Just a wee bit of encouragement for those folks who have decided to go for their test under their own tutelege; it IS possible! I've always wanted to ride motorbikes, but I've waited until my mid forties before getting around to doing something about it!
I took my CBT about six weeks ago and then decided, rather than spend hundreds of pounds on courses, to spend a few hundred quid on a half decent 125cc bike (I got a wee Suzuki GZ125) and teach myself the rest. There are some really good training videos out there on YouTube, so I spent quite a lot of time watching those and really letting the techniques bed in. For Mod 1, I went and found a very quiet car park on an industrial estate, set out some yoghurt pots (at distances SMALLER than those which are required) and did those tests literally hundreds of times over a couple of weeks so that I could probably do them in my sleep. For Mod 2, it was again a case of watching plenty of training videos and getting in lots of practice. This morning, I passed my Mod 2 with two minors for observations.
I passed all four parts of the test (Theory, CBT, Mod1, Mod 2) at the first attempt in six weeks total time. So, if you're reasonably well motivated and if you're prepared to be self-critical, you CAN do these tests without doing the courses. Just be really rigorous with yourself and acknowledge when things need sorting out. You do need to think a bit further than just riding around for a bit......
There is no doubt at all in my mind that doing this has also made me a much better car driver. Really, MUCH better! This has been a great way to sharpen up my driving skills twenty six years after I passed my driving test!
Now - which bike to buy.....?
Good luck to everyone who's doing the training.