Well I'm going to burst your bubble right away, and say that there is no way that an instructor can guarantee you will pass the driving test first time, but you can greatly improve your chances by taking a few steps and be on your way to driving a that car of your choice, but before I start I would advice you to get a copy of the dsa guide to passing the test and go through it thoroughly especially if you are not using a driving instructor or are a foreign driving licence holder.
How can you pass a test if you don't fully know what the examiner is looking for, and it doesn't matter if you are taking lessons with an ADI, you can never be too prepared or have too much knowledge. This guide even includes video clips from an actual driving test, so you can see what the examiner is actually looking for and marking you against. Remember a first time pass does not rely on luck, but knowledge, good preparation and adequate skills.
1. Listen to instructor advice!
Huh? One of the main reasons for pupils failing the UK driving test is that they are not ready for the test! When I ask a pupil to book a test, I normally give them the earliest date they should book the driving test considering the waiting times at the test centres I'm using, the current progress of the pupil and how many lessons they are currently having in a week. This is the earliest date when I think they would be ready if all things are equal and the pupil continues progressing at their current learning rate. We now have a target to work towards, and both I as the driving instructor and the pupil will play a part in achieving that desired goal.
What I have found in a lot of cases is the pupil will once they have a date booked for the driving test, start to slack in their learning, either they cancel lessons, or don't take things serious enough, and as the test approaches you find they are not at the standard you expected them to be! At this point I normally advise them to reschedule the driving test, but most say they will give it a go any way! I can refuse to take a pupil for a test, but I will only do this if I consider the pupil to be very dangerous and could likely be involved in an accident! I have only refused one pupil in the last 7 years. So what happened to the mantra 'I want to pass the driving test first time'? End result is they fail!
If you think your ADI is stopping you from taking a test just to milk you (very rare, but has been known to happen), first ask him why s/he thinks you are not ready for the driving test, when s/he thinks you are going to be ready, and what it is you need to achieve to be ready. If you still are not satisfied, seek independent advise from a different ADI, possibly by booking a mock driving test.
2. Be Prepared.
No, you don't have to join the Boy Scouts. The DSA has a syllabus of skills that will be tested during the UK driving test, so if you really want to pass the test first time, then make sure you have covered every thing in there, and that you can do everything required with no input from your instructor! If you don't have a driver record, ask your instructor for one, so you can keep track of how you are progressing. If you can not honestly say that you are at the independent level with each skill, then you are not ready.
How long will it take you to be prepared? Well the DSA who conduct the UK driving test recommend 40hrs of tuition, I also give you a guide based on my experience in the how many driving lessons article. These are average figures, and some learner drivers will not require that much, and others will require more, which is why the driver's record is very helpful in charting your progress.
3. Practise makes perfect!
Once you've covered the DSA skills syllabus and have attained the independent level, then the key to passing your driving test is confidence and consistency, and this is where practise comes in! The more you do something, the less you have to think about it, and it soon becomes a habit (a good one for passing the driving test)! If you are fortunate enough to have a car (or access to one), are insured to drive it and can find a knowledgeable supervising driver, then you can build up your confidence and consistency by practising the skills you have learnt with your instructor.
When ever you are out practising make sure you do things the way you have been taught by your ADI, as he knows what the current standards are. Do not copy what other drivers do on the road, or take conflicting advise from your supervising driver. The supervising driver is there to keep you legal and help you practise, if any advise they give you conflicts with what your ADI has taught you, always politely tell them that you will do it the way your instructor has told you to do it, as that is what the examiner would be looking for on your driving test.
If you are not fortunate to have a car or access to one, then your only option of achieving that confidence and consistency is with your driving instructor. This is where the notion of milking by the instructor comes in. The instructor is trying to get you consistent in your driving skills, making the minimum of mistakes, while gaining experience that will enable you to pass the driving test, but MORE IMPORTANTLY stay safe once you are out on the roads by yourself and are in charge of a 1Ton piece of metal and responsible for the safety your passengers as well as other road users.
Get in as much practise as you can afford, it is the key to what will happen on the day of your driving test.
4. The driving test day
If you have followed the 3 steps above, then you should not encounter anything that you are not familiar with on the day of your test. Try to be relaxed, make sure you had a good night rest the previous day, have breakfast (if an early test) even if only toast or cereal bar, to keep your adrenaline levels high. Drive as you have been taught, you can't dictate how other road users will behave, but you have TOTAL control over how you react to them. DO NOT be in a hurry to 'get it over and done with' take your time (but avoid undue hesitation), and make sure you do not rush your manoeuvres and take effective all round observations.
If you make a mistake, do not dwell of it, focus on the present task, and no matter what happens on the day, give it your very best till the end. The test ends when the examiner says 'that's the end of the driving test' so everything you do up till that point counts. You will be surprised at the number of people who have failed their test within the last few
minutes or their test, including the last parking action (I'm not taking about bay parking either)!
I wish you all the best with your driving test, but remember you are the one that ultimately determines the outcome of the test, don't give the examiner an excuse to fail you, no matter how trivial it may be, give him the drive of your life.
DSA Examiner Driving Test RoutesAs an instructor over the years I have seen some very good drivers get tripped up at some tricky places on some of the routes by examiners in the NW London area, so I have made these tutorial videos to cover these situations.
Each video covers what I have found out to the toughest route, and has additional tips on other places or things that you should be aware as a driving test candidate. These are offered as complimentary preparation materials to your lessons or private practice sessions.
Hendon Driving Test Routes Video 2012
£4.99 Buy Now
Independent Driving On the Test.
Theory Test Changes
Driving Test Changes.
Mill Hill Driving Test Route Video
£4.99 Buy Now
Borehamwood Test Centre WD6 Route Videos
Mill Hill Driving Test Help
If you are taking your driving test at Mill Hill test centre and are interested in passing first time with flying colors, you might be interested in the video below, especially if you are not local to the area, as it covers the hardest route in use by the DSA examiners where you have to deal with the dreaded Apex Corner multi-lane roundabout during independent driving as well as the 70mph A1, turning right at sterling corner as well as some other tricky locations. The video has full commentary to point out the failing areas.
Download Video for £3.99
For affordable practical high quality driving lessons to help you pass the test on your next attempt in any of the following centres Mill Hill, Hendon or DSA Borehamwood then give me a call Today on 07956233032.
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