Tips before taking your driving test

Tips before taking your driving test

Obviously you want to pass your test as quickly as possible and if your learning with driveJohnson’s driving school then we want you to pass ASAP too. However, listen to your instructor and try to follow their advice. If they don’t think you will be ready in time, trust them. They know what test standard is better than you do. If you have any questions or concerns, always ask your instructor.

The following tips come direct from our driving manual that is available to buy within our shop. Here’s some tips before taking your driving test:

1-2 weeks before your driving test


1. If you’re committing more than 1-2 serious faults over the course of a 1 hour lesson or a mock test, then consider putting your test date back or look to increase your lessons if your instructor thinks you could improve with a few more hours.

2. If you are struggling to concentrate in your lessons or you’re making lots of mistakes because you are tired, then try our product ‘driveAlert’. Students that have taken it in the past have all reported positive results. See our website for more details.

3. If you are a very nervous person then consider taking a herbal remedy called ‘Calms’ available from most chemists.

4. Start making yourself familiar with the ‘show me, tell me questions’ on page 29. You will be asked 2 of these questions before your practical test. It’s important you get off to a good start.

5. Watch our test route videos and top test tip videos on our website: Ask your instructor for the latest user name and password.

Bryony Hil passes first time

Last minute tips before your driving test

1. If you are unsure about an instruction, always ask the examiner early to repeat themselves. Don’t wait until you get to the junction.

2. In the event you realise you are not in the correct lane approaching a junction, avoid swerving or a sudden change of direction. If you can’t do the MSPSL routine in good time safely, then stay in the position you are in and go the wrong direction safely. You will not be penalised by the examiner, as long as you do it safely. Remember, the examiner is marking you on your ability to drive not your ability to follow directions. This also applies to the independent driving part of the test.

3. You may notice the examiner staring at you when you approach a hazard. He/she is observing your use of mirrors. Once you have looked in the appropriate mirror(s) they will look ahead again. Some examiners are more obvious than others. So if you notice the examiner staring, check the appropriate mirrors.


4. Try to avoid overtaking on the approach to junctions unless it is completely necessary. Sometimes the vehicle you wanted to overtake can speed up making it awkward for you to get past and back into the lane that you want. The examiner would rather you retreat behind that vehicle than get into a mini race approaching the junction.


5. If you are at a busy junction remember; if you don’t know, don’t go. It’s a better option to hold back and miss the odd half chance than making a rash decision and getting a serious or dangerous fault because you have slowed another vehicle down.


6. Remember, the examiner wants to see you fit in with other traffic. The moment you slow someone down or force them to change direction, could mean you have just failed your driving test.


7. Another key point about fitting in with other traffic is making progress. Sometimes pupils drive slower on the day of their test, because they think that is what the examiner wants. The examiner wants you to keep up with other vehicles in front, as long as you’re not breaking the speed limit and you are applying the appropriate following distance. So, if you’re on a 70mph road and it’s safe to do 70mph, then do 70mph basically.


8. Following distances. On 30mph roads, make sure you keep at least 6 car lengths away from the car in front when doing 30mph. Anything above 40mph-  apply the 2 second rule. Remember your following distance doubles in the rain and it’s x10 in ice/snow.


9. Manoeuvres – Take your time: It’s easier to judge gaps, kerbs and your position going slowly. You’re also welcome to stop a few times on the manoeuvres if you need to. Stopping/slowing down = more thinking time to get it right.

Take a shunt: In the event you get too close to the kerb or you drift out too far on the Reverse to the left/Parallel Park, then stop and move forwards into a better position. You can take a shunt on the Bay Park too, if you feel you are going to go over the white lines of another Bay. You can also take up to 5 turns on the turn in the road so don’t worry if you can’t do it in 3 turns- some of the roads on test are very narrow.

How to identify if something isn’t right: Once you have finished your manoeuvre the examiner may remain quiet if there is something incomplete. Take this as a hint… double check you’re close enough to the kerb if it’s Parallel Park or Reverse to the left. If it’s the Bay Park – double check you have gone back into the bay fully or you are not covering one of the lines slightly. If so… take a shunt to correct.


10. You may see the examiner marking your test report throughout your driving. Don’t always think they are marking you down. The examiner has to mark when certain aspects of the test have been covered- like a hill start, angled moving off, E.Stop or a manoeuvre. So don’t worry – concentrate on the road ahead!

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