What Happens in a Driving Test
What happens in a driving test is a question most learner drivers ask before their big day. Understanding exactly what is going to happen during a driving test is part of being prepared.
Although what happens in a driving test is explained elsewhere on the Driving Test Tips website, we shall provide an easy and quick example of what happens on the day.
Arriving for the driving test
How early to arrive for the driving test is important as arriving too early, you may interrupt other learner driver returning from their test and you don’t want to arrive too late as you need to get to the test centre waiting room in good time. Arrive at the test centre around 10 minutes early.
This should avoid interruptions and give you time to find your way to the waiting room. Some DVSA driving test centres use a dedicated premises whilst others are integrated within a business complex. If the latter, signage will display where test candidates should go for tests.
The driving examiner
The driving examiner will meet you in the test centre waiting room and introduce themselves. They will ask to see your provisional driving licence. Ensure you take your plastic photocard with you or the test will be cancelled. The examiner will ask you to lead the way to your car and along the way they will conduct an eye test.
Show Me Tell Me Questions
At the car, the driving examiner will ask you two Show Me Tell Me questions from the possible 19 questions available. You will not fail the driving test if you get one or both of the questions incorrect, you will however receive a minor / fault.
The examiner will not explain in too much detail what happens in a driving test. When you are ready however, the examiner will ask you to start the car and to follow the road ahead unless directed otherwise.
What happens in a driving test is to a degree dictated by traffic and the time of day. In busy periods with high volumes of traffic, you will be less likely to drive on busy roads and possibly avoid dual carriageways if congested. Driving examiners want to assess your ability to drive and not to be in traffic queues. Throughout the 30 – 40 minute practical driving test, you will be expected to:
- Drive on a variety of roads. The various road types include busy town and city roads, small and narrow residential streets with parked cars at the side of the road, country roads and dual carriageways. Although all of these roads may be covered within a single driving test, it is also dependent on whether certain road types are located near to your test centre.
- Demonstrate to the examiner a manoeuvre. The examiner will request that you demonstrate either the turn in the road, reverse round a corner, parallel parking or bay parking. Bay parking is dependent on whether your test centre has bays for parking available as the bay parking manoeuvre is only performed at test centres. You may possibly drive to another test centre if within driving distance to perform the bay park if your test centre is not appropriate. It is possible you could be requested to perform two manoeuvres if time permits.
- Around 10 minutes of independent driving will be requested at any point in the test. You will be asked to follow road sighs, a map or a combination of both. Independent driving is easy. It doesn’t matter is you go the incorrect way, provided you do it safely, you will pass the driving test.
- Emergency stop procedure has around a 1 in 3 chance of being requested on any driving test. The emergency stop used to be compulsory on every driving test but is now requested on every other test conducted.
The above factors are a part of every practical driving test. Various road traffic systems will be utilised such as small and large junction, roundabouts, crossroads and one-way-systems. Exactly how complicated is relevant to the area in which you are taking your driving test. More rural based driving test centres often have a higher pass rate due to less complicated and busy road systems.
DRIVING TEST RELATED INFORMATION
- Taking driving instructor on test
- Driving test age
- Can I book two driving tests?
- What to wear for driving test
- What to take to driving test
- How many manoeuvres in driving test?
- Crossing hands on driving test
- When to use handbrake
- Are driving tests fixed?
- Driving school instructor pass rates
- Failed driving test