotten sloppy about staying in my lane when turning at an intersection, to the point that I didn’t even think of it as something that I should be making an effort at during a road test. I think that some part of my brain even figured ‘if you just turn into the lane that you’re going to want to be in, then he can’t dock you points for muffing the lane change.’ Probably true as far as it goes, but not much good if you get docked for screwing up the turn! Sigh…

Aside from that, it was mostly stuff that I knew were my weak points before – the ‘roadside stop as if you’re on a slope’ always seems to come back to haunt me, but I’ll get it next time, I really think I will. I scored better for looking around myself and using my mirrors, and did a little better on the parallel park – didn’t tap the barrel behind the parking spot, though I got half a point off for getting too close to it and not looking behind me when I was in reverse.

I want to remember to call the driving teacher from A1 academy this week, so that I can get some feedback from somebody a bit more experienced than my brother before the next test. And I still haven’t booked an appointment for February yet. My brother is picking me up tomorrow for another practice session. I drove home from work on Thursday with him, and that went fairly well.

I just gotta keep at it.

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