How To Avoid Failing Your First Driving Test

How To Avoid Failing Your First Driving Test

Of course, when it comes to taking your practical test, every learner wants to smash their test and pass first time with ease. The eagerness to get on the roads independently increases the closer you get to your test date. Unfortunately, although pass rates for driving schools are pretty high, it is next to impossible to get it to reach 100%. There will always be the odd test that doesn’t go as well as expected and results in one or more majors. There are many reasons as to why learners fail their first driving test, but to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, here are our top tips to ensure you pass the first time.

Why Do Learners Fail Their First Driving Test?

Whether you are a learner or an experienced driver, you must always be prepared for any unexpected events that may occur. You can never entirely predict what another driver may do; some issues are unavoidable. Although it may be frustrating, in some cases, people fail their test for no fault of their own; they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you’re approaching your test and are seeking a little extra last minute advice and familiar problems examiners look out for, keep reading!

360 Observations

Observation is a key aspect all examiners will particularly look out for; you need to be able to prove that you are fully aware of your surroundings and any potential hazards. Part of your 360 observation that many drivers do not always check is your blind spots. Blind spots are any areas that are not visible through your mirrors, whether these are interior or exterior. On your car, there are four main pillars, if you’re not quite sure on where these are, take a look at this guide.

Although they are small, pillars can easily disguise pedestrians such as children, cyclists and even motorcyclists. When making sudden movements in your vehicle such as moving off, manoeuvring and even changing lane, you must do a full 360 observation of the outside surroundings, checking all mirrors and blind spots on the way. Failure to prove a high level of observation skills is one of the most common reasons for a minor. If your lack of observation causes a potential accident, you will receive a major.

Car Wing Mirror

‘Peep and Creep’ At Junctions

A common term you will hear while taking driving lessons is ‘peep and creep’, which applies to the process you should go through when emerging from junctions. Some junctions are closed which means that you cannot clearly see around them, which is common in built-up housing estates and may be caused by houses, trees, bushes or cars. Others are open which means that you can clearly see from the left and right. The ‘peep and creep’ method is mostly used at closed junctions when your visibility is greatly reduced. It means you should stop at the junction, check as much as you can, then slowly start to edge out of the junction slow enough that you can quickly stop if a vehicle appears.

The issue with junctions is that you can get majors from both hesitations and pulling out too quickly. Of course, it is better to get just the odd minor from hesitation at a junction than a major for pulling out without looking into busy traffic. Majors are mostly given if you, as the driver, do something that forces another driver to react, whether this is suddenly braking or changing direction, even in the slightest movement.

Understanding Road Markings

Most driving instructors will talk you through many different test routes prior to your test, so you can get enough practice and can be fully prepared for all routes. Even if you are fully aware of a route and know all road markings, always ensure that you double check.

For example, when taking driving lessons in Milton Keynes, it is known as the roundabout cental. Although most roundabouts are straightforward, many involve a change in lane midway or have more than just the basic two lanes. When faced with double roundabouts, which is common here, you will have to start off in one lane and change then you are faced with the second roundabout. Always keep an eye out on road markings in advance, so you can maintain the correct positioning without having to change last minute and disrupt other drivers.

The only event in which you may not be able to see road markings in advance clearly is if there is a lot of traffic. However, when taking your driving test, no matter the time or day, even if it is rush hour, you examiner will avoid any area which will be high in traffic. An examiner wants to see how you can drive and react to situations, if you are stuck in traffic for a while, it is tricky to assess.

If you’re ensure in any way what any road markings been, make yourself aware before your test with this useful resources we’ve found!

Roundabout In A Village

Correct Positioning With Steady Steering

As obvious as it sounds, it is vital to stay safely in your lane and avoid any swerving. To pass, you need to prove to your examiner that you have full control over your vehicle at all times. It can be easy to find yourself slightly swerving in a different direction if you are distracted, with, for example, looking at road signs to find the correct direction you must go in.

Always aim to be positioned directly in the middle of the lane, not too close to the white line and not too close to the curb.


Some of the most likely mistakes that could result in a minor or major in your practical driving test are basic skills that can be perfected through practice. Many learners have stress free, smooth practice tests with their instructor, but as soon as they get to their real test, they panic and make small mistakes. The best piece of advice is to stay calm and take your time, tests can always be retaken, and there is no pressure to pass the first time!

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