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How to fail your CBT

What you need to know for your CBT

Well the good news is that you can’t; it’s not a test, it takes as long as it takes. Why do people say that you can fail? Principally because normally most people will complete the course in one day and therefore to need additional training is deemed to have failed.

So how can you fail? Well in practice there are two main reasons why someone will not complete the course in a single day:

1/. It was decided that the student hadn’t reached sufficient competence with the machine controls to progress onto the road section of the CBT. Students should be given as much time in the training area as possible, however there is a constraint. If the road section is to be completed, then the instructor must take the students on the road for a minimum of two hours. This means that there comes a point during the day where, if the instructor is to complete the course with any other students present, he or she has got to call time on the off-road practice. This generally means that the student who is struggling will finishing their day in the early afternoon. We will come back to the implications of this and why it is not as bad as it sounds.

2/. The student did progress onto the road but did not show either enough competence with the machine controls or their Highway Code/Road Awareness were not up to a standard whereby the instructor was happy to issue a CBT certificate. Again, we’ll explain more about how and why this can happen, and what it means in due course.

What then is the criteria for the CBT and why isn’t it a test?

There are five elements to the CBT which are made up of a series of objectives and goals. The student can’t move from one element to the next without first fully completing the previous one. Within the elements the instructor can do the objectives and goals in whatever order they deem fit. But the goals must be met; so, if the object is to “Gear change satisfactorily” then this is what the instructor will teach and look to see the student achieves.

On the road the situation is slightly different. This is after all Compulsory – something you must do, Basic – the standard is not as high as that of a Motorcycle Module 2 Test, and Training – the instructor is there to teach the student. This means that instructors are looking for a standard that is best described as “Most of the time”. In other words, the student is cancelling their indicators “most of the time”, or taking a rear observation “most of the time”. Clearly this can’t be applied to all situations; checking carefully to see if it is safe to pull out of a junction is something that must be done “all of the time”. Nevertheless, compared to the Motorcycle Module 2 Test, where even leaving the indicator on once can be enough to fail the test, the standard is basic. Moreover, the instructor is not looking for this “Most of the time” standard from the word go. Remember there are at least two hours of road tuition, and it is only in the last half an hour or so that the instructor, having trained the student, is assessing to see if the student can ride on their own to this “Most of the time” standard.

How is the CBT structured and what do I have to do?

Element A

Element B

Element C

Element D

Element E

So finally, the more you can prepare the easier your day will be:

  • Read the notes you’ve been sent
  • Read your owners handbook (often these can be found online)
  • Read the Highway Code
  • Check your eyesight
  • Practice balance on a bicycle
  • Take an Introductory Lesson before booking
  • Avoid distractions – turn your phone off
  • Take it steady – look up
  • Don’t try to impress yourself or anybody else
  • Remember this is all about your safety – no one wants to see you get hurt