Practical driving test tips


If you’ve had plenty of driving practice with a qualified and experienced driving instructor and are truly ready to take the test, you should already be feeling reasonably confident. All you have to do is show off your skills to the examiner. It is helpful to talk silently to yourself throughout the test about any hazards ahead of you and how you are going to deal with them. This will help you to focus and keep your mind on your driving.

If you think you’ve made a mistake, please do not panic. It may not be a fail. Try and correct the mistake calmly and positively. Do not think about that mistake, move on and focus on what you have to do next. Examiners are not looking for perfection. They are looking for a comfortable and safe drive.

If you stall the car, do not panic. Carry out the safety precautions before starting the engine again (hand-brake up and gear lever into neutral), re-start the engine, take effective observation and move on. Stalling the car does not mean you have failed as long as you follow the safety procedures.

Do not be tempted to look at your gears, what the examiner is doing or any other distractions away from your mirrors and windshield. Focus on the road ahead of you and the hazards around you. Listen carefully to the examiners instructions. If you didn’t understand or hear them, ask for the instructions to be repeated. They do not bite and are not there to catch you out.

It’s a great feeling when you pass your driving test. You automatically get the freedom to go anywhere at anytime and not have to wait round in the wind and rain for buses and trains. You feel like jumping up and down and shouting out to everyone that you have just passed your test! I did just that.

When I passed my test, I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my family and friends so I told everyone I met on the way home as your instructor didn’t pick you up or drop you off in those days! There I was walking home all excited telling everybody loudly, I’ve just passed my driving test. “That’s nice dear”, replied an old man who was attending to his front garden.

Remember, it really does not matter if you fail. You can always take the test again. I passed on my second attempt in 1969 when driving tests were a lot easier with a lot less traffic on the roads.

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