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Top 10 myths about the driving test

There are many things you may have heard about the driving test but how many of them are true?

1. Friday afternoon is a bad time to take a test.

Some people believe that the examiners are only allowed to pass so many people each week and by Friday afternoon they will have run out of passes. This is not correct, if you are a safe driver and you meet the standard needed for the test you will pass whether it’s Monday morning or Friday afternoon.

2. Driving slowly will ensure you pass.

You will need to drive within the speed limit but driving slower may cause you to rack up faults, including serious ones. You need to drive at an appropriate speed, if you are holding up traffic by driving slowly without good cause you are likely to fail.

3. If you stall, you’ve failed.

Stalling is not an automatic fail, it depends on the situation. If you are parked at the side of the road and you’re safe then a stall won’t cause an issue. If you’re halfway around a roundabout that would be dangerous. After making mistake never assume you’ve failed.

4. You cannot cross your arms on a driving test.

On a test, steering is marked according to control of the vehicle and in some situations crossing your arms may actually be a benefit as you can steer faster but there are risks, especially if the airbag activates.

5. You will have to drive a different car on your test.

There are no cars kept at the test centre. You will need to provide a car to take your test (if you have an instructor you will normally use their car).

6. You can fail your test on the show me, tell me questions.

This is partially true – if you answer the tell me question wrong you will get a driving fault. If when answering the show me question (which is carried out on the move) you lose control of the vehicle the fault will be marked accordingly, which may result in a fail.

7. If you go the wrong way, it’s an automatic fail.

There are no issues with going the wrong way on your test as long as you do it safely – this means signalling and positioning correctly as well as observing and interacting with other traffic. It’s generally easier for the examiner if you stick to the route so they may prompt you in good time if you are heading the wrong way.

8. If the examiner gives you some help, you’ve failed.

This is dependent on the situation. If the examiner tells you to slow down as you are driving at 40mph in a 30mph speed limit then yes that would be a fail and they are telling you to slow down for the safety of you, themselves and other road users. If they advise you that you need a particular lane at the traffic lights as the road signs are not very clear then that’s them just being helpful.

9. You should make sure you move your head so the examiner can see your mirror checks.

Examiners are highly trained to watch eye movements, they don’t need to see you move your head. However, sometimes head movements can be helpful when checking door mirrors as you’ll see more.

10. If you make a mistake on your manoeuvre you cannot correct it.

In real life people correct manoeuvres all the time so why should a test be any different? You need to consider though whether or not you are holding up other traffic and be aware of your surroundings. The manoeuvre does not have to be perfect but do your best and absolutely correct it if it’s not right first time.

Did you learn anything new? Hopefully this has put your mind at ease about your test.


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