The day of the test

Preparation

Ensure you allow adequate time to get your pupil to the test. Most instructors do a one hour lesson before but if your test centre is some distance away more time may be required. On the lesson before the test ensure your pupil knows what they must bring and what time you will pick them up. Your car should be clean anyway but ensure it is clean inside and out. When you meet the pupil on the day, the first thing to do is check they have all the paperwork before you drive off. It is a good idea to go over all the show me tell me checks too before you move off. This way if there is a problem you can sort it now and if something does happen on the journey to the test centre like a bulb blowing, at least your pupil knows it must have happened on the journey. Remember you are responsible if anything goes wrong with your car for the test. You could end up paying for the test and several lessons free for the sake of a bulb failure.

What the pupil must bring

For all types of tests

You must bring:

  • Your theory test pass certificate (or confirmation) if you are not exempt
  • Provisional licence card

Minimum requirements for category B – cars and vans

The car or van you use for your test must be:

A four-wheeled vehicle of no more than 3,500 kilograms (kg) maximum authorised mass (MAM)

Capable of a speed of at least 62.5 miles per hour (mph) or 100 kilometres per hour (km/h)

Fitted with a speedometer that measures speed in mph visible to the examiner

Displaying L-plates (‘L’ or ‘D’ plates in Wales) on the front and rear, but not interfering with the driver’s or examiner’s view

A smoke-free environment

The vehicle must also be fitted with:

  • A seatbelt for the examiner
  • A passenger head restraint – it doesn’t need to be adjustable, but must be an integral part of the seat – ‘slip on’ types aren’t allowed
  • An interior mirror for the examiner’s use

The vehicle must be legal and roadworthy and have no warning lights showing – for example, the airbag warning light.

Test day nerves

By far the greatest reason cited as to why pupils fail their driving test is nerves. Driving test nerves can only be overcome by having plenty of practice. Picture this; imagine your pupil was not confident in the reverse park or a reverse to the left or maybe there is a particular roundabout in your town they do not like or a road junction or hill start. Chances they may not feel confident in one or more of the above reasons. Now imagine they’re at the test centre waiting to do the test; what are they going to be thinking about? Yes they will be worried about the route the examiner is going and will be hoping they do not get those things they are worried about. What are their chances? How will they feel in this situation? True they may not get those things but they will still worry and probably mess up the things they are good at because they’re not concentrating.

The only sure way is to ensure that they have enough professional lessons and additional practice to ensure that they are fully confident in all manoeuvres. Ask then, ‘if your driving test was today then what you would be most worried about”

Consider also these points to help them;

  • If they wear glasses or contact lenses, make sure they take them.
  • On your test day, make sure they have your both parts of their driving licence, theory test pass certificate and your appointment letter with you (if applicable).
  • Wear appropriate and comfortable clothing; take off any thick coats before the test as they might make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Wear sensible comfortable shoes. Not flip flops!
  • If they want to wear sun glasses that is perfectly ok.
  • You should aim to arrive between five to 10 minutes before the test is due to start. Do not arrive earlier than ten minutes before, you may get in the way of other tests returning and the examiner will not like that.
  • Tell them to keep calm If they don’t understand what the examiner has asked them to do, just politely ask them to repeat the instruction.

If they go the wrong way, tell them not to worry, they are not being tested on their ability to follow directions just that they drive safe. If they make a mistake, tell them not to give up, just do it again correctly. Many pupils have thought they have failed when in fact they have not, examiners look at some faults and think although it was a fault , it did not matter and sometimes do not even record it. As long as they haven’t done anything terribly wrong or dangerous, they can still pass.