Passing your Driving Test the First Time

Passing your Driving Test the First Time

Your practical driving test is a test of knowledge, skill, and character. Just over half of all new drivers pass their test the first time (and the number is roughly the same the second time around). A little bit of luck is involved, to be sure – if you come up to a busy roundabout and another motorist is going faster than they should be, then your chances might well be scuppered.

But through the right preparation, you can give yourself the best possible chance of getting the right outcome. Let’s take a few of the things you might do in advance of test day.

Learn the routes

Your instructor should be familiar with all of the routes around your local test centre, and the ones preferred by examiners. Make a note of all the trickiest areas, like stop and give-way signs. Once the roads become second nature, you’ll be able to focus on what’s going on in front of you. Certain kinds of junctions (like mini-roundabouts) have a habit of thwarting driving-test candidates. Make sure that you’re ready for them.

Practice your weak areas

Every driver is different. You’ll have a different set of strengths and weaknesses from everyone else. What matters is that you identify where your weaknesses lie, and take steps to address them. This means being a little bit analytical and running through common mistakes, as well as your areas of weakness.

The best way to practice is to get out onto the roads and drill through specific manoeuvres, over and over again. Short practice sessions, consistently spaced, are far preferable to ‘cram’ sessions. If you’ve reverse-parked every Sunday for the past twelve weeks, the chances are good that you’re a master. Get some learner driver insurance, and practice in a family member’s car if necessary.

Understand the ‘show me, tell me questions

During your driving test, your examiner will ask you two questions. These aren’t just made up on the spot; they’re drawn from a predefined pool. As such, you can learn these questions in advance, and prepare answers.

You’ll be asked one ‘tell me’ question before you start the test, and one ‘show me’ question while you’re driving. Get either wrong, and it’s a minor point. So, don’t panic if you get this wrong – you’re still in with a chance of passing the test.

Don’t be afraid to ask your instructor
Your instructor will have a good idea of what you’re likely to trip up on. Ask them where your weaknesses lie, and act accordingly. Fail to do this, and you risk wasting a valuable resource.