5 Things you should know before taking your driving test


Taking a driving test with Vicroads Melbourne is quite a daunting task and applicants do find the experience stressful and unlike any other experience they have had. The information gained prior to attempting a driving test tends to come from 3 or less main sources:

1. Supervising drivers
2. Driving instructors
3. Family and friends

Other sources may be YouTube, Facebook, blogs etc.

These sources are essentially the creation of whatever knowledge an applicant may gain prior to a VicRoads driving test and in many cases, may lead to some misinformation about road rules and driving test criteria.

Here are the 5 best things you should know before attempting a driving test to reduce your chances of failing:

1) Training with supervising drivers is just not enough

Learning to drive with supervising drivers such as parents, family and friends tends not to be enough to pass the driving test. Supervisors have an important role in driver training but they are not experts at it. The knowledge they have of road law and test criteria may not be up to date and in many cases forgotten. A supervisor’s position with driver training assists the learner in gaining more on road experience however technicalities about road law, safe driving techniques, and VicRoads test criteria should be left to the experts which are reputable driver trainers from reputable schools.

2) Know your driving testing area

Gaining knowledge of the local testing area is essential in calming the nerves and building familiarity to be able to reduce the stressfulness of a driving test. Being guided by a testing officer that is marking your test score is hard enough, not knowing the area you’re driving in tends to make the experience even harder for any applicant. Test conditions can make the best learner driver crack under pressure so ensuring some comforts such as local area familiarity is crucial. Gaining such knowledge can be best achieved from a reputable instructor that’s a local expert in the testing area.

3) Know your car and make sure it is compatible for a driving test

Knowing how to do a pre-drive check before your test is a crucial part for your test. If it is not completed successfully the drive test will not continue and you will not get moving on the road. The pre-drive test consists of various vehicle control checks needed to be completed before the actual drive test begins. It is also important to make sure your vehicle is road worthy and that the vehicle electrics are working which are headlights, tail lights, indicators and hazard lights.
Your vehicle, unless accompanied by a driving instructor, must also have two controls visible and easily accessible to the testing officer, first being a centrally mounted handbrake leaver and secondly an easy to see odometer or speedo from the passenger’s seat for speed checks during the test. If these are not available in your vehicle you will not be able to do your test so find that out well before the day of the test. Pre-drive check information can be gained from the VicRoads website or your driving instructor.

4) Know your low speed maneuvers for your test

There are two low speed maneuvers in today’s VicRoads tests and they are reverse parallel parking and 3 point turning. These techniques have various requirements under the test criteria so it is best to have a professional driver trainer go through both in detail with you.

5) Know your test structure and criteria

Finding out your driving test structure and what it is comprised of along with the relevant criteria is just as important as finding out any guidelines and requirements for any test you might attempt. You can find this out from the VicRoads website which has information regarding the test structure and has a downloadable test criteria version which is available to everyone for free. Search on the VicRoads website under ‘driving test criteria’. It is essentially a list of do’s and don’ts along with the penalties accrued from these mistakes on a driving test. Another way of attaining such knowledge is best achieved by a professional driving instructor whilst you are being trained in and around the testing area being prepped for your test day.

By Alex