Driving Test Tips

Written by Rebecca Saunders

Driving test tips.

— By Rebecca Saunders

If you have passed your Hazard Perception Test (HPT), had your Learner's Licence for a period of 12 months, logged 120 hours behind the wheel (including 20 hours of night driving) and have turned 17 then you should prepare to book yourself for the driving test.

Testing officers believe that the bigger errors that are made by learners are due to small significant things such as signalling - failure to indicate - just to name a few. 

 

 

 

SIGNALING:

It's important for learners to remember not to just flick the indicator and drive away. They must ensure that they signal for at least 5 seconds before leaving a parking space or move from the kerb. Students also need to make sure that they don't signal too late or too early, as it may cause confusion for the other motorists.

STOP SIGNS:

Learners also fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and instead just roll through. It is essential to stop the whole car behind the line or a set of traffic lights for 3 seconds. Students can move forward if the view is obstructed, but only after coming to a complete stop. 

BLIND SPOTS:

Another common error is not checking blind spots. Learner drivers must check their blind spots and mirrors when merging or changing lanes, as well as checking their rear and side-view mirrors every 5-8 seconds. 

(Being aware of what is happening around them during their test will help them to avoid common mistakes. It is also important not to forget that an observation check is also required to confirm that it is safe to continue before moving after being stopped at traffic lights).

JUDGEMENT:

Learners need to ensure that they select a safe gap in traffic. Being able to judge distance by selecting a safe gap can be difficult for some learner drivers. 

It's a matter of judgement and experience - Learner drivers also find it difficult to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles, sometimes learners will pull out and misjudge the speed of the car coming towards them or, if it's a truck, it's important to be mindful that it will take longer for the truck to stop than it will for a car. 

(Remember, oncoming vehicles must be at least 3 seconds away from your intersection to enable a safe gap).

PREPARATION FOR THE DRIVING TEST

icon

PAPERWORK:

Be sure to study the 'Guide to the Driving Test'. If you are well prepared it's more likely you will pass the test. Make sure all forms and sections of your log book are completed correctly and signed.

icon

DIGITAL LOGBOOK APP:

If you are using this app, ensure that you have pressed the submit button to send your logbook details to Roads and Maritime Services. They will notify your testing officer that you have finished the book and are ready for the test. If you are concerned just contact the RMS to confirm and ask any other questions you may have. Please note: (if you have a Digital Logbook please submit it to the RMS 48 hours before your Driving Test.)

icon

CALMING THOSE NERVES:

Make sure you get a good night's rest prior to the test, drink a glass of water to stay hydrated and take a deep breath. Testing officers are human like everyone else; they are not there to place you under any more pressure than you are already feeling. If you make an error in your test try not to dwell on it. Some learners make mistakes by worrying about an error that they have already made instead of focusing on the rest of the test. Students who pass the test appear to be confident and relaxed.

icon

BE PUNCTUAL:

It's essential to arrive in plenty of time before your test to familiarise yourself with the location - if you are late then the test can't go ahead. You don't want to rush on your test day, it just doesn't help!

icon

YOU'RE ALMOST READY – WHAT ABOUT YOUR CAR?

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) do not provide cars for licence tests. You need to organise your own vehicle, whether it's your instructor's car, a family car, or a friend's car. You need to make sure it's ready for the test as well. If something is wrong with your car, you might not be able to take the test.

Ultimately, the likelihood of driving test success all comes down to:

  • Practice 
  • Study
  • Checking those mirrors
  • Paying attention to the traffic
  • Not feeling overwhelmed
  • Focusing on the road around you
Professional driving lessons with Onroad Driving School is the most effective way to ensure you are fully equipped and prepared to take your practical driving test. 
Back to Top