Driving You to success
The Day of your Test
L earning to drive starts with a CLICK
So, it's your driving test!
What seemed years away , when you booked your test (and you moaned) has arrived all too quickly!
Well, what can you expect to happen? Your Instructor will probably pick you up an hour before your test appointment. Show your Instructor your documents before you move off from the kerb! (It's too late to find out you haven't got your licence with you once the examiner calls your name).
The hour before your test. Your instructor will more than likely run through the manoeuvres with you and may highlight any special points that you might need to concentrate upon. Avoid a two hour lesson before you test. You need to arrive reasonably relaxed. Not feeling like you've just driven from London to Birmingham.
You are not alone. There will be other "would be" drivers just as nervous as you and you'll never know if the person opposite you is taking their test for the first or the tenth time. It's important to remember that the examiner will not know whether this is your first or tenth test either. Some examiners though, once out of the waiting room, will routinely ask. "Is this your first test". Don't ask me why?
The examiner wants YOU! Your examiner will ask you to sign a declaration at the top of the marking sheet. (A nervous smile doesn't go amiss at this point). You are signing to say that your vehicle is insured for the purpose of a driving test. The examiner will ask to see your driving licence and perhaps your theory test certificate. The examiner will compare your signature on your licence with the signature you've just put on the declaration. Hopefully they match! If all is in order the examiner will now ask you to "lead the way to your car" or words to that effect.
Don't forget if you have a photo card licence to take the paper licence as well. If you have the "old fashioned" paper licence take photographic evidence as well (Passport). Many a "would be" driver has failed their test before they got out of the waiting room for failing to successfully prove their identity.
The eyesight test. The examiner will, once you're outside the Test Centre, ask you to read a number plate. If you cannot then the examiner will go back for the tape measure and mark out the prescribed distance and invite you read a number plate again. If you succeed then it's onwards to your car. If you still can't then it's onwards to the optician, you will have failed your driving test!
The show me / tell me test. The examiner will, ask you to two questions about how you will maintain the upkeep of your car. It 's not rocket science so don't panic! CLOSE THE NEW WINDOW TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE.
As you get in your car the examiner will take a walk around your car and record your car registration number and make and model, check for "L" plates displayed front and rear and look for any obvious defects to the vehicle; like four flat tyres!
The examiner will now join you in your car and will introduce his or her self to you.
(A nervous smile doesn't go amiss at this point). It will have little bearing on the result though! They used to say. "This is a test of your ability to drive". Really!
You examiner will ask you to. "Follow the road ahead at all times, obey all signs and signals that you see and I will tell you to turn left or right in plenty of time. Move off when you are ready". (A nervous smile doesn't go amiss at this point).
It's unlikely that the examiner will talk much during your drive. Your instructor might give you regular updates on the health of his or her cat but, the examiner is more likely to confine any conversation to. "It's a nice day isn't it"? Cocktail party stuff requiring a "Yes/No" answer.
However, some examiners have been known to chat happily away. It all depends on the personality and style of the examiner. Essentially, the examiner wants you concentrate on driving and not getting you involved in a debate as to whether Arsenal (or whoever) should have got a penalty last Saturday.
The next 37 minutes is going to go quickly (honest). Try to drive normally, impressive displays of safety and caution have yet to impress anyone. The examiner will want you to make progress and drive in a confident manner. Driving at 25mph in a 30mph zone with not one car ahead of you, but 50 cars behind you, is unlikely to impress either the examiner or the 50 odd frustrated drivers behind you.
Equally, pulling out of a side road into the path of an oncoming vehicle with little less than half a car length to spare is unlikely to impress either the examiner , with your display of undue hesitation , or the poor driver who is now forced to demonstrate to "your" examiner their ability to carry out an emergency stop!
As you drive the examiner will, from time to time record any faults that you might make. Avoid paranoia by trying to read the marking sheet as you drive. You can't drive and read at the same time. Well I can't!
If you think you've failed push on anyway you might be pleasantly surprised. I cannot remember the number of times a successful pupil has said to me after the test has finished. "I thought I'd failed".
The examiner concludes the test with "Thank you, stop the engine please".
(A nervous smile doesn't go amiss at this point). The test has ended and the examiner will now either present you with good or bad news. The examiner will ask you if you would like an explanation of your faults, listen carefully to what is said.
Are you really prepared?
Your test fee equals £1.05 per minute! And you moaned about the price of driving lessons!