In order to obtain a Full UK Driving License you must pass both a Theory and Practical Test.
The Theory Test.
The Driving Standards Agency is to stop publishing the multiple choice questions and answers used in theory tests.
In September 2011 the DSA will change the format of books and other learning materials available to help people prepare for theory tests. This will take place at the same time as more challenging case studies are introduced to car and motorcycle theory tests.
Then, from 1 January 2012, the DSA will create theory tests using questions which will not be published. This will help to ensure that new drivers learn the principles behind driving theory rather than just learning answers.
The move follows the introduction of independent driving into the driving test and the DSA's decision to stop publishing test routes in October 2010, to make sure the test assesses a learner's ability to drive and not their capacity to memorise routes.
Practice questions and answers, not used in theory tests, will still be available to help candidates with revision. Other companies which publish products containing DSA theory test questions will also no longer have access to the questions used in the tests
You can now practice for your Theory Test free online at the Drive iQ Pro web site, using the free Drive iQ software.
You must pass your Theory Test before you will be allowed to apply for the Practical Test. It consists of 2 parts:
- Multiple Choice Questions.
- Hazard Perception Test.
To pass Part 1: You must get at least 43 correct answers out of 50.
You will need to have a good working knowledge of the Highway Code and understanding of Road Traffic Signs.
The AA has a free web site quiz which you can use to practice or look at my Links page for additional recommended training material.
To pass Part 2: You must get at least 44 correct answers out of 75.
There is more information about the Theory Test on the DSA web site, where you can also book the test online.
The Practical Test.
The examiner will arrive and call your name, they will then need to check your identity, so you must bring your Driving License (including the paper part) with you for your test, together with your Theory Test Certificate.
The examiner will ask you if you would like your driving instructor to sit in and observe your practical driving test. You should have discussed this with your instructor well before the test in order to decide what you want to do. At the end of the day this is your decision and should be based on how you feel. I would recommend that I sit in on your test, as it is always useful to have “another pair of eyes” should you be unsuccessful. In this way we can discuss what happened after the test and also agree what needs to be done in order to address any issues prior to your next test.
They will also ask you if you would like your instructor to attend the debrief at the end of the test. Again, you should have discussed this previously with your instructor, but I would recommend that I do, because it is useful to have someone else listening to the invaluable feedback the examiner will provide you with at the end of the test.
Once your documents and eye sight have been checked without any problems, you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of some basic car maintenance and safety checks, through the SHOW ME TELL ME questions.
There are two types of question; the first where you will have to TELL the examiner the correct answer; the second, where you will have to SHOW the examiner something on your vehicle.
You can be asked questions about a wide range of topics including tyres, power steering, brakes, ABS warning lights, head restraints, fluid levels, direction indicators, and horn etc.
The current list of questions and answers can be found on the following AA web site.
The practical test itself will last for approx. 40 minutes after which the examiner will let you know if you have been successful or not. The examiner will also provide you with feedback on the test result; they will give you the opportunity to have your instructor present should you so wish.
From the 4th October 2010, the practical driving test changed in two important ways:
Firstly, you will only be required to carry out ONE driving manoeuvre instead of the current requirement for two, this is to allow more time for the new INDEPENDENT DRIVING part of the test which is the second and most significant change.
Secondly, an independent drive part of the test is being introduced which will last about 10 minutes, during which you will be asked to do ONE of the following:
Drive to a destination following traffic signs.
Drive following a series of verbal directions.
Drive using a combination of both of the above methods.
Diagrams will be provided for verbal directions and may show a simple route path such as, Follow to a road end and turn right - at the next road end turn left- at the roundabout turn right.
During the independent drive you must still drive correctly including using correct observations, using mirrors correctly, obeying speed limits, road markings and signs etc. but you will be driving completely independently, unaided and unprompted by the examiner.
In order to pass you must not exceed more than 15 Driving Faults during the entire test. If you commit at least 1 Serious or 1 Dangerous Fault you will fail.
There is more information about the Practical Test on the DSA web site, where you can also book online. You will need to supply an e-mail address when booking as all Confirmations of Appointments are now sent out by e-mail and no longer by letter.
There is a standard price for Test Fees, a summary is provided below, further details can be found on the DSA web page.
- Theory Test Fee: £23.00.
- Practical Test Fee: £62.00 Weekdays.
Waiting Times for a Test.
These vary from Test Centre to Test Centre, please follow the links to check the up to date details for the your nearest Test Centres.
Remember to discuss booking a Test with your Instructor first, in order to ensure that their car can be made available for your test.