driving test

Move off Safely to pass your driving test – tip 6

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

Check its safe to set off to pass your driving test

POM – Prepare, Observe, Move

Is it safe to set off?

 According to the DVSA, the number 5 reason marked for a failure on the test sheets is Moving off safely.

What does the DVSA say about Moving off Safely?

The DVSA every year produce a list of the top 10 fails recorded on the marking sheets. For the Past 13 years, one of the main reasons why people fail is – Move off Safely.  This year its at no5 and fluctute form no 6 to no 4 over the years.  The DVSA DT1 tells examiners to:

The examiner should observe whether the candidate first sees to the front, then to the rear, that the way is clear for pulling out, gives the appropriate signal if necessary, and moves away smoothly and safely. Wherever possible, ability to move off on a reasonably steep uphill gradient should be tested.

A candidate starting on a gradient should be capable of paying attention to other traffic as well as moving their vehicle away without rollback and/ or excessive engine revolutions. If stopping on a hill is not possible an additional designated stop must be conducted. The test must always include moving off at an angle from behind a stationary vehicle.

The examiner is looking for you to take effective observations and ensure its safe to go. We use the acronym POM – Prepare, Observe, Move. This allows you to get ready to go with you bite set, check its safe with effective observations, then set off. Its the method to set off with the least Risk as you are ready to go and then once its safe you set off.

Why do you need to make sure its safe to move off?

You need to always know what’s around you in order to be able to make the correct decisions. If you cant see the risks on the road then you can’t plan or prepare for them. Benjamin Franklin’s quote ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail‘ is a great thing to remember when driving.

REMEMBER POM – Prepare, Observe then Move if its safe.

 

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsMove off Safely to pass your driving test – tip 6
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Turn Right safely at Junctions pass your driving test – tip 5

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

Turn right safely at junctions to pass your driving test

MS M-PSG L-LADA!

Is it ok to turn right at junctions?

 According to the DVSA, one of the main reasons people fail a driving test is that they dont turn Right at junctions safely.

What does the DVSA say about Junctions (turning right)?

The DVSA every year produce a list of the top 10 fails recorded on the marking sheets. For the Past 13 years, one of the main reasons why people fail is – Junctions (Turning right).  The DVSA DT1 tells examiners to:

Assess a candidates Junctions, Turning right for: Late or incorrect positioning before turning right, including failing to move forward into the correct position to turn right at traffic lights

The examiner is looking for you use a routine that allows you asses the road ahead safely and perform the correct manouve / positionsing for that manouver. We use the acronym MSM – Mirrors, Signal, Manouver, with MANOUVER splitting into Positions, Speed, Gear, Look and LOOK splitting into LADA – Look, Assess Decide Act. This allows you to get organised and gives you chance to asses what to do in a sytamic way.

Why do you need to know about /do at Junctions (turning right)?

We find that its often incorrect positioning at traffic lights when waiting to rurn right, incorrect use of yellow box junctions or not using filter lanes/ hash markings correctly. You need to know how to apply the highway code to your driving. Most learners havent even read the highway code! Make sure you do to pass and drive safe for life.

You can even read the highway code for free online here. Another top tip is to use a screen reader to read it to you if you dont like reading!

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsTurn Right safely at Junctions pass your driving test – tip 5
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Steer your car safely to pass your driving test – tip 4

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

Steer safely to pass your driving test

Control you car and Steer Safely to pass your driving test

Control your car and Steer safely?

 According to the DVSA, one of the top ten reasons marked for a failure on the test sheets is Control (steering).

What does the DVSA say about Control (steering)?

The DVSA every year produce a list of the top 10 fails recorded on the marking sheets. For the Past 13 years, one of the main reasons why people fail is not steering safely.  The DVSA DT1 tells examiners to:

Asess their Steering: erratic steering, overshooting the correct turning point when turning right or left, both hands off steering wheel or hitting the kerb.

Steering:

To ensure uniformity, when conducting car or vocational tests and ADI qualifying examinations, only assess the candidate’s ability to control the vehicle and do not consider it as a fault if, for example, they do not hold the steering wheel at ten to two or quarter to three or if they cross their hands when turning the steering wheel. The assessment should be based on whether the steering is smooth, safe and under control.

The examiner is looking for you to control the car in a smooth, safe and controlled mannor. Its not the technique of steering they are looking for but the accuracy of the steering.

Why do you need to make sure your steering is safe and acurate?

You need to be able to keep your car, its ocupants and other road users safe. One of the basics of this is to be able to control the car, keep in your lane and avoid any loss in control. Often students go wide or are lazy and ahve the excuse “no-one was their”. Dont be lazy be safe and risk free!

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsSteer your car safely to pass your driving test – tip 4
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Check before you change direction to pass your driving test – tip 3

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

top tips to pass your driving test - move off safely

MSM – Mirrors, Signal then Maneuver!

Is it safe to set off?

 According to the DVSA, one of the top ten reasons marked for a failure on the test sheets is Mirrors – (change direction).

What does the DVSA say about Mirrors?

The DVSA every year produce a list of the top 10 fails recorded on the marking sheets. For the Past 13 years, one of the main reasons why people fail is not Checking the mirrors before changing direction.  The DVSA DT1 tells examiners to:

While in traffic, the candidate must observe (including the use of rear-view mirrors) road markings, signs and react appropriately to potential or actual risks.

When assess Use of mirror(s):

Failure to make effective use of the mirrors well before:

    • signalling
    • changing direction
    • changing speed

.

The examiner is looking for you to take effective observations and ensure its safe to change position. We use the acronym MSM – Mirrors, Signal then Manouver. This allows you to check whats around you, then decide what or if a signal would be of benifit to anyone and them contuniue the manouver you thought about carrying out.

Why do you need to make sure it’s safe to change position?

You need to always know what’s around you in order to be able to make the correct decisions. If you cant see the risks on the road then you can’t plan or prepare for them. Benjamin Franklin’s quote ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail‘ is a great thing to remember when driving.

REMEMBER MSM – Mirrors, Signal, Manouver.

 

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsCheck before you change direction to pass your driving test – tip 3
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Mirrors to pass your driving test – tip 2

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

Top tips to help you pass your driving test - mirrors

You need to Check you MIRRORS!

 According to the DVSA, the number 1 reason marked for a failure on the test sheets is Junctions (observation).

What does the DVSA say about checking mirrors and observations at junctions?

The DVSA every year produce a list of the top 10 fails recorded on the marking sheets. For the Past 13 years! the main reason has been – Junctions (observation).  The DVSA DT1 tells examiners to:

The examiner should observe whether the candidate has the vehicle under proper control and in the appropriate gear, takes account of the type of junction, road signs and following traffic, gives any necessary and appropriate signals in good time, and keeps the vehicle correctly positioned throughout. The examiner should also note whether the candidate takes adequate and effective observation before entering the intersection, and that they do so with due regard for other road users.

The route should still include some urban roads which will allow the examiner to observe the candidate’s reaction to crossing intersections during general driving. A driver who is over-cautious at a main road may act differently at a junction of less important roads.

The examiner is looking for you to take effective observations on approach to the junctions, when emerging from a junction and then make more observations when progressing away form the junction. – Thats a lot of observations! One of the reasons why its so commonly marked as a fail on the driving test.

Why do you need to Check your Mirrors on approach to junctions to pass your test?

Quite simply, you need to always know what’s around you in order to be able to make the correct decisions. If you cant see the risks on the road then you can’t plan or prepare for them. Benjamin Franklin’s quote ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail‘ is a grat thing to remmerb when driving. – Always know what is around you especial at or near junctions as Junctions are a big area of risk when driving.

A good drive will always know whats around them at all times.

 

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsMirrors to pass your driving test – tip 2
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Be Confident to pass your driving test – tip 1

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Top 123 Tips to Pass your Driving test First time

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our 123 top tips to pass your driving test.

top tips to pass your driving test

Confidence

You need to have CONFIDENCE!

 The main reason people fail a test is due to not being confident.

Why do you need to be confident to pass your test?

We find that you need to be confident to pass your test. The main reason for this is that if you are unsure about anything, it will lead to doubt, worry and hessitancy on a test! When the pressure is on to pass a driving test, you need to know what you are doing is the correct thing for that situation. If you have any doubts, then you will get flustered over think the situationand then end up hesitating and then usually you then rush the next bit. Often, either of the option you were thinking about could have been ok, but as you hesitated then now you can t do any and you are stuck in “no mans land”!

Confident / lack of confidence driving test example.

Emagine you are on a driving test, driving down the road towards a meeting situation, you think about going past parked cars but you hesitate, now your road positon is not showing what you are doing, the car comming from the other direction doest know your intentions and just at the last minute, you pull out past the parked car forcing the car form the opposite direction to change his actions and you caused unessary risk! If you were confident that you could get thought the gap and you had enought time/space for it to be safe and you positioned early and maintained a safe speed, you could have got thought the gap with no risk. Also if you had slowed down early, and positioned in a “holding back” position, you could have timed it to let the car form the opposite way get thought the gap and then preceded to go after him. Either of the above example would have been fine but if you werent confident, you delayed making the approproite action and thefore ended up partly going, partly showing you were stoping and the risk involed made it a major fault on a driving test! Moral of the story is to be prepared, be confident and if you are not confident have an extra lesson or two to get you to be confident and pass your driving test with ease 🙂

If you have any thoughts or comments on this post, we would love to hear your opinions or views. Just leave us a comment below.

Chris RichardsBe Confident to pass your driving test – tip 1
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Show me – Tell me questions

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Car 2019 Show me & Tell me Questions

As a trusted driving school we get lots of questions asked about learning to drive etc. So we have decided to create blogs for all the FAQ’s about learning to drive. This blog post is part of our Frequently Asked Questions on learning to drive.

On your UK Driving Test, you will be asked two Questions (safety questions). One will be at the beginning of your test (‘Tell ME’) and one when you are driving on your test (‘Show Me”).

It’s advisable to make sure you fully understand the answers and questions as these are not only necessary for your driving test, but they are often needed to ensure your car is safe before you drive it!!

When are you Asked the safety questions on your test?

You will be asked to answer one ‘Tell Me” question on your car driving test at the beginning of your test.

You will be asked to answer one ‘Show Me” question on your car driving test while you are driving on the test route.

When you start your test, the examiner greets you and you sign the declaration form. You will then walk outside, read a number plate and then usually on the way to the car you will be asked the “tell me” question (sometimes you are asked this question once you are both in the car).

The “Show Me” question will be asked by the driving examiner at some point during your test. Dont worry they won’t try to trick you. They will ask you by stating “When its safe please show me how you…”. So dont worry if you are about to go around a corner or you suddenly can’t remember how to do it. Just wait till you are on a quite straight road and then operate the control you need to. If you struggle then glance at it and then do it.

Do I fail if I get a question wrong?

NO, As long as the show me questions was done safely even if it was answered wrongly!

BUT! You can fail if you commit a Serious or Dangerous fault while demonstrating the controls.

If you answer One or both questions incorrectly, it will be recorded as a driving fault (use to be called a minor fault). You are not required to have an in-depth knowledge of the questions / answered. You just need to know how to check and/or operate the controls safely.

A serious or dangerous fault Could be one of the following:

Whilst demonstrating the ‘show me’ question on the move, you look down at the controls and the car drifts towards the other lane – You have committed a Major fault, which would be a fail on the test.

If during the ‘tell me’ question, you start the car to demonstrate (You dont have to start the car for any ‘tell me’ questions – just explain) the answer and inadvertently starts the car up in gear, the Examiner may have to take action to stop the car hitting another car, then you would have committed a serious/dangerous fault.

usefull LINKS

Chris RichardsShow me – Tell me questions
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Driving Test Changes – New Changes to the practical test 2017

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All you need to know about the new changes to the DVSA practical test – starting in December 2017 and what effect it will have on driving lessons and the learner driver.

The driving test is changing to make it more realistic and assess the changes and challenges in driving on the UK roads today.

Will passing your driving test look any different in 2017?

Will passing your driving test look any different in 2017?

This is a long-awaited change to the driving test. The DVSA have been trialling the changes since August 2015. So why has it taken so long and will it make the drivers of tomorrow safer? I’m not sure, I will give you my full opinion later in the post but for now, let’s just say that it’s a long time coming and have a look at the changes that will take effect in December. If you have a driving test before 4th December 2017, then you will still have the old style test, so these changes won’t affect you. However, it is a good idea to read the information below and ask your instructor to train you more for post-test driving using the points below.

The four changes to the DVSA driving test:

The DVSA have made four changes to the driving test. These are good changes aimed at improving the ability of new drivers. These changes are:

1 – The independent driving part of the test will be extended from 10 minutes to last 20 minutes

The independent driving part of the test was first introduced in October 2010. The reason for this was that the biggest challenge for new drivers after passing their driving test, is learning how to make decisions; such as choosing what lane to be in, processing road signs and markings, taking in new information and dealing with distractions. It was made apparent that the DVSA has to assess these to ensure the candidate can cope with the modern-day post-test challenges. To do this they devised a way to test the candidate’s ability to drive unsupervised and to make decisions in unfamiliar situations without guidance – The Independent driving section of the driving test was born!

The changes in 2010 as outlined above was a great “wake-up call” to lots of driving instructors who just “instruct” people to drive. I saw a huge change in the way instructors conducted their driving lessons and started to think about what skills the new drivers would need. This was also backed up with the National standards for driving and riding training syllabus, developed by the DVSA in August 2013. Overall I see this a massive positive in terms of having better-skilled drivers on the road who can assess, scan and plan their journeys. This was the end of the old saying “you learn to drive when you pass your test” as all instructors (some already did) had to then teach people how to drive post-test!

So how does the new change to the Independent driving affect a learner and why has it changed?

The independent drive has basically changed to 20 minutes, double the current time of 10 minutes and around half the time of the overall test (38-40 minutes). This will make sure learners are of a higher skill level as they now have to concentrate, scan, plan and assess the situations for longer independently. You may be thinking that performing a skill for longer isn’t much of an issue? But when we train driving instructors, the driving test is longer from 40 minutes to 60 minutes. Just this simple change means that the standard of the driving has to be more consistent, and of a higher standard and is a lot harder for them to achieve (not to mention the other criteria and fewer faults allowed). So in making the independent drive longer in duration, the DVSA is increasing the standard that a Learner driver has to reach in order to pass the driving test. This point has been missed in the reporting of the changes. It will in some situations mean that the learner driver who struggles with concentrating will need more lessons to be able to perform at the level required, independently for 20 minutes. Also, the fact that they drive for longer will mean that the test routes will be changed, more challenging situations can be encountered on the route (also the reason for removal of some manoeuvres – see below). This, in theory, should increase the level of skill that a learner driver has when they pass the driving test. This can only be a good positive for road safety. 

In the independent drive, you may also be asked to follow the directions from a sat nav (see below).

2 – The learner driver will have to follow directions from a Sat Nav. Well, 4 out of 5 will!

In the Independent drive, a learner would be asked to follow directions from a Sat Nav, provided by the DVSA and the examiner will have it with them set-up ready to use. However, one in five tests will use road signs for the independent driving (you can assume this is in case a sat-nav breaks and they don’t have to have spares so they will then use signs to continue. Also it saves costs in having spares etc.). You will still be able to ask the examiner where you’re going if you’re not sure and it won’t matter if you go the wrong way unless you make a fault while doing it. However, having experience on this topic from observing and having feedback from lots of tests, the examiner won’t want to help you and will try to  get you to work it out yourself by answering your questions with responses such as “it’s your driving test, just do what you think is correct” or “I’m here to assess your driving ability, I can’t help you with that, just do what you think is best”. In defence of the driving examiners, they will help you if they think it’s a genuine question, but lots of learners just don’t want to do it so ask all the time, leading the examiners to try to get the learner driver to help themselves.

The introduction of the sat nav will make it harder for the learner to scan, plan and drive safely! It also provides a massive distraction to the driver, making the learner driver watch the sat nav, work out the diagram/map it’s showing, listen to the directions, while at the same time they may be thinking about developing situations. All in all, it will stretch the average learner driver. It will also provide the driving instructor who is training the learner driver a great opportunity to link the distraction of using a sat nav to that of a mobile phone. This can be a great tool in bringing the extra hazards of post-test driving to reality in a controlled pre-test environment.

This should have been introduced earlier as we currently have a huge problem with the modern day distractions while driving.

3. The reversing manoeuvres will be changed and some not tested anymore.

You will still be required to perform one reversing manoeuvre on your driving test, however, you will not have to perform a reverse around the corner or turn in the road manoeuvre. This is good in a way! Hardly anyone uses the reverse around a corner manoeuvre post-test and if they do it’s nothing like what is taught. The Turn in the road manoeuvre is used post test and is also a great learning tool when teaching control, coordination, reversing and observation. The DVSA still want driving instructors to teach these manoeuvres. I can see lots not bothering to teach the reverse around a corner manoeuvre, especially when learners are putting on the pressure to pass their driving test in as little time as possible and for as cheap as possible.

Another by-product of removing the turn in the road and reverse left manoeuvre is that DVSA are getting more time to assess on-the-road driving. This will be because finding and getting to an area to practice the now old manoeuvres takes time out of the driving test. They can often be only found in quieter housing estates and away from the more challenging roads.

One last positive for lots of the public will be less driving school cars practising the left reverse. Quite often in test centres, you have notices for instructors not to practice left reverses on certain roads as lots of complaints are received from residents who own the houses on the corners that are used to practice or are on test routes. The removal of the testing of the manoeuvre will lead to fewer people practising it, fewer complaints and a better standard of living for those unfortunate people who live in the houses on the corners.

The manoeuvres you may be asked to perform will include:

  • parallel park at the side of the road –No change
  • park in a bay  – Changed
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road – New

Bay parking manoeuvre Changes:

The Bay parking manoeuvre will be changed so you will either be asked to drive in and reverse out or reverse in and driving out of a bay. This will be better as lots of people post-test, drive into a bay and are not aware of the extra dangers or hazards in reversing out of the bay, especially if you have a large high sided vehicle next to you!

New – Pull up on the right manoeuvre.

Pull up on the right-hand side of the road is a new Manoeuvre. You will have to pull-up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and then rejoin the traffic. This part is one of the most controversial parts of the new test. As the Highway code Rule 239 states “…wherever possible. If you have to stop on the roadside: do not park facing against the traffic flow”. So in teaching people to pull up on the right hand side of the road, it may be seen that we are not only encouraging the new generation of drivers to pull up on the wrong side of the road, but then also saying “you can in a test” and giving them the impression that it is ok! It’s also much more dangerous a situation, to set off from the wrong side of the road. The last time the DVSA (then DSA) changed a test with as many people worried about it, it caused chaos and crashes when they changed the motorbike test in 2009. Let’s hope it doesn’t cause crashes or danger. This is a cause of concern for me and lots of other instructors.

4. You will be asked to answer a vehicle safety question while you’re driving.

This change won’t worry most people. But it will cause more nerves on the test. Often, as a driving instructor, I’m asked will the examiner ask me any questions while I’m driving? When we used to say no, the relief on the learner’s face was huge. Now they will be worrying about when the examiner will ask them a question and “what if I can’t remember”. When people are nervous they often worry about things they wouldn’t normally. This will lead to more nerves on a test. We normally call these “Show me, tell me questions”.

Will asking a question on the move make a difference?

It will allow the learner to demonstrate to the examiner that they can operate the controls and judge when it is safe to do so. Overall it won’t make a massive difference as most controls will be adjusted by the driver on a lesson at some point. It will also allow the driving instructor to have more conversations about distractions, taking their eyes off the road and planning when to use the controls more. So this could be a good idea.

The changes will be in the show me questions, you will now be asked one of the following show me questions:

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

For a full list of the questions click: Show me tell me questions from December 2017

*** SEE our updated 2019 Show me tell me questions and Answers here ***

The Official DVSA change to the driving test video:

Our thoughts about the changes to the driving test in December 2017

Overall the changes are a good idea. They have been implemented to help prepare the learner driver with the changing demand in post-test driving. This can only be a good thing.

The changes will have an impact on learner drivers as they will have to learn new skills, improve their scanning and planning and think more about their actions and timing of their actions they are performing as a driver.

The Driving instructor will have more chance to teach more relevant skills and try to get the learner drivers to understand the risks involved with post-test driving. This hopefully will create a better, more skilled and understanding driver who can deal with the distractions in modern driving.

The driving instructor ADI part 2 (driving ability) test, currently will not have the changes replicated. This will mean that it’s different from the learner driver test. This is a mistake in my opinion.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below:

Chris RichardsDriving Test Changes – New Changes to the practical test 2017
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