Tips pass your driving test

Table of Contents


  • Understanding how the driving test is marked 

Please follow this link to see how the driving test is marked.   

  • Be familiar with your car 

On the test, you are going to be asked some questions by your examiner, called the show me tell me questions.   One of the questions will be to tell the examiner how you would check something about your car. The second question will be asked while you are driving and to show that you can deal with some of the controls of the car. Be sure you know how to answer these questions.  

Another thing is to be proficient with using the clutch and brakes. Also, be comfortable with the size of your car. So you are not too far from the kerb or passing too close to a car.  

  • Choosing where and when you take your driving test  

Many of my students have a preference as to when they take their driving test. Because they need a time convenient to them. Some have to book a test around work. Others prefer tests in the morning or afternoon. In particular, some areas can have busy roads because of markets, schools opening or closing times.  

So it is perfectly acceptable to book a test to suit yourself,  it might mean you have to wait a little longer to book a test. However it is best to be comfortable and feel, I can pass the test. Rather than feeling why did I book the test, for now, I’m not ready for the test. 

  • Practising in different conditions  

This might seem to be obvious but I have had students whose lessons were all the same time on a Tuesday at 10 o’clock and knew nothing else until they had a test on Friday at 2 pm. 

I’ve found it helps to get a student to drive on different days and times to familiarise them with different types of traffic. Also, it is worth trying to take lessons and practice driving in different weather conditions and different light conditions such as dawn or sunset and night-time 

  • Know the Highway Code  

presume you are getting ready for your practical test. You have passed your Theory TestHowever, I have had students who have raced the traffic lights on Amber because mum or dad does. I’ve also had students stop to let friends cross the road without checking their mirrors and nearly cause an accident 

This type of thing has happened numerous times on a driving test because it was the way they felt was safe to drive.  It was not the way an examiner would expect them to drive. So please drive according to the highway code and don’t take unnecessary risks. 

  • Do a mock test  

As you are getting ready for the test, I would strongly recommend you to ask your instructor for a mock test. That way you and your instructor can see how close to the testing standard you are. 

Also, if your instructor acts as an examiner you will get the feel of what is going to happen on your driving test.  


  1. Be a little early  

I would plan to be at the test centre a little early say about 5 – 10 minutes early Because it is better to feel ready than turning up 1 minute late and be all rushed, frustrated and bothered.  

  • Have a practice lesson before your test.  

I find that giving a lesson before the test helps out a student and tends to put them into a positive frame of mind. We tend to go through anything that is worrying them before the test or practise all the manoeuvres and exercises they might do on the test. So that they go into the test in a positive frame of mind feeling I have done that already, I can do it and pass the test.  

  • Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork ready when you take the test.  

I always check with a student when I pick them up for their test that they have all the necessary paperwork for the test. That is their driving licence and theory test certificate. I know most of the time the examiner does not ask for the theory test certificate.  But if he asks and they don’t have it that will put them ill at ease, for the test. If there is a problem regarding the theory test then the test will be cancelled.  

It’s always worth checking that you meet the eyesight requirements for the test. As it is part of the test. If the students’ eyesight doesn’t meet the legal requirements then the test will be cancelled. 

  • Make sure the car is clean and tidy  

It might sound simple and something most people as a matter of course will do. However, I have known someone from a farm who turned up for a test in their own car and the examiner refused to take the car out. Because it did not meet the examiner’s expectations 

The DVSA upheld the examiner’s decision   

So, I don’t expect people to turn up for the test with the car valeted like a driving schoolHowever, making sure there are no loose bottles or cans in the car. Making sure the seats are clean, especially for the examiner, I feel is important. Also, make sure everything that is fitted as standard is working as it should be.  

When taking your car to the test, ensure all the seat belts are working and you have L plates correctly placed on the car. Also, have a stick-on mirror for the examiner.  


  • Exaggerate the use of mirrors  

When on the test I encourage my students to make a point of emphasising the fact they are checking their mirrors. The examiner wants to see you are checking your mirrors before signallingchanging speed or changing direction. 

Many students tend to glance in the mirrors and feel they can make good observations and, they might. However, the examiner needs to be sure that they are checking the mirrors and need to see the head movement to confirm that you are checking the mirrors.  

  • Don’t assume you have failed  

I’ve heard many times, “I gave up because I thought I had failed the test.” Only to be told in the debrief, that when they thought they had failed, the examiner had considered they had dealt with the situation correctly. They had then gone on to make a serious or dangerous fault because they were not concentrating on driving correctly.  I would advise all students not to give up, always drive to the best of their capability until they get back to the test centre and switch off. 

  • Plan and keep looking for problems  

If you’re on your independent drive you should have an idea, where you are going, so try to planIf you expect the unexpected, that way hopefully, you should not make any stupid mistakes.  

The most common reason for failing the driving test is observation.  Be it as you approach a junction, try to remember to think about what could go wrong.  Do I need to slow down and change gear to Anticipate what could happen? Look out for people crossing the street in places you don’t expect and cars pulling out without looking or signalling.  

Try to be prepared and at a safe speed and gear to deal with the situation.  

  • Taking the wrong direction  

If you take the wrong direction such as turning left instead of right. Or take the third exit at a roundabout instead of the second. This is not likely to be a failure if you have dealt with the situation correctly 

I’m sure you have been a passenger when the driver takes the wrong turning. All they need to do is take a different route to correct the problem. So why should you fail to make a similar fault? 

All that happens is the examiner has to take you on a different route, so long as everything is safe for him to do so. However, don’t use taking the wrong direction as an excuse to avoid a difficult situation or junction. The examiner will know and can mark you down because of it. 

  • The examiners  

They have a job to do like everyone else. Some of my students think they are the best thing since sliced bread. Where others think of them as the worst devil hell has spit out. 

It is perfectly acceptable to ask the examiner to repeat an instruction if you didn’t understand or didn’t hear correctly.  Try not to get distracted by them if they seem to be marking something on the tablet. They have more things to take notice of than you making a fault. So try not to worry just try to keep driving to the best of your capabilities.  

Good luck with your driving test.  I hope you find using this site helpful and after your test, instructive in helping you become a safe driver for life.  

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