Getting the badge can mean total freedom and autonomy for so many people. Doing your own hours, choosing your own area, being your own boss; it’s what so many people spend years training for. That training is called the knowledge.
Anyone who’s done the knowledge knows that it’s often hundreds of hours of trying to memorize map routes and even more time spent on a bike, riding around London, trying to take in every street name and point of interest.
Then, to see whether they’ve learnt anything, an examiner will ask just three questions. All of that work boiling down to just three questions. And if they fail enough, they’re back to square one. It’s no wonder then that so many would-be black cab drivers get so affected by this that they often go blank when asked about a route they know.
Maybe they spend the entire week leading up to the appearance not able to concentrate on their practice because they’re so nervous about the appearance. Some examiners even try to catch these students out. The examiner might knowingly say something wrong to confuse the student or poke at their character to see how they’ll react.