Gatwick School Of Motoring

GSM Logo 2

Gatwick School of Motoring

Gatwick School of Motoring

Driving Test

The best moment for every driving school student is to hear those magical words from their driving instructor “You are Ready for the Actual Test”. While some of you will feel confident, some will start worrying about the big day. But no worries now, we have some useful tips for you that will answer your question “How to Pass Driving Test?”.

While every student learns the basic driving lesson, they never focus on other criteria like remaining calm and believing in themselves to pass their driving test. Yes, getting enough experience and practice sessions is very important, but so are the mental aspects for the candidate. Passing your driving test first time is not as difficult or stressful as many people anticipate. Well, it will not be after you read our guide for “How to Pass Your Driving Test”.

What To Do Before Your Driving Test?

Practise as much as You Can

Getting the best idea of your car and roads is only achievable through hard practice. This requires making quick decisions in complex situations and making sure you choose what’s best for you and other vehicles.

The main purpose of practising before the driving test is to ensure you get enough experience behind the steering wheel. After clearing the driving theory test, you only need much practice to be able to stay calm and composed on the day of the test. This will also give you confidence that you will get your desired passed driving test card.

When you are practising with your instructor, they will have a notepad to write down your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you are a bit weak in reversing your car, he will note it down and will give you tips and practice sessions to strengthen that factor.

Lastly, practising will get you used to the overall environment of a driving test. The more you sink into the practice sessions, the more chances you will secure to pass your driver’s test the first time. According to the general rule, your driving practices should be continued until you feel confident about your overall skills.

Attend regular lessons from your driving instructor to make sure you get enough experience behind the wheel. The highly recommended time is around 2 – 3 weeks at least. 

Understand your Car

Just like a Cricket Batsman knows and understands his Bat, a professional snooker player is used to the flexibility and power of their Cue, you should be familiar with and have a connection with your car. This includes different factors like the steering wheel sensitivity, brakes, clutch, gearbox, etc.

When you are using a manual car, you should get a feeling of when you should change the shift just by the engine sound. With enough practice, we will be able to tell if the revs are too high or low, or what shift you are in, just by the sound as well.

Moreover, you should understand how much the whole handling system would change concerning the environmental and surrounding conditions. For example, the stopping distance between you and the front car significantly increases while it’s raining. So, you should understand how much change in pressure you need for the brakes and clutch. Also, how to mind the sharp turns in this situation.

Similarly, if your driving test routes are in Rural areas often have narrow lanes, sharp curves, and limited visibility due to trees, hills, etc. You should be aware of how your car handles on these types of roads and be prepared for challenges.

On a highway, you will be driving at higher speeds, in multiple lanes, and facing a flow of traffic that is more than city streets. How do you merge onto the highway? maintaining a consistent speed? and changing lanes safely is crucial?

Understanding the change in your car while on different kinds of roads should also be considered for passing a driving test. During your practice sessions, you primarily drive on well-maintained city streets. Driving test routes can be smooth and free from major obstacles, which makes it relatively easy to handle the vehicle. You become accustomed to the steering, acceleration, and braking responses of your car.

Understand the Essential Road Rules

Before you start your driving test, you must know the following answers and know what you should do in those situations. The best way to understand and know the answer to these questions is to read the copy of The Highway Code.

  • What’s the “two-second rule”?
  • The rules for using a mobile phone while driving?
  • What is a solid white line at the side of the road?
  • When can you park on double yellow lines?
  • The rules for overtaking other vehicles?
  • The procedure for approaching a roundabout?
  • What is the national speed limit for cars on a single-carriageway road?
  • When should you use the horn while driving?
  • What is the maximum speed limit on a dual carriageway?
  • When to use headlights during the daytime?
  • The minimum legal tread depth for tires on a car in the UK?

Conquer Important Parts of the Driving Test

As a learner, you will surely have some weaknesses, but it’s important to know, understand, and follow suggested precautions and practises to strengthen them. There are three important driving test checklists that you should be an expert in for passing the driving test.

  1. Parallel Parking
  2. Stopping your car on the right side of the road, reverse a couple of metres and rejoin the running traffic.
  3. Parking in a bay.

Parallel Parking

There are some rules that you should consider for parallel Parking, especially in the United Kingdom, making the most important and first driving test checklist. So, look for a space on the left side of the road for parking. The space should be large enough to accommodate your vehicle which is at least a metre or more of extra space for the front and back of your car.

Do not forget to use your left-turn signal to indicate your intention to park. Slow down and position your car parallel to the vehicle in front of the parking space, leaving about a sedan or hatchback car’s length (depending on which one you are using) between you and the vehicle ahead.

Check your rearview and side mirrors, and look over your left shoulder to check your blind spot for any traffic or pedestrians. Slowly reverse your car while turning the steering wheel to the left. As you back up, keep an eye on your rearview and side mirrors to ensure you maintain a safe distance from the vehicles in front and behind you.

When you enter the parking space, start straightening the steering wheel. Aim to position your car at an angle of about 45 degrees to the curb. Keep reversing slowly while straightening the steering wheel further to align your car with the curb. Be mindful of the distance between your vehicle and the curb. Try to maintain a consistent gap.

Ensure that your car is reasonably close to the curb but not touching it. You should also leave enough space in front and behind your car for other vehicles to manoeuvre.

Stopping your car and Rejoin the Traffic

According to our experience, we have seen many examiners use this driving test checklist quite often with the candidates. If you don’t know how to pull this out, no worries. We will guide you about this, to help you pass a driver’s test on the first attempt.

Before you stop your car on the right side of the road, make sure there is no approaching vehicle of any kind. Turn on the indicator, and slowly pull over. Now keep an eye on the rare view mirror and slowly reverse your car straight.

Once you’ve reversed the required distance and are ready to rejoin the running traffic, check your mirrors and blind spots. When it’s safe, turn your steering wheel in the opposite direction to straighten your vehicle and align it with the direction of traffic. Gradually accelerate to merge into the flow of traffic. Don’t forget to turn off your right turn signal after rejoining the traffic.

Parking in a Bay

When you’re instructed to park, select a suitable parking bay that meets the criteria of the test. Make sure that your vehicle can fit comfortably and then proceed with the next step. Approach the selected bay at a slow, controlled speed. Signal your intention to park and check your mirrors for traffic behind and around you.

Align your car parallel to the parking bay you’ve chosen, leaving a safe gap of about 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) from the vehicles on either side. Make sure your vehicle is centred within the parking bay. Shift into reverse with your foot on the brake, use mirrors to monitor position and slowly release the brake while reversing. Then, adjust your steering wheel and straighten the car.

Stay Focused, and Show that your are Focused

I remember when I was taking my driving test, and you bet I was focused every second. But, I also made sure that the examiner saw my keen observation of little things like turning on the indicator at an appropriate distance, and frequently seeing the side and rearview mirrors.

This will not only get him to notice but also make you more focused on different situations and little points. No one talks about this, but this is the most underrated tip for passing a practical driving test.

What to Bring to Driving Test?

You must take the following things with you:

Bring your valid provisional driving licence, because this is a legal requirement, and you will not be allowed to take the test without it.

If you received a confirmation email or letter from DVSA about your test booking, it’s a good idea to bring this with you. While it’s not compulsory, it can help in case there are any issues with your booking.

Bringing proof for passing the theory test, bring the passed driving test card as proof of your eligibility for the practical test. Depending on the COVID-19 guidelines in place at the time of your test, you may be required to wear a face covering. Check the latest guidance from the DVSA to see if this is necessary during your test.

What Happens During Your Practical Driving Test?

The whole test will be completed within 40 – 45 minutes and consists of five parts, which are explained below:

Eyesight Check

This will include a quick test for your eye test. The examiner will ask you to read the number plate of a car from around 20 metres, read the road signs, and analyse the distance between your car and the one going in front of you.

Tell me and Show me Questions

There will be some Tell Me questions, typically appearing at the start of your practical driving test. Then, some “shows me” a question that the examiner will ask you during your test. If you answer the tell me question wrong, you will get one minor point, and the pass rate allows you to have only 15 minor points in the whole driving test.

Some examples of both show me and tell me questions are:

  • Tell me how you would check that your brakes are working before starting a journey.
  • Show me how you would wash and clean the rear windscreen.
  • Tell me how you would check the tires to ensure they have sufficient tread depth and are in good condition.
  • Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear the front windscreen.
  • Tell me how you would check that the headlights and taillights are working.
  • Show me how you would check the engine oil level.
  • Tell me how you would check the level of the coolant in the engine’s radiator.
  • Show me how you would use the horn to alert other road users.

Checking Your Driving Ability

The examiner will deeply analyse your driving abilities like we have explained in the above section. You will be asked to take sharp U-Turns, pull over on the side and rejoin the traffic, parallel parking, and much more.

Reversing your Car

This holds as much importance as driving your car in a forward direction. You will have to use this method to park your car at bay or parallel parking, or maybe the examiner will use another way to assess your skills.

How Well Can You Drive Independently?

They keenly notice how many rules you follow, like if you mind the distance between your car and one in the front, how early you start the indicator before taking a turn, how you use the horn, etc.

You may be able to use a monitor or GPS device called Sat-Nav, provided by the examiner. In this test, there will be three types of faults that you can possibly make.

Dangerous Fault, which involves putting yourself, a person, or a person’s property in danger, like breaking a signal, not checking your side mirrors or giving an indicator before taking a turn.

Serious Fault, anything that could be dangerous but unfortunately nothing happened. This may include no reviewing mirrors before turning, no giving indicators soon enough, not minding the distance between two vehicles.

Driving Fault, this means that the fault was not dangerous, but it can be dangerous if it happens when surrounded by traffic.