27: Mock tests and the test day itself

Warning – this unit was last revised in 2007

Unit 27: Mock tests and the test day itself

Research Material:
The Driving Instructor’s Handbook
DSA Guidelines for Examiners (see Useful Links)

Mock tests are an essential tool for both instructor and customer, and must only be conducted once a customer is at (or close to) test standard. For the instructor and the customer they will provide a good picture of exactly what needs to be worked on – as long as they are undertaken in relation to the guidelines of the actual driving test.

Performing a couple of mock tests (at least) will allow different routes and problems to be encountered. The instructor should vary their role-play, including role-play of an examiner who will be a personality clash for the customer – giving the customer an insight into how to deal with having someone who is potentially off-putting in the car with them.

In preparation for the test day itself, you should ensure that you, your car, and your customer are prepared both mentally and legally.

Your customer must have their provisional licence (both paper and card part), and their theory test certificate. Know the exceptions to these rules where necessary, but try to avoid it with proper planning.

You must prepare the lesson prior to the test – usually one hour (driving for maybe 50 minutes). This lesson should be a good test of their ability, and with discussion should cover any points (and manoeuvres) that your customer has worries about. You must arrive at the test centre punctually, as the examiner will not wait for more than 2 minutes after your test time. Allowing your customer a few minutes respite from driving by arriving in enough time to run through the show and tell questions can be an ideal plan.

The car presented for the test must be able to pass its MOT, must have 4 seats and seatbelts and a headrest for the examiner. A mirror for the examiner to use must be provided, and L-plates must be displayed. The car must also be insured for the purposes of the test.

Once inside the test centre, the examiner will enter the waiting room and call your candidate’s name, and ask them to sign the residency and insurance declaration on the driving test sheet. If your customer wants you to sit in with them on the test, they must ask the examiner themselves – this is not something you can do – it is their test, not yours.

Once the candidate and examiner leave the centre, your candidate will be asked to read a number plate from the required distance, and will lead the examiner to the car. Here they will be asked 2 of the show and tell questions. Once this has been done, the examiner will make sure the car is safe for the test, and will then take note of the instructors badge number on the candidate’s test sheet. An instructor may (if necessary) remove their badge from the vehicle before the test, but this should be unnecessary.

The test will now take place. During the test, if you sit in, you should sit behind the candidate, and keep well out of the way of any observations. Say nothing, and do not influence your customer in any way.

Once back at the test centre, if the instructor has not sat in on the test, make your presence known to the examiner once the vehicle has been parked (try not to put off your customer if they are reversing into a parking bay for example). This allows them to open their door, or to beckon you into the car in order to hear the debrief. If this is not done, then either your customer has passed, or when asked by the examiner they have indicated that they do not want you to hear the debrief.

If your customer has passed, they will receive a copy of the ‘Drive On’ magazine, and the Driving Examiner will request their provisional licence parts in order to replace them with their pass certificate. Your customer will receive their full licence within a couple of weeks.

Whatever the outcome, be polite to the examiner, and then ask your customer to get into the passenger seat while you drive them home – a successful candidate will be as distracted as an unsuccessful one! It is worth noting down any faults recorded. If the test was not successful, discuss problems, and endeavour to keep the customer positive, with reassurance and an action plan. Encourage them to re-book as soon as is realistic.

Discussion Points:
Performing a mock test – and how it helps
Is the customer ready?
Is the car ready?
Are you ready?

You will role-play the examiner on a mock test. You will need to remember the basic scripts, and conduct the mock in an appropriate manner.

You will collect your customer and conduct a pre-test lesson, ending up at the test centre ready for their test.

The Beyond Driving ADI Training Syllabus is provided free of charge for all potential driving instructors. If you are a trainer we will only allow use of these materials with prior consent.

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