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2 January, 2013

10 Steps to Pass YOUR Test – Step 9: Revisit, Repeat, Revise

We continue our 10 steps series with step 9, revisiting, revising and revising.

As soon as you’ve completed your mock practical test (see step 8), quiz your mock examiner in as much detail as possible and list your faults accordingly. Better still, ask them for a copy of the mock test paper itself. The results will provide a blueprint for your preparation in the run up to the big day itself.

With luck and hard work, your list of markdowns should be manageable, and your RED instructor will be able to help put together a schedule to redress the issues in the time you have left. Remember, however, that you’ll need to keep working on the points you’re already good at. Disaster looms if you let those slip! Balance is the keyword here.

To help in your preparation, here’s a list of the most commonly faulted situations in driving tests across the UK, as published by the Driving Standards Agency (DVSA). Make sure you’re on top of these as well as your own weaker points, and things should go swimmingly.

Driving test sign against blue sky

Ineffective observation and judgement

These four important words appeared in no less than five of the DVSA’s top ten reasons for failure to pass driving tests. Making effective observations and using good judgement are vital to manoeuvres at junctions, reverse parking, moving away, reversing around a corner and making a turn in the road.

Use of mirrors

Integral to demonstrating good observational skills is your use of mirrors. Get into the habit of making your observations noticeable – your examiner won’t accept that you moved your eyes rather than your neck as a valid excuse. It goes without saying that these rules apply to checking your blind spot, too.

Inappropriate speed

You don’t want to break the speed limit during your driving test – that’s a given – but equally, you don’t want to take the road too slowly. Stick as closely as conditions allow to the prescribed speed limit and all should be fine. If you’re not sure what the speed limit is, or when it’s appropriate to drop below it, check with your instructor and make sure you know the rules thoroughly.

Use of signals

The idea of failing to signal before you manoeuvre in a driving test may sound ridiculous, but it’s a very easy thing to forget in the heat of the moment. Make sure it’s second nature before you head to the test centre.

Incorrect positioning

There’s a lot to remember as far as lane positioning is concerned, but a lot of it is basic common sense. You may find a session of imaging useful. Ask your instructor to give you a sequence of situations, and then envisage them in your head. Think about the situation carefully before you answer. The more you review the situations, the quicker you’ll be able to make the right decision when the pressure is on.

Make it happen

In our experience, nerves also tend to be a huge inhibitor to success in driving tests, so take some time to relax and approach the big day with a sense of perspective. Passing first time would be a great achievement, but failure is not the end of the world. See your test as just another appointment to deal with during the course of the day, and get on with it as normally as possible.

Choosing RED as your driving school is a great start towards being a confident, safe driver not just for the test but for life. Our instructors have the skills and experience to help you  be the best driver you can be. If you’ve followed our series and put in the work, then you’ve done all you can. And really, you couldn’t ask yourself for anything more.