Passing your driving test can give you the independence you have been longing for but many learner drivers feel the pressure and make easily avoidable mistakes. To pass your driving test you will need to put in the hours of practice before the big day itself.
Whether it’s getting familiar with the test format or using the right car for your test, we’ve covered everything you need to know in order to pass your test. Let’s make a start on what you need to know before even turning up to for test.
Before your driving test
Some learner drivers make fatal errors before they even make an appearance at the test centre, so it’s vital that you read these pre-test tips to make sure you have everything you need to pass and avoid unnecessary mistakes.
1. Rush to get your licence
For most people, there is no rush to get your licence, whilst you might desire the independence that driving can give you, there is no point turning up unprepared. Get proper lessons with an instructor, and take as many as you need to feel confident of passing the test. Learning with just your Mum and Dad will leave you with bad habits that they have developed and testing officers can easily spot them.
2. Not familiar with the area where you will take the test
Taking your driving test is nerve-wracking enough, so why would you take it in an area you have never driven before? It is always advised to run through a few mock driving tests in the area where your test will be held.
3. Choosing the wrong time when you take your test
You want to make the already difficult test as easy as possible to pass. So make sure that you don’t book the test during peak road usage. Avoid any slots in both morning and evening rush hours, as the roads can be up to 10 times busier.
4. Not reading about why other people fail their tests
It’s important to keep your mind as clear as possible when taking the test. Reading failure stories online will make you overly anxious and leave you unable to focus at the task at hand (Read our blog - The no. 1 reason for failing the driving test). The most likely scenario is you will make a mistake by trying to avoid mistakes others have made in the past. Go in to the test with a clear head and just concentrate as well as you can.
5. Not know the length of the actual practical test time
Another mental aid is knowing how long the test will take. This really helps with visualisation. You can also practice a known driving test route in the allocated time to create your very own mock test. Your driving instructor should be able to help set this up.
6. Fail to practice your driving in different conditions
It is also important to practice your driving in a few different conditions. If it comes to test day and it is raining heavily and you’ve not practiced driving in those conditions, it will be much harder for you to pass.
7. Forget to go over your theory again
Always remember to brush up on theory once more before taking the test. You may encounter less common signposts on your test route and you must know how to react accordingly. Likewise, for certain road situations, (e.g. temporary road works) brush up on the law to understand the laws governing driving in those conditions.
8. Not having a lesson beforehand
Having a lesson before has many advantages, you can get items such as parking manoeuvres right before the test and most importantly you can calm the nerves by practicing everything else immediately beforehand. You can book the test package with EzLicence which gives you a 45 minute warm up, and learners who book this package have a 90% pass rate, making it well worth your investment.
9. Not taking your instructor along for reassurance
10. Not using your instructor’s car
Ideally you should be using your instructor’s car, firstly because it will pass all the standards required of a test car. Secondly, it is a car you are familiar with and have likely practiced extensively in and therefore you will be comfortable performing the driving test in it.
11. Drinking too much or not having enough rest the day before the test
This almost goes without saying, you are not going to perform at your best if you’ve had a late night before taking the test. Avoid alcohol and get to bed early, even if your test is in the afternoon.
12. Not having a person with you who holds a full driver licence
It is imperative that you have someone with you who holds a full driving licence. If you fail, you will not be able to drive home. Many instructors will take you back to your house even if you pass, because the immediate adrenaline and euphoria of passing can make a new driver vulnerable to making mistakes.
13. Not having all the required documents
Make sure you bring all necessary documentation with you to the test centre. This will include items such as your ID, your licence application form and your logbook.
14. Fail to provide a suitable car for the test
Make sure your car is suitable for safe road use and ready to drive, refer to your local authority's website for further details. Most EZLicence driving instructors have vehicles with 5 star ANCAP safety ratings, making them great vehicles in which to take your test.
15. Neglect the test
For a small number of people, the have the opposite of nerves and anxiety and are too relaxed and don’t pay attention. You need 100% concentration to pass your test, do not make the mistake of thinking it will be easy, no matter how well previous practice has gone.
During your test
Now you’ve arrived at the test centre with everything correct and ready to go, it’s time to look at what you need to avoid doing in during the test itself to ensure you give yourself the best chance of passing.
16. Being too nervous
Being too nervous and anxious will likely lead to poor performance and mistakes. A few nerves are unavoidable, but make sure to relax yourself as much as possible so you can present your best effort to the testing officer.
17. Not fully aware of test system and policy
Make sure to go through all of the different policies and procedures with your instructor, so nothing surprises you and leaves you scrambling.
18. Fail to adjust the seats and mirrors, or to put seatbelts on
Not putting your seatbelt on for the test is an automatic failure. Make sure to adjust the mirrors and seats so you are in the correct driving position and that you can see everything correctly without anything obscuring your field of view.
19. Just flick your indicator and drive off
You must signal for at a least 5 seconds before leaving a parking space or moving from a kerb. It is also important to signal at the right time because signalling too early, too late or leaving your indicator on can confuse other road users.
20. Not checking blind spots, forget to shoulder check
You need to check your blind spots and mirrors when merging, changing lanes and during your manoeuvres. Drivers often forget to check their left hand side blind spot when turning left off wide roads. Think of it this way, if you could fit a car between the kerb and your car, a head check in your blind spot is required before turning left. You never know when something will be travelling up that part of the road. And don't forget that an observation check is also required to confirm that it is safe to continue before moving off after being stopped at traffic lights.
21. Not stopping at stop signs and just slowly rolling through or not stopping for enough time
You have to stop the whole car behind the line at a stop sign and traffic lights. Stopping behind the line at traffic lights and then creeping forward does not count – you have to stay behind the line. You can move forward at stop signs when the view may be obscured, but only after you've come to a complete stop
22. Not selecting safe gaps in traffic
Another problem is It's a matter of judgement and experience. Sometimes learners will pull out and misjudge the speed of the car coming towards them or, if it's a truck, you need to take into account that the truck takes longer to stop than a car.
23. Hesitating or being indecisive at right turns
Learners trying to turn right at lights can take too long to turn – there may be plenty of room but if you hesitate you can get into trouble.
24. Forget to Exaggerate those mirror checks
Testing officers will not be able to tell if you’ve just quickly glanced in your rear view or side mirrors. Make sure that every time you look in your mirrors make sure to leave the instructor with no doubt that you did so.
25. Afraid to Ask your examiner to repeat, when you need to
Never be afraid to ask a test examiner to repeat his or her instructions, this allows you time to digest the instruction whilst hearing it for a second time allowing you to perform better on their requested task.
26. Assuming that you've failed
Never assume you have failed, even after making a mistake. Examiners will not expect you to drive at the level of an experienced driver. So never write a test off until the testing officer gives his or her verdict.
27. Assuming you can make more errors
On the other end of the scale, never assume that you can pass with several errors. Whilst it is true some errors are more damaging than others, never assume you can get away with several of them.
After your test
So you’ve taken the test, performed all of the manoeuvres and it is time for the examiner to let you know how you did. This part is crucial whether you’ve passed or failed because your testing officer will give you vital feedback regardless, so it’s important to listen what they have to say.
28. Fail to listen at the end
At the end of your exam, you’ll usually be given general comments (whether you’ve passed or failed). Paying attention to that advice (there’s always room to improve your driving) is a necessity. They can also be critical tips for your next test if you have failed.
So there you have it, 28 easy to understand tips that will make sure you have the best possible chance of passing your driving test. Here at EzLicence we can make the process easy for you. We are able to guide you through from the beginning of the learning process right up until preparing you on the day of your test.
To find more information on driving lessons head to our information page, or if you want to get a competitive price package in less than 60 seconds enter your details here. You can even find out where your nearest instructor is by filling out our find instructor form.
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For more helpful advice on learning to drive head take a look at our other blog posts.