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Driving test

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GCSE coursework              Aaron Patterson 11A


I have been given the assignment of investigating how students perform in their driving test. I will look at different factors and see what effect they have on the number of mistakes the driver makes. The data of 240 records, subdivided into various categories (shown below), will be analysed.

  1.  Driver: The drivers name is not given- instead the name is replaced by a letter. This hides the identity of the student.
  1. Gender: Shows if the driver is male or female. I could use the data to find out if males are better drivers than females.
  1. Number of Lessons: I will investigate the number of lessons needed to pass the test. There is a big range in the data. This could be due to some students having extra lessons from friends and parents etc. Also some people may be lacking in self-assurance, which could effect their concentration while driving.
  1. Number of Mistakes: A pupil has failed if they have made over 15 mistakes.
  1. Instructor: Instructor names have been given letters A, B, C, and D to hide their identity. From the data it appears that instructors A and B have the most students than C and D. This is could be because instructors A and B are more popular e.g. Instructor A and B may be better teachers than C and D.
  1. Time of Test: Timing of a test may have an effect how a student performs e.g. rush hour is between 9 – 5.
  1. Day of test: The day the student takes their examination can affect their performance. E.g. busy roads Mon – Fri.

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It would take on average 40 lessons for a student to pass their test. This indicates that lessons are nearly not worth while because lessons can be about £50 each. It would cost the average person learning to drive, about £2000, which is a large sum of money, especially for students.

In the data, some of the driver’s are missing their “number of mistakes”. I will use my formula to fill in some of this missing data:

























The results show that with my formula drivers 63, 74 and 216 failed their test. Only driver 118 passed.

Hypothesis 1 (“The more lessons taken by a pupil the fewer mistakes they make in the test’) is correct. This means that my prediction also correct.

I feel that gender would be a big factor. I think that females benefit more from lessons than males, because females in general, are more nervous and lessons would boost their confidence more than males. For hypothesise 2, I am going to investigate gender to see if females need more lessons than males.

Hypothesis 2

Females will benefit more from lessons than males.

I think that females will benefit lessons more because females are more nervous and lessons would help them to become more confident. I will draw two graphs, one for males and the other for females, to work out what gender benefits lessons the most. I am expecting that there will be a negative correlation in the scatter graphs and that the correlation will be stronger in the females’ trend line compared to the male’s trend line on the scatter graph.

...read more.


When working with number of mistakes and number of lessons, I came up with the idea that gender might have an effect, therefore I brought forward hypothesis 2.

Hypothesis 2:

Females will benefit from lessons more than males was my 2nd hypothesis. I thought that females would benefit more from lessons because females are more nervous and lessons would help them to become more confident. This turned out to be incorrect. Males benefited more than females. I was shocked to find that it would take 200 lessons for the average female to pass the test.

Given that lessons obviously had an impact on number of mistakes, I considered if the quality of the lessons made a difference, hence the quality of the instructor. This is where I established hypothesis 3.

Hypothesis 3:

Depending on what instructor a pupil gets, can have an impact on whether a pupil passes their driving test.

I finished in stating that my hypothesis 3 was correct and that I was correct in saying that for the majority of the instructors, males will perform better than females. Males performed better than females for 3 out of 4 instructors. I considered this because males in general, can be more out going and are more confident than females. Instructor A turned out to be the best instructor for both genders (72% of male pupils passed and 74% of females passed). However driving instructor A was unusual because females had a better pass rate than males.

If I were to do this investigation again, I would have a larger amount of data to make this investigation more reliable. I would also add more specific details, such as “the gender of instructor” , “month driving test was taken”, “cost of lessons”, “how long lesson lasts” and “how long did driver practice for test”  These factors would help me investigate in more depth.

...read more.

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