Driving :: Driving FAQ's

Answers to some of the usual questions asked to do with the Driving Test

    1. Does the standard of test vary?

No. All examiners are trained to carry out the test to the same standard. Test Routes are as uniform as possible, and should include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. You should have the same result from different examiners or at different test centres.

    1. Are the examiners supervised?

Yes. They are closely supervised. A senior officer may sit in on your test. Don't worry about this. The senior officer won't be examining you, but making sure the examiner is testing you properly. The senior officer won't interfere with the test, so just carry on as if he or she wasn't there.

    1. Do examiners have pass/fail quotas?

No. Examiners do not have a quota for test passes or fails. If you demonstrate the standard required you will pass your test.

    1. Can anyone accompany me on the test?

You can request that a friend or your instructor be present, but they must not interfere in any way. You should bring an interpreter with you if you need one, but you must not use an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) for that purpose. Your interpreter must be 16 years or over and wear suitable seat restraints where they are available.

    1. Can I use a car which is 'automatic' for the test?

Yes. When you pass your practical test your full driving licence will entitle you to drive an 'automatic' car. It will also act as a provisional licence for a car with a manual gearbox.

    1. What will my examiner want from me?

Your examiner will want you to drive safely and competently in various road and traffic conditions. You will be given directions clearly and in good time, asked to carry out set exercises. Your examiner wants you to do well and will try to put you at your ease. She or he won't say very much while you are driving, though, because it might put you off.

    1. How should I drive during the test?

Drive in the way that your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don't worry. It might be a minor mistake and may not affect your result. Your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard. You won't fail for one minor mistake.

    1. How long will the test take?

About 40 minutes. Note: The extended test for persons convicted of serious driving offences will last approximately 70 minutes.

    1. What if I do something dangerous?

If at any time during your test your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test won't continue. Prepare yourself and wait until you reach the standards set out in The Official Driving Test book before you take your test.

    1. What will the test include?

Apart from general driving, your test will include an eyesight test (If you fail this, your test won't continue). Special exercises - you'll be asked to carry out two of the following , reversing around a corner, turning in the road, reverse parking. You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

    1. Who conducts the ADI (Approved Driving Instructor)qualifying examination?

This specialist area of testing is conducted by experienced and carefully selected driving examiners. It is a very demanding job that requires special skills, particularly in assessment and communication. Examiners undergo an intensive training course conducted at the DSA Training and Development Centre at Cardington in Bedfordshire. Their work is frequently monitored by Supervising Examiners and Assistant Chief Driving Examiners who sit in on the tests.This is to ensure that the standards of marking and assessment are correctly adhered to and the tests are conducted in a uniform manner.