2) How the theory test works
The theory test is made up of a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part. You need to pass both parts to pass the theory test. If you pass 1 part and fail the other you’ll fail the whole test, and you’ll need to take both parts again. The questions in the multiple-choice test will depend on the category of vehicle you are hoping to get a licence for. For example, a motorcycle theory test will contain questions that don’t appear in any other test. For the hazard perception test there are no separate versions for different vehicles, but the pass mark is different for them.
At the theory test centre
You aren’t allowed to take any personal items into the test room with you. All your personal items must be stored in the lockers provided. If you’re found with any prohibited items in the testing room your test will be stopped, you’ll be asked to leave and you’ll lose your test fee. Once you’re in the test room you aren’t allowed to talk to or distract other candidates.
The multiple-choice part
Before the test starts you’ll be given instructions on how it works. You can choose to do a practice session of multiple-choice questions to get used to the layout of the test. At the end of the practice session the real test will begin. A question and several possible answers will appear on a computer screen – you have to select the correct answer. Some questions may need more than one answer. You can move between questions and ‘flag’ questions that you want to come back to later in the test. Some car and motorcycle questions will be given as a case study. The case study will:
- show a short story that 5 questions will be based on
- focus on real life examples and experiences you could come across when you’re driving
The car and motorcycle multiple-choice part lasts for 57 minutes and the pass mark is 43 out of 50. After the multiple-choice part you can choose to have a break of up to 3 minutes before the hazard perception part starts.
The hazard perception part
Before you start the hazard perception part, you’ll be shown a short video clip about how it works. You’ll then be shown a series of 14 video clips on a computer screen. The clips:
- feature everyday road scenes
- contain at least one ‘developing hazard’ – but one of the clips will feature 2 ‘developing hazards’
A developing hazard is something that may result in you having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction.
Hazard perception test scoring
The earlier you notice a developing hazard and make a response, the higher you will score. The most you can score for each developing hazard is 5 points. To get a high score you need to respond to the developing hazard as soon as you see it starting. If you click continuously or in a pattern during a clip a message will appear at the end. It will tell you that you have scored zero for that particular clip. You won’t be able to review your answers. The pass mark for cars and motorcycles is 44 out of 75.
Your test result
You will be given the results of your theory tests at the test centre after taking it. You’ll get a pass certificate if you pass your theory test. You’ll need this when you book and take your practical test. Your theory test pass certificate lasts for 2 years after taking your test. You’ll need to take and pass the theory test again if you haven’t passed your practical test by then.
3) How The car practical driving test WORKS
The practical driving test is designed to see if you:
- can drive safely in different road and traffic conditions
- know the Highway Code and can show this through your driving ability
As long as you show the standard required, you’ll pass your driving test. There’s no minimum number of lessons you must have or hours you must practice driving before you take your test. There are no pass or fail quotas. You’ll need to have passed your driving theory test before taking your practical test.
What happens during the test
Before you start the driving ability part of your test, you’ll have an eyesight check and be asked 2 vehicle safety questions.
You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:
- 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate;
- 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate.
You can write down what you see if you can’t speak English or have difficulty reading. New-style number plates start with 2 letters followed by 2 numbers, eg AB51 ABC. You’ll fail your driving test and the test won’t continue if you can’t pass the eyesight test.
Vehicle safety questions: ‘show me, tell me’.
You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions. These are also known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions. The examiner will ask you one ‘show me’ question, where you’ll have to show them how you’d carry out a vehicle safety check. You’ll also be asked one ‘tell me’ question, where you’ll have to explain to the examiner how you’d carry out the check.
The driving ability part.
The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. If you’re taking an extended test pass because of a driving disqualification, the test will last 70 minutes.
Your general driving ability. During your test the examiner will give you directions that you should follow. You’ll drive in various road and traffic conditions. You should drive in the way your instructor has trained you. It should include:
- normal stops
- an angle start (pulling out from behind a parked vehicle)
- a hill start
You might also be asked to carry out an emergency stop.
Reversing your vehicle safely
You’ll have to show how well you can reverse your vehicle. The examiner will ask you to do one of the following exercises:
- reversing around a corner
- turning in the road
- reverse parking – either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road
Independent driving section
Your driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It’s designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions on your own.
If you make mistakes
Carry on if you make a mistake, because if it’s not a serious mistake it might not affect your result.
Your examiner will stop your test if they think your driving is a danger to other road users.
Taking someone with you
Your examiner will ask if you want your instructor, or another person, to:
- sit in the back of your car during your driving test
- be with you after the test for the result and feedback
This person will usually be your driving instructor, but it could also be a relative or friend. They must be over 16 and can’t take any part in the test.
The examiner’s supervisor
The examiner’s supervisor may come along as well. They will be watching the examiner’s performance, not yours. The supervisor won’t have any say in how you’re tested or in your result. Your test might be cancelled and you could lose your fee if you don’t let the examiner’s supervisor go with you.
4. Independent driving section of the test
Your practical driving test will include around 10 minutes of independent driving. It’s not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
How the test works
During your test you’ll have to drive independently by either following:
- traffic signs
- a series of directions
- a combination of both
To help you understand where you’re going when following verbal directions, the examiner can show you a diagram. Download ‘Independent driving route diagram example’ (PDF, 315KB). You can’t use sat nav because the independent driving section tests how you make your own decisions.
Forgetting the directions
It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way. Driving independently means making your own decisions – this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going. The examiner will confirm the directions to you if you ask for a reminder of them.
Going off the independent driving route
It won’t affect the result of your test if you go off the independent driving route, unless you make a driving fault. The examiner will help you get back on the route if you go off it or take a wrong turning. You can then continue with the independent driving.
Poor traffic signs
The examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign if there are poor or obscured traffic signs. You won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area.
5. Your driving test result
You’ll pass your test if you make:
- 15 or fewer driving faults
- no serious or dangerous faults
When the driving test has ended, you can call your instructor over if they didn’t go with you on your test. This is so they can listen to the result and help you with any feedback afterwards. The examiner will:
- tell you if you passed or not
- explain how you did during the test
The different types of faults
There are 3 types of faults that can be marked:
a dangerous fault – involves actual danger to you, the examiner, the public or property
a serious fault – could potentially be dangerous
a driving fault – not potentially dangerous, but if you make the same fault throughout your test it could become a serious fault
If you pass your test
The examiner will give you a pass certificate if you pass the test. They will also ask you if you want your full licence to be sent to you automatically. Once you have passed your test you can start driving straight away – you don’t need to wait for your full licence to arrive.
If you don’t pass
You have to wait another 10 working days before you can take another test if you don’t pass. Working days don’t include Sundays and public holidays.
Feedback on how eco-efficient your driving is
The examiner will also give you feedback about how eco-efficient your driving is.
UK DRIVING TEST QUESTIONS (show me /tell me questions):
Q1: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil?
A1: Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, check the oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.
Q2: Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
A2: Identify high/low level markings on the header tank (where fitted) radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to the correct level.
Q3: Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
A3: Identify reservoir and explain how to check level. Check your car’s manual to see how to do this.
Q4: Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
A4: Identify reservoir, check the level against high and low markings.
Q5: Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car.
A5: Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors or ask someone to help.
Q6: How you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey?
A6: Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.
Q7: Where would you find information for the recommended tyre pressure for this car and how can it be checked?
A7: Manufacture’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget the spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.
Q8: How do you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road?
A8: No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
Q9: How do you would check that the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey?
A9: If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks must be made.
• Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate.
• Turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.
Q10: How do you check if the headlights and taillights are working?
A10: Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), walk around vehicle to see.
Q11: How do you check if the direction indicators are working?
A11: Applying the indicators or hazard-warning switch and walking around the vehicle to check functioning.
Q12: How do you check if the horn is working (off road only)?
A12: By using control (turn on ignition if necessary).
Q13: How would you check the parking brake for excessive wear?
A13: By applying parking brake, when it is applied fully it secures itself.
Q14: How best would you adjust the head rest for maximum protection?
A14: Adjust the head rest so that the back of your head rests in the middle, inline with your eyes and above the top of your ears.
Q15: Show me how to clean your windscreen.
Q16: Show me how to turn on the lights then turn your main beam to dipped beam.
UK DRIVING TEST (to see examples- click links below):
***The driving test will change from Monday 4 December 2017 to include following directions from a sat nav and testing different manoeuvres!!! :
The 4 driving test changes
1. Independent driving part of the test will increase to 20 minutes
The independent driving part of the test currently lasts around 10 minutes. During this part of the test, you have to drive without turn-by-turn directions from the driving examiner.
This part of the test will be made longer, so it’ll last around 20 minutes – roughly half of the test.
2. Following directions from a sat nav
During the independent driving part of the test, most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav.
The examiner will provide the sat nav (a TomTom Start 52) and set it up. You won’t need to set the route – the examiner will do this for you. So, it doesn’t matter what make or model of sat nav you practise with.
You can’t follow directions from your own sat nav during the test – you have to use the one supplied by the examiner.
You’ll be able to ask the examiner for confirmation of where you’re going if you’re not sure. It won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it.
One in 5 driving tests won’t use a sat nav. You’ll need to follow traffic signs instead.
3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.
You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:
- parallel park at the side of the road
- park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
- pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic
4. Answering a vehicle safety question while you’re driving
The examiner will ask you 2 vehicle safety questions during your driving test – these are known as the ‘show me, tell me’ questions.
You’ll be asked the:
- ‘tell me’ question (where you explain how you’d carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving
- ‘show me’ question (where you show how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re driving – for example, showing how to wash the windscreen using the car controls and wipers
***CLICK the link below to see a NEW Driving Test Rules from 4th December 2017!!!***