The driving test lasts for around 38 minutes long. They start at times ranging from 713am to 430pm Monday to Friday. It’s not common to find test available on weekends, depending on your location.
People often ask why tests are at such odd times such as 0907, 1044, 1527. It’s because over the years there have been many alterations to the test such as adding the show me/tell me and independent driving elements. The test times have had to move around because of this and moving back each test by just a few minutes means they can do more test each day.
You can move a test up to three times without losing your fee. You can even cancel it and get a refund so long as you give 3 working days notice.
How examiners mark the driving test
The examiner looks at your driving as a whole. It isn’t like people think and you don’t just fail for stalling once or making one mistake.
There are no hard and fast rules of what constitues a mark. It’s up to the examiner and depends on many factors such as why you did it, why it happened and if it caused other road users danger.
Faults fall into three categories:
A driver fault is something that is worth mentioning but not serious enough to be marked as serious. You can get 15 of these and still pass.
These are faults such as making another vehicle slow down or striking a kerb hard. If you get any serious faults then you won’t pass.
These are usually given where the pupil does something that could cause a crash. A good example is if the pupil was to go straight over a mini-roundabout without even seeing it. It’s not a serious fault because you didn’t just get it wrong but you failed to even see that there was a mini-roundabout there..
Show me/Tell me
The examiner will ask you two questions. These can be things like how you would check the oil level or operate the windscreen wipers.
Visit my show me tell me page for more details and several videos where you can watch an examiner going through the questions with a pupil. You can also watch me going through the questions myself.
Taking your instructor with you
Your driving instructor can go on your test with you. The examiner will ask you if you want to take them along with you when you meet them in the waiting room. By taking us with you it allows us to help much more should you not pass.
When a pupil fails a test they will often stop listening to the important things the examiner is saying. When the instructor gets back to the car we then have no idea what you failed on because the examiner isn’t allowed to tell us the result.
You might even find you can relax more by taking your instructor along. It can feel like someone is on your side and it’s not just you and the examiner. If it would put you off then i won’t go with you but many pupils prefer not to go on their test alone.