My practical test – when should I take it?

When you pass your written or theory test, your driving instructor will inform you of just how ready you are for the practical stage of your driving test. It goes without saying that your driving school wants you to pass on the first attempt. With this in mind, Drive2pass school of motoring want to offer you that “edge” by giving you the tips listed below to help ensure you don’t take it before you are ready, but also to help you bring the day when you are ready, that bit closer.

Log Book

Different from the conventional logbook, meaning registration certificate for your car, a logbook filled out with the help of your instructor is a great way to track your progress. A written account you can refer to at anytime, will give you a specific record of your strengths and weaknesses. It will also give you a very precise indication of when you are ready to take that all important practical driving test.

Self-help books

There are a number of published works that give you driving tips etc, but in addition there are often testimonials and stories of others, documenting when some have either taken their test at the right time or at the wrong time. Anecdotal evidence is powerful and lets you learn from others’ mistakes.

Practice on your own – with appropriate supervision!

Put what you have learnt into practice in between your lessons.

There is nothing wrong with doing this and you can even get your instructor to give you things to work on before you see him or her next. It is however, important that you are insured on the owner’s car insurance and imperative that you don’t pick up any bad habits from the friend or family member you practice with.

Have a mock test

There’s no better indication of how ready you are than to have a ‘dry run’, simulating test conditions. When in this environment, it is easy to imagine the examiner sitting in the seat instead of your instructor. If you pass the mock test, then you should be more confident of  passing your actual practical.

Reasons for failure

The Driving Standards Agency (or DSA) publish common reasons for failure by students. By being aware of the pitfalls that lay ahead, you prepare yourself for success.

Here is a selection taken from some of those publications.

A common place to fail is at junctions. Correct road positioning, signalling and use of mirrors are imperative to display road sense and awareness of other vehicles.

Always signal, adjust road position and use your mirrors in good time when approaching junctions and potential hazards.

Getting into the habit of checking mirrors regularly will show your examiner that you are aware of your surroundings.

A lot of people slip up on lane positioning on roundabouts. There is a very specific correct way to approach and manoeuvre around roundabouts. In the whole scheme of things, road positioning is one of the easiest to rectify. By being mindful, you can make sure that you are always getting into the right lane in good time.

Touching the curb

Formerly known as the ‘three point turn’, the ‘turn in the road’ is a common place to fail your test. There isn’t a maximum number of manoeuvres when turning in the road, so make sure you turn safely and without touching the curb. As long as you show that you are in control of the vehicle at all times, then you can take as many as you need….within reason.

If just one of these tips helps you through your test, or helps you decide the right time to take your test, then it has been worth us writing this and worth you reading it.

Good luck!