Driving Test Brake 2 slow down approach junction not gears

A common driving habit that a lot of test candidates seem to have is that they use the car gears to try to slow down the vehicle instead of the brakes.

I know that many years ago this was standard practice (before the introduction of synchromesh transmission), but nowadays vehicle technology has changed all that and the standard way of driving is use the brakes to slow down the car to the appropriate speed required for a junction, and then match the gears to go with that speed. This will also stop a lot of people from coasting as they tend to keep the clutch down because they know the car will jerk if it is too fast for the gear they are in.

A general rule of thumb is that if you are emerging at a closed junction you are going to need first gear, while moving from a major road to a minor road is usually 2nd gear (there are exceptions of course, and if you have enough driving experience will know when to do something else), so get used to braking to this speed, and then doing a block gear change. It doesn't matter what gear you are in, the gear shift should be done once (4th to 2nd, 3rd to 1st or even 5th to 1st).

On the driving test, using block gear changes shows the dsa examiner that you have acquired advanced car control skills, and is evidence that you are ready to drive unsupervised (as long as you don't commit any serious/dangerous faults).
Start today to use the brake to slow gears to go technique on your lessons whether it be with an instructor or learning to drive with family or a friend, as it will take sometime to change the old habit before test day.

Remember the more you practice a skill, the better you will get at it, this will lead to confidence, reduce nervousness, and most importantly increase your chances of passing the practical test.

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