Exlent Auto School This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Last September I finally decided to learn how to drive. I figured, I'm 17, I'm busy and need transportation, and nearly everyone else my age already has a license. My parents, fearing that I would wreck the cars and/or get us all killed, flatly refused to risk teaching me. The only available option was to find a driving school. We chose Exlent Auto School.

They have two locations, one in Peabody and one in Winthrop, but they teach just about anywhere in the area of these two towns. I used the Winthrop branch. They offer both individual driving lessons and driver's ed. courses. Individual lessons cost $25. Their courses vary in price from time to time, so I can't give an exact figure.

The first lessons I took were mainly to get a feel for driving. I eventually learned how to do various turns, parallel park, back up and obey the "Rules of the Road." Basically I got a pretty good idea how to operate a car. I took lessons for about two months and then took about a month and a half off. The school took forever to get me a registry appointment, so I had my road test in mid-December, using a school car. And yes, I passed.

The two cars I learned to drive on were a new model Buick Century and a Dodge Aries. Both were kept pretty clean. The smaller car was somewhat of a pain because it was rather reluctant to get moving at times.

I had a few problems with this auto school however. First, the loud music played in the cars made it rather hard to concentrate on what I was doing. I like rock 'n' roll, but not when I'm trying to learn something. Also, I would sometimes have to spend 15 minutes of my lesson driving the previous students home. Some lived a considerable distance away in neighboring towns. I feel that if you have to use one third of your lesson driving other people around, you don't really get your money's worth.

The thing that irked me the most was that the content of the lessons was inconsistent. Even when I was an advanced student, some lessons I would spend doing just easy stuff like driving around doing U-turns. The things I really needed help with (like parallel parking) were ignored.

I'll give credit where credit is due and concede that I did learn well enough to get my license, but I still can't recommend Exlent Auto School. I think they really need to attain a higher degree of professionalism.

P.S. All driving schools require you be at least 16 and have a learner's permit. n




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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