Part 2 driving ability test: on the day

Part 2 of the ADI qualifying examination makes sure you can drive to the standard required for driving instructors and that you know The Highway Code (and can show this by the way you drive).

Before you begin the driving part of the test, the examiner will give you an eyesight test. You’ll need to be able to read a number plate from a distance of 27.5 metres.

The test:

  • Lasts about 60 minutes.
  • Includes ‘show me, tell me’ questions about mechanical and motoring topics.

You can find out more about the ADI Part 2 practical test at GOV.UK, such as what documents you’ll need to bring to the test, what happens during the test and what sort of car you can use for your test.

DVSA’s ‘Show me, tell me’ videos give some more information about these questions.

Independent driving

For about 20 minutes of the test, you’ll drive independently: your examiner will ask you to follow directions or signs to reach a destination. This is so you can show you can drive safely on your own.

Most candidates will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav provided by the examiner. On some driving tests, however, a sat nav will not be used; you'll be asked to follow traffic signs instead.

Trainer on the test

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.

Controlling your nerves

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.

  • Do not 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 do not want to distract you from your driving.
  • Be positive: focus on passing your test rather than worrying about failing it.

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.

If you pass

Well done! Your examiner will give you feedback on your test.

Remember: listen carefully to this: just because you passed your test, it does not mean you drove perfectly!

If you fail

You will fail if:

  • you commit more than 6 driving faults or;
  • you commit one serious or dangerous fault.

If you fail:

  • you’ll be given a driving test report showing the faults you made
  • your examiner will also explain to you why you have not passed.

Although you’ll probably feel disappointed, listen carefully to the feedback because it will help you get things right next time.

Remember: 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 driving ability test again.

You’ll have to wait 2 years from when you first passed the ADI Part 1 test before you can take it again.

Your trainee licence

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 6 months. You do not 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 2 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.

You can find more help and information in the following resources:

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