Driving Theory Test – 5 Questions You May Not Know

When studying for a driving theory test, the Highway Code and other car driving books should be read. The theory apps can be complimented by using other driver training aids. Focusing on the test only, has limited learning value.

When studying for a driving theory test, most learner drivers use the available apps and Practice theory test for car drivers. Which is OK to get used to the technique required for the theory test itself. This method of learning the rules of driving is limiting your knowledge to what shows up on the app or sample test paper.

Why not just use the apps?

The apps available and sample test papers will not have all of the real questions that will turn up on the actual theory test for obvious reasons. Studying for your theory test using this method does not 100%prepare you for the practicalities of driving on the road. Neither does it prepare you for your driving test.

Your confidence in the driving of a car will greatly increase once you know more rules of the road, rather than focusing on a driving theory test. Lack of confidence comes from lack of practice and knowledge. As an example, would you attempt to play a game of football without first knowing the rules? So why then would you drive a car, which is a lot more dangerous than a playing a game of football?

Best way to gain extra knowledge

Driving Theory Test U turn sign
No U Turn Sign Post. Look at the black upside down U. The red circle and red diagonal line means you must NOT do whatever is shown in the red circle.

The best way to gain this extra knowledge for a driving theory test, would be to look at the latest edition of the Highway Code which you can do here. Additional to that you would need to find an DVSA Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who can help you interpret some of the rules of driving you are not sure about. To demonstrate the point I was teaching doctor to drive who wanted to be dropped off at home instead of the hospital. I wasn’t familiar with the location, so I suggested that the pupil could drive themselves. So long as I was told which turn was going to be taken in advance.

After a while the pupil said they were going to turn right soon after passing this sign. Immediately after passing this sign the pupil signaled right and started to move into the section of road reserved for traffic to enter the road we were on. I said to the pupil. “What does that sign mean?” The reply came back. “No U turns.” I replied. “What does no U turns mean?”, “I don’t know.” Was the response. The pupil knew what the sign stood for, but not its actual meaning. This means the theory test would have been passed, but not a driving test.

Passing Your Driving Test Is Difficult

Passing your driving test is difficult only if you think it is. Become smarter and you can pass your driving test with ease providing you have had enough of the right kind of practice. Why do many people think that it is difficult to pass a driving test? A lack of understanding of the basics is one reason  and urban myths another. Lets take  look at a basic skill set that needs to be mastered before anything else.

Passing Your Driving Test-Car Control

Starting with basic car control is a fundamental. Never mind traffic lights, roundabouts, lane positions, other drivers. These are important, but not at the early learning stage. You must be confident with your car control, before you can master anything else.

Lets look at clutch control:

The clutch pedal is always operated by your left foot.

Manual Car Foot Pedals
Manual Car Foot Pedals
passing a driving test is difficult
Clutch Operation Manual car

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressing the clutch pedal to the floor will disengage the clutch – this means with the engine switched on the car will no longer drive. Your task to make the car move is to engage the engine onto the wheels so that the car will move. The engine side of the clutch plate (flywheel in the diagram) is moving. Because the car is stationary the other half of the clutch plates are stationary also. If you raise your left foot too quick the two clutch plates will bang together causing the car to stall.

The car stalls because you are placing a moving object (engine side of clutch) onto a stationary clutch plate. The skill you need to master is to find where the two clutch plates just touch. Once found, keep your left foot still until the car moves slowly forward. Once you feel the car moving, you may gently raise your let foot off the pedal. That is you now driving the car. The point at which the clutch plates touch is called ‘the biting point’. Mastering this is essential to become a safe and confident driver. More information can be found here
Passing your driving test does not need to be difficult. It must be the only test in the UK that you know the answers before you start.

Car control – stalling an engine

There are two main reasons that you stall a car engine. The first one is when you are moving off from a stationary position. The text above informs you on how to drive away smoothly without a stall. The second reason a car stalls is when stopping. When stopping you press the middle pedal (B) the brake with your right foot, this is also a slowing down pedal. In normal driving you operate the brake pedal to slow down before eventually stopping by pressing it as much or as little as you need to get the result you are after. Within reason, the earlier you press the brake pedal the better, it warns other drivers following you that you might be stopping. It does this by automatically turning the red stop lights on, which are at the rear of the car.

Once the car has stopped it will stall unless you press the clutch pedal down to the floor. The reason for the stall is that the two clutch plates are still operating together and are making the car drive forward. The correct process for stopping would be to slow down using the foot brake and keeping the clutch up. When the car is about a car length or so from the point at which you intend to stop, press the clutch fully to the floor.

To pass your driving test it is essential you master the clutch. It will build your confidence enormously. Be a smarter safer driver for life.

December 4th 2017 Driving Test Changes

December 4th 2017 Driving Test Changes. This date is a turning point in the history of the British Driving Test. For the first time in its history there will be no testing of the turn in the road manoeuvre [3-point-turn]. Which means there will be a majority of drivers, who have never turned a car around in the road. Ask the question. “When confronted with a blocked road, how would a driver turn around to face the opposite direction?” Never having carried out this type of manoeuvre.

The DVSA have published that the turn-in-the-road manoeuvre will still be taught by driving instructors, even though it’s not going to be tested. Yes, I agree with that, but driving schools are running a commercial business. This means that a learner driver would not normally be happy to pay for learning something that will not be needed on a driving test. The majority of learner drivers only want the ‘bare bones’ of driving lessons to get through their test. The fall in popularity of the Pass Plus training programme is evidence of that.

Driving Test Changes in Full

This is a link to the driving test changes in full Here is a quote from the official DVSA site:

3. Reversing manoeuvres will be changed
The ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the-road’ manoeuvres will no longer be tested, but you should still be taught them by your instructor.

You’ll be asked to do one of 3 possible reversing manoeuvres:

  • parallel park at the side of the road
  • park in a bay – either driving in and reversing out, or reversing in and driving out (the examiner will tell you which you have to do)
  • pull up on the right-hand side of the road, reverse for 2 car lengths and rejoin the traffic

As you can see it mentions that you will be asked to carry out one of three manoeuvres. Not strictly accurate since the bay parking exercise is divided into two possible scenarios. To my mind I see this as two manoeuvres, not one, as they require different skill sets.

driving test changes
New driving test manoeuvres. Parking on the right

The parking on the right manoeuvre cannot be legally practised by learner drivers taking evening lessons in the winter. As it would be illegal to park on the right at night except in a one way street. I wonder how many parents (hopefully not professional driving instructors) will park on the right at night with dipped headlights. Blazing away in the face of oncoming traffic and reversing over someone’s driveway?

Nervous Learner Drivers Can Pass First Time

Nervous learner drivers can pass first time & become more confident by following a few principles.

Question: Why do so many nervous learner drivers fail their driving test because of

Nervous learner drivers the right way
Learning to drive the right way

‘nerves’?

Before you answer the question lets take a look at the following:

If a learner driver can…..

  1. Understand the rules of the road more than just passing the theory test.
  2. Know how to control the car in every situation – fully understand the controls & their operation Check out the foot controls
  3. Read the road situation at every opportunity. Reading the road means understanding the other road users, who they are (driver, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist etc) and what they are either doing, or you anticipate what they might do.
  4. Understand the correct process for  a) Driving away from the kerb, b)Correct use of mirrors, c)Correct use of signals, d) Correct use of gears – [thoughts: You may know how to signal, but when do you actually signal? This alters according to where you are. You may know how to look in a mirror, but do you know how to act upon what you see?
  5. Dealing with other drivers at a crossroad when you both arrive from opposite directions at the same time. What about approaching a mini-roundabout which has a road to your left & right together with a road straight ahead; you arrive at this roundabout the same time as 3 other cars on these other roads. Who has priority?
  6. On your test the examiner is seen to be writing on his report sheet. Does this distract you because you think you have failed?
  7. Do you think on your test what the examiner might be thinking, or do you just get on with the drive?

If you are reading this as a learner driver who has failed their driving test because of nerves, maybe you recognise a few of these points.

Nervous Learner Drivers Can Pass First Time

In answer to the question “Why do so many learner drivers fail their driving test because of ‘nerves’? ”

Short answer: Because of a lack of understanding of the basic principles. Understanding the basic principles of any topic you are being examined on will always reduce exam nerves. Confidence comes from knowing your topic well.

If you know your topic well, you will still have nerves, but they will not show up in the way you drive. Focusing on the drive and all of the procedures you need to carry out, will stop the nerves from showing.

We offer one week intensive driving courses as a means of re-enforcing these principles. An intensive course though, is not the answer to overcoming test nerves for new drivers, in fact in can do the opposite. Our intensive courses are carefully balanced to help the individual student & an intensive course is a great way to boost confidence when used correctly.

Intensive Driving Lessons

Intensive driving lessons are they a good thing? This is a Money Supermarket website headline.
Below is a comment I wrote  on the moneysupermarket.com website.

Intensive courses the old fashioned way : First lesson on Monday test on Friday no longer work for most people. Engineers, siblings of a farmer would be the exception.
Intensive courses when used as part of an overall learning to drive programme can save a lot of money and time. Whilst producing a very safe driver at the end.
A 5 day intensive gets the process of car control into the nervous system with outstanding results. The following 5 days after a few days, or even a week off, the new driver blossoms out. The new driver is more than ready on this next 5 day course to take on traffic and challenging situations.
A test should never be booked whilst taking an intensive course. It blocks the learning process. Once things start to come together a test cancellation is then booked with extremely good results.

As you can see, I am firm believer that intensive driving courses, when used as part of an overall driver training programme are an excellent wayAre intensive driving lessons a good thing to save money and also save time. The really important added bonus though is the built in extra safety factor, over and above taking weekly lessons.

Are intensive driving lessons a good thing? Safety Observation

From a road safety viewpoint, intensive driving lessons produce a safer, more experienced driver. When a pupil makes a driving mistake. There is plenty of time to practice the correction. On weekly driving lessons it is usually left until next weeks lesson to try again. But this is often forgotten now by both instructor and pupil.

Repetition of good driving skills raises the standard of driving and produces a very safe and confident driver. 

Fast Track Driving Test

Fast track driving test booking service with an intensive driving course now available. Learning to drive at one lesson each week will take the average person a year or more before they would be ready to pass a driving test. Fast track learning to drive and driving test booking service can mean its possible to learn to drive and pass a driving test within the month.

Fast Track Driving Test

Once an intensive driving course has been completed a driving test would normally follow. Sounds good, but there is always a waiting list for driving tests. This can be anytime from 6 to 9 weeks which could mean more lessons are needed.

Fast Track Driving Test
Fast Track Diving Test

Do you need to learn to drive and pass a practical test as soon as possible because of the offer of a job? Need to be independent of public transport? At the Scottish Driving School we now offer a Fast Track Booking Service for students who are ready to take their driving test. There are no shortcuts to learning to drive. Why wait for a driving test if you are ready to pass?

A Fast Track Driving Test does not mean taking a test before you are ready.

It means taking a test as soon as you are ready.

Learning To Drive

Learning to drive for new pupils can be a nervous experience. Learning to drive on the quiet roads of Perth on either one of our residential courses, or weekly intensive courses can be made less stressful. Once your confidence grows you will be ready to move out into the traffic. Our modern driver training methods ensure that you will be able to cope in traffic more than you could ever imagine.

Once you are ready and eager to take your practical test we avoid the long waiting list and get you a test, sometimes within 3 days. Why wait if you are ready to pass?

Learner Driver Fined

A learner driver whilst on her driving lesson was caught driving at 36 mph in a 30 mph speed limit zone. She had only taken 12 previous lessons and pleaded that she had not noticed her speed increase.

She was given the option to either have 3 penalty points added to her licence, or take a one day driver education course. The course would cost £110.

Her driving instructor had no part to play in the ‘eyes of the law’.

Advice to all learner drivers 

According to the law; from the very first lesson, all drivers are responsible for the safety of themselves and other road users. How many new drivers are aware of that law!

All driving instructors should mention it on the first lesson.