Driving Lessons London – What the examiner is looking for on your test

During the course of a driving test, the examiner will be making sure that you fulfil the below criteria. In order to pass your driving test, you will have to drive to what is referred to as level 5 standard (you must be able to perform all required actions without any prompting and consistently).

During your driving lessons, ask your instructor to show you exactly what the examiner is looking for in each of these areas. Then practice near your local test centre.

Controls – Driving

All controls such as steering, gear stick and foot pedals should be handled in a smooth manner. The examiner should at no point have to prompt or assist you in the operation of the main controls (brakes, steering, gears) or auxiliary controls. You’ll need to be able to operate the gears and pedals without looking at them.

Controls – Buttons etc

An understanding of the function of all switches and controls, especially those that relate to road safety must be shown. You should have the capability of accessing all controls without having to look at them. Indicators for example. Andy1st driving instructors offers excellent info on this.

Preparation and starting the engine

Stay calm and take a few deep breaths before you begin. First, do your checks such as mirrors, head rest, steering wheel, and gear set to neutral, etc? You must be able to start the engine in a safe manner and without any help. If there is a steering column lock engaged, you need to know how it is disengaged.

Moving away

You must be able to move away under control, safely, from behind a parked car, on the level, and on a hill (where applicable), with the right observations and without inconveniencing or endangering other road users.

Emergency stop

Progressive and even breaking should be demonstrated. Locking of wheels should be avoided. (In wet weather, you should note that the stopping distance is doubled!). You may or may not be asked to do this, but practice it on your driving lesson anyway. Tip: Once done, put the gear into neutral, start the engine, and then move away in first gear.

Turn in the road (3 point turn)

This has to be executed under full control. Responding correctly to other roads users as well as good all round observation is essential. If you spot any moving vehicles or pedestrians you must stop the car and wait for them to pass. You may be asked to do this.

Reverse parking

You need to be able to park accurately – either parallel parking or bay parking. The instructor will likely ask you to do just one of these. You may be asked to do this.

Use of Mirrors

Besides using mirrors regularly, the you must be aware of others and be aware of your blindspot. To show the instructor, make it obvious when you are looking in each of the mirrors. For example when turning right, check the rear view mirror, and the right wing mirror, and only then turn.


You should give signals according to the Highway Code in good time and clearly to warn other roads users of their intentions. This includes changing lanes, and before turning.

Reacting to markings and road signs

You must see all road markings and react to them accordingly. Failing to comply with any traffic signs may cause you to fail.

Setting your speed

Reasonable and safe progress should be made with regard to the road, speed limits in place, road signs, traffic conditions and weather. Look out for special speed zones such as near schools. You might want to ask your instructor to take you for a few practice routes near your test centre so that you can familiarise yourself with the area on your driving lesson. Mock exams are a good idea too.