Intensive Courses

Occasionally I am asked whether or not I provide intensive courses (or some people call them crash courses) but I am mindful that the term is open to interpretation. I tend to view an intensive course as having lessons every day (or most days) over a very short term period (days or weeks rather than months).

While an intensive style of learning to drive can suit some people, and can be considered a useful way of learning when there is a pressing need to be able to drive, it does not suit many people. While I do provide semi intensive learning, I do not provide intensive courses in the way that I’ve described them but it may be helpful to understand the key six reasons why (below):-

1. Intensive courses require a lot of time dedicated to one learner in a very short space of time. Like most instructors, my diary is full most days with learners who have regular weekly lessons (I tend to have around 15-20 active learners being trained by me at any one time). There would simply not be enough time in my diary to allocate so much time to one learner (for an intensive course).

2. If a learner or their instructor has a short term illness, it might mean one or two lessons need to be cancelled. For those with an intensive course, it could mean that whole course has to be cancelled.

3. By definition, intensive courses mean that the majority of lessons (usually around 50 hours) are performed in a very short period of time. For most people, this does simply not allow learning to be fully absorbed as most people need some time between lessons to take stock and for learning to be fully understood and processed (in the same way that the A Level syllabus is designed to develop learning over a two year period and not over a two week period of intensive learning).

4. While most learners do require around 50 hours of lessons, some need more time. This is difficult to plan for when arranging an intensive course as it can take several lessons to assess the pace of learning for each individual.

5. Spreading 50 hours of learning over several months rather than a few weeks or days provides more exposure to a greater variety of situations. It is quite possible to learn in an intensive short period and yet never experience driving in the rain, windy conditions or when there are roadworks.

6. In my experience, most learners start to focus on their driving test within the final month or two of their lessons. For learners who learn in an intensive way, with a test date coming up before they have even learned the basics, they can wrongly focus on a test and the additional pressure of an imminent test can affect their learning.

Some driving schools that specialise in intensive courses will have a different business model (not having so many pupils). While I do not promote or provide intensive courses (for all the above reasons), I do recognise that semi intensive learning (2 or 3 lessons a week) can help shorten the process but, again, this does not suit everyone and does require an instructor who has two or three slots available (at a time that also suits you).

Learning to drive in an intensive manner is not a style of learning that suits everyone, so embarking on this route needs careful consideration. In my experience, the people who benefit most from such intensive courses are focused individuals who can commit to and are used to an intensive style of learning and do not have the opportunity to practise (e.g. with a parent) between lessons.

In my view, a semi intensive start is good compromise, as it helps to avoid large gaps between the early lessons (when there are a lot of new skills to develop and a lot of information to retain). Obviously, it depends on the individual’s learning style but I am happy to provide semi intensive starter sessions to new learners (subject to diary commitments) and will also consider a semi intensive course (see below for my definition) but needs to be planned well in advance. Summer time can be a good option, when some of my pupils (uni students) leave Nottingham for a few months and I have more diary options to offer.

Semi Intensive Starter – 2 or 3 driving lessons a week for 2-3 weeks (followed by regular weekly lessons)

Semi Intensive Course – 2 or 3 driving lessons a week (2 hour sessions), for at least 6-8 weeks

If you are interested in learning in a more intensive way (in the Chilwell test area of Nottingham), I would welcome the opportunity to chat through your plans with you and would suggest that you contact me to outline your plans in more detail.