IAM Mock Test with Chief Observer for MKAM, Charlie

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This session would be with my IAM Observer, Ian Souter and Charlie, who is the Chief Observer for the MKAM (Milton Keynes Advanced Motorists) who I am doing my IAM course with. Charlie would be observing my riding as if we were on a test to see if there were any areas of my riding that we can improve on, basically a second opinion, before Ian put me in for my test.

I have to say here that I was really nervous about this session. I think it’s that word ‘test’. I am not good with that word. I didn’t sleep well the night before worrying about how today would go and was struggling to relax.

I met up with Ian and we had a general chit chat before heading off on our bikes to meet Charlie.

The three of us had a chat to start with before Charlie explained how this session would go, the length of the proposed ride was 45 miles, approx. 1 hour depending on traffic, and he gave me a brief overview of the route.

Okay now I was really nervous. Charlie was lovely and tried to make me feel at ease.

We headed off on our route and away we went. I could feel I wasn’t relaxed riding the bike and it wasn’t until about twenty minutes into the ride when I did a couple of overtakes that I felt the my riding change, I had started to relax and was now getting into the ride.

During the course of the ride we covered a combination of roads – dual carriageways, A and B roads, country lanes, towns, villages etc. I think I can safely say we covered them all.

I was really pleased with myself that I didn’t miss an indicate from Charlie.

We got to the finishing point, parked the bikes, grabbed a coffee and sat down. Uh oh, the moment of truth.

All in all I did a very good ride. Charlie said he thought it showed through in my riding to start with that I was nervous and it was not until I did a couple of overtakes (really good overtakes at that too, said Charlie 🙂 ) that he felt my riding changed and I came alive. I definitely agreed with him here.

My positioning, control of the bike at low speed and controlling my speed were all good. I was generally systematic in my riding although not completely and Charlie said I looked comfortable on my bike.

Charlie would however like to see me get up to speed quicker on a dual carriageway, a couple of times I was holding the clutch in whilst at traffic lights instead of putting the bike into neutral and when there is an open view on bends, I don’t necessarily have to take the bends.

So all in all a really good ride and I would have passed today except for one major boo boo!

When filtering a line of stationary traffic I pulled in just before the zebra crossing but I pulled in front of the lead car on the zig zag lines. I should have pulled in behind. Damn. I know I should have.

I am really gutted with myself that I made that mistake. I have been driving/riding for many years now and it is something I do know not to do. I cannot tell you why I did it this time.

There is one plus point though, Ian said on next week’s ride we will find cake …. 🙂





  1. Next time you will smash it

    I can totally relate to your feedback as I am with iam currently and guess what holding the clutch and getting up to speed is the feedback I received this, week

    Onwards and upwards lovely, you’ve got this!

    1. Ahh thank you Annette, I really appreciate you saying that 🙂
      It’s good to hear that I am not the only one that does the clutch thing and not getting up to speed!
      I hope you’re course is going well too and you are enjoying it 🙂

  2. I made a similar mistake on my mock test. Overtaking / filtering stationary traffic on the hatchings in the centre of the road. This is ok if the white line on the edge of the hatchings is broken, but if it is solid then it is forbidden. I didn’t know that and did it on my mock test and would have failed the proper test on that. I learnt from it and two weeks later I passed the proper test and I am sure you will smash it !, so don’t worry. :).

    1. That’s really good to hear, John, thank you for sharing that, it’s good to know I’m not the only one! I am really annoyed with myself that I did it!!

  3. I do sympathise Kaz.
    I have been an Observer, Senior Observer and an Emergency Service driving trainer, so I am no stranger to seeing these sort of nerves get the better of people. To be honest this has probably done you a favour. You now understand the standard required, you have seen that a little more work will put you in a stronger position, but you have avoided the cost and disappointment of failing an actual test.
    Don’t feel down, you clearly did more right than wrong, but it is their responsibility to nit pick.
    Good luck next time!

    1. Thank you Andrew, I appreciate you saying that. I am really annoyed with myself for doing it but hopefully my nerves will be better next time!

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