Before you begin the driving part of the test, the examiner will do an eyesight check. You’ll need to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 27.5 metres.
You’ll also be asked five ‘show me, tell me’ questions about mechanical and motoring topics.
DVSA’s ‘Show Me Tell Me’ videos give some more information about these checks.
For about 10 minutes of the test you’ll drive independently: your examiner will ask you to follow signs or give you directions to reach a destination. This is so you can show you can drive safely on your own.
You’re allowed to take your instructor with you on your test. This is useful because they can help you work on any problems the examiner notices, either to help you pass next time or if you want to keep learning after you pass your test. Having someone you know with you can also help you to stay calm during the test.
Almost everyone gets nervous about their driving test: you’ve done months of preparation and you really want to pass. But to pass, you’ll need to keep your nerves under control. Here are some tips to help you.
Don’t book your test at a time when you know other stressful things are happening.
Before the test, make sure you get a few good nights’ sleep: you’ll feel more stressed if you’re tired.
Avoid too much caffeine before your test: it might make you feel jittery and nervous.
Arrive at the test centre about 15 minutes before your test is due so you’re not hurried but you’re also not waiting too long.
If you want to talk to the examiner during the test, that’s fine – but remember that they might not say much because they don’t want to distract you from your driving.
Remember, your examiner wants to make sure you’re safe on the road, with the skills needed to become an instructor. They’re not trying to catch you out. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask.
Be positive: focus on passing your test rather than worrying about failing it.
If your examiner sees more than six driving faults during your test or one serious or dangerous fault, you’ll fail your test.
If you fail, you’ll be given a driving test report showing the faults you made, and your examiner will also explain to you why you haven’t passed. Although you’ll probably feel disappointed, listen carefully to the feedback because it will help you get things right next time.
You can take the test again if you fail it at your first or second attempt. If you fail the test a third time, you’ll have to retake and pass the theory test (ADI Part 1) before you can retake the practical test again. You’ll have to wait two years from when you first passed the ADI Part 1 test before you can take it again.
Well done! Your examiner will give you feedback on your test. Remember to listen carefully to this: just because you passed your test, it doesn’t mean you drove perfectly!
You can also
apply for your trainee driving instructor licence now, which can help you prepare for your ADI instructional ability test.
With a trainee driving instructor licence you can start teaching pupils how to drive. It allows you to be paid for giving driving instruction and lasts for six months. You don’t have to do this but it can give you valuable practice for your instructional ability test.
Before you can apply for the licence, you’ll need to
have passed your ADI Part 1 test within the last two years
have passed the ADI Part 2 test
have done at least 40 hours of training with a qualified ADI and recorded it on the ADI 21T form
be eligible to take the ADI Part 3 test.
Go to GOV.UK to apply for a trainee driving instructor licence.
You’ll need to make sure you follow the rules for using the licence:
see GOV.UK for details.