In this episode of the Driving Instructor Masterclass, Chris Bensted who has been a driving instructor for over 12 years, is talking you through his top 8 tips that will see you passing your driving test with flying colours!
1. Be prepared
There is little point in taking your driving test if you’re not ready for it. The best advice we can give you is to make sure you’re prepared! Take those lessons, get in private practice and build up the confidence on the road. Make sure you know the rules, and what’s expected of you in the driving test – it’s all about being ready, and we think you’ll know when the time is right!
2. Remember the basics
You learn about Mirror Signal Manoeuvre (or Look, Tell, Do) in the first few lessons you take. They’re essential, so it’s important you don’t forget these when your test rolls around.
Look/Mirror – Keep your eyes open, check your mirrors and blind spots effectively, and be aware of your surroundings. Many people forget to do this under the pressure of a test, and it can lead you to fail if you aren’t properly checking what’s going on.
Tell/Signal – Make sure you’re communicating effectively to those around you by using your signals. This makes your life a lot easier and helps keep you safe on the road. Signalling is a very important part of driving and something you need to do in your test and beyond in life on the road.
Do/Manoeuvre – Make good judgements when performing your manoeuvres and do what you’ve already practised. You’re good enough to be taking your test, so keep your cool and do what you know you can!
3. It’s all about the experience
It can take around 100 hours of driving practice to be ready for your test – for others it may take longer, and some may be able to pass quicker, but the important thing is that you feel ready and prepared to take your test. Make sure, before you pass, you’ve seen and dealt with as much as a learner driver as possible – you don’t want to wait until you pass before you tackle a multi-lane roundabout or complicated manoeuvres. Getting road experience when you’re a learner will make you safer.
4. Know the rules of the test
You don’t have to guess what you’ll be marked on during your driving test – the DVSA make it really easy. All you need to do is go to the GOV website and search for the DT1 (driving test one) – this is what the examiner will be marking you on. Have a look through and see what your examiner is going to be looking for on things like how they’ll mark your manoeuvres or judge your steering for example. Knowing what they’re going to mark you on means you can practice meeting that criteria.
5. Don’t focus on the test
If you’ve got your experience and you’re feeling test ready – you don’t need to let the pressure of the test get to you. All you’ve got to do is think of it as another lesson – go out and drive to the standard you are capable of, deal with situations as they come along and remain safe. If you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it and let it affect the way you drive going forward. Keep your cool, keep focused and get that pass!
6. It’s not a test
Think of your test not as a test at all, but as an assessment of what you can already do. You start with a clean sheet and all you’ve got to do is try and maintain it for the during of the assessment. Stay safe, do what you know you can do, and you’ll be successful!
7. It doesn’t matter if you go the wrong way
Many people think that if you take a wrong turning or go the opposite way to what your examiner tells you, that you’ll fail. It’s not the case - as long as you do it safely, you’ll be fine. If you end up in the wrong lane, don’t make it difficult for yourself trying to fix it and shoot over to a different lane – just stick in the lane you’re in, carry on safely, and your examiner will step in to get you back on course.
8. Don’t take advice from people
As a learner who is test ready, you know what is safe, what you’re comfortable with and you know how to pass – you wouldn’t be taking your test otherwise! So many people fail because on the day of the test, a friend or family member will tell you things to remember or give you advice that you end up being so focused on, you forget how to drive and pass like you can. It’s not always good advice and you can end up changing your driving habits or second guessing what you’re doing – trust yourself, and you’ll be fine!