Preparing for your driving test

Taking a driving test is a big day and you will have put a lot of work into preparing for it. The closer you get to it, the more tension can build and nerves kick in! There are things you can do and things you should know that can help you to feel more relaxed and not get so nervous.

1) Make sure your test booking isn’t coinciding with other stressful events such as exams or a house move for example.

2) Don’t tell everyone about it. It’s great if you pass but the thought of having to tell everyone you were not successful can put you under pressure.

3) Put your driving licence safe and to hand. There is nothing worse than not being able to find your licence the day before the test!

4) Don’t stay out late the night before. Have an early night and do something relaxing. Don’t stress yourself cramming with a highway code!

5) If you are worried, call your instructor for a chat. Don’t bottle it all up.

6) Remember that the examiner is human and just doing a job. Contrary to what people say examiners do actually want you to pass, so don’t think they are going to try and catch you out, they can only mark you on what they see you do wrong.

7) Examiners may or may not chat to you as you drive. If they don’t, it’s not because they are not friendly, they will want you to concentrate as best you can for you to get the best result from your drive.

8) Don’t always believe stories from other people about their driving tests. People often exaggerate what actually happened, especially if it was a failed test.

9) Make sure you discuss any shortfalls in your driving ability with your instructor so you can deal with them before you commit yourself to a test.

10) Make sure you do a few mock tests before the real thing so you know what to expect.

11) If your not successful make sure you listen carefully as to what the examiner tells you at the end of the test. You may be given advice as to what you need to do to improve before you next take a test.

12) There are billions of people all around the world who can drive, if they can, so can you!

13) Don’t be afraid to ask an examiner to repeat an instruction to you should you forget it or not hear correctly.

14) Don’t worry if you go the wrong way, your being marked on your driving performance, not on directions!

15) Drive as you normally would on a lesson. Don’t try to be quicker or more cautious, drive in the same way your instructor has shown you to.

16) Touching a kerb doesn’t always mean a fail. The circumstances surrounding some faults will determine how serious it is. So if you do something wrong, forget it and concentrate on the rest of your drive.

17) If you come across something new, go with your gut feeling. If it feels right, then it will be, if it feels wrong, then it most likely is.

18) Good luck!!

The Theory Test.

I strongly recommend that you study the Highway Code MANY times rather than just attempting practice theory tests repeatedly. Pupils at nicedriving have FREE access to Theory Test Pro which includes all the study material required ( www.nicedriving.theorytestpro.co.uk )The DVSA also have publications such as 'Driving, The essential skills', which are a useful source of information. The theory test is made up of two parts. Firstly you will need to answer 50 multiple choice questions and successfully answer 43 or more correctly to pass. You will then be required to watch a series of 14 video clips and identify developing hazards at the appropriate time in order to score points out of 5. You will need an overall score of 44 or more out of a possible 75 in order to successfully pass. There is a Theory test centre located at Abbey Lawns business park in Shrewsbury. You are required to take your driving licence with you.

The Practical Driving Test.

On the day of your test you will need to book your lesson for two hours. The two hours then gives us time for a drive round first to recap and practice, and then time for the test itself. You will need to take your driving licence and you will be expected to be able to read a number plate at 20 metres. When you take the test it will start at a special test centre and you will be expected to drive on public roads accompanied by a DVSA examiner (not your instructor). The test will take about 40 minutes in duration. The examiner will record any errors with your driving as either a driving fault or a serious fault. You are allowed up to 15 driving faults and not one serious fault in order to pass. Before a test is booked you will have completed your course and will have completed a few mock driving tests to prepare you. By the time you take your test you will know what you will need to do, so there shouldn't be any surprises! Nicedriving driving school uses the Shrewsbury Driving Test Centre located near Battlefield.

Top 10 reasons why people fail a test

1) Observation at junctions - Ineffective observation and judgement

2) Mirrors - Change of direction

3) Control - Steering

4) Junctions - Turning right

5) Moving off - Safely (Ineffective observation)

6) Positioning - Normal driving

7) Moving off - Control

8) Response to signals - Traffic lights

9) Reverse Park - Control

10) Response to signals - Traffic signs

Source. DVSA figures 2016-2017

Notice how there is no mention of hesitancy?? Yet so many pupils worry about being faulted for taking too long, and so try to rush at junctions and fail, adding to the number one statistic!!


The advice given on this site is intended as a source of reference for people undergoing driver training. As there are so many variables driving a car on public roads there are many circumstances where a driver would have to make alternative decisions based on the situation put before them. It would be impossible to cover every single eventuality on this site, so the subjects are mainly generalisations and are not definitive guides. It is recommended that anyone wishing to learn how to drive a vehicle should employ a professional instructor to fully understand how to drive correctly. It is also recommended that you refer to official DVSA & HMSO / TSO publications for definitive information. Therefore, Nicedriving will not be held responsible for actions or decisions taken by drivers out on public roads. Please take advice from a qualified instructor who will advise and check your progress


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