What is a Driving Test 1

To pass a driving test you have to :

  1. Be legal
  • To take a driving test you must have passed a theory test within the last 2 years
  • Bring the piece of paper saying you have passed with you
  • The examiners do not usually ask but they might

You must have your provisional license with you.

  • No license, no test
  • The examiner will be checking.

Can you read a number plate at 20.5 meters.

  • Glasses if worn to do this need to be worn for the test
  • The examiner will be checking.

Check out our syllabus Legal


2. Be able to maintain and keep your car safe.

You will be asked one question before you enter the car about basic maintenance checks.

  • These are under the bonnet and inside and outside of the car
  •  In addition there will be a further question which will be done on the move as a show me question
  • Check out our syllabus Safety Checks
  • Also look at our blog post Show Me Tell Me

3. Be able start the car safely

This is the cockpit drill so you can operate the controls safely during the drive.

  • Handbrake, neutral before starting the car where appropriate
  • Safety and convenience will play a part
  • This is marked under precautions

4. Make smooth balanced use of all the controls.

This is both foot and hand controls.

  • The less that it noticed about your use of the controls the better
  • If your passengers are always nodding, your driving is probably not smooth
  • Proper use of the controls means you are in full control of your car
  • Check out our syllabus Controls

5. Drive off and make normal stops.

During the course of the test the examiner will be asking the candidate to pull over and stop then to drive on.

  • He is looking to see that the candidate knows how to stop the car safely and legally
  • So watch out for dropped kerbs, driveways and the like
  • Then they will be asked to drive on which must be done safely(check your blind spot)
  • This will happen a number of times and should include a hill start and angled start.
  • Check out our syllabus Moving Away and Stopping

6. Use your mirrors and signal effectively.

This is the taking and giving of information.

  • Your mirrors must be used in good time to be of use
  • Signals must help and not harm anyone
  • If you know what is happening around you at least you have a chance of dealing with it
  • The sooner the better!
  • Check out our syllabus Mirrors and also Signals

7. Perform an emergency stop.

Only 1 in 3 tests now do this manoeuvre.

  • The examiner will find somewhere safe if he wants you to do this
  • Remember to check blind spots both sides before driving off.
  • Check out our syllabus Emergency Stop


8. Perform the manoeuvres.

There are four manoeuvres besides the emergency stop that you might be asked to perform on test. These are:

  • Drive forwards into a parking bay
  • Reverse backwards into a parking bay
  • Reverse or parallel park into a space 
  • Pull over on the right hand side, reverse back and drive on

Your problem is you do not know which one the examiner wants you to do.

  • So you need to learn all 4
  • Remember when reversing you will need to look backwards at some point
  • The manoeuvres are marked under observation, control and accuracy.
  • The examiner will find somewhere quiet for these that does not interfere too much with other road users
  • Generally you are allowed one major correction when doing them
  • If it goes wrong at first, do what you would do normally to sort it out
  • Check out our syllabus Reversing and Parking



9. Deal with junctions

You will need to deal with junctions safely.

  • This will also include crossroads and roundabouts
  • This will include large busy ones
  • There is no point in going to a driving test if you are not comfortable with large roundabouts that are busy
  • Check out our syllabus Junctions and Roundabouts


10. To see and understand the signs and road markings

You must see and obey the signs and road markings.

  • This is important from both a safety and legal point of view
  • You can practice for this by saying out loud what the sign is
  • So by actively looking for it you will become more aware of it
  • For example speed limit signs
  • It is also important to understand why they might be there
  • So if you are moving from a road outside of town with a national 60 mph limit and you are coming into a built up area with lots of houses you should certainly be slowing down and looking for signs.


Road markings are just as important.

  • But they can become difficult to see
  • It can be useful to remember the following “light and paint show restraint”. 
  • See our syllabus Anticipation and Planning


11. To position your car safely

This is all about being in the right place at the right time.

  • Position yourself so that you can see and be seen
  • Remember that your position is also a signal of what you are going to do
  • So if you are turning right, moving over to the right will make it clear to others that you are turning right
  • See our syllabus Safe Position

12. To be able to meet, cross and overtake other vehicles safely

This is about dealing safely with other cars and other road users.

  • Basically where possible you avoid causing another driver to stop, slow, swerve or swear
  • See our syllabus Other Traffic


13. To deal with pedestrian crossing

Know and understand the rules for dealing with crossing.


14. To deal with other road users

Besides cars and people. Think what else you have to deal with on the road.

  • People can step out from anywhere
  • Bicycles need room. Give enough for a fat policeman to stand between you
  • Motorbikes are very agile and fast
  • Buses are always stopping and starting.
  • Lorries and buses are going to need more room
  • See our syllabus Other Traffic and also Anticipation and Planning

15. To drive at a safe and correct speed

Your speed has to be correct for the situation that you find yourself in.

  • This means even if the limit is 30 mph, if there are children around or anything that would make 30 mph unsafe, slow down
  • You must at all time be able to stop in the distance that you can see is clear or safe in front of you
  • You must also not break any speed limits
  • If you are breaking the law on your driving test what are you going to be like when you have passed
  • The flip side of this is do not be deliberately slow because you think this is safer.
  • Remember your driving will affect the people around you and a queue of cars behind you getting angry because you are too slow is also unsafe

Check out our following syllabus items:


16. Drive independently

This is the whole point in learning to drive.

  • At the beginning of the test the examiner will ask the candidate to follow the road ahead unless otherwise directed by traffic signs or road marking
  • He will direct the candidate round until at some point he will ask them to  pull over and stop on the left
  • At this point the examiner will either ask the candidate to follow the signs for a particular destination
  • Or to follow the directions from his sat nav
  • Most tests will involve the use of sat nav
  • Only 1 in 5 will be done by following road signs.

If you make a mistake this will not always be the end of your test.

  • For example you are required to turn left but you turn to the right
  • So long as you have followed the correct procedure for turning right it is not a fail
  • Check out our syllabus Independent Driving