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Driving Test

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Driving Test

Tim HillerbyMorgan
September 17, 2009

Tim HillerbyMorgan

Driving Test Day minus 1

Make sure that you have both parts of your driving licence ready to pick up in the morning. Make sure that you can find them on the way out. The last thing you need tomorrow is the stress of finding them.

Some of my clients ask me if the way that they dress affects the way the examiner marks them. The short answer is no. You wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and the shoes that you normally wear for driving lessons. Think about being comfortable and relaxed. Now sleep - try to get some.

The Hour before Your driving Test Your driving instructor will probably have arranged a two-hour lesson for your driving test. The forty or so minutes before your test are your chance to shake out those last minute butterflies.

Just drive the car and enjoy the drive. This is the time to practice anything that you are concernded about.

I can guarantee that you will make two or three horrendous mistakes before your test. This is normal. We all did it before our driving tests. These really are not bad mistakes. It is the adrenaline kicking in. Your body is getting ready for the driving test.

Adrenaline is the flight or fight hormone - your choice - make it now. If you really want a driving licence, opt for courage.

Your instructor will make sure that you arrive at the test centre ten minutes before the test. Park the car so that you can drive straight out at the start of the test.

In the test centre

The test examiner will work into the room and call out your name. The test examiner is easy to recognise - the yellow vest and the fact that they are calling your name should give you a hint.

The examiner will ask to see your licence, which they will check using a UV lamp. Genuine driving licences have a special logo, which only shows up under UV. They will ask you to 'read and sign the declarations at the top of the form'. These say that the car is insured for the driving test and that you live in the UK.

The examiner will ask you shich is your vehicle. They will then ask you to read the number plate of different car. Be warned 'if after three attempts you cannot read the number plate at the minimum legally required distance you will fail your driving test.

Driving Test

The driving test starts with the show me tell me questions. The examiner will ask your two questions about vehicle maintenance. Your instructor will have told you about this.

Once the examiner is in the car, the driving test begins.

The examiner will explain what will happen on the driving test. 'This is a test of your ability to drive. The test will last about half an hour and cover different road conditions. Follow the road ahead unless road signs or markings indicate otherwise. If I want you to change direction, I will give you instruction in plenty of time. During the test, we will carry out two manoeuvres and possibly the emergency stop if it is safe to do so. Drive on when it is safe to do so."

That long quote tells you that the examiner will tell you where to go. If they do not just follow the road ahead.

On the test drive, the examiner will tell you when they want you to turn left or right. Listen to the way they say it. Every instruction is designed to help you. Take the next available means look out for no entry signs. The same goes for the manoeuvres. The instructions will tell you what to do, and not to do.

The examiner will ask you to park up and drive straight on a few times. They haven't lost it. It is just to check your ability to stop the car and move off again.

Back at the Test Centre

Half an hour or so later, you will arrive back at the test centre. The examiner will mark the sheets and give you the result. No matter what the result listen to the examiners debrief. Better still ask your instructor to listen to it as well. They are more likely to remember what you need to work on.


There are three types of driving fault. Minor serious and dangerous. You can pass with 15 minor faults. You fail as soon as you have a serious or dangerous fault.

Dangerous - you, the examiner or another road user had to act to avoid an accident. You can be marked as dangerous if the way you drove was dangerous or illegal.

Serious - could have cause an accident if another road user had been present. If the examiner had to instruct you that is a serious fault

Minor - These are things a good driver would not do. If you repeat the same fault, the examiner has the right to mark it as a serious fault. This is called a bad driving habit. If, for example, you failed to check your mirrors three times that is a bad driving habit. The fourth time the examiner could mark it as a serious fault.

The Drivers Ed Company Driving School is based in Hull and covers most of East Yorkshire. Tim is the chief instructor of the Drivers Ed' Company Driving School. During his career he has driven for the police and the Customs service Check out http://www.driversedcompany.com/drivinglessons for full details of the services that we offer.

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