Top Tips to pass your Driving Test

What Happens During the Test?

During the driving test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. Test routes are designed to be as uniform as possible and will include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises.

Throughout the test you should drive in the way your instructor has taught you. If you make a mistake, don’t worry about it, it might be a less serious driving fault and may not affect your result. The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving.

You can make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

Below you will find some tips from Fast Pass Driving School which you may find useful. You can reach Fast Pass Driving School, who have instructors covering most parts of Scotland, on their website which is Also Fast Pass offering a pupil matching service for qualified driving instructors looking for more pupils.

Be confident with your manoeuvres

If you are good enough at your manoeuvres to be reasonably confident that you can carry out the manoeuvres effectively enough to gain a pass in this area then that leaves your mind free to concentrate on your driving.


Using the MSM (Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre) routine is important, although I prefer the extended version of MSPSL (Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed, Look) routine, as this acts as a check list for yourself during the test and also gives your something to concentrate on if you feel nervous.

Observation and Planning

This is one of the most important aspects to be in control of. By looking and scanning as far ahead as you can for road signs, potential or developing hazards and road markings you are free to apply the MSPSL routine as appropriate for the situation. This comes with experience but being good in this area should mean that you are in control of the car in any circumstance and also avoid any hazards or dangers that may arise. You should be recognizing and dealing with hazards as early as possible.

Awareness and Anticipation

One of the hardest skills to learn for pupils. Being able to anticipate other road user actions will keep you out of dangerous situations and make you more likely to pass. Watch they way cars wheels turn at roundabouts to see if they are exiting the roundabout, look in buses side mirrors while overtaking at bus stops (if conditions dictate) to see if the driver is thinking of moving off or still dealing with passengers. There are many other small tips like this which any good instructor should be teaching you as you progress through your lessons. Unfortunately far too many to list here.

Knowledge of the Highway Code

Obviously a good knowledge of the Highway Code is essential as the examiner want to see you the pupil obey all road signs and road markings. Common faults here are not seeing signs, not using bus lanes out with hours of operation and not returning to the left hand lane where appropriate.

Dealing with nerves

There are many weird and wonderful techniques for dealing with nerves. Practise until you feel reasonably confident that you would be able to drive almost anywhere on your own. If you think you could drive on your own (while obeying Highway Code obviously) then you are ready for your test. Knowledge is important too. If you know the Highway Code well then you will have a better chance of passing. Your highway code is not just for passing your theory test but to give you the knowledge you will need for your whole driving life. There are some alternatives like hypnosis etc which some people may find helps and some people may not. The main thing is if you think it helps and it makes you feel more confident then maybe it is worth considering.

Some companies have downloadable courses to help you deal with test nerves, which you can play on your I pod. So that is the main tips for passing your driving test which I hope you have found helpful. For more information contact or see our website The DSA will also have any information that you may need.

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