The second episode of The Driving Instructor Podcast is now available to download and listen. Click here to find your ideal platform or search wherever you listen to podcasts.
This episode I'm joined by driving instructor Phil Cowley, who runs Cowley's school of motoring and we're taking a deep dive into the driving test, looking at what happens when you first get into the car, what may occur during the test and even what to do when you've heard the (hopefully positive!) news.
Check out the Cowley's school of motoring website here and the YouTube channel here.
For a more brief overview of the test, check out episode one.
One of the areas we discuss on the episode are the 'show me, tell me' questions. You will be asked one of each by the driving test examiner and the best way to learn these is through practice. Don't wait until the day if your driving test to look under the bonnet for the first time. Make sure you're familiarising yourself with all the controls of the car well in advance of your test.
Don't just practice the ones you might get asked!
For example: the windscreen wipers are not included in the show me, tell questions, but you may well need to use them on your test, and beyond, so learn how to turn them on and off. Do they have speed control settings? Can you turn them onto automatic mode?
For the official DVSA's guide to the show me, tell me questions, click here.
We also discuss:
We also review Phil's local test centre and actually disagree for the first time in the show!
Check out Phil's top tips here.
If you listen to this episode on Spotify you can answer questions and respond to polls on each episode. Check out the Spotify episodes here.
If you have any questions about the driving test that you would like to be answered on the show, submit them below:
So welcome to this first episode of the Driving Test podcast.
In this series, we are going to be helping you pass your driving test by explaining what it entails and giving you all the information and tips you could ever need.
My name is Terry Cook and you may have heard me from other podcasts such as the Five Minute Theory Podcast and Driving Test Tales, and I am going to be your host on every episode of this show going forward. But I'm also going to be joined by a different driving instructor every episode going forward, and we're going to be breaking down the driving test. We're going to be looking at specific aspects of it. We're going to be giving some top tips. We're going to be talking about some of those myths that your friends might have told you, like are you less likely to pass on Friday and all that kind of stuff. And we're even going to be giving some reviews of driving test centres.
But today just a little bit different. Today is the introductory episode and in a minute, I'm going to be telling you what is going to happen on your driving test, or at least what might happen on your driving test, a brief run through of that. I'm also going to share one of my top tips at the end of the episode. But just before we dive into it, I am going to ask you all a big favour. I would like you to click subscribe. So, wherever you listen to this, whether that's on Google or Spotify or Apple or wherever, I would love it if you go and click subscribe. That way whenever this podcast drops, they'll go straight into your feed ready for you to listen. And the podcast is going to be on the 1st and the 15th of every month going forward. So make sure you click subscribe. You may be listening to this on the five minute theory or driving test tales feed. If you are, make sure you still go and click subscribe because in future they will all be on the same feed, so you won't necessarily get them. I really appreciate that if you could go and click subscribe for me.
But I did tell you that I was going to run through briefly about what may happen on your driving test. So, the first thing I want to say is that every driving test is different. Some tests you will get loads of roundabouts, some tests you might get one or two, or maybe even not any. Some tests you'll get loads of right turns, some you won’t. Some tests might take half an hour, others might take 50 minutes. No two tests are the same, even if you go the same route, because you will encounter different things. If you go do one roundabout at 08:10 and go back at 09:10, there's likely to be very different traffic on there. So, we can never say exactly what's going to happen on your test. We can tell you roughly what it entails.
So first of all, the test is about 40 minutes. There may be a bit longer, a bit short, but generally, barring the odd exception, it'll be about 40 minutes long. You will have an examiner; you will be asked to drive and you have to take your own car. I'm emphasizing that because you'll be surprised, potentially, by the number of people that don't know they have to take their own car. Now you can use yours or you can use your instructors, or you can hire one. But essentially the examiners and the test centre do not provide you with a car.
You need your license, you need your glasses because you'll be asked to do an eyesight check, at the start of the test, you'll be asked to tell me question. This is where you need to explain something. So, you're not showing them anything, you're not demonstrating anything, you're just explaining it. You will also, during the test be asked to show me question where you have to show something, for example, opening and closing your window. You need to physically demonstrate that. Also during the test you'll be asked to do at least one manoeuvre. So, there's four. You have a reverse bay park, forward bay park, a parallel park and a pull up on the right. They’re your key manoeuvres and you'll be asked to do at least one of those.
You may be asked to do an emergency stop. The examiner will likely refer to these as a controlled stop and generally one in every three tests will be asked to do an emergency stop. So, you may not. And then at the end of the test you'll be told whether you've passed or whether you haven't passed. Now, the other thing I just want to mention here is that your instructor can sit on the test with you. They're allowed to sit in the back and if not, they can be there for the feedback at the end. So, when your examiner gives you a result, the instructor can be there to listen and hopefully provide you with a bit more detail on what the examiner has said.
And then in terms of your pass or you failed, potentially there are three different types of faults you can get. You've got your driver fault, your serious fault and your dangerous fault. Your driver fault is what you've probably heard referred to as a minor fault and you can get 15 of them. 16 is a failure. One serious or one dangerous or more is a failure.
Now, just before we go any further, I do want to mention a couple of quick things. Firstly, we're going to go into this a lot more detail on each episode as we go along. So, in future episodes, we might pick a certain part of this to go through in more detail and make sure you check out the show notes for each episode and go over to the blog on TCDrive.co.uk Over on that blog I will include some links. For example, I'll include the links for videos for the Show Me tell me questions, and I will include other resources in the links over there. So, you can either find the show notes with a podcast or go to TCDrive and find the blog on there and get all the links from there.
But that is essentially what your test entails. So as long as you go around and drive safely, you'll be absolutely fine. Now, I did promise you a tip going forward, and the tip I'm going to give you is never give up. Never give up, never assume you've failed. One of the common problems I see as an instructor is where a student makes a mistake on the test, thinks they failed and then stops trying. That's never a good thing. You never know if you failed until the end of the test. So just carry on. And there's been many a time over the years when I've had a student who's assumed they failed and they've gone on to pass. And then there's been one or two times where I had a student that's assumed they failed, given up, and failed for something afterwards when they would have actually passed if they'd carry on. On the flip side of that, you're still driving, you still need to drive safely. Even if you think you failed, you still need to drive safely. You don't want to crash the car. That's never a good thing.
So that's this first episode. I hope you found some of the stuff there useful. As I said, we all go through a lot of this stuff in more detail for all I just wanted to get this first episode out to you. So, get an idea of what the driving test actually entails and you now know what's coming up on all the future episodes and you've got a cracking little tip to crack on with as well. And one last reminder, head over at TCDrive.co.uk, check out the blog, and over there you can find links to everything as well. And as I mentioned, subscribe.
But for now, remember, stay safe, drive safer, you.
You can find links for the DVSA's official Show me/Tell me questions here.