Trainer’s Top Tips – Exam Tips

We hope you find these tips useful and can reflect on them for when relevant Driving Instructor Training resumes. These tips are specifically aimed at those preparing for their Part 2 and Part 3 Tests.

GENERAL EXAM TIPS:        

1. Practice, practice, practice. Do not just try and ‘turn it on’ on the day. Ensure you manage your training with the goal of practising thoroughly and achieving continuous self-improvement.

2. Be professional and make sure both you and your car are clean, smart and tidy. First impressions go a long way.

3. On the day of the test, allow time for a short drive around the area to scout the area out before your test. Be mindful of anything unusual such as roadworks and take note of general traffic and weather conditions. Use this time as an effective way to warm-up. Forewarned is forearmed.

4. Believe in your own ability. Self-confidence is crucial. Your mind needs to be open to the key concepts and theories necessary to ensure exam success.

5. Have a thorough understanding of what the examiner is looking for you to achieve prior to commencing the tests, you can not prepare adequately if you are unclear on what is expected of you. If you have doubts, speak to your trainer!

6. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep prior to the Exam as well as maintain good hydration and food energy levels on the day, as your degree of concentration is critical to determining good results.

PART 2 EXAM TIPS:     

1. Every time you drive anywhere before your Part 2 Exam, ensure your standard of driving correctly reflects the expected standard of your Part 2 Test, ideally this will become second nature due to your practice. It should become your normal way of driving and allows you plenty of time before the test to be at the correct standard.

2. Attention to detail. Know your highway code well and focus for the full hour. Make sure that you know your ‘show me tell me’ questions in detail. Concentrate throughout the test but particularly at the beginning and at the end.

3. Drive in a businesslike manner and remember this is not an L test. Whilst driving, have a running commentary running in your head, silently talking yourself through hazards and manoeuvres. If you think you have made a mistake, do not dwell on it, instead focus on the road ahead and the next hazard.

PART 3 EXAM TIPS:     

1.  Remember that each lesson is different and respect each client as an individual. Each lesson needs to be bespoke to their needs.

2. Your choice of pupil is crucial. If you take an inexperienced driver and they have a bad day it can be very hard to cope with. Make sure your pupil is trustworthy, reliable and can communicate well, while always having something to learn.

3. Ask questions throughout but actively listen to the student’s answers and respond accordingly, do not just ask questions to impress the examiner. Listen closely to the answers your pupil gives as this will help you to form your next question and lesson structure.

4. Be organised and have all your teaching materials close to hand, use visual aids to help understanding, remembering a picture paints a thousand words. Do not waffle and overcomplicate things. Keep explanations clear and simple as your goal is to highlight your teaching abilities, not simply regurgitate everything you know on a topic. 

5. Consider the Part 3 Test as nothing more than observed lesson and keep relaxed. Panicking about the examiner will only serve to distract your focus from the pupil. Remember to keep the lesson client-centred. On test it is all too easy to demonstrate what you know instead of remembering it is about the pupils learning experience.

6. Do not over plan your Part 3 Test. Do not be rigid as there is almost a certainty that your lesson will need to change/adapt in some way, shape or form. Be flexible in your approach as this will allow you to adapt better if circumstances arise.

7. Know your practice area inside out. It helps if you need to go back to a place where an incident occurred.

8. Keep your 1-hour lesson balanced, to include a recap, a briefing, objective setting and a good debrief at the end.

Best wishes to you all and keep safe,



Peter, Paul, Malcolm, Mark, Richard and David
Bill Plant Driving School Training Academy