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.

Taking mock driving tests 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. Get used to how the driving test works

Taking a mock test will get you used to how the driving test works.

This can help to reduce your uncertainity and nerves when you take the real thing.

2. Understand the standard that’s expected

1 in 5 people who fail the driving test think the main reason they failed was because they were marked too harshly. But it’s not actually the case. The truth is that they did not understand the standard that’s expected.

Driving examiners are trained road safety experts with lots of experience of driving and marking tests. They mark based on how you drive during your test.

3. Learn how the marking works

Taking a mock test and having your instructor fill in a mock test marking sheet will help you learn how the marking works in the real test.

This will help you understand how any mistakes you make might have affected your real test result.

4. See how you do without help and prompts

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

5. People who take mock tests are more likely to pass the real thing

Research shows that people who have taken realistic mock driving tests are 1.4 times more likely to pass their actual driving test.

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 – including on rural roads, urban roads, dual carriageways, multi-lane roundabouts and one-way systems
  • reversing the car
  • independent driving for 20 minutes – this can be 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. So 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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