In October 2010 changes were made to the way the driving test works in the UK. It does not affect the cost of the test or how long the examination lasts and you are still allowed the same number of faults as you were before. There is not impact on the amount of lessons that you will need to take, though the changes may lead to a few changes to some of the things that you will practice when taking lessons. Your instructor does not have to go with you and you are not more likely to fail. Now that we have done away with a lot of the rumours that have been flying around with regard to the changes, we can get to what is actually different on the new driving test, the main change being the introduction of an Independent Driving period.
During the driving exam, for a period of about ten minutes, you will have to drive the car without specific and continuous direction from the examiner. What this means is it will be up to you to make the decisions and read the road signs after being told where you have to go. Basically what will happen is that the instructor will ask you to park the vehicle, after which he will then give you instructions as to where to go. He may tell you to go to the nearest train station or he may give you three instructions such as take the first right then the second left, followed by the third left, etc.
You then have to drive off and follow the instructions you have been given, which may mean following road signs too. Any area you are asked to drive to will probably have signs posted on the road. When you reach your destination you will be asked to pull over again and you will be given directions to your next destination spot. You will continue in this fashion for ten minutes, which is a more realistic recreation of what real driving is like.
The independent driving part of the new driving test is done to see how well you would do driving on your own. Are you able to read the road signs correctly? Do you make safe lane changes? What do you do if you miss a turn? These are all things the instructor wants to see in practice.
Maneuver Changes On The New Driving Test
Instead of having two maneuvers on the test there will be only one maneuver on the new driving test. This will allow you to drive further distances and to drive areas you are not familiar with. The new driving test will now include such things as high streets, crossroads, and right turns. With only one maneuver you will have more time to cover them.
Theory Test Questions
Another part of the new driving test which you may not be too crazy about is the fact that theory questions will no longer be published. Pupils were just learning the questions and answers to the theory test and not learning the meaning of the answers. They were not learning the information. Starting September 2011 the questions and answers will no longer be published anywhere. You will have to read books or watch DVDs to learn the information and remember it.
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