I’m a strong believer that if you want the best chance at success in any area of life, knowing as much as possible about the way things work will give you a better shot.
Are there any useful tools and resources out there to give you an advantage? Yes.
Some of those tools are more suited to learners who respond to watching things, and some of them will suit a learner who loves data and rules.
Here are my top links to help you succeed at your driving test.
1 – Government’s guidance for driving examiners carrying out the practical and extended driving tests for cars. These are the rules your examiner will work with, from the way they greet you through to the feedback they’ll give you at the end. Think of this link as being the full hardcore rules for monopoly players. You don’t need them, but you may have a better chance of beating the bank if you read through.
2 – Government’s guidance for driving examiners on assessment and marking of driving tests. This page details what’s expected of you and your driving, and gives examples to guide the way an examiner will judge any mistakes you make. It won’t make you an expert at marking your own driving the same way an examiner might, but it’ll help you understand the basic things you’ll need to do – or not do – and to know why your instructor drills you to “check your blind spot”, and the rest of those things you sometimes forget.
3 – The DVSA “Driver’s Record”, or Learner Driver Log. There are many ways to keep a track of what you’re able to do, but this is one of the best. It shows the areas of knowledge and skill you need to master to pass your driving test, it details what things you’ll need to know to complete these areas, and allows you to judge your strengths and weaknesses. This means you’ll know how well you’re doing, if you’re progressing towards test standard, and may help to understand why you’re learning the things you are. Print it out, fill it in, know more about your driving.
4 – Theory Test Pro. It’s a revision and practice tool for anyone studying to pass their UK theory test. Very popular in the industry for its ease of use and effectiveness. If you’re not learning with a school, you can buy premium content as and when you need it. If your instructor uses it, ask if they can add you as one of their students and you may get some premium content for free! My own learners can sign up using THIS LINK instead, and should ask me to upgrade their membership directly. If you’re an instructor and you want to offer this to your own students, go here.
5 – The “Advance Driving School” YouTube channel. Based in Bury St Edmunds, England, the men and women at Advance have produced some amazing videos. They lay out every area of skill and knowledge you’ll need, and show you how it’s done. There are in-car, roadside, and even birds eye drone shots, helping you to see what you and the car should be doing in almost any situation. I’ve got no connection or affiliation to the school, I’m just a big fan of their work. I’m sure their videos will help you out.
6 – “Show-Me, Tell-Me” vehicle safety questions. On your test you’ll be asked to answer one “Tell Me” question out of a possible fourteen options. You’ll also be asked to demonstrate one “Show-Me” skill from a possible seven options whilst driving the car and keeping it all under full control. This link lists them all. Whether they’re common sense and easy to remember, or you need to learn them like you’re preparing for the school play, the same page will help you to know what you need.7 – My YouTube demo of the 7 “Show-Me” actions in my own car. If you’re going to learn to drive with me, or you’re taking your test in a 2012-2018 model Renault Zoe, this video shows you where each of the controls you’ll need are located, and how to activate them.
(Note, I’m using the “wrong” hand to activate the wipers and I do mention that in the clip. That’s because I’m a daft sod and didn’t swap the camera from one hand to the other! You should use the correct hand for the control, based on the side it’s fitted to).
What do you think? Have I missed any out? Have you found some amazing tools or links I should add to the list? Let me know in the comments!