What to expect on your Practical Driving Test

If you are close to sitting your Practical Driving Test you are bound to have a million questions running through your mind! We have put together a quick run-through of what you can expect to happen on the day.

How long will the test take?

You will spend 40 minutes behind the wheel driving.

What happens before you drive?

You will be asked to read a number plate from 20 metres away to show that your vision passes driving standards. Don’t forget your glasses or contact lenses on the day if you need them.

And after that?

Now it is time for the ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions. An example of a ‘Tell me’ question is ‘Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.’ A ‘show me’ question could be something like show me how you’d operate the horn. Prepare for this part of the test well in advance as getting these questions wrong can result in 1 minor.

What happens when the test starts?

For half of the test, you will be driving independently, which means driving following instructions from a sat nav or road signs. Don’t worry though, taking a wrong turn is ok, they want to see you driving safely. Just keep calm and follow the redirections safe and steadily.

What manoeuvres will I do?

During your test you will do a number of different things, such as: a hill start, pulling out from behind a parked car, and stopping at the side of the road. You may be asked to perform an emergency stop, but this will be explained to you on your test. You will be asked to do one manoeuvre, make sure to be well practised on all of them as it’ll be a lucky dip on the day.

What do I need to do to pass?

Your driving examiner isn’t looking for the perfect drive, they just need to see you drive safely and with competence. As long as you don’t make 15 minors and no serious faults, you will pass!

Will the examiner talk to me?

Some do and some don’t! You can’t take it personally if your examiner isn’t chatty, they are just there to judge your driving skills. Keep calm and concentrate on your driving.

What happens at the end?

When you pull back to the test centre you and your examiner will talk through any faults; whether you have passed or not. You will then be told your result. Over half learner drivers fail their driving test so don’t beat yourself up about it if you aren’t successful. If you don’t pass the first time then you’ll come back even stronger next time.

We hope this settles your nerves and gives you a quick insight of what you should expect on the day. Just think how quickly 40 minutes goes, it isn’t even a full driving lesson! Your test will be over before you know it.

Deep breaths and check those mirrors!

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