What do you do in a driving test? Your confusion-busting guide

What to do in a driving test ?

Written By John Nicholson

July 13, 2023

As a DVSA-qualified driving instructor, I frequently encounter one question: “What do you do in a driving test?”

It’s a significant question because the key to acing the test lies in your driving skills and knowing what to expect.

This comprehensive guide will lead you through every step, from the week before your test to the day itself, and even how to navigate cancellations.

If you need help with your practical and stumbled on this page by mistake, checkout my guide for preparing for the UK theory test.

One Week Before the Test: Your Daily Countdown

Every day of the week leading up to your driving test is an opportunity to improve your chances of passing.

Here’s how to make the most of it:

What to do in a driving test - the week leading up to the test schedule

Monday: Refresh Your Knowledge

Begin your week by revisiting the Highway Code. Studying may not be as exciting as getting behind the wheel, but it’s essential. Ensure you’re thoroughly familiar with road signs, speed limits, and the general rules of the road.

Tuesday: Hands-On Driving Practice

Put your knowledge to use by getting in some practical driving time. Working on areas that might be challenging for you is especially beneficial, such as parallel parking, hill starts, or navigating roundabouts.

Wednesday: Mock Test Day

Taking mock tests can help you gauge your understanding of the rules and practical skills. These tests mirror the real exam, providing an idea of what to expect and identifying areas that require more practice.

Thursday: Route Familiarisation

By now, you should be comfortable handling the vehicle. Dedicate this day to driving around the area near the test centre. Different road types, traffic conditions, and routes will help you build adaptability.

Friday: Vehicle Check

It’s important to ensure your vehicle is ready for the test too. Check the lights, brakes, mirrors, seat height, and tyre pressure. Remember, a faulty vehicle can lead to a test cancellation.

Saturday: Rest and Relaxation

Take a well-deserved break from driving and studying. Engage in relaxing activities, ensuring you’re mentally fresh and ready for your test.

Sunday: Final Revision and a Good Night’s Sleep

A quick final revision can reinforce your knowledge and boost your confidence. Also, getting a good night’s sleep will ensure you’re well-rested and focused for the big day.

The Day of Your UK Practical Driving Test

What do you do in a driving test when the day has finally arrived?

The test starts with an eyesight check, followed by ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions.

Then comes the driving test, which lasts about 40 minutes.

It includes general driving, one reversing manoeuvre, and approximately 20 minutes of independent driving, possibly including emergency stop and driving on dual carriageways.

Dealing with Driving Test Cancellations

At times, driving tests are cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, leading to long waits for rescheduling and even the possibility of needing to retake the theory test. 

What to do in a driving test  driving with instructor in car

Responding to a Cancelled Driving Test

While test cancellation can be disheartening, a tool can help alleviate some of the stress – the Driving Test Cancellations Now app.

As an instructor, I’ve seen countless students benefit from this efficient, user-friendly app.

The Driving Test Cancellations Now App: My top Recommendation

The Driving Test Cancellations Now app is an invaluable tool that I often recommend to my students.

This brilliant app works tirelessly to search for cancellations across all test centres and even offers auto-booking, simplifying securing an earlier test slot.

You’ll receive in-app and email notifications about cancellations, and with just a tap, you can book your preferred slot.

The app allows you to manage all your preferred date and time preferences, widening the search across multiple test centres, which increases your chances of finding a suitable slot.

Moreover, this app informs you of all the test centres, dates, and times it’s searching for.

And if the app doesn’t find an earlier driving test for you, it offers a full refund. With unlimited usage until you pass, this app is a worthy investment.

Now you know the answer to ‘What do you do in a driving test?’

So, what do you do in a driving test? It’s about the right preparation, knowing what to expect, and being equipped with tools like the Driving Test Cancellations Now app to handle hiccups.

I hope this guide has brought you closer to being ready for your driving test.

Remember, feeling nervous is normal, but adequate preparation can help you stay calm and perform your best.

Good luck with your practical test, and always remember to drive safe!


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