Taking mock driving tests

You’d never take an exam without doing a few mock exam papers first. And you probably took more than one mock theory test before taking the real thing.


5 reasons it’s a good idea to take a mock test

Taking a mock driving test is a great way of checking you have all the skills you need to drive safely on your own. They’ll also help you understand if you’re ready to take your driving test.

Here are the 5 top reasons it’s a great idea to take one.

1. Research shows you’re 40% more likely to pass the real test

Most people who pass the driving test have taken at least one mock test.

Research indicates that people who have taken a realistic mock test are 40% (1.4 times) more likely to pass the real test.

2. Get used to how the driving test works

Taking mock tests can help you get used to the format of the driving test and give you a feel for what it will be like on the day. Knowing how all the different parts of the test work can help you prepare to succeed.

And watching mock test videos on YouTube is no substitute for experiencing it all for real.

3. Identify things you need to improve when you’re not getting prompts

A mock test can help you understand how well you do when you’re driving without help from your driving instructor.

This gives you and your instructor a list of things you can work on in the run-up to your test. Then you’ll be in a much better position to show the driving examiner how good and safe a driver you are.

Even if you’ve already taken a driving test, mock tests can help you identify areas you need to work on, so you’re more likely to pass next time.

4. Build your confidence and reduce anxiety

A mock driving test is a supportive and safe environment for you to practise managing the nerves you might get when you take the real test.

The great news is that research shows 4 out 5 people who take a mock test say it leaves them feeling more confident about the real thing.

And 9 out of 10 learner drivers who have taken a mock test before the real driving test would recommend that you take one.

5. Check you’re ready to take the driving test

It’s better to find out that you still need some more practice at the end of a mock test than it is at the end of your actual driving test.

The driving test costs £62 (or £75 if you’re taking it at the weekend). Research shows most driving instructors charge between £31 and £35 for a one-hour session.

So, taking a mock test is a more cost-effective way of ‘giving it a go’ for the experience and finding out if you really are ready to pass.

How to arrange a mock test

Talk to your driving instructor

Talk to your driving instructor to arrange a mock test. They’ll be able to give you advice about when it’s right for you to take one.

They might suggest that you do the mock test with another instructor if they think it will help you get used to driving with someone you do not know as well.

If you’re not learning with a driving instructor

You can find and contact local driving instructors to check if they offer mock tests.

Research from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency shows that over half of instructors will do mock tests for people they do not teach.

And remember, driving instructors are road safety experts, specially trained to help people learn to drive. They’ll be able to help you understand how you did in a mock test.

If you have a foreign driving licence

Taking a mock test can really help if you’ve already got a foreign driving licence, and you’re taking the test to get a UK licence.

You’ll get used to how the British driving test works, which could be quite different from the test you originally took.

What your mock tests should include

Talk to your driving instructor about taking a mock test that lasts about 40 minutes and includes:

  • checking your driving licence
  • checking your eyesight
  • ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions
  • general driving ability on rural roads, urban roads, dual carriageways, multi-lane roundabouts and one-way systems
  • reversing the car
  • independent driving for 20 minutes, either following directions from a sat nav or following traffic signs
  • an emergency stop
  • giving you the result and feedback

Mock tests work best when they include all the parts of the real driving test.

The emergency stop may not be included in your actual driving test. It’s used in 1 in 3 tests, but it’s a good idea to practise it in a mock test.

Driving test routes

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency does not publish driving test routes. Your driving instructor will use routes they’ve designed that contain similar types of roads. You will not use an actual driving test route.

Check you’re ready to pass

You’ll usually be ready to take your driving test when:

1. You do not need prompts from your driving instructor.
You need to be dealing with every part of driving consistently, confidently and independently – without any prompting from your driving instructor. You’ll be getting ready for your test when you’re able to adapt to situations and see why perfecting your skills makes you safer and more fuel-efficient.
2. You do not make serious or dangerous mistakes when you’re driving.
You need to be a good and safe driver to pass the driving test. If you’re making serious or dangerous mistakes during your driving lessons and brushing them off as ‘silly mistakes’, you’re not ready to pass your driving test and drive on your own.
3. You can pass mock driving tests.
Taking and passing mock driving tests with your driving instructor will help you understand if you’ve reached the standard that’s needed to pass.
4. You have practised ways of managing your nerves.
It’s really important to be able to manage your nerves to be a safe driver. Practise ways of managing your nerves to help you stay calm and focused when you take your test. This will help you in the vital months after you’ve passed your test, too.
5. Your driving instructor agrees you’re ready.
If your driving instructor says you’re not ready to take your driving test, listen to them. Driving instructors are specially trained road safety experts. They’ve got lots of driving experience – and they know what it takes to pass the driving test. Remember, they want you to be a safe driver, keep your insurance costs low, and enjoy driving for years to come.

Not feeling quite ready?

You can move your driving test back if you’re not feeling quite ready yet.

It’s free to change your appointment time, as long as you do it at least 3 full working days (Mondays to Saturdays) before your test.

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