What Happens During Your Driver’s Test

For most new drivers, the practical driving test is the most difficult part of the licensing process.  Not everyone passes it on the first attempt.  However, if you’re well prepared, you’ll be relaxed, confident and ready to meet the challenge.

Plan to arrive at your test site at least fifteen minutes before your appointment, after a good night’s sleep.  If your test is later in the day, try to keep things normal and relaxed up until that point.  It’s a good idea to drive to the testing centre yourself in order to get comfortable behind the wheel.  You’ll be tested in the car that you bring.

When you arrive at the test centre, you’ll need to show your learner’s permit.  If you don’t have it, then you’ll be required to show your birth certificate or passport and a second piece of ID.  The ID you use needs to confirm your address and your signature; each must be on at least one piece of identification.

The practical driving test is divided into three sections.  First, you’ll be asked some questions about how to operate the car.  For example, the tester may ask you to work the turn signals, the horn, the headlights, the hazard lights, and the de-mister.  You may need to demonstrate that the hand brake and brake lights are fully functional.

Next, you’ll perform the first, shorter part of the road test.  It usually takes around ten minutes.  The tester will run you through some basic manoeuvres to confirm that your driving is minimally safe and competent.  Instructions will be clear and specific.  You’ll be asked to start the car and turn left and right at intersections.  You may also need to change lanes, reverse park, or do a three-point turn.  If you pass, you’ll move on to the second part of the road test.  If you fail, then you’ll need to reregister and take the test again.

In the final part of the practical test, you’ll drive on larger, busier roads.  You may be asked to make decisions and execute more advanced manoeuvres.  For example, you may have to merge onto a busy road and drive on roads that are more technically difficult, with curves and hills.  The second part of the road test takes approximately 20 minutes.

Once you’ve completed the test, the tester will give you feedback.  If you’re failed, then the feedback will help you prepare for your next attempt.  If you’ve passed, then it’s still important to listen to the feedback.  It will help make you aware of issues that can help you continue to improve your driving.

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