Top 5 Mod 1 Tips
When I think back to when I first started learning to ride, my biggest fear was doing the Module 1 (Mod 1) Test. The Module 2 Test just seemed a whole lot simpler. Let’s face it the Mod 1 has all the scary bits in, such as the U-Turn, the Figure of Eight or “hate” (as some students have affectionately named it) and even Pushing and Wheeling the bike can seem like a ridiculous task when even holding the bike up is hard work. So if I could go back and give myself some tips and advice, what would it be?
- Find a school that offers practice sessions on your local DVSA Test Centre site
Practice time on the test pad is invaluable and can leave you more relaxed and comfortable being in such an unusual environment. Not all schools offer this practice time, but all ATBs (Accredited Training Bodies) have access to booking free slots on the DVSA test sites at weekends, so my advice is to do your research and find a school that does offer it. The surface of the MMA (Motorcycle Maneuver Area) at the DVSA test centre is extremely grippy and more porous than most roads, so it can also give you more confidence when practicing the emergency stop exercise and the avoidance exercise. Whilst most of the exercises can be practiced on other training area’s, I think familiarisation plays a big part in how relaxed you feel on test day. If you haven’t seen an MMA in real life yet, you’ll be surprised at how big they are and how quickly you can become ‘cone blind’. Once panic has set in, it’s really difficult to calm those nerves.
- Invest in VideoBiker
VideoBiker is a great addition to your DAS training. Even whilst becoming an instructor, I found the information given on the VB website outstanding. We can only retain about 30% of the information we receive whilst training, so what a great way to revisit what you have learned whilst training with your instructor. The best thing about watching videos in your own time, is that you can play them back as many times as you wish, in the comfort of your own home. These video’s includes the students perspective, with head cam, the examiner’s perspective as well as animated aerial views, so you know exactly what’s expected of you.
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- Take your time
The allocated test time for your Mod 1 test is 30 minutes. You’ll complete it in around 15 minutes. My advice to all students is that the 30 minute slot is yours – you’ve paid for the examiner to watch you, so don’t feel rushed, you’re paying them, not the other way around. Before each exercise take a moment to compose yourself, take a few breaths, even if you really just want to get it out the way and over and done with. It’s even more important to do this if you feel you made a hash of the last exercise. If you did, you need to remember that if you take that mistake with you to your next exercise, it will weigh you down, making the next exercise more difficult. I found the most stressful part of the whole test was pushing and wheeling the bike, which is really silly, as it doesn’t require a lot of skill, but I found it was the most physically awkward. My instructor made it look like a doddle, which of course, made me feel even more awkward. However, knowing that instructors like myself now do that exercise day in day out has also made me realise that it doesn’t have to be smooth, or pretty, it just needs to be pushed from one bay to the next, without knocking any cones over. Your instructor will show you the easiest way to do this.
- Look at the diagram
Along with taking your time, if you are not sure what the examiner has asked you to do verbally, you can always ask them to repeat it (remember it’s your time) and even get them to show you on the diagram they have on their clipboard. On my test, the examiner offered to show me what he wanted me to do, but I had practiced and watch the videos that my training school provided, that many times I really didn’t need to see it. However sometimes, it can just help to clarify what you need to do. Again, giving you a bit more time to focus on the task ahead.
If you have never seen the diagram you can download it here
Make sure you have all your documents ready in plenty of time. You’ll need
- a valid CBT certificate
- a valid theory test certificate
- driving licence
- plus glasses if you wear them for riding (although an eye-sight test is not done on your Mod 1)
Make sure that your CBT has plenty of time left on it so that you’re not rushing to get your test done, this of course can add to the test pressure. If your theory test pass runs out in between taking your Mod 1 and Mod 2, unfortunately your Mod 1 test will need to be taken again. This doesn’t happen very often, but it can so easily be avoided with better planning. Want more advice? Get in touch with Laura here.