ABOUT THE ASSESSMENT DRIVE FOR BECOMING A LONDON BUS DRIVER
This is the portion of the assessment that most applicants dread. However, it is also the most important part of the assessment where your future career is concerned. You must be able to pass the driving assessment examination successfully.
You should be able to perform adequately in these trials regardless of your experience with larger vehicles. In essence, the company wants to see how advanced your skills are and if you will be able to learn others, as well as assessing how well you handle a bus.
The driving assessment will be conducted in an actual bus, and you will be accompanied by an expert assessor/driver. Some companies may give you a brief oral quiz prior to starting the driving assessment, but not all companies do this.
The test actually begins as soon as you enter the bus. You must show that you know common safety procedures, such as putting on your safety belt before starting the bus. You must also listen to what the assessor tells you as you get seated. This is an important part – you will have to listen to the assessor throughout the driving assessment, so start paying attention immediately.
Your test will be conducted in a real bus, but you will be driving on a test course, rather than an actual roadway. Therefore, you should be able to relax somewhat. Test courses are designed to put you through a series of basic driving manoeuvres to ensure that you have at least basic skills behind the wheel. You will also encounter a variety of road conditions during the test. You will also encounter typical “trafﬁc” conditions during your examination.
The instructor will give you directions once you are safely seated. Follow these directions precisely. The instructor will give you directions throughout the duration of the assessment and you will need to follow those directions as closely as possible.
As a note, the instructor will be looking at your overall performance, rather than critiquing you on every single thing that you do. Therefore, if you make a mistake, try not to worry about it. Most mistakes are very minor and can be overlooked. However, the instructor will keep a running tab of your errors. Generally, up to 15 minor mistakes will still yield a passing grade. However, if you make 16 mistakes, you will fail the examination.
Obviously, this gives you tremendous leeway in your driving. As most people will not commit anywhere close to 16 mistakes, you should be able to concentrate on performing the assessment to the best of your abilities, rather than feeling overwhelmed or under pressure that you will not do well. It should be noted that a single “serious or dangerous” mistake will cause you to fail the examination.
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