So you’ve worked hard in your driving lessons or during your private tuition on learning to drive, but you’re not sure what to expect from a driving test, or what you may need to improve before you go.
A mock driving test or driving assessment is a great way to find out what will happen on the day of your driving test. Knowing what to expect of the test isn't just beneficial for helping you pass the test, it's also great for easing any of those pretest butterflies you might have. One of the biggest reasons that many learners fail the driving test is due to test day nerves. Once you know what to expect, however, you'll be better prepared and more able to keep those nerves at bay.
We will talk to you and find out the best approach for you. It could be you think you would prefer us to go into full examiner mode—asking you to go through the entire step-by-step process of an actual driving test, or maybe you would prefer a less formal assessment of your drive with feedback and tips as you go along.
A typical driving test usually lasts around 40 minutes. When it comes to the mock driving test, however, we might extend the time so that they can make it more challenging and test you on more road features.
The structure of the mock driving test
1. An eyesight test
At the beginning of the driving test, you'll be asked to complete a mandatory eyesight test before getting into the car. This will involve you reading a number plate from 20 or 20.5 metres away, or around 4 car lengths. So, make sure you're wearing your glasses or contact lenses if you need them. Your instructor may or may not include this section of the test.
2. 'Show me, tell me' questions
By this point, you should be more than familiar with the 'show me, tell me' section of the driving test. These questions will show that you have a basic understanding of your vehicle. The examiner will ask you to answer a 'tell me' question before you start driving, e.g., “How would you check that the brakes are working before starting a journey?”. The 'show me' question will be asked once you start driving, e.g., “When it's safe to do so, can you show me how you'd switch on your dipped headlights?”.
Though you'll only get a minor driving test fault for getting a question wrong, you don't want to use up all of your faults, so practice them as much as you can and make sure you know where all the controls of the car are (without looking) for the 'show me' question!
Although you will only get asked one “show me” and one “tell me” on the real test we may ask you more of them to see how much you know.
3. Assessment of your driving ability
As with your actual test, your instructor will take you on the roads around your chosen test centre incorporating a variety of road features and types, ranging from dual carriageways to multi-lane roundabouts, tricky crossroads, town centre and quieter residential estates—ensuring different traffic conditions which will test your skills with hazard perception and speed awareness.
Throughout this 20 minute drive, your instructor will likely replicate the examiner's actions by asking you to pull over every so often—testing your ability to park and move off safely—and demonstrate a hill start or two. Your instructor will be monitoring your control of the vehicle, with both your steering and road positioning. They'll also be keeping an eye out to see if you're completing all around checks and observations throughout.
4. Independent driving
During this section, you'll be asked to drive (independently) by following sat nav directions or sign posts to reach a set destination chosen by your instructor. Your instructor will decide at random which method to use. In your real test this could be at the beginning or the last 20 mins of the test. TIP: it's better to go the wrong way and do it safely than slam on the brakes to make a late turn!!! As long as you're showing that you can safely follow directions (using a sat nav or signs), you'll be ok.
5. Assessment of your manoeuvring ability
During the driving test, you'll be expected to demonstrate one of three manoeuvres:
Pulling up on the right
In the real test you will only be asked to complete one of these manoeuvres but on your assessment / mock test we may ask you to do more than one.
After your Mock driving test or Driving Assessment
If your instructor has gone all in for your mock driving test, they may take a few minutes at the end to finish filling out their feedback sheet. They will then tell you whether you would have passed or failed if it was a genuine test. If they're using the feedback sheet, you'll get an exact number of how many minor and major faults you might have accumulated.
Don’t worry if you didn't pass the mock driving test. The whole point of it is just to prepare you for your driving test—helping you understand what will happen on the day and ease your test day nerves. Listen to your instructor's feedback, mock driving tests are great for figuring out your strengths and weaknesses. If your instructor advises you of some areas that you didn't do so well then you have the information you need to make those improvements, go and practise those areas and pass your test.
Here is the FIVE Star review Magdalena Wilczewska for their Mock Driving Test in Northampton: "Booked a mock driving test last week to prep for my driving test- Chris was very professional and offered great constructive criticism on areas that need working on whilst also regularly commenting on the good aspects of the drive. The lesson was extremely beneficial and useful as it made me more aware of what I need to do/ not do during the test. I also got a very detailed report emailed to me the same day which is a great resource I can refer back to. 10/10 would recommend!"