Failed driving test on maneuvers

I'm going to be honest here and say that you should not fail the driving test on manoeuvres because this is the easiest part of the the UK practical test.

I know that it is possible for driving test nerves to overwhelm you on the day, but even then you will always know in advance before you are asked to perform a driving test maneuver, so nothing should be a surprise to you.

So why do learner drivers fail the test while performing maneuvers?

1. Observations.
You need to make sure that it is safe while you are performing your maneuvers, which is why you need to take effective observations before you start, all the time the car is moving, and anytime you stop for whatever reason both to ensure you are performing the exercise as well as keeping a look out for other road users.

2. Control.
Keeping control of the car is another key driving skill that you need to demonstrate to the DSA examiner. As an instructor, I find that a lot of learner drivers want to complete a maneuver as quickly as possible and this usually affects their accuracy or ability to control the car, many times resulting in serious errors. It takes practice and guidance from your teacher to find the right balance between being hesistant and not being too fast to keep the car under control. Mastering clutch control is absolutely vital for a slow controlled vehicle, so don't neglect this principle.

Here are a few tips to help with this part of the driving test.

1. Memorise your key reference points.
All instructors will have reference points and methods on how to carry out a test maneuver. Make sure you have these memorised, and can recall them at the drop of a hat. Nothing affects a learner's confidence more than drawing a blank or steering in the wrong direction during a lesson or test. If you have practiced long enough then it should be easier to remember what needs to be done.

2. Think before you start.
The examiner will ALWAYS ask you to stop on the LEFT (NEVER STOP ON THE RIGHT DURING THE TEST), explain the exercise requred, and then advice you to go ahead when ready. Take a few moments to go over the steps in your head before you drive, as long as you don't sit there for a minute doing nothing, you'll be fine.

3. Talk yourself through the exercise.
I've found this to really help some of my pupils when it comes to maneuvers. Talk as you perform each step (the examiner doesn't mind), you are less likely to steer to the right if you hear yourself say 'I want the back of the car to go to the left, so I'm going to steer full lock to the left'.

4. Practise your weaknesses not avoid them.
If you don't like the left reverse found a corner, make it a point to get your instructor to give you lots of practice of this exercise on various roads and traffic conditions.
TIP: If your ADI can't explain how to perform a maneuver to you without getting upset, frustrated or shouting at you, change instructors!
I guarantee (or you don't pay for the lesson) that whoever you are, I can teach you any maneuver in easy steps that you will understand (you still need to memorise these steps and be able to carry them out without my help - INDEPENDENT).

DSA Examiner Driving Test Routes

As 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 2015

£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

More Reading
The 10 most common reasons for failing the driving test.
Don't give up on the driving test.
How to change test appointment date.

Thinking about becoming an instructor? Don't just make a decision based on the red driving school TV advertisement, do the proper research and know all the ADI training options available to you.

Subscribe to my Driving Test Tips so you don't miss any future articles and get DSA updates direct to your inbox by Email. The service is free and provided by google feedburner, so I don't personally keep your email addresses, and you can remove yourself anytime after passing the driving test with just one mouse click.

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