Driving test fact or myth
1. Mirrors should be off set.
False. Take no notice of this old wives tale. Examiners are trained to spot the small eye movements we make when checking our mirrors. If you use the mirrors and act upon what you see correctly there is no need to exaggerate them by 'theatrical looking' as this will only take your mind off driving properly.
2. You can stall on your test and still pass.
True. As long as you don't stall in a dangerous situation, such as on a roundabout, and as long as you handle it properly without causing immediate concern to other road users it needn't count as a major fault and you can still pass your test.
3. The driving test is much harder to pass than it used to be.
True. The roads are far busier which means standards have to be higher. The test has far more criteria than it used to have - including the reverse parking manoeuvres and the introduction of the 'show and tell' section of the test, and a separate theory test where in the past the candidate would just be asked a few questions on the Highway Code.
4. Are there any quotas for practical driving test passes?
False. The DSA, which runs 414 test centres nationwide, insisted it was an "urban myth" to suggest it imposed quotas on examiners.
DSA said it looked carefully at examiners whose pass rate varied from the average among colleagues by more than 10%: This 10% variance rule is confirmed by the National Audit Office as a reasonable measure. So whether your examiner seems warm and friendly towards you or a bit cool, it's not going to make any difference to whether or not you pass.
The practical driving test is a criterion referenced test meaning a test candidate has to perform certain criteria within the constraints of the test and this must be universal to every test taken at each centre.
Therefore, if the candidate demonstrates the standard required they WILL pass the driving test.
5. If I make 3 mistakes I will fail.
False. In actual fact a total of 15 driving faults can be committed without failing the driving test although only 1 serious or dangerous will result in failure. Some people think that 3 faults on the same criteria will mean failing the test. Again, this is false although if spread through the drive, although if the examiner considers that the fault is consistent, for example, stalling each of the 3 times you move off, you will not be successful.
6. Some test centres are much easier to pass at than others.
True. Driving test pass rates vary between the the UK's 414 driving test centres.
However, it's worth noting that whilst the average pass rate is about 45%, Barking test centre has a very low 30% success rate and if your prepared to travel, the Isles of Scilly is over 80%. This may be partly because the level of traffic in some urban areas means it's easier to slip up when pulling out at a busy junction or roundabout. And in low-income areas people often have trouble affording lessons and don't have a family car to practice on.
The latest driving test centre pass rates relating to the period 04/2010 - 03/2011 for Basildon test centre, Brentwood test centre, Chelmsford test centre, Hornchurch test centre & Tilbury test centre.
7. Men pass the driving test more easily than women.
True. According to a 2004 study by the Department for Transport men take 36.2 lessons on average before passing whilst women take 51.9. And when it comes to passing the test men take 1.8 attempts whilst for women it's 2.1
Between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010, a total of 1,533,738 candidates attempted the practical driving test with just 45.9 being successful. Males have a slight (and narrowing) edge on the practical, while females have a more pronounced advantage on the theory portion.
8. Women should wear short skirts and low-cut tops.
False. A total myth as well as being an example of flawed logic. After all, if you look that stunning then surely the examiner would be more inclined to fail you so you'd come back to take another test and they might get another chance to glimpse of your gorgeous cleavage? Stick to comfortable clothes and concentrate on your driving.
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