Tips to passing your driving test
Before the test
Be well prepared: Most people need at least 40 hrs of experience. The more hours you put in – the more likely you are to pass your driving test.
Have professional lessons with a good instructor. This increases the chances of you passing first time as your instructor should be familiar with modern driving test standards. Note: if you have completed 60 + hrs with the same instructor and have failed at least 3 times – maybe it’s time to change instructor!
Be persistent! Remember the parable of the race between the hare and the tortoise. The tortoise won because he just kept going. With determination even the least gifted drivers can pass first time!
The Beginning of the test
The test lasts about 40 minutes.
Arrive about ten minutes before your test appointment time. Make sure you have a valid driving license – plastic part only.
Make sure you bring glasses, if needed. Make sure you meet the eye site requirement, as if you fail this at the beginning of the test you will not be allowed to take the test.
Make sure you concentrate at all times especially just after you have completed the manoeuvre.
Treat the examiners with respect and dress suitably. Be friendly, they do a difficult job.
Ask your instructor to come with you. Normally they will sit behind you but not take any part in the test. The advantage of this, is if for any reason you don’t pass, then the instructor will know exactly where you need to improve. Of course if you pass they will also see your success in action!
Know your ‘show me tell me questions’ thoroughly! These questions are going to be the first impression the examiner has of you, so make it a positive one!
During the test
During the test the examiner may make notes. Don’t let this distract you. Remember, they write up a report about the test and so it could be good things they are writing!
Any serious or dangerous fault means you will fail. A good pass is one without any serious or dangerous faults and six minors or less. If you repeat a minor fault three times or more then it could become a serious fault.
Most people seem to fail within 5 minutes of leaving the test centre or 10 minutes or so from the end!The period after completing the manoeuvre is often critical. Roundabouts and junctions are where most people fail.
If you feel really nervous talk to yourself under your breath. Concentrate on what you can see and are doing rather than how you feel!
Anticipate and plan.
Be aware and focused
As part of the test you will asked to perform 10 minutes of independent driving: You will either follow a set of instructions, a map, or road signs.
If you are unsure of where to go, ask the examiner. If you do go the wrong way – say at a roundabout – in general it’s better to do that, than in haste change lanes, forget to looking properly and end with a serious fault!
Some pupils find it easier to repeat the examiners instruction: “at the end of the road turn right”. It helps them concentrate.
If the examiner doesn’t give you an instruction then assume its straight ahead.
Keep to the speed limits and don’t dawdle. If you go everywhere at 20mph in a 30mph limit without reason you will fail if you keep doing it!
Don’t break the speed limits – you will fail!
If you are not sure of the speed limit assume its 30mph.
If you stall remember that is NOT an automatic failure. It’s how you handle it. If you handle it safely then you will be fine. If your keep stalling however then this may be marked as a serious fault.
At some point of your test you will probably do some busy town driving. Don’t take risks, go for the low risk solution when meeting other vehicles.
Watch indicators clicking off especially when turning right at a roundabout.
Use plenty of mirrors – rear mirror when slowing and right mirror when moving past parked cars. Check your mirrors every 10 seconds (helps you concentrate and stay aware)
Moving off and stopping
Moving off and stopping safely is an important part of the test which will be tested three or four times. Make sure that when the examiner asks you to find a safe place to stop, that your first action is to mirror and signal and THEN start looking! (If you start looking and then mirror and signal then the danger is that you may slow down without being aware of following vehicles.
Avoid stopping opposite junctions, on corners or in front of someones driveway.
After stopping in a safe place the examiner will say something like : “in your own time move off”. Use this as an opportunity to have a micro-break.
When moving off make sure that you check thoroughly (especially the blind-spot). Signal if necessary. Moving off must be prompt and safe.
If your car has ‘start stop technology‘ – use it! It gives you chance to rest your feet and gives you a mini-break.
Don’t be afraid of using the handbrake when stopped. It tends to be safer and less prone to error or stalling.
On the driving test you will be asked to perform one manoeuvre. Don’t stress about them, they only take a couple of minutes and as long as you perform them safely (even if not very elegantly) you will not fail. They normally take place about half way through the test.
The examiner will choose one of four possible manoeuvres:
- Bay Park (either at the beginning or the end of the test in the test centre car park)
- The Left Reverse
- The Turn in the Road
- The Parallel Park
In addition to these, you may be asked to do the emergency stop.
Learn to park forwards into a bay – even though this isn’t part of the test. This is possibly the last thing you are going to do before switching off and getting your results – so do it well even though its not accessed!
Lastly good luck and hopefully you’ll get one of these!
© 13/10/2015 Paul Noble
For lessons CALL or text NOW on 0778 055 3078 or use the contact page
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