Practical Driving Test Tips

Passing the driving test is a significant achievement for all learner drivers and it’s the culmination of hours of driving lessons, significant time spent revising for the driving theory test and a relatively error free round of driving on the actual day of your test. It takes a lot of preparation and effort to reach test standard and once you and your driving instructor feel you are ready to take the test, we have several driving test tips to help you pass on the day.

Practice Independently

The DVSA recommend at least 40 hours training with a professional driving instructor, as well as 20 hours independent practice before taking your driving test. Practicing independently can have a significant effect on the outcome of your driving test and if you have a friend or family member, above the age of 21, who has held their driving license for more than three years, they can legally sit in the car with you, as you practice before your test.

Choose Your Test Centre Wisely

Although you are assessed in the same way, irrespective of where you take your driving test, the route you are taken on will differ depending on the driving test centre and this can have a significant impact on how you perform during your test. Some driving test centres have a higher pass rate than others and choosing a test centre with an above average pass rate, anything over 50% in this case, will improve your chances of passing.

Get To Know Your Chosen Test Centre

Once you have chosen a test centre to take your test at, it is crucial you familiarise yourself with the roads in and around it. Understanding the local roads will improve your confidence and reduce the chances of you being caught out by an unfamiliar road layout.

Revisit The Hazard Perception Clips

All learner drivers are required to pass the theory test before booking their driving test, but once passed, the practice questions and hazard perception clips are rarely revisited. Going over the study material just before your driving test, especially the hazard perception clips, will help get you into the mindset of spotting hazards and driving defensively, which will improve the chances of you passing your driving test on the day

Identify the large roundabouts in its vicinity, as most test routes include at least one. Ask your driving instructor to take you along one of the known test routes and get a feel for the area before the day of your test.

Do Not Panic If You Make a Mistake

Driving under exam conditions can be very stressful and the pressure of a driving test can cause you to make mistakes as you drive. It is important not to panic if you make a mistake during the course of your test, as in most cases, the mistake itself is not severe enough to cause you to fail. Your reaction to the mistake, if you become disheartened, panic or begin to fear the worst for example, is what can cause your overall standard of driving to fall, leading to additional errors and a failed test.

Use The MSM Driving Routine

Learner drivers who consistently check their mirrors and use the MSM driving routine as they drive, stand a good chance of passing their driving test. Your driving examiner will assess you on your use of mirrors and signals and it is important the put the routine into practice whenever you change direction, approach a hazard or come to a stop.

As a bonus tip, ensure you use the POM driving routine whenever you move off from a stationary position.

Practice Your Manoeuvres

Your ability to reverse will be examined during the course of your driving test. You will be assessed on how well you control the vehicle as you reverse, whether you are mindful of other road users as you do so and whether you are successful in completing the allotted task. In this section your examiner will ask you to perform one of following driving manoeuvres;

  • Sharp corner reverse
  • Gradual corner reverse
  • Parallel park into either a parking bay or behind a parked car on the side of the road
  • Turn around in the road

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Ensuring you are well rested will increase the chances of you driving to the best of your ability on the day of you test. A good night’s sleep will ensure you are refreshed and clear headed and this should hopefully help you perform as well as you can during your test.

Understand The Common Driving Test Faults

There are several common driving test faults, that if avoided, will improve your chances of passing the driving test. Your driving examiner will assess you for the following;

  • Observation: How well and often you use your mirrors when driving, changing direction and performing driving manoeuvres
  • Signalling: How well and often you add a signal when driving and changing direction. You should also ensure that your signals are correct, they match your intentions and do not confuse other road users
  • Awareness: Being unaware of your surroundings can lead you to fail your driving test. Ensure you react to road signs, the intentions of other road users and acknowledge pedestrian crossings
  • Vehicle Control: Losing control of your vehicle will in most cases result in a failed test. Your driving examiner is looking out for things such as good clutch control, how well you maintain your speed during driving manoeuvres and excellent road positioning