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ADI Part 3
Instruction Test

ADI Part 3 instruction test: Need to know

Guide to the ADI Part 3 test of instructional ability

The third and final test before qualifying as a driving instructor is the Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Part 3 test. During this test, you’ll be supervised by an examiner, who will assess you on your ability to teach a pupil.

You can only sit this test if you’ve passed the ADI Part 2 test of driving ability. You also need to pass ADI Part 3 within two years of successfully passing the theory test, ADI Part 1.

Here we’ll give you the lowdown on what to expect from the ADI Part 3 instruction test, the last step before you turn pro!

How can I book the ADI Part 3 test?

Please note that there may be COVID-19 restrictions in place. For the latest government guidance in your area, visit GOV.UK or nidirect. At the time of writing, driving tests are still suspended in Scotland.

In England, Wales and Scotland, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) sets the test. You can book the ADI Part 3 test on GOV.UK here, and it costs £111. There’s a different process to book the ADI instructional ability test in Northern Ireland, which is set by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).

You can also use these links to change your test centre or date if you need to.

What’s in the ADI Part 3 test?

The ADI Part 3 instructional ability test comprises a real lesson given to a pupil under supervision. It’s roughly an hour long. You’ll be assessed on your competence in passing on knowledge and giving instruction to pupils.

The pupil in question will be one you supply yourself. They can either be a real learner or full licence holder, but cannot themselves be a qualified ADI.

What should I bring to the test?

In addition to the pupil, you need to supply your own car on the day of the test. You also need a full, valid driving licence. For those taking the test in Northern Ireland, you need both the photocard and the paper counterpart. If you don’t have a photocard licence, take a current passport.

You also need your ADI Part 2 pass certificate. Plus you’ll need a face covering.

Who is involved in the test?

Your pupil will drive. You’ll be sat in the front passenger seat, giving instruction. The examiner will sit in the back. You can also bring your own mentor or trainer if you want to, if you want some moral support. They won’t be able to contribute to the lesson though.

What kind of car do I need to bring to the test?

The car needs to meet several criteria, and there are certain cars you shouldn’t use. You can read a full list of requirements for the car here. But generally speaking, it should be an estate, saloon or hatchback. It cannot be a convertible. It also needs full-sized back seats, with properly working seatbelts. It should also be taxed and roadworthy, with a valid MOT if it’s over three years old.

The car needs to display L-plates, or optional D-plates if the test is being taken in Wales. You should also make sure that your insurance covers driving tests.

It’s important that the car meets all requirements, as otherwise the test will be discontinued, and you’ll lose your fee.

Can I take the ADI Part 3 test in an automatic?

Yes, you can take the test in an automatic. However, this will only qualify you to teach in a car with an automatic transmission, which you may find to be limiting down the line.

What’s in the ADI Part 3 test itself?

To begin with, you give your examiner a runthrough of your lesson plan. Then they’ll be introduced to the pupil. You then explain the purpose of the lesson to the pupil, noting that it’s you that’s under examination, not them. It’s also worth asking them if there’s anything in particular they’d like to cover in the lesson.

From there on in, you should conduct a lesson as normal. A key criteria you’re being assessed on is risk management, so it’s vital that the lesson is conducted as safely as possible. If you put yourself or anybody else in danger or potential danger, the test will be stopped immediately and you’ll fail. For this reason, you should pay close attention to your surroundings and other road users’ actions at all times.

At the end of the lesson, you give your pupil their feedback. Then you’ll be left alone with the examiner, who will give you your result, and any observations they may have on the lesson.

How is the ADI Part 3 test marked?

During the test, the examiner will mark you on 17 areas of competence, across three categories:

● Lesson planning ● Risk management ● Teaching and learning strategies

You will be scored from 0 to 3 for each of the 17 competencies, meaning there are 51 possible points up for grabs. This is how the scores are broken down:

Total score Grade Description 0-30 Fail This means your performance isn’t up to the required standard, and you won’t join the ADI register. 31-42 Grade B This is a pass, and you get to join the ADI register. 43-51 Grade A You’ve aced the test, and you get to join the ADI register.

If you score less than 7 in the risk management category, this will also mean you’ll fail.

What happens next if I pass the ADI Part 3?

Pat yourself on the back! You’re now fully qualified to become a driving instructor. All you need to do now is apply for your ADI badge. You have 12 months to do this, so it’s best to do so straight away. If the 12 months elapses, you’ll have to pass all three tests again.

What happens next if I fail the ADI Part 3?

Don’t feel too downhearted if you fail your first instruction test. The standard required is very high. You can also have two more attempts, so it’s a good idea to take on board the feedback you get from your examiner.

You need to pass your ADI Part 3 within two years of passing the ADI Part 1 theory test, so it’s best not to leave this go to the wire.

Hopefully you’ll pass the second time. And if not, fingers crossed for the third. However, failing a third time means you have to retake all three tests from scratch.