Should I do an intensive course?

Many driving schools/instructors offer "intensive courses" but that doesn't mean that they all define "intensive course" in the same way, nor does it mean that they all offer exactly the same thing - all intensive courses are different!
There isn't a "standard" intensive course.
Intensive courses, Semi-Intensive Courses, Crash Courses, Fast Pass Courses - all of these mean basically the same thing - a course of driving lessons that get you to Practical Test standard in a shorter timescale than the "traditional" one driving lesson a week.


So for some people an intensive course means having 2 or 3 lessons a week, for others it can mean cramming 40 hours of learning into one week and so on...
It all depends on how much tuition YOU need and what your timescale and availability is.
You need to allow time to study for and pass your Theory Test and having done so, then get a Practical Test appointment. Test waiting times vary, but generally speaking you should allow 2-3 weeks for a Theory Test appointment and 5-12 weeks for a Practical Test date depending on where you live, so there's rarely much point in being in too much of a rush to have loads of lessons in a short timescale.


We would always advise AGAINST the type of course where you drive all day, every day for say a week and take your test at the end. Unlike academic exams, learning to drive is a skill that does not suit "intensive style cramming"...most driving instructors will acknowledge that learning to drive is a very different type of  skill that most people are unused to and that in a nutshell, rushing it tends to be very much counter-productive for the majority of people.
When you aren't used to it, driving can make you VERY tired, it requires a lot of concentration and mental effort and you need time to consolidate what you are learning. For most people a 6 to 8 hour long driving lesson is much more information than their brain can process effectively and they would be better off spreading their lessons over a slightly longer timescale.
Also, teaching people to drive is tiring as you have to be able to give 100% concentration ALL the time. We seriously doubt the capability of most driving instructors to be doing that properly for such long periods of time without a break. How good is the quality of tuition going to be by the end of the day when both the instructor and pupil are frazzled?
In our experience and from numerous accounts we have heard and read, some of these "short-timescale" intensive courses (1-2 weeks)


1) teach multiple pupils at the same time (i.e one instructor with 2 or even 3 pupils in the car simultaneously with one pupil driving and the others "observing"),
 

2) book "short-notice" tests at any test centre they can find and which are often many miles away from where the pupil has had their lessons and hence they are totally unfamiliar with the area in which they take their driving test,
 

3) do not and can not guarantee that anyone will get to test standard in the number of hours they pre-book
 

4) often have pass rates which are significantly LOWER than the national average test pass rate
 

5) sometimes advertise "guaranteed pass" - this is impossible. No-one can guarantee a test pass. It's all down to how well the individual drives on the day of the test. What this actually means is that they will provide a  re-test and/or extra training but there is never a "guarantee”. It's an unfortunate fact that some people will NEVER pass a driving test.


But 2/4 lessons a week while you have the time available sounds pretty reasonable as you can get the bulk of your learning done in that time (provided of course that your instructor can accommodate your request for that many lessons) as long as you understand that there is an inevitable wait for test dates and you're not going to be taking your test imminently, you can then keep your driving "fresh" on the lead up to your test by reducing your lessons to one a week or so.