Some tips

The following includes some tips that I noted on throughout my experience of getting the 3A license at BBDC. For driving pointers that I found myself often referring to, scroll to the bottom of this post.


Fixed instructor/group

First up, fixed instructor and fixed group, should you get it? Personally, I didn’t and had a relatively good experience overall. Of course, I had instructors that left much to be desired and instructors that were friendly and helpful, so your experience will vary as well. While I don’t get that great of a rapport with my group instructors (with only 3 instructors that I saw more than once in my 27 lessons), I grew to enjoy driving and to improve my skills with each lesson. After all, I am there to learn, and any friendly/familiar faces I have learnt to take as a bonus.

Regarding fixed group, all BBDC students are assigned to a fixed group yes, but at a $0 surcharge. I am not 100% sure how this works but according to my conversation with one of the instructors, there is another option to pay for fixed group as well, which ensures that you will be assigned to an instructor from your group. This is because for me, I didn’t know about such differences and had somewhat inconsistent allocation of instructors. (p.s. this may or may not be the case as I never heard about the paying of fixed group option until that conversation. Do let me know if you have any ideas how it works!) So, for me, at times I was getting my group instructors even when I booked under Try Sell for other groups, and other times even when I booked way in advance in my own group, I was getting instructors from other groups. This probably means that if you did not pay any surcharge, you might be randomly allocated unless there are available instructors from your group.

Then, for fixed instructor, you will pay a surcharge for each lesson too. I didn’t go for this scheme as well as I didn’t meet many of my group instructors at the start of my lessons nor did anyone suggest this option to me. I personally feel that it is good to take lessons from various instructors as the instructors have different styles and items that they focus on. However, do take note that some instructors have conflicting tips and can be confusing… (you can read about it in my revision lessons page) but no worries, just ask more and sooner or later you will figure out what is more correct. Anyways, I think unless you absolutely adore/hate any of the instructors, you can still learn under the general scheme.

Booking practical lessons

Next, I believe after circuit breaker, there’s a huge backlog of students booking lessons and tests. The waiting time to book in advance is about 4-5 months, meaning if you start booking in January, you can probably only get a slot for April/May and beyond. Hence, tip I got from my good friend is to book as soon as possible especially if you do not want try sell lessons. As far as I know, you can start bulk booking practical lessons once you can see them in your account and just make sure you get your e-PDL before your first practical lesson. I recommend bulk booking till almost the limit and leave 1-3 slots for try sell lessons.

Else if you don’t want to wait, you can opt for try sell lessons like me. Try sell lessons are slots released within 48 hours by any group’s student. With my first booked lesson in Feb 2021 and tons of time to kill, I just checked back for try sell lessons and managed to get one for Dec 2020.

Try sell lessons

For getting these try sell lessons, check back anytime when you are free as they can be released as and when, and I think many students hog the bookings till pretty last minute lol. Also, I have seen instructors stand by their car and then later end up just parking it again as the students were no show. Anyways, do not hesitate when booking a try sell slot as they can be snatched up in seconds. Aside from checking back manually, I would also suggest for the tech savvy to either write/find a script/bot to check and book slots on your behalf. 🙊 Good luck!

Attending practical lessons

For practical lessons, my tip will be to jot down any feedback, advice, and mistakes you made that you remember. Then read the handbook and your notes before the subsequent lessons. For me, as I was not familiar with driving at all before embarking on the lessons, the notes proved very useful to me. Staring at the circuit map was also especially beneficial for me to know about the lanes and numbering (you do not want a case where you are asked to go to number 47 and then you panic as you cannot find it hahaha that’s me in stage 5). Also, do not be afraid to make mistakes (e.g. mount kerbs, do corrections etc) during lessons as you will grow and learn a lot.

Circuit Tips

Here I want to share some consolidated pointers. Please look at the circuit map for reference while looking at these circuit manoeuvre tips.

  • Turn right at 3, turn left at 38, take note on a very fast lane change with blindspot check
  • DC exit at 46 only allows for right turns and DC exit at 23 only left turns
  • Turn left after slope, turn left at DC 9, slow and do not return wheel fully, if overshot no choice have to reverse
  • Turn right after slope/ramp, turn right at 4/5 low speed control and look at lane to turn to
  • Go to 47 directly opposite in a straight direction remember to change lane to right
  • Crank course turn in only if there’s no give way line (e.g. 14, 15 are exits! Go to 13 or bigger numbers 47, 48, 49 to turn in)
  • Turning at traffic light only allows enough time for one car to pass so wait, and beware to wait behind yellow box near 31

And here are some circuit courses pointers.

  • Take these lessons in the day for a clearer view under the bright light
  • Many tight turns so low speed control is essential, and consider not turning full lock or returning fully for certain tight turns
  • S course: full lock steering is not needed to get through this course
  • Crank course: full lock when kerb is at the start of the door handle
  • DC: Just ensure that you are more towards the right when entering and stop once the right mirror is above the front kerb. Then full lock right into the second pocket. As it is larger than a VP lot, as long as you have about 2-3 times the space you normally have for VP on your right, you can turn out successfully without any corrections.
  • VP: don’t be afraid to do corrections, and remember 3/4 of door to turn out
  • PP: many parts to doing a successful PP so if you overshot one part, you can correct it by starting on the next part earlier
  • Ramp: Straighten car and ensure that the pole is in your center vision. The main thing is to prevent yourself from hitting the pole so it is okay to be jerky imo and accelerating up shouldn’t be too slow either.
  • Slope: Turning out there is actually more space till the perpendicular lane, so you can turn slightly later to prevent hitting the chevron markings.

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