Everything you need to know about driving assessment
So you have passed the theory test and are ready to start driving lessons: how exciting! But, at the same time, are you a little bit anxious about going through a practical driving assessment?
Don’t worry, we understand that. That is why we have a few helpful tips for you on how to improve your chances of success on the day.
What is a practical driving assessment?
To obtain a driver’s licence, you have to take a theory test and a practical driving assessment. During this assessment, a driving examiner will evaluate your theoretical knowledge and your ability to use it.
The first part is a brief introduction, followed by a safety inspection of the motor vehicle used for the driving test.
Then, it is time to get behind the wheel and take the road! You will drive for a minimum of 25 minutes following the examiner’s instructions. During your driving assessment, you are tested and assessed on the following points:
- Driving rules: how well do you know them and do you respect them on the road?
- Motor vehicle: can you perform a few safety checks or identify different parts of the vehicle?
- Manoeuvring: are you able to change gear, brake and steer, and park safely?
- Eco-driving: is your driving environment friendly, can you drive economically and reduce fuel consumption?
- Traffic regulations: do you know local traffic regulations?
- Hazards: can you react safely and appropriately to road hazards?
- Use of mirrors: when, where and how do you have to use mirrors? Can you adjust them appropriately? Top tip: make sure you adjust your mirror at the beginning of the examination!
- Driving safety: how safely do you drive and can you adapt to unexpected circumstances and conditions?
The driving examiner will give you all the instructions you need during the assessment: which manoeuvre to do, which way to turn (with plenty of notice). You can just focus on driving.
Your itinerary will usually contain various road conditions, city traffic, more rural roads, etc. And at the end, you will receive a feedback with your results.
Our best advice is: relax, stay calm and just do your best!
If you are not sure of an instruction, ask the examiner to clarify or repeat.
If you feel you have made a mistake while driving, continue and focus on the next instructions. It does not necessarily mean you will fail!
How do you pass a driving assessment?
As with any test, preparation is vital to increase your chances of success.
1. Choose your driving course. It is very important to find the right instructors for you. You will spend a lot of time with your instructor so make sure you feel comfortable with them from the beginning.
2. Practice as much as possible. Ask a family member or friend to give you directions while you drive. This will get you used to following directions and instructions while focusing on the road. Repeat the manoeuvres that you find most difficult, such as parallel parking, reversing around a corner, three-point turn, navigating a roundabout and using a junction.
3. If possible, find out what the driving test assessment routes are (or at least the general area). Then, you can explore the roads, become familiar with the area, anticipate potential hazards, identify roundabouts, junctions or crossroads. Try also driving at different times of the day and in various weather conditions. If you already know the roads well, you will not be surprised on the day!
4. Refresh the theory. Yes, you have already passed your driving theory test, but it may be a good idea to look at it again. Review specific rules, road signs or signals. It will help you feel more confident during your practical test. Online programmes or apps exist to help you revise the theory.
5. Learn about the motor vehicle. For example, you may be asked how you go about changing the oil or how to check that your brake lights are working. Research possible questions and imagine how you will demonstrate you can do it.
6. Finally, take care of yourself too. It sounds simple but: try to get enough sleep the nights before the test, and have enough to eat and drink.
How many driving lessons do I need to take before my test?
Your driving education programme will make a massive impact on how likely you are to pass your test. Some countries have a minimum number of hours to be completed with a professional driving instructor in a school before being eligible to take your practical test. It is advisable to take around 47 hours of professional training before your driving assessment. Of course, everyone is different, and the best thing is to ask your driving instructor when they think you are ready to take your test.
What vehicle should I use for my driving assessment?
You are usually required to bring your own vehicle or hire one from your motor school that you learned to drive with. It is advisable to use a vehicle that you are very familiar with and used to driving. Also, the vehicle must be appropriately insured and taxed. Automatic cars are only allowed depending on where you take your test. So make sure you know the rules before the day of your driving test.
How long do I have to take my second test if I fail the first one?
Usually, you can book a retest or second test soon after the first, possibly within ten working days, but this varies from place to place. It is advisable not to wait too long before resitting your driving test. Use the feedback from your first test to work on the points where you have difficulties and keep practising.
Does the time of day or location affect results?
The most advisable thing is to be as prepared as possible for different weather and road conditions. Of course, it can be easier to avoid times with high traffic congestion levels. Also, if you are a morning person, it might be a good idea to book a test earlier in the day when you are more alert and at your best.
Practice makes perfect so take every opportunity to learn. Even if you are a passenger, you can observe. Notice what to do at junctions, how to use mirrors correctly, and anticipate how you would react during your driving test. Become as comfortable and confident as possible before you take your test. Above all, remember to stay calm and focused.
Need more information about what is a driving risk assessment? Read our complete guide about driving assessment. See also: information and advice about driving test certificate, driving test programme: all you need to know, complete guide about eye test certificate for driving licence, online driving examiner assessment: all you need to know.
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