Tips for your Driving Test
Documents to bring to your test
Your photo card driving license, If you still have the old style paper driving license without your photo on it? You must also provide a valid passport before the test can be conducted.
How the test works
What happens during the test?
At the start of the practical part of your driving test and after completing your eyesight test. You will be asked 2 safety questions related to your car.
– Eyesight check
You will be required to read a vehicle number plate from a distance of:
– 20 metres for the new style-number plate fitted on some cars.
– 20.5 Metres with vehicles fitted with the old style number plate.
Note: You will be able to note down the car registration number if you have difficulty reading or speaking English.
Independent driving section of the test
Your practical driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It’s not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
During your test you’ll have to drive independently by following either:
1) Traffic signs
2) A series of directions
3) A combination of both
Note: To help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions, the examiner can show you a diagram.
Vehicle safety questions:
You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
The examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question, where you’ll have to show them how you’d carry out a vehicle safety check.
You’ll also be asked one ‘tell me’ question, where you’ll have to explain to the examiner how you’d carry out the check.
Our top 12 tips for your big day
1) Before you take your test, you should practice wherever possible in relatively different types and varieties of roads and traffic conditions. This will make you more confident on your test day.
2) Make sure you have plenty of professional practice, by a good Driving Instructor. Ask family or friends for a recommendation. Some driving schools will use trainee Instructors who are still going through the qualifying process to gain experience for the last final exam.
3) Practice driving on the some test routes. A list of all of these can be found on the Internet. There are normally 10 to 15 test routes per driving test centre.
4) It may be worth to familiarize yourself on the Highway Code street signs and road markings before the test to bring you up to speed again.
5) Be sure to check your mirrors regularly. Make this a little more exaggerated than normal, just so it is clear that you are doing it.
6) Get a good night’s sleep. You’ll feel a lot less anxious with more rest. Eat a good breakfast. It’s difficult to concentrate when you’re hungry.
7) Practice with your driving instructor before taking the test. Refresh yourself on parallel parking, backing up straight round corners, and three point turns.
8) Go over smaller but important things such as checking your rear view mirror and overhead mirror once in a while, as well as coming up to a give way signs. Make sure you use your indicators as and when needed to do so.
9) Make sure your vehicle is ready for the big day. Check that all headlights and indicators, brake lights bulbs work and there are no cracks in the lenses. It also helps if the car is neat and clean inside.
10) Make sure you turn up at least 10 minutes prior to your appointment. It may also be a good idea to use the rest room if necessary before you leave home, as not all test centres provide this facility. Studies show that failure to do so, can cause you to be less confident.
11) Get in the car with the Examiner. Relax. Adjust your seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to suit your correct driving position.
12) Always plan your driving ahead and be prepared to adapt your driving to suit the road and traffic conditions. Remember, Failing to plan, is planning to fail!
Finally, we don’t want to wish you good luck for your test, as luck is for people who are not ready for the test.
So instead we will say, use the skills you have been taught to pass your driving test and keep improving on what you have learned to gain more confidence over you driving career.
Remember that the driving test is the minimum test to get you on the road to drive;
After a few years have passed, you can move on to gaining other license such as those for driving Buses, Coaches, or Lorries which will require a higher standard of driving and skills.
You can find more information about taking your driving test by clicking on the Driving Standards Agency website link below.
…And if you fail?
If you have not passed it’s not the end of the world, remember that there is no such thing as Failure in life, its Feedback!
You have two options:
Firstly, you can book another driving test and wait another 3 months to pass. By doing this you will waste a lot of money taking driving lessons and going over stuff you have learned before.
You can book another test immediately with us through our website, if you require an earlier date? Just tick the box and the end of the booking form.
We are certain you would have failed only on something trivial, perhaps on something that you would not normally do on your driving lessons. So why punish yourself and wait for a longer date to pass?
Don’t let your Driving Instructor put you off. If he/she does not want to help you pass then find another Instructor who does. For example, if you fail your driving test in the summer, with the current waiting time, you could take next test in autumn. Why wait?
Even worse your theory test could run out! Then what? Back to square one?
(Please see our testimonials from genuine people who we have helped to get an earlier date to get on the road to freedom)
Please bear in mind after failing your driving test, you can book a test straight away, but will need to wait for 10 clear working days to elapse until you can re-take the practical test.
Main reasons for failing the test
Nerves: Being nervous can actually work in your favour. How? Being nervous will release adrenaline in your body which helps keep you focused. Nerves allow you to take your situation and the task in hand more seriously. This, in turn, can increase your performance. As an examiner cannot put safety over nerves, you may as well try your best.
Junction Observation: Approach junctions at a sensible slow speed but without being over cautious. Be on the lookout for other road users such as cars, pedestrians, cyclist etc. Before emerging into to the new road, make sure you do not inconvenience or endanger other traffic.
Undue Hesitancy: Drive at speeds which are appropriate to the road and traffic conditions. Remember, if you are thinking of driving as being a good learner and trying to impress the examiner then how safe is your driving? Then this will not score points. To avoid uncertainty on your driving test, make sure you judge every situation properly and decide on priorities.
Over Steering: Grip the steering wheel at either the Quarter-to-Three Position or the Ten-to-Two position. Guide the steering smoothly and at the accurate time. Refrain from crossing your hands over each other when turning the steering wheel. Do not let the steering wheel spin back through your hands when straightening up.
Gear Changes: Remember, gears are to go and brakes are too slow. Make sure you are always in the correct gear for the speed at which you are travelling. You will not be required to use your gears in the exact order like 22.214.171.124.5 or 126.96.36.199.1. You can go from 4th gear into 2nd gear if you speed has dropped and also from 2nd to 4th gear if your speed has increased. This method is known as block changing.
Moving Away Under Control: Your Examiner will normally ask you to move off safely and under control. Let’s look at what is meant by safely and under control.
Safely: Before moving off make sure you look around for other road users, and use your mirrors as well as your blind spots. Consider whether a signal is necessary and if it could benefit others.
Under Control: This will require you to make coordinated skills of the Clutch, Brakes, Gas Pedal. You may be asked to move away from a behind a parked car or even a uphill / downhill gradient type of road.
Corner Reverse Observation: The reverse around the corner require 3 main skills to be able to complete the exercise successfully.
a) Good all round observation.
b) Good coordination of your hand and feet control.
You will need to keep reasonably close and parallel with the kerb without hitting it.
Normal Driving: Positioning your vehicle correctly on the road is an important and key safety element of your driving before and even after the test. By carefully choosing your position you can do much to reduce the risk of having an accident. The general rule is to keep left on the road but also taking into account parked cars, and pay special attention when passing cyclist.
MSM Routine: Mirror-Signal-Manoeuvre routine. The mirrors are normally referred to as the driver’s third eye. Use your mirrors as often as necessary to be fully aware of what is happening on the side and behind you. Remember it is critical that you use your mirrors well before.
– Slowing down or stopping
– Changing lanes
– Turning left or right
Always use your mirrors well and act safely and sensibly on what you see in them.
Correct Use Of Speed: Speed should be related to the amount of road ahead that you can see to be clear, and your ability to stop at a safe distance. This does not mean you drive around slowly causing havoc to other road users. You should also take into account the weather and road traffic conditions. Be sure to observe any road signs and markings and keep within the limits.
This Information has been complied by an, Approved Driving Instructor A.D.I (Car). High graded and experienced Instructor with the Department of Transport with over 18 years of teaching experience.
ADI: Driving Instructor Trainer (Train the Trainer)
PCV license Holder: (D)
Midas Certificate – Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme