PRACTICAL TEST

SPEP I – Preparation

  • Pin up a map of your test centre area and mark out the test routes. Mark difficult areas on it such as one-way streets, difficult junctions, double mini roundabouts, so that you are ready for them on approach, rather than having to deal with them as if they have come out of nowhere. Make sure you get plenty of practice over the test routes As an alternative to a conventional map, you can use Google Map; many areas are covered by close-up “bird-eye view” photographs, so you can see every roundabout, pelican crossing and box junction on the surrounding roads.
  • Practise manoeuvres until you can carry them out without any minor faults. That will leave you with a margin of 15 faults for the rest of the drive on the day of your test.
  • Practise, practise, and practise until you can drive without verbal or physical intervention from your instructor for the duration of a full driving lesson or a mock driving test. Don’t forget: it’s not practice that makes perfect: it’s practice – with a professional driving instructor – that makes perfect.

SPEP II – Book the test:

To be able to book the test you will need the following:

  • Provisional driving licence
  • Payment details: credit or debit card, see our ‘Cost page’ for price details
  • Theory test certificate number
  • Provide the details of any special needs or requirements see link for e-mail details: theory.test@dsa.gsi.gov.uk.
  • Alternatively you can book your practical test online. If you want to book online with no hidden fees use the DSA’s official online booking sevice; there is no booking fee and your need only pay the standard test fee. Upon booking you will be given a booking number and sent an appointment card as confirmation within 4 days. To do it use use the link below:www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/index.htm
  • Or if you prefer, you can book your own Practical Test directly with the DSA by calling 0870 0101 372, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
  • Cancelling the test You are required to give a minimum of three clear working days notice of your decision to cancel or postpone your test, otherwise you will lose your test fee.
  • Arranging a re-test If you fail the test you will have to wait a minimum of three clear working days before you can take the test again. You are able to change or postpone your test up to 6 times.

SPEP III – Test day:

When you arrive at the test centre, you’ll need to show you documents:
  • Both parts of your signed photo card driving licence or; your signed driving licence and your passport.

It would also be helpful if you take your appointment card,a note of your booking number and a theory test letter valid for 2 years.

To pass your driving test you need to drive without making any serious or dangerous faults and no more than 15 minor faults or 5 minor faults same nature during a drive of about 45 minutes. You must also complete 1 of 5 manoeuvres and possibly an emergency breaking. The examiner won’t say much in case it puts you off but in most cases will stay friendly. Put any mistakes behind you and just concentrate on what’s happening in the present. One minor error doesn’t mean a fail. Despite what you might have heard – there’s no quota for test passes or fails. If you’ve reached the required standard, you’ll pass your test.

Tips:
  • Warm up: Arrange to have at least hour’s driving lesson around the area of the test centre on the day of your test and to refresh the manoeuvres. This will help you to warm up and get into the swing of things. You will also be aware of any new roadwork’s, obstructions etc and will feel more able to deal with them more easily. Nerves: If you start feeling shaky bag of nerves, breathe in, hold your breath, count up to 20 and out breathe out. Repeat this exercise until you gain control of your nerves. Once the test starts, you’ll settle into your driving and your attention will be on the road rather than on your own feelings, and your nervousness should disappear. Just before the test divert your attention to something else to lower the tension.
  • Think confident: Talk yourself – silently! – through the test. Talk about hazards coming up and how you are going to deal with them. This really focuses your mind on how you should be driving in order to pass the test.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask: If you don’t understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the instruction.
  • Think positive: Before you start a manoeuvre, repeat to yourself three times – silently – “this is a piece of cake”. Think positively at all times. You can do it!
  • Making a mistake: If you feel you’re messing up a manoeuvre, just pull forwards and do it again correctly. As long as you haven’t done anything wrong, such as touching the kerb or failing to make effective observations, you can still pass.
  • Stalling: if, unfortunately, you stall, deal with it and move on. As long as you don’t stall in a dangerous situation, such as on a roundabout and as long as you handle it properly, this needn’t count as a major fault and you can still pass your test.
  • Have I already failed? If you feel you’ve made a mistake, don’t instantly assume you’ve failed – it may only have been a minor fault. Put it behind you and carry on driving as well as you can.
  • Keep your eyes on the road: Resist the temptation to look at the examiner and what he or she is writing. You will not be able to deduce anything anyway. Keep your attention on your driving and the road ahead!

SPEP IV - PRACTICAL TEST:

Best way to prepare and to know what to expect exactly on the test day is to take a mock test. Our STAT driving school can organise this for you so you are not surprised and much less nervous on the test day.
To book the practical test please search the test centre which the test routes you have been practising on, the one closest you or the one with shortest waiting list. When booking check with your instructor that they’re available on the day and give yourself three hours for a warm-up lesson, the test itself and the journey home.
  • Eyesight Test

Before you can start the driving test you must demonstrate that your eyesight is good enough to be able to drive safely. You do this by reading a clean number plate of the old style from a minimum distance of 20.5 metres (approximately 67 feet or 5 car lengths). If reading a new style number plate (these letters are narrower) you must be able to read it from a minimum distance of 20 metres (approximately 66 feet).

If you have difficulty with spoken English you are permitted to write down what you see. If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to achieve this, you will be required to wear them throughout the test and whenever you drive normally. If you cannot read the number plate the examiner will ask you to read a second number plate and if necessary take you a little closer to just over the required distance.

If you still have a problem the examiner will then measure the exact distance and check your ability to read a third number plate. If you cannot read this third plate correctly you will fail your driving test and the test will go no further.

Your test car – A test car has to be reliable and meet a series of legal requirements. When you take your test with BSM, all this is taken care of. But if you decide to use your own car, you’ll have to make sure it’s roadworthy, with a full MOT certificate if it’s over three years old – and it must be fully insured. If your car doesn’t meet the standard, the test will be cancelled and you’ll lose your test fee. Find out more At: www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/index.htm
  • Independent driving

At some point during the driving test you will have to drive independently for approximately 10 minutes. This will demonstrate to the examiner that you are able to follow verbal route directions or route direction signs, whilst still driving safely. The examiner will test you in one of three ways, these are:
  • Road Signs The examiner will ask you to follow the direction signs to a specific destination until further notice e.g. ‘I would like you to follow the signs towards Leeds A62 until further notice.’
  • Verbal directions The examiner will give you a number of verbal route directions to follow. He may also show you a simple diagram of the route, like the one shown below, to help you follow the directions. E.g. ‘At the end of the road turn left, at the roundabout follow the road ahead, and then take the second road on the left.’


  • Verbal directions and road signs The examiner may give you a combination of both direction signs and verbal directions to follow. E.g ‘I would like you take the first road on the left, take the second road on the right and then follow the signs towards Leeds.

If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you. Driving independently means making your own decisions and, just like when driving with friends, this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation on where you’re going.

If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault. If you go off the route or take a wrong turn, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving.

If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign – you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area. If this happens the examiner would say, ‘There are no signs here. Just continue ahead please’ and then, ‘Now, carry on following the signs to ……..’

You are not marked on going the wrong way. It doesn’t matter how many wrong turns you make or if you end up in completely the wrong place. The worst thing you can do on this part of the test is to suddenly change your mind. Let’s say you’re approaching a left turn and at the last minute you see the sign saying that’s the way you want to go. Carrying on will just mean you take a different route, suddenly braking and swerving can cause chaos. You are only marked as normal so hitting a kerb, swerving etc is still bad but your destination is irrelevant.

  • Manoeuvres:

You will only do one manoeuvre and possibly an emergency break. Current test routes are based on having to stick around quiet housing estates so there are enough opportunities to do manoeuvres. This will give you the chance to travel much further away from the centre so you may well drive in areas you have never seen before which will prove you are not just memorising test roads and routes.
There are four ‘set maneuvers’ in the UK driving test syllabus – you will only be asked to complete one of them during the test but will not know which one until you are in the car with the examiner. The maneuvers are
  • Reversing around a corner to the left or right
  • Parallel parking
  • Bay parking
  • The turn-in-the-road (often referred to as a three-point-turn)

The reason for being patient and not trying the maneuvers too soon is that when you have mastered the skills of controlling the car and making decisions based on the actions of other drivers, the maneuvers will be easy and you will learn them quicker. If you start your maneuvers too soon you will waste lesson time and money and also risk becoming disheartened if you find yourself struggling.

STEP V – RESOULT:

You will have your result right at the end of the test. The examiner will take a minute to calculate the faults from the driving test report and that you will find out if you have been successful or not. If you pass you will receive the pass certificates which will legal document proving you are eligible to drive the car on your own until and plastic and counterpart licence arrive.
If you have fail the examiner will give you and copy of the driving test report and will explain to you and (if you accept) to your examiner the reason why you have fail. It make sense to have your instructor with you at this point to allow your him to prepare your future training based on the mistakes you made.
During the practical test the examiner will note any driving faults on the driving test report form (DL25). The driving faults are categorised into minor, serious and dangerous and are recorded against the appropriate headings shown below. Each fault is denoted by a slash ‘/’ in the appropriate box. At the end of the test the examiner will total up the number of minor driving faults under each heading and overall.

If you commit 16 or more minor driving faults you will unfortunately fail the driving test. If you commit one or more serious or dangerous driving faults you will also fail the test. Even if you feel you have failed the test you should continue to try, as the test will help you to identify where you need more practise.

The degree of seriousness of each individual fault will be totally dependent on the prevailing conditions at the time. When other road users are affected, a minor fault can immediately become a serious one. Dangerous faults will only be recorded when either the driving examiner or another road user has been forced to take evasive action to avoid danger. Please see a copy of driving test report below:

Common Reasons For Failing Driving Test

  1. Observation at junctions – ineffective observation and judgement
  2. Reverse parking – ineffective observation and/or a lack of accuracy
  3. Use of mirrors – not checking or not acting on information
  4. Reversing round a corner – ineffective observation or lack of accuracy
  5. Incorrect use of signals – not cancelling or giving misleading signals
  6. Moving away safely – ineffective observations
  7. Incorrect positioning on the road – particularly at roundabouts or on bends
  8. Lack of steering control – steering too early or too late
  9. Incorrect position to turn right – at junctions and/or in one-way streets
  10. Inappropriate speed – travelling too slowly or with too much hesitate