What is the Practical test?
The Practical test is your chance to prove to an examiner that you know how to control the vehicle and that you're safe and confident on the roads. You don’t have to be the best driver but the examiner wants to know that once you have passed your driving test that you can independently drive safely and gain more experience becoming a better driver
What's the test like?
If you're well prepared for the practical test it should be very straightforward. The practical test will last around 45 minutes and is conducted by a DSA examiner. The test will include driving round on normal roads and maybe a chance you might drive on the dual carriage way, also you can do up to three manoeuvres and independent driving
What you're tested on
Once the practical test begins the examiner will test your eyesight by asking you to read a number plate from a distance on a car or board. Before setting off, they could ask you a couple of questions about the car so you can prove you know it's safe to drive. But most of the practical test will be about showing that you can drive safely and competently also completing a series of manoeuvres.
About your test car
A test car has to be reliable and meet a series of legal requirements. When you take your test with lastminutedrivingtest all this is taken care of. But if you decide to use your own car, you'll have to make sure it's roadworthy all the brake lights and indicators work, the car should also meet the minimum legal requirement for tyre tread which is 1.6mm , with a full MOT certificate if it's over three years old, also it must be fully insured.
Preparing for your practical driving test
As probably one of the most nerve-wracking moments in your life, the practical driving test will be the final hurdle in obtaining your full driving licence.
In order to pass, you must be fully prepared for what you will be examined to do. If you don't feel confident about a specific manoeuvre, ask your driving instructor to teach you it again and allow you to practice more. In most cases your driving school attempts to repair all your weak areas before submitting you into the practical test anyway.
Top tips on preparing for your practical test:
- Practice as much as possible either by having more lessons before your test or getting out in your own car/parent's car with supervision to practice.
- Ask your instructor about your weak points - make sure that they are honest about areas which you may need to brush up on in order to avoid mistakes.
- Read your Highway Code - Despite having already passed the theory test, you still need to revise your knowledge of the road traffic system so that you are completely sure of the rules and regulations.
- Consider taking a 'mock test' - Some driving schools such as BSM are able to run this test to help you associate yourself with the conditions of the real test. You will be 'examined' by a different instructor than your usual one and asked to perform the same manoeuvres etc as you would in the real test.
- It's ok if you make mistake - Your mistake could be minor driving fault, wont necessary fail you in test. If you make a mistake, keep calm and focus on your driving.
- Believe in yourself - Be confident in your own abilities.
- Don't panic - Say to yourself in your head 'I CAN do this test'.
- Don't take medicines to calm your nerves.
- One day before your test get a good rest.
- Don't drink too much coffee, tea and fizzy drinks; the caffeine will 'hype' you and make your thinking less clear.
- Taking test in the early morning will give you less time to worry about it.
- Do not spread the news - Don't tell your friends and other people that you've booked your driving test. This will build the extra stress of trying to live up to your friends and others expectations. Letting your parents know will do as they will give you all the support you want.
- Revise in mind - Perform coordinated tasks by imagining doing them, by practicing in your head.
- Perspective - Overall, remember that although exams are important, they are not the be all and end all. You can always re-take the test