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Driving test tips: Need to know
Hints and tips for your practical driving test
So you’ve got your driving theory test in the bag, and the next hurdle is the practical. This can be daunting… But your driving instructor thinks you’re up to the task, and so do we. Provided you stay calm and keep what you’ve learnt in your lessons in mind, you should ace it.
At BSM, we’ve also put together these handy driving test tips, which will hopefully help you pass.
Make sure you’re well rested
The last thing you want on the day of your test is to feel tired. Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before. Being well rested and alert will help with your concentration.
Familiarise yourself with the test routes
You get to choose the test centre, so make sure you get to know the area well, if you’re not familiar with it already. Find out the test routes, and practice them. This will help prevent any surprises on the day.
Familiarise yourself with different types of roads and conditions
When you take your driving test, you should be ready for anything. For this reason, it’s a good idea to practice on all types of road – urban and countryside roads, narrow streets and dual carriageways. Get used to driving in all kinds of weather, and at times of day when it’s busy. In short, mix it up!
Take a mock test
In advance of the test, get your instructor to give you a lesson under test conditions. Ideally, this should be along a test route. Hopefully, this will make the test itself feel less scary.
Have a lesson beforehand
If you don’t already have two-hour lessons, it’s well worth starting in the lessons leading up to the test. This will get you used to spending this amount of time behind the wheel. On the day of the test, have a lesson for the hour immediately before your test. This will get you into the driving swing, and you can practice those all-important manoeuvres too.
Use your instructor’s car for the test
The car you take your test in will need to meet certain criteria. Your instructor’s car will be geared up for this, including having an additional mirror for the examiner’s use. Plus you should feel comfortable driving your instructor’s car, which will help relax you into the test.
Check those mirrors
Many learner drivers get minor faults for lack of observation. Don’t be one of these! Check your mirrors regularly, especially when pulling off, approaching hazards or changing road positions. Try to get noticed doing it too.
Don’t be afraid of asking questions
Asking your examiner questions will show your mind’s on the job. Don’t be shy of asking them to repeat anything you didn’t hear or understand. It’s better to have what you need to do clear in your mind, so don’t assume any instruction you’re not sure of.
Don’t pay attention to what the examiner’s writing
The examiner is likely to put pen to paper at various points in your test. Don’t assume that anything they’re writing is bad, and don’t let it distract you from the task at hand. It might just be useful feedback.
Don’t assume you’ve failed
If anything goes wrong, don’t dwell on it. You’re allowed 15 minor faults, and most mistakes won’t be show-stoppers. As such, don’t assume you’ve failed on account of any errors, as this is likely to affect your performance and cause more.
Don’t assume you’ve failed even if you stall. Especially if you stall. Just restart the engine, and carry on as you otherwise would.
Listen to your feedback
At the end of the test, your examiner may well give you feedback. Whether you’ve passed or failed, this will be worth taking on board. Pay particular attention if you’ve failed, as this feedback may prevent you from failing your next test.
You can read more information about what to expect on the day of the test here. And best of luck – you’ll get your licence in no time!