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The Driving Test.

Firstly, lets explain what the driving test is and isn't. It is highly oriented towards how safely you can drive. Driving examiners are remarkably tolerent of occasional minor control faults such as a stall or a gear crunch because they will get better with practice and experience anyway. However, they are a lot less tolerent of observational faults such as poor use of mirrors or a failure to see signs and markings. A poor level of observation will rarely get better with practice. and if it isn't there in the first place then the examiner has to assume it will not improve on its own and therefore he has to view these kind of faults more seriously.

How is the test conducted?

The test is conducted by a Driving Examiner who is employed by the government. It takes place from a Driving Test Centre and is conducted on local roads usually within a three mile radius of the test centre. These are known as Test Routes. Most test centres have between 10-25 individual routes and are randomly chosen by the examiner before your test is conducted. Your examiner is randomly chosen by computer by the driving test booking centre when you book the test.

Do we teach you on test routes?

If you mean do we take you over the whole of each individual test route at your chosen test centre then the answer is no. It would mean having too many lessons, that you probably dont need, to do so. Most driving test routes are fairly straight forward and you will gain far more from having a wide selection of road and traffic conditions than test routes alone can provide. We do, however, assemble routes which incorporate the more difficult aspects of each test route into few lessons before your test so that you are familiar with anything that is unusual or difficult in that particular area. Our pupils also have access to the latest known test routes in our pupil resource site and should you wish to, you could follow each route using google maps if you wanted to familiarise yourself with them.

The manoeuvres.

The test contains just one manoeuvre randomly selected by the examiner from three possible manoeuvres. These are the Turning in the road (three point turn), the reverse round the corner and the reverse park.

The emergency stop.

The emergency stop is done in one in three tests.

The independent drive.

Your practical driving test will include approximately ten minutes of independent driving.

During your test you'll have to drive independently by either following:

To help you understand where you are going when following verbal directions, the examiner will show you a diagram.

It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers.

Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills. Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it's safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you're going.

The independent driving route

If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you.

If you go off the independent driving route it won't affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault.

If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route. You can then continue with the independent driving.

If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you won't need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.

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