How to pass your driving test

How to pass your driving test

01/10/2021

We know that going for your driving test can be daunting! So the team at Bill Plant Driving School have written up some helpful hints and tips to give you the best chance of passing and getting your full license.

Have the recommened 40 hours

It is vitally important that you do not rush into taking your driving test. The DVSA recommends at least 40 hours of professional tuition before sitting your driving exam. Following this guideline amount will allow you to have the best chance of passing your test the first time, as you will have gained a sufficient amount of practical driving experience. You should undertake your driving lessons with a DVSA registered Driving Instructor who is professionally trained to coach you through all the aspects needed to learn to drive.

Consider an additional 22 hours of private practice

To help support your learning, it is also recommended that you have at least 22 hours of private practice with someone who is legally allowed to supervise you (i.e. someone who is over the age of 21 and has held their full licence for over 3 years). While the idea of going out with mum and dad for example may seem stressful, the extra hours out on the road driving can make all the difference in building your confidence and making you feel more at ease when behind the wheel. When you pass, you may even find the time to owe them a lift or two!

Have regular lessons

You should aim to be having lessons roughly once per week or more. Having regular lessons with an instructor who has completed driving instructor training helps you to better retain what you have learnt in previous sessions and allows you to be more consistent with your learning approach, with fixed milestones tracked on a scheduled basis. If you have lessons at the same time and day each week, this will also help provide you with a more structured learning process.

Practice each driving manoeuvre

On your driving test, the examiner will ask you to perform one of three manoeuvres that you will have learnt during your driving lessons. This will be one of the following:

  • Parallel Park
  • Forward / Reverse Bay Park
  • Pull up on the right and reverse two car lengths

Make sure that you are confident in doing each of these manoeuvres and have had plenty of practice before sitting your test. The examiner may also ask you to perform an emergency stop, which tests your ability to stop the car quickly without losing control. The emergency stop comes up in approximately one in every three tests.

Practice the “show me, tell me” questions

You’ll be asked 2 vehicle safety questions during your practical driving test. The examiner will firstly ask you one ‘tell me’ question (where you would explain how to carry out a safety task) at the start of your test, before you start driving, and subsequently a ‘show me’ question (where you would show them how you’d carry out a safety task) while you’re out on the road driving.

These can range from ‘tell me how to make sure the brakes are working’ to ‘show me how you would wash and clean your rear windshield’. A complete list of these questions can be found online via the DVSA’s website. Ensure that you know the answers to all of them, as an incorrect answer can result in you receiving a minor on your test.

Ask your Driving Instructor if you are ready

Before booking your driving test, always double-check with your Driving Instructor that they firstly have the availability to take you for the test and secondly that they, in their professional opinion, believe that you are ready! We understand that you may feel fully prepared, but it is always best to listen to the advice of your instructor and get that first time pass!

Take a mock test

You can ask your Driving Instructor to complete a mock test with you on one of your driving lessons. A mock test means your instructor will take the examiner’s role and ask you to complete the lesson under test conditions. Mock tests will let you and your Driving Instructor know if you are genuinely test ready and any areas that need improvement before your test.

Use the car you learnt in for your test

Using your instructor’s tuition vehicle or the car you learnt to drive in will significantly increase your chances of passing your driving test. By making use of the tuition vehicle you learnt in, you will know all of your reference points for undertaking manoeuvres and have a great understanding of how the car drives – both of these aspects will help you stay confident due to their familiarity.

Be on time

Examiners have a very strict schedule to keep to, so make sure that you arrive on time, if not slightly earlier than your assigned time slot. Leave yourself enough time when setting off to account for traffic, as if you arrive late to your exam, the examiner may not be able to take you on your test.

Remember the things to bring on a driving test

Before sitting your test, the examiner will need to see your:

  • Provisional driving licence
  • Theory test certificate

You will also need to bring a face-covering with you unless you are medically exempt. If you do not bring any of the above, the examiner will not allow you to take your test, and you will have to rebook at a later date.  

Relax

We know that saying “be relaxed on your driving test” is easier said than done, but taking a deep breath and making sure you’ve eaten and had plenty to drink before getting into the car will help to bring your nerves down and keep you focused. As discussed previously, taking the recommended 40 hours tuition and practising as much as possible will really help you feel more confident in your preparation. If you feel like you have made a mistake on your exam, do your best to not let it affect the rest of your driving – just take a deep breath and carry on as it is the examiner who decides whether you’ve passed, not you!


Learning to drive is a rite of passage for those seeking to gain their independence. By taking your driving lessons with a DVSA registered Driving Instructor, you’ll substantially increase your chances of passing your test having received professional guidance and support. Get your driving lessons started today by booking online or by calling us directly on 0330 555 2254

Sam