When it comes to the adi part 3, commentary driving, is not only vital, it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL, if you can't do it or don't practice it you cannot hope to pass part 3.
This skill is needed in both phase one and phase 2 of your adi part 3 test.
Commentary driving takes lots of practice
When you learn to commentary drive, you have to learn to be specific in what you say, remember on this exam the SE will do EXACTLY as you tell him.
For instance if the SE is doing moving away and stopping and you say "clutch up" that is exactly what he will do.
You need to be able to say "I want you to very slowly and gradually begin lifting the clutch up a small fraction at a time/the thickness of a pound coin, until you feel the front of the car lift slightly, or you hear the noise of the engine change"
This way you are giving the SE and at the same time showing you will let your pupils know just how little an amount they need to move the clutch pedal to engage the biting point.
The same goes with the steering if you say to him as you are moving away "turn the wheel to the right" the SE will more than likely do full right lock!
You know that you don't mean turn it that much, but the SE much like your future pupils won't be psychic to be able to know that!!
Precise Commentary driving
So you need to be able to explain the steering wheel is like a clock face,
"I'd like you turn it to 2 o'clock, 10 o'clock and now 12 o'clock and that is how we get our road position a metre from the kerb"
This is the reason so many pdi's fail part 3, that are on pink licences. Very often they will just tell the pupil turn it right and then left and the pupil uses common sense and only turns it a small amount. But let's get one thing straight and clear
They did it but NOT because you taught them too!!!!
The adi part 3 test is a TEACHING EXAM, it is a test of your teaching ability, it is NOT a test of whether your pupils can exercise common sense and do it DESPITE you not telling them!
So an example of commentary driving would be for stopping
- Check centre mirror,
- check left mirror,
- signal down for left,
- off the gas,
- cover the brake,
- cover the clutch,
- steer 11 o'clock,
- steer 1 o'clock,
- steer 12 o'clock,
- Gently start braking,
- clutch down,
- gently brake to a stop,
- Keep your feet still,
- hand brake on,
- in to neutral,
- cancel the signal,
- rest your feet
- and smile!
You need to be able to rattle this off at the same time as watching the SE to make sure they are doing everything as instructed, as well as making sure of you road positioning for the timing of these commands.
This of course also applies to phase2, where as soon as you see a problem developing you can always step in and control it by means of commentary or fully guided instruction.
If you have any questions regarding commentary driving please feel free to ask.