The BIG day has finally arrived, and you’re excited and nervous; it’s completely natural to feel that way.

You will be picked up by your instructor at least an hour before the test time and brought to the test centre approximately 10 minutes before the test time.

Make sure you have the correct documents with you. The green provisional driving license (new phototype) or old type Driving Licence is accompanied by a current passport, Theory Test Certificate, and Driving Test Appointment letter.

Eye Test:

Get your instructor to check your eyesight a few days before the test. You should be able to read a car number plate from 20.5 meters or 67 feet.

You will meet with your examiner at the test centre office just before the test. They will need to inspect all the above documents and then ask you to sign an insurance, health, and residency declaration. Before heading out, the examiner will ask if you would like your instructor to accompany you on the test. If you want your instructor to accompany you, they will. But there is no way the instructor can help you during the test. After this, you will make your way out of the office and to the car. Before getting to the car, read a number plate and then be asked two questions on vehicle safety and maintenance from the Show Me, Tell Me a List. After answering these questions, you will be asked to get into the car with the examiner. Ensure you have shut the door properly, checked that the hand brake is applied & that the gears are in neutral if your test is in a manual car. Then, put on your seat belt.

Here comes the scary instruction:

“Shortly, I will begin your driving test, which will last approximately 38 to 40 minutes. I will ask you to carry out one reversing manoeuvre and possibly an Emergency Stop. I will also ask you to drive independently for about 20 minutes during the test. If you don’t have any questions, I would like you to start the car, drive out of the car park, and follow the road ahead unless traffic signs direct otherwise. When I want you to turn left or right, I will ask you to do so in plenty of time.”

If you are still unsure of the instructions, ask for them to be repeated. It’s okay to do that!

Moving Off:

Ensure the car is not in gear, start the engine, select the appropriate gear, and check the mirrors. Signal & look over your shoulders, left shoulder first. Move off when you think it’s safe to check over your right shoulder. If your test has started in the rain or on a cold day, de-mist the windows first. If you are parked on a hill, use the hand brake to get the biting point & move off, checking over your right shoulder. Don’t roll back. Good Luck !!!

Positioning & Obstructions:

Constantly look ahead and check all mirrors. Position the car on the road just as your instructor taught you. Plan your every movement by looking ahead for all the obstructions you will meet. Keep a good lookout for road signs, cars, vans, and bikes pulling out in front of you without signalling. Watch for pedestrians crossing the road between parked cars, and monitor your speed. You don’t get reward points for knocking down pedestrians.

Approaching Turns & Road Junctions:

Upon receiving instructions, check your mirrors, signal, brake & position the car where appropriate. Select the proper gear & DON’T COAST. Then, look into the road as you turn into it for more obstructions. Most serious faults are committed here due to the candidate’s inappropriate speed in their approach. This causes the car to overshoot the turn or lead to harsh braking, cutting the corners if turning right, and, of course, CROSSING HANDS.

Pulling Over & Moving Off:

You will be asked to pull over alongside the curb and then asked to move off again several times. When asked to pull over, pick a safe spot. Avoid pulling alongside a parked car, in front of a driveway way, or anywhere you may cause an obstruction. Before moving off, check all the mirrors and look over your right shoulder, then signal if necessary, and away you go.

Pedestrian Crossings:

Almost anywhere & everywhere, you will come to a pedestrian crossing. Look well ahead for them and any pedestrians nearby. You can almost bet they will cross before you or have pushed the button. Slow down, and don’t get caught out. The most common faults are that candidates don’t see the crossings and pedestrians and then stop in the crossing area when in traffic.

Road Signs & Markings:

During the test, keep a good lookout for road signs & markings on the road, as the examiner will not point them out to you. You will be expected to know them, observe them, and manoeuvre the car accordingly.

Meeting Vehicles:

When meeting vehicles on a narrow road, remember NO ONE has a right of way. Don’t try to squeeze through, as you did in your lessons. Be prepared to give way. Don’t flash your headlights & don’t waive anyone on. After giving way and moving off, check your mirrors, look over your right shoulder and move off. If you give way to someone, make sure you can move away without getting too close to the parked car, which may cause you to reverse to get out. If the driver approaches and gives way to you, then be courteous with a little wave. Examiners like that.

Crossroads & Roundabouts:

Understandably, these junctions can be tricky. Take your time, and don’t rush into them. Look out for road signs, chevrons, hatch markings, arrows, lane markings, traffic lights, and filter lights; they are there to help you. Also, watch out for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorbikes. Lack of observation and judgment is the most common fault committed here. READ THE JUNCTION.

Reversing Manoeuvres: During the test, you will be asked to perform one of the six reversing manoeuvres you have been taught. The examiner will choose the manoeuvre. Before attempting the manoeuvre, please take a moment to think about how you were taught it, then perform it. Pay attention to all around you. Good observation is essential, not just looking in the mirrors. Keep reasonable control of your speed.

High-Speed Driving

At some stage, you may be brought onto a road where you must exceed the usual 30mph speed limit, usually on dual carriageways. Upon entering these roads, the speed limit WILL be stated, so look out for it. Use the “two-second rule”, providing the traffic and weather conditions allow you to drive up to the stated speed limit. DRIVE UP TO IT. You may need to use the 5th gear. If you need to change lanes or overtake, check all the mirrors for other vehicles close to you, signal, and then move out if or when it’s safe.

Emergency Stop:

You may be asked to carry out an emergency stop. This will be a stationary instruction.

Independent Driving:

You’ll have to drive independently during your test by following traffic signs, verbal directions, or a map. It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction or if you go the wrong way. Independent driving means making your own decisions and using the MSM routine independently. If you ask for a reminder, the examiner will confirm your directions. This will not affect the result.

Your test result won’t be affected even if you go off the independent driving route unless you make a driving fault. The examiner will help you return to the road if you go off it or take a wrong turn. You can then continue with independent driving. The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs.

O! Ow!

Sometimes, situations that have not occurred in your lessons may occur during the test. If faced with this, you must use your judgment, common sense, and initiative to deal with it as best you can. If you feel you have made a mistake, IGNORE IT; it may just be considered a minor fault. The examiner will assess the situation and judge your calmness and ability to carry on.

Heading Back

Believe it or not, the most serious mistakes are made moments before the test ends. This is because candidates overthink how they did instead of what they should be doing.

The Results

At the end of the test, the examiner will tell you how you did. If you have been successful, you will be awarded a certificate. If not, you will be offered a verbal explanation with a test report outlining the areas where you require further care and attention. This will be a severe fault if you commit three minor faults within the same category. For example, three minors will be counted as serious faults due to the inappropriate use of indicators. One or more severe or dangerous fault(s) will fail. Most driving tests fail due to severe faults and do not exceed the 15 minors allowed.


After you pass the test, don’t forget to ask about the PASS PLUS course; ask your instructor for details! – Find Out More