How To Impress Your Driving Test Examiner: Quick Secrets




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When learning to drive, we want to know exactly what the driving test examiner is looking for? In this article, we will reveal insider secrets and tips from experienced driving instructors on how to impress driving examiners during your test. From knowing the common mistakes to avoid, to showcasing your safe driving skills, we’ll provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to ace your test and earn your driver’s license.

What do Driving Test Examiners Fail you on the Driving Test?

The first thing you need to understand is the how the driving test is marked. There are 3 forms of fault on the UK driving test.

  1. Driving fault (minor fault): A small mistake such as going slightly over the speed limit by 1 or 2 mph for a second or so or forgetting to signal without effecting anyone. You can get up to 15 driving faults and still pass your driving test. If however you get up to 5 of the same driving fault this will automatically become a serious fault.
  2. Serious Fault: This will automatically make your driving test unsuccessful if you get one of these. You may get one these for something such as severely braking the speed limit by more than 4 mph or continuing to brake the speed limit for a long period of time. The test would still continue even if you received one of these faults.
  3. Dangerous Fault: This type of fault would be given for something that was highly dangerous and would automatically terminate the test. This could be something such as becoming aggressive leading to danger or attempting something that would cause sever danger such as going around a roundabout the wrong way(which I have seen more than once). As a driving instructor I have not yet had a student get a dangerous fault making them quite rare.

The driving test examiner will fail you on pretty much anything that they think is not safe. Whether its not safe because its illegal or its not safe because it has a high risk of causing a crash, the examiner will give you a serious fault which will lead to an unsuccessful driving test.

My biggest bit of advice as a driving instructor with how to impress your driving test examiner is to understand that its purely about safety. That is all the examiner is thinking when they get in that car. They do not care how fast you can drive and do not expect you to be a driving expert because they are fully aware you probably have less than 1 year of experience. Focus on safety and not causing an issue for anyone else on the road and you will fly through that driving test.

If you are looking for something more in depth that includes everything you need to know about the UK driving test and how to impress the driving test examiner, check out Josh The Driving Instructors Online Driving Course.

When you take your driving test, your examiner will want to make sure you know and follow the rules of the road. This includes things like going the right speed, knowing when it’s your turn to go, and using your signals correctly. But it’s not just about how good you are in the car. Its also about following the law which means you should always wear your seat belt and make sure you are following signs correctly such as traffic lights and speed limits. You would not believe how students have failed before they leave the test center for not wearing there seat belt.”

What do Examiners Look for in a Driving Test?

If you are looking to impress your driving test examiner check out these key areas that they will assess:

  1. Control of the vehicle: Examiners evaluate your ability to control the car under various circumstances. This includes steering, using the brakes and accelerator smoothly, and properly operating the clutch and gears in a manual vehicle.
  2. Observation skills: You’ll be assessed on your use of mirrors and your awareness of other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers.
  3. Signaling: Examiners check whether you correctly use your indicators and give proper hand signals when necessary.
  4. Knowledge and observance of traffic rules: This includes understanding and obeying traffic signs, road markings, and speed limits.
  5. Maneuvers: You’ll be asked to perform several maneuvers, like parallel parking, reversing, and perhaps turning the vehicle around in the road. Examiners look for control, awareness, and accuracy during these maneuvers.
  6. Judgement: Examiners assess your decision-making skills, such as how you interact with other road users, your ability to safely overtake, and how you handle junctions and roundabouts.
  7. Eco-safe driving: More recently, some jurisdictions are also assessing knowledge of and adherence to eco-safe driving principles, which involve driving techniques that save fuel and reduce pollution.

Remember, the driving test isn’t just about making no mistakes, but rather demonstrating overall safe and responsible driving behavior.The driving test examiner will be looking for confidence, attentiveness, and calmness under pressure. Theses are all advantageous traits for a driving test candidate. If you are looking for some expert advice on how to do your driving test manuevers the right way and pass your driving test, check out our ultimate parking guide.

What Happens if you Speed in the Driving Test?

It really depends on how much you go over the speed limit and the situation. The driving test examiner will make a judgement depending on the situation but the best answer is to not risk it. My students rarely get a serious fault for going above the speed limit upto 5 mph provided they have not made any other serious faults on the driving test. But every examiner is different and well within there rights to fail you for going over the speed limit by just 1 mph.

driving test examiner

6 Tips to Impress Your Driving Test Examiner

Managing your Road Position

The driving test examiner is going to expect you to be staying in a normal driving position when its safe to do so. If you are drifting left and right his is not going to be a good sign on your driving ability. You are also going to be expected to maintain a 2, 4, or 10 second gap depending on thew weather conditions. The final main point here is to keep your distance when stopping to the vehicle in front. A good rule of thumb is tarmac and tyres. This just means when stopping make sure you can see a bit of tarmac and the tyres of the car in front.

Manage your Mistakes

Every learner driver makes errors at some point. The driving test examiner will be watching to see how you handle them, and it won’t simply be about how quickly and safely you can correct a mistake. Your driving instructor will also assist you in recognizing and fixing any errors you may make. Its also important that you can recognise these mistakes as its how we learn to avoid them in future.

Decision Making Skills at Roundabouts and Junctions

Making wise choices is a crucial aspect of driving, particularly when deciding when to change lanes, pass other cars, and changing direction. Its also important that you are recognising road markings and traffic controls allowing you react in plenty of time. Your driving test examiner would want you to ensure you can make these choices confidently and independently.

Capability to Control the Car on The Driving Test

One of the most crucial things that teachers look for is the ability of how one controls their car. They want to check your ability to handle the vehicle in various circumstances, including stopping safely, turning corners, and parking.

How to Manage the Driving Test Examiner When They Start Talking to you on the Driving Test?

The driving examiner will make some basic conversation during the driving test. It is up to you to decide whether you would prefer to chat or focus on your drive. If talking makes you feel more at ease then get on with it. However if you are anything like me I cannot talk and focus so i would choose to be quiet. The examiner understand if you choose not to speak. They would prefer that than you talk and make a mistake. After all they are do not need any new friends.

A Quick Story

My brother failed two driving tests trying to make friends with the examiner instead of focusing on his driving. On his third attempt he kept his mouth shut and ignored the examiner and finally passed his driving test. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.


The number one reason for people failing there driving test is poor observations. This can include a number of things such as not checking blind spots, not checking mirrors that lead to high risk situations and making the wrong choices at roundabouts and other junctions that lead to danger.

This requires a bit of common sense but the basic rules are:

If you have pulled over or stopped in a road, you need to check 360 degrees around your car. Build that picture so you know its safe to pull off.

Do not take risks at roundabouts. I have never had a student fail for hesitating at a roundabout but plenty of people fail there driving test for pulling out of a junction or roundabout when they should not have.

When on a multi lane road and you need to change lanes always check mirrors and blind spot before hand. If it doesn’t feel safe then don’t go. You cant fail the driving test for going to wrong way safely but you can for going the right way dangerously.

By following the tips and advice discussed in this article, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your driving examiner and passing your test in no time at all. Remember that practice and preparation are key, so be sure to familiarize yourself with common mistakes to avoid, and put in the time to develop your safe driving skills. On test day, stay calm, present yourself confidently, and most importantly, try to remember you can do this. If you remember these insider secrets you will be well on your way to getting that green driving licence. Good luck!”

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