At Tristar Driving, we are frequently asked for advice regarding the preparation for, and the actual day of the Driving Test.
The following are our regular responses, though not the definitive tips; these are based on the most common questions we are asked.
1/ Listen to your instructor.
Many pupils accumulate information from parents and friends at school or college, though this is not always factual; if in doubt, rely on the F.O.G principle – is it a FACT, an OPINION or simply a GUESS. Rely on your Instructor, he or she has been through this process very many times.
2/ Think about learning to drive safely – not just passing the test.
It is far more important to acquire the skills to keep you safe for more than 40 years of your driving career, than to simply learn enough to scrape through a 35 – 40 minute driving test.
3/ Don’t be tempted to rush the learning process.
“I need to pass by my holidays at the end of June” – setting yourself deadlines is not the same as setting end goals or targets. The deadline and not the learning process becomes central and can be counter-productive.
4/ Ask your Instructor questions.
As in #1 above, make your Instructor the focal point for your questions and if you don’t feel you’ve had a complete answer, tell your Instructor you would like more information; we want you to be happy.
5/ Don’t book early lessons if you’re not a ‘morning’ person.
All too often, pupils request an 8am start or similar, only to be under the duvet when we arrive for their lesson. Your Instructor is committed to providing value for money and can’t do this if your less than wide awake – plus it’s dangerous.
6/ Don’t drink alcohol the night before your test.
Or before your lessons! Many people think that alcohol stimulates the mind, when in fact the reverse is true; alcohol depress the mind and affects reaction times and often the ability to reason and make informed choices – not a good idea at all. Alcohol can be present in the body for an average of 12 hours after its consumption
7/ Show the examiner that you can drive safely, with consideration for others.
This will help assure the Examiner of your skill levels, as opposed to taking corners at 25mph in 3rd gear or racing from the lights like a grand prix driver. Don’t forget, the examiner has probably not met you before and you know what they say about first impressions.
8/ People claim they’re put off by the lack of conversation on test – you could perhaps prompt the conversation?
“I failed but the Examiner put me off with all that cold silence.”
“Did you speak to him?”
“No, I was waiting for him.”
Perhaps the Examiner, whilst not wanting to chatter endlessly, might think you are someone who prefers to be quiet whilst driving – unless of course you prove differently.
9/ Don’t think examiners have a pass ‘quota’ – if you’re good enough you will pass
One of the more popular myths, no doubt perpetuated by candidates who fail their test.
10/ Practice with a family member but obtain a practice record from your Instructor.
Seek your Instructor’s advice about practising with a family member and obtain a “Private Practice” document (If a problem, you or your Instructor can obtain copies free of charge from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please remember your family member should liaise closely with your Instructor and not try to teach, but rather practice the techniques acquired during your lesson.