Testing your driving ability

The driving part of the test to assess if you are safe to let on the roads is called the practical test, and it lasts in the region of 40 minutes in total. The purpose is to assess if you can drive to a sufficient and safe enough standard in order to be able to be ready to drive independently, in the view of the examiner. A range of manoeuvres that you perform are also assessed which helps to see your control of the vehicle and arrangement of the space around your car - for instance when performing reversing etc.

If you are having lessons with a driving school, then they will ensure that the vehicle you use is one that can be used in a driving test, but if you are not and are using your own vehicle then you need to ensure that it is one that can be used in a driving test: there is a list of makes and models that you can't use on the DirectGov website here:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/PracticalTest/DG_173040

Many people get very nervous when it comes to the practical test, and some people are shaking so much before they get in the car, and others are unable to keep their food down the morning before! Whilst people get nervous for the theory test too, for some reason the practical test seems to bring out even more nerves in people.

To some extent this is because you can't control other road users and what they do, and we've all heard stories of people who are really unlucky when confronted with some very awkward situation whilst on their driving test that, in normal road conditions they would not have come across and therefore would not have had that opportunity to fail their test.

Also of course you might panic about your ability to control the car and whether you are ready for the test, but remember that your driving instructor would not have recommended you take the test now if they did not think that you had a good chance of passing if you drive to your ability.

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