Passing the Driving Test in Hereford

Driving Instructor Hereford
Well done to Em after a well deserved driving test pass in Hereford after just 12 weeks of driving lessons with Safe Pass Driver Training.

Driving Test Preparation

Failing to prepare is  – as a wise man once said  – is preparing to fail.  Or as Alexander Graham Bell put it;

Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.

So it came as no surprise to me that my latest customer who took a driving test was successful and came away with a Pass Certificate and a huge smile instead of disappointment and the prospect of paying for another test and more lessons.  

The preparation started a few weeks before the test when during lessons I started to talk a little about what happens on test day and spent periods of the lesson driving independently where I observed and made mental notes instead of continually offering instruction, guidance and support.

I encouraged Em to self assess her performance and through discussion she developed strategies on her own of how to deal with certain situations.  Of course her actions have to be safe and within the bounds of the Highway Code which is what I am able to advice on but through self reflection and learning a deeper understanding is achieved and real learning is taking place.

As the date loomed closer we conducted mock tests; some where I came in and out of ‘Examiner role’ when learning opportunities arose and some where I stayed in role throughout. We also visited the driving test centre and discussed what would happen on test day so that the fear of the unknown was not added to natural nerves.  I directed Em to some useful reading to strengthen her confidence in her own knowledge and to identify any gaps that we were not aware of.  Of course we practiced the manoeuvres that Em may ave been asked to complete and got to a stage where these were completed safely and accurately every time.  The show me tell me questions were discussed and the controls and parts of the car to be used on the test where identified .

On the day of the test we meet up in plenty of time and had a short practice before we went through the Show me Tell me questions for a final time. Although Em was a little nervous as we got close to the time of the test, on a scale of 1 – 10 she claimed a 4, this I think was healthy and helped her focus on the task ahead. In the first couple of minutes of the test these nerves did surface but where soon overcome as a very competent display of driving followed which was duly rewarded. This even included dealing safely with a situation, just as we were heading back into the test centre, which involved a Mother and two young children on bicycles trying to cross the road at a junction as Em was turning into it.  This made harder by one child crossing and one staying put with the Mother trying to control both!

All in all a very rewarding day.  It has been a pleasure helping Em to learn and I wish her well for the future.

 

The Driving Theory Test

The Theory Test

The Theory Test must be booked in advance, at www.gov.uk/book-a-driving-theory-test or by calling DVSA booking support on 0300 200 11 22. Candidates with special needs should declare this, so that appropriate arrangements can be made, if possible.  These include audio for the multiple choice part and/or extra time.  Some form of proof that these adjustments are really required may be needed

Important  – Do not use an unofficial website to book your Theory Test, as you may pay more than necessary, and your test might not even be booked!

Both parts of the Theory Test are taken on the same day at a Driving Theory Test Centre, details of which can be found at www.gov.uk/driving-theory-test-centre.  There is a Driving Theory Test Centre in Hereford in Penn House which is on Broad Street next to Santander Bank.

There are two parts to the Theory Test: a multiple-choice part and a hazard perception part. If a candidate passes one part but fails the other, they will have failed the whole test, and will need to take both parts again.

Candidates are given the results of their Theory Test after taking it. Those who pass will get a pass certificate, which they will need to book and take their practical test. This certificate lasts for two years; if a learner does not pass their practical driving test within those two years, they will need to take and pass the theory test again.

Those who do not pass the Theory Test will need to wait at least three clear working days before taking another test. They will have to pay the test fee again.

The multiple-choice part

Before the test starts the candidate is given instructions on how it works, and can do a short practice session. The real test, which takes about 57 minutes to complete, will then begin.

A question and several possible answers appear on screen. The candidate selects the answer they think is correct by touching the screen or using the mouse. Some questions may require more than one answer. Some will be a case study, or a real life example, of a situation the driver could come across when driving.

To pass, the candidate must answer at least 43 out of 50 questions correctly.

The candidate can then take a break of up to three minutes before starting the hazard perception part of the Theory Test.

The Hazard Perception Test

A short video is shown to explain how the hazard perception part of the Theory Test works.

Candidates then watch 14 video clips featuring everyday road scenes. Each film includes at least one developing hazard, which may need the driver to take some action, such as change speed or direction. One clip will show two hazards, so there are 15 developing hazards in total.

The candidate needs to click the mouse or touch the screen as soon as they see a hazard. To get a high score, they need to spot and respond to each hazard as soon as they see it, but if they click continuously or in a pattern they will score zero for that clip. The maximum points that can be scored on each hazard is five.

The pass mark for the hazard perception test is 44 out of 75.

Preparing for the Theory Test

It is important to prepare well for the Theory Test. This increases the chances of the young driver passing the test, as well as improving their safe driving knowledge and attitudes.

The best books to use to prepare are The Highway Code, Know your traffic signs and The Official DSA Guide to Driving – the essential skills. The Highway Code is available from bookshops or free from www.gov.uk/highway-code. The other books are available from book shops or www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop.

The multiple choice part of the car theory test can be practised online at www.gov.uk/practise-your-driving-theory-test. The practice test has 50 questions and is similar to the real theory test taken at the test centre.

The Official DSA Guide to Hazard Perception, an interactive DVD that will help the learner prepare for, and practise, the hazard perception test is also available at www.safedrivingforlife.info/shop/product/official-dsa-guide-hazard-perception-dvd-software.

Customers of Safe Pass Driver Training also receive free and full access to Theory Test Pro which is a leading online tool for training, practice and support.

Further details about the Theory Test are available at www.gov.uk/driving-theory-test.

How to get a Full UK Driving licence

You can apply for a provisional licence online by visiting the Gov.UK website. Alternatively you can apply by completing the D1 application form which can be picked up at your local Post Office. If you are sending your application via the post, you will need to make sure you include original documentation that confirms your identity, a colour passport photograph, a fifty pound cheque or postal order and the completed application. The address is DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1AD.

The UK Driving licence

If your provisional driving licence application is accepted you will be sent a green photo card. This photo card is important and will be needed in the future, so keep it in a safe place. You will need to take photo card of your driving licence to your driving theory test and practical test. Once you have passed your practical driving test, your green photo card will be sent off and replaced with a pink full driving licence photo card.

Rules for provisional drivers

Provisional drivers must have someone supervising them whilst they are driving. The person must sit in the front passenger seat and be fit to drive the vehicle. This includes not using a mobile device even though they are sat in the passenger seat.  They should be aged over twenty one and have held a full driving licence for at last three years. Learners must display an ‘L’ plate on the front and back of their vehicles and they are forbidden from driving on a motorway.

The theory test

Before you can take your practical test you will need to pass the driving theory test. Some driving schools will require you to take the theory test before you start your driving licence lessons. Once you are ready to take your theory test you can apply online. You will need your provisional driving licence number, an email address to get your booking confirmation and your debit or credit card. It costs £23 to book a car theory test on the Gov.UK website.

The practical test

Once you have passed your theory test, and are ready to take the practical driving test, you can book it online. In order to do this you will need your provisional driving licence number and your debit or credit card. On the Gov.UK website it will cost you £62 to book a week day practical driving test and seventy five pounds to book a driving test at the weekend. Apply online here >>

Replacement driving licence

If your provisional or full driving licence is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed then you will need to apply for a new one. Stolen driving licences should always be reported to the police. In order to apply for a replacement driving licence you will need to be a resident of Great Britain and not be disqualified from driving for any reason. You will need a valid UK passport or other form of identity, your National Insurance number and the addresses you lived at in the last three years. It also helps if you know your driving licence number. It costs twenty pounds to replace your driving licence. Your lost driving license should be replaced as soon as possible.

Renew driving licence

Your photo card licence must be updated every ten years. The DVLA will send you a reminder before your current driving licence expires. Providing you have sent in a valid application and have not been disqualified from driving for any reason, you can continue to drive until you receive your new licence.

Driving licence categories

There are a number of different driving licence categories, so it is important to make sure that you only drive the vehicles that your licence permits you to. If you hold a full valid driving licence and want to be able to drive large vehicles, minibuses or buses then you will need to complete the DL1 application form and the medical report form DLM1. The medical report form should be completed by a doctor. Once you have received the provisional licence for the new category, you can take the test and upgrade your driving licence.

Medical conditions

There are certain medical conditions that prevent individuals from being able to drive, for example Epilepsy. You must tell the DVLA about any health condition which may affect your ability to drive. It is important to tell the DVLA if you develop a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability or your condition or disability has got worse since you got your driving licence. If you do not inform the DVLA of your medical condition or disability you may be fined £1000 and could be prosecuted if you have an accident. Individuals that are told they are unfit to drive by their doctors must surrender their licences to the DVLA.

With the help of the internet, it is now easier than ever to apply for a UK driving licence. Providing that you can meet the requirements and supply the correct information, you will be in for a quick and easy application process.

Three main steps to get a full driving licence:

  1. GET PROVISIONAL LICENCE
  2. PASS THEORY TEST
  3. PASS PRACTICAL TEST

Driving lessons and tests in Hereford

October is getting busy and exciting as I have 3 customers with driving tests in Hereford booked.  I am working closely with all three to fully prepare them for their test and I am confident all three can pass. Of course no one can be complacent but that is something I am paying close attention to much of what we talk about in the run up to test is about personal preparation and strategies for dealing with nerves and how best to show the examiner the very best drive possible.

I will ride along with as many tests as I can to not only aid my own development but in the unfortunate event of a fail I can listen to and interpret the examiners debrief as the test candidate will not hear anything after the pass/fail verdict.  That way I am best placed to either challenge the decision (if appropriate) or fix the fault for any subsequent test.  Of course the candidate gets to decide if I go along as it is their test but I am hoping all will agree.  Unless of course the Test Center Manager sits in to observe the examiner in which case I will step aside and wait nervously at the test center for their return and listen in to the debrief from the side of the car.

I will of course update the site on the results of each test and hope I can post smiley pictures of people with pass certificates.