If you fail your driving test on the first try, it can be incredibly frustrating. After all, you’ve been practising and practising with automatic driving lessons or manual driving lessons in the hopes of soon being able to drive on your own. It may make you feel better to know that out of the 82,809 Perth learner drivers that sat their tests in metro Perth in 2018, 55.1% failed their practical driving test, so you are certainly not alone. If you’re yet to sit your practical driving assessment, here are 10 great driving test tips to pass your driving test first time.
Read on for some of the most common reasons people fail their driving tests and what you can do to improve your chances of passing next time.
What Driving Assessors Are Looking For
The practical driving assessment will take approximately 35 minutes to complete at Western Australian Department of Vehicle Services locations. Practical Driving Assessors are put in place to ensure you meet the Driver Licensing Competency Standards. This document represents what the Western Australian Department of Transport expects of a competent and experienced driver. Whilst students may believe the assessors to follow these standards very strictly, this is to ensure the utmost safety of drivers on Australian roads.
During your practical driving assessment, your driving assessor will be looking at how well you:
- Operate and guide the car whilst driving, known as your ‘flow’;
- Put common road rules into practice;
- Fit and flow with other vehicles on the road, in low and moderate traffic;
- See and respond to traffic hazards.
Common Reasons for Failing a Driving Test
Correct driving procedures and practices will take time to master – so drive as much as possible before taking your practical driving assessment. Here are some common reasons students fail their driving test:
- The vehicle is not road worthy. It’s recommended you use a driving instructors vehicle during your test to ensure it meets all requirement for your practical driving assessment.
- Not performing adequate head checks when making particular driving procedures;
- Failing to signal correctly;
- Not performing the tasks requested by your assessor correctly;
Some of the above driving mistakes can result in an automatic fail. The following are the most common reasons your practical driving assessment will result in an automatic fail:
- Disobeying a regulatory street sign (such as not coming to a complete stop at a Stop Sign);
- Speeding; or
- Driving without a seatbelt.
You can view the full list of driving mistakes that result in an automatic fail or will be marked down as a minor fault in the How to Pass your Driving Assessment PDF from the Department of Transport.
The Impact of Nerves When Sitting Your Driving Test
Nervousness can also come into play when you take your driving test, especially if it is your first attempt. While you won’t fail your test simply for being nervous, your nerves can interfere with your driving ability while taking the test. For example, you may draw a blank when the testing officer asks you to turn your headlights on and off, even though you have done it countless times with no trouble.
Excessive nerves can also cause you to be overly cautious while driving, potentially creating a hazard for other drivers. It can also have the opposite effect, leading you to rush instead of taking your time.
The best way to get over your nerves is to practise driving as much as possible, so you are confident in your abilities. It can also help to have your driving instructor conduct a mock driving test, acting as a testing officer and giving you grades on your skills. The more you practise, the more comfortable you will feel when you go for the real thing.
What to Do Next
At the end of your test, your testing officer will provide you with a report detailing what you did well and any areas in which you need to improve. This will guide you in what you need to work on before reattempting the test. You’ll then need to make a new practical driving assessment booking at your local Department of Vehicle Services location. If you want to ensure you can safetly drive in all hazardous situations, it may be worth booking a defensive driving course.
Driving lessons with Eclipse Driving School will give you the best chance of success on your next driving test attempt. Our professional driving instructors are highly skilled and can help you refine the skills you are lacking. We know exactly what the testing officers are looking for, but our goal isn’t just to help you pass your driving test; we want you to be the best driver you can possibly be, both for your own safety and that of others on the road – this is The Eclipse Way.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Western Australia, if you fail your driving test, you can resit it the very next day (although waiting times usually require you to book a few weeks or months in advance).
You may need more experience behind the wheel before you get up to date with all safety practices and regain confidence in how to navigate all sorts of driving situations. Driving lessons will help develop these skills and make for an easier time when it comes time to take the driving test once again. Plus it’ll give you more chances at passing and less expensive.
Some of the most common reasons for an automatic fail during a practical driving assessment includes:
- Going at a speed greater than the signed speed limit.
- Disobeying a road sign.
- Driving without your seatbelt.
- Refusing to take any part of the driving test.
- Refusing to follow directions given by the driving test assessor.
According to recent studies, over 50% of learner drivers fail their driving test first time.
While these statistics are worrying, it is a reminder of the importance of booking professional driving lessons. For learner drivers who fail their test, we always recommend booking some additional lessons to focus on areas in which you struggled.
In Western Australia, you do not need to wait to resit your driving test. This means that as soon as you fail, you can rebook to sit another practical driving assessment.
However, we recommend that you book additional driving lessons between your test dates to practice and improve your driving skills. This will save you money in the long-run, and make you a safer, more confident driver.