Wow, it's been a while. Things have been really hectic and I've not had the time to post anything. It's good to be busy; it's even better when learners transmogrify into fully fledged drivers! That's what it's all about.
"How long will it take to learn...?" I get asked this a fair bit. The DVSA is a government body that runs anything to do with driving tests, driving instructors and other stuff to do with vehicles. According to their figures, the average time taken to learn to drive is 45 hours of professional tuition, plus an additional 22 hours or so of private practice if you get the opportunity.
Now, averages being what they are, there will be some learners who've nailed it in 25 hours and others that don't feel ready at 90 hours.
Lots of things can affect the timescale for learning. A big factor is age; it's a fact that the older we get, the less easily stuff goes in! Our learning - especially physical skills - is just slower than your average 17 year-old. When it comes to taking the test, about 56% of boys at 17 will pass first time. Compare this to 37 year-old men and the pass rate is about 48%. The pass rate for girls at 17 is a little lower at 53%, but it's striking that women at 37 pass only 35% of tests first time.
For older learners, if you find that you're struggling with certain things, just bear in mind that you will get it, but don't go comparing your progress with your neighbours 18 year-old son! The playing field just isn't level.
The one thing that older learners tend to excel at is reliability and perseverance, and that is another key to success. Being committed to regular weekly lessons means that learning is a steady, gradual process. If it's done sporadically, it's more likely that subjects will need to be revised. Skills which have been taught but not practiced much, soon fade and need work to get back again.
With a good teacher, the right sort of practice, with time and determination, it's not a question of "if I pass my test..." but "when I pass my test..."!