ADI part 3. Test of ability to instruct for potential driving instructors.

Learn to drive without being taken for a ride

ADI part three

ADI part 3

Part 3 R.I.P

In December 2017 the part 3 test was replaced by the standards check.

I think many instructors will be sad to see the part 3 test go. It will forever remain as one of the toughest tests ever for any job. I’ve known many people from all walks of life who have found the part 3 to be the hardest thing they ever did.

Farewell old friend. I’ll leave this page up in memory of you.



What happens on the test

On part 3 you must give two driving lessons to a senior examiner who will be playing the role of a pupil. For the first half hour they will play a pupil who is very new to driving. They’ll needs lots of help on basic topics such as going over the car controls or turning left and right. Because the pupil is very new you’ll have to work hard because you’re telling them how to do everything.

In the second half an hour the examiner will play the part of a pupil who is not far from being ready for a driving test but has several weaknesses that you need to identify and sort out. This is a different style of teaching to the first half because instead of telling a lot you’ll be asking a lot of questions and sorting out the good answers from the bad.

The examiner will guide you around on this test so you don’t need to know the area. Many people take this exam away from where they live because the waiting times used to be very long (3 to 6 months) but since 2012 the number of people training has dropped and it’s now quite easy to get tests that are just a few weeks or days away.




Will the examiner help me?

The examiner is not going to make it easy for you. They may ask you if they can go through a flashing amber light at traffic lights and when you say “Yes but only if nobody is crossing” (which is correct) they will attempt to fill your mind with doubt by saying things such as “Well my last instructor said I couldn’t and I’d fail for it. I’m sure I read in a book that you can’t, are you sure?”. Even then they will continue to make you doubt yourself but you must stick to your guns if you are correct. Caving in is how people fail part 3, you have to show that you know your stuff.

We call these assists by the examiner “lifelines” and there are two things you can do with a lifeline; use it to pull yourself to safety or hang yourself with it. This is because sometimes the examiner is helping you and sometimes they are trying to throw you off track by throwing you a false lifeline. This is where you’ll be glad that you spent more time doing parts one and two, so that you know the fact from the fiction.


So what do I have to do on part 3?


Here’s a quick example. Imagine the examiner is heading towards some parked cars on the left hand side of the road and a vehicle is coming towards you. They try and squeeze through the gap and although they make it through, it was a bit too close to be safe.

You’ll first need to ask them why they did it to find out what went wrong. Imagine they just say that they don’t know and it looked ok to them. You’ll need to pull them over, give them a few examples of how to tell if the gap is wide enough and then use the correct level of instruction to fix the fault. There are 3 levels of instruction


1) Fully guided (Telling them what to do)

2) Prompted (Asking them what to do)

3) Independent (You say nothing and they can do it on their own)


The main reason for failing part 3

Not using the correct level of instruction is the main reason for failing part 3. It’s no good telling a pupil who’s been driving for 30 hours that the clutch makes the car move. It’s no good asking a pupil a question if you haven’t yet told them how to do whatever it is you’re asking about. There’s also no point asking or telling when the pupil can clearly do it alone, that just annoys them.

Next time the car moves you’ll need to choose the correct level of instruction. If it’s level 2 (prompted) then you’ll need to ask various questions that provoke thoughts from the learner. These are questions such as asking what, where, when, who etc. You should avoid asking closed questions (ones with yes/no answers) as the answer can be guessed correctly too often. Instead ask open questions that make the pupil think.

At the correct time you will need to drop or increase your level of instruction to suit the pupil. The examiner will be making more faults as you’re doing that so It’s not easy at all. On top of all this you need to be watching other road users.




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