Tips for passing driving test
There comes a moment in everyone’s life when they feel the urge to get out and explore the life on the road. After you have gained the required experience behind the wheels with your instructor and supervising driver; you can apply for the practical driving test. The thought of getting a driving license can be a bit intimidating for some. Don’t worry, if you are well prepared, you will definitely get there!
The duration of your test will be approximately 45 minutes. The testing officers will ask you to demonstrate manouvres (3-point turn, Reverse parallel park and Kerb side stop) as well as they will assess your general driving.
In the general driving part, you are assessed on your ability to drive safely. You should always aim for low risk driving. The testing officers want to see that you have good observation skills and you are good at speed management, road positioning and decision making. They will also assess your ability to interact with other road users, your aptitude to perceive and respond to hazards and your overall vehicle control.
Here are few things that you need to keep in mind when appearing for your practical driving test:
- You have to make sure that your car is ready for the test. Your car should have a valid registration. The tyres should be inflated properly and in good condition. All the lights need to be working and other controls such as hazard lights, indicators, break lights, windshield wipers need to be functional. The windshield should have no cracks and it should be clean so that it does not obstruct your vision. Before the actual driving part of the test starts, the testing officers will check if your vehicle is ready for the test. If it’s not up to the required standard your test will be cancelled.
- Always try to maintain a safe gap of 3 seconds with a car in your front. You may have to increase this gap if the weather condition and road situation demands. You should not exceed the speed limit under any circumstances
- Stop your car smoothly one meter before the line at STOP Signs and Traffic lights, however at stop signs you are allowed to cross the line if your vision is limited, but make sure that first you have to completely stop before the line.
- Going through traffic lights, if your vehicle is first you must turn your head and check left and right when its green, you looking for vehicles that may be “running “ the red light, or pedestrians crossing against the “don’t walk” sign. . When you make a turn, you should always look both ways, so you don’t hit any incoming cars.
- Check your mirrors and over your shoulders before making any change to your speed or position.
- Make sure you do your shoulder checks (blind spot) before any manoeuvre even for left and right turns. Your chin needs to line up with your shoulder.
- Don’t forget to signal at turns, lane changes and any time your intent is to change direction. Always know where your lane is. At red lights always stop behind the limit lines.
- When you decide to merge or change lanes, make sure you indicate first, let people see your decision, check mirrors for a safe gap then shoulder (Blind spot) check, and then look straight when merging or moving to another lane. Check the mirrors again for reassurance and stay with flow of traffic.
- Watch out for school zone, pedestrian and children crossing, you will be expected to perform the driving tasks according to the road rules.
- Safe driving is all about decision making. Road situation is always changing so we have to make quick decisions. Only go when you are sure while turning, after stopping, changing lanes, merging, diverging, give way signs, stop signs, round about etc. We should only proceed further when it’s 100% safe; there is no room for assumption.
- The position of your car while driving should be at least one meter away from the parked vehicle. You must not touch the lane lines, edge line or crossing a continuous centre line unnecessarily. When turning at the intersections, always exit to the permissible lane
- Nervous affect everyone differently; we are all human including testing officers. Testing officer are not there to put you under any more pressure than you already feel. Remember the old sayings "You can not change the past" therefore if you take a mistake don't dwell on it. We know it's easier said than done, but some learners make additional mistakes because they are worrying about a minor error they made, instead of concentrating on the remainder of the test. Don't nervous, go confidently and relaxed! If you obey road rules and drive safely often everything else will fall into place.
- Before taking a driving test ensure go through "A guide to driving test"
AFTER THE TEST: - When you return to the motor registry, listen to what the testing officer has to say. They will advise you of the result and give you general feedback on your driving. They will mention what you did wrong and a little bit of what you did right. Whichever it is, thank them politely.
AFTER YOU PASS: - Well done! Congratulations!! Now that you have got the driving license, remember to follow any restrictions your license class has. Just because you got your license does not mean you know everything about driving. Nobody is perfect and even if you pass, it is likely that you would have made some errors. The assessor will tell you which areas of your driving did not meet the standard. Driving is an ongoing learning process. Stays focused and do your best.
IF YOU FAIL: - Failing is not the worst thing in the world. Simply schedule another test. Do not get discouraged! You will get it eventually! Practice more. Get more driving hours in than required. Try to fix on the negative aspects of your driving that the test officer has mentioned.