1st Essential Driving School Portsmouth

1st Essential Driving School - Driving Test Info


The Theory Test

The test costs £23 and is bookable online.

You must pass the theory test before taking the practical test.

It's recommended to have started having driving lessons before taking the test.

We strongly advise that you do plenty of homework beforehand - books, DVDs and apps are available to become familiar with the test formats and the Highway Code.

Your instructor will be able to help to answer any questions you may have about the test but if you have prepared well, you should have no problem in passing the theory test.

The test is made up of two parts - you must achieve the pass rate in both

  • Clear instructions are given before each part begins
  • 50 multiple choice questions - touch screen format. Pass rate is 43/50.
  • 75 hazard perception questions - mouse click format. Pass rate is 44/75.

You will be given the result shortly after completing the test.

For some free hazard perception tests visit this website.

Practical Driving Test

The test costs £62 and is bookable online. Discuss possible dates with your instructor.

You must have passed the theory test before taking the practical test.

You’ll have to read a number plate from a distance of:

  • 20 metres for vehicles with a new-style number plate
  • 20.5 metres for vehicles with an old-style number plate

Show Me, Tell Me section. For this part of the test, the examiner will ask you one 'tell me' question before the driving part of the test begins, and one 'show me' question while you are driving. You can view the questions here. Failure to answer either question correctly will result in you scoring one minor fault.

Throughout the practical test your examiner will be looking for evidence you've reached an overall safe standard of driving, as you carry out both general and specific manoeuvres.

Independent Driving: For about 20 minutes, half of the test, you will be asked to follow directions from a sat nav. This will be set up by the examiner, one in five driving tests won't use a sat nav you will follow road signs instead.

The examiner may show you a diagram to help you understand where you'll be going. It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way.

The purpose is rather to assess your ability to drive safely whilst at the same time having to make your own decisions in order to reach your target destination. This includes for example deciding when it's safe to pull over and ask for directions. Your result will not be affected unless you commit a driving fault, even if you go off the independent driving route.

The Practical Driving Test takes about 40 minutes to complete, and is followed by a debrief which we suggest your instructor also attends.

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