Who are these creatures from outer space, these horrible men and women who take you for your driving test?

Well actually, believe it or not..they really are VERY NICE PEOPLE!

The following section highlights the key areas and duties of an examiner which I hope should make you understand that the examiner really isn’t that bad after all:

An examiners job carries a lot of responsibility and it is within their professional opinion and judgement to pass or fail you. If you are good enough you will pass, if not you will fail. It is normally the candidates who fail that spread the stories of an awful examiner when in reality they simply were not good enough to pass The examiner will provide very clear instructions and on occasions some help, for example, when you need to change lanes they will ask you in good time to get into a certain lane etc in readiness for a roundabout or junction.

Once outside the test centre the first thing that the examiner must do is check that your eyesight meets the minimum requirements. To do this they will ask you to stop on the pavement and read a car number plate for them. As long as you can do so the test may continue.

The examiner will ask you to lead the way to your vehicle. Once there the examiner will ask you two "show me / tell me" questions which may need you to raise the bonnet of the car. After these you may get into the car. There are currently 19  "show me / tell me" questions.  

When you get to the car you will get comfortable and wait for the examiner. You will have driven it beforehand so it is already set up for you. The examiner has to check the outside of the car and fill in the vehicle details boxes on the form.  

Once seated the examiner will give you some information about the test itself. They will tell you that the test is approximately thirty five to forty minutes in length during which they will expect you to perform two of the standard manoeuvres and possibly an emergency stop. They will also reassure you that if an emergency stop are to be requested they will pull you in to the kerb and tell you first. The examiner does not want you to misinterpret a hand movement for an emergency stop signal. You will then be told to start the engine and follow the road ahead unless directed otherwise by either the examiner or road signs.  

Your examiner will give you clear instructions on approach to junctions, when they wish for you to pull in by the kerb, move off again or perform a manoeuvre. The examiner will gladly repeat the instruction for you if you ask them to.  

After the test has been completed the examiner will require a minute or so to complete the paperwork before they tell you whether or not you have passed. If you have failed they will give you an explanation of the driving faults that you have committed. If your instructor is not in the car they will ask you if they may listen to this debrief. It is best that they do, as they will have more time after the test to give you a fuller explanation if you require it.

The examiners that I have met in the Northampton area are a really nice bunch of men and women carrying out a very tough job. I have found them to be courteous, pleasant and fair

Some pupils mention to me that the examiner appeared to be quite rude as they kept very quiet and did not speak much during the test. Other pupils might say that the examiner talked too much and put them off their driving. Poor examiner cannot win! The examiner will normally have a small icebreaker chat asking what sort of job you do etc and by your response can often judge whether you are chatty or not, but normally the conversation is kept to a minimum to allow you to concentrate

A pupils bad nerves are often stretched to the limit during a driving test but the examiner knows this and fully understands the situation, please try and relax and try to think that the person sitting next to you is your usual instructor.

You can imagine some candidates turn up in an old banger of a car, no duel controls, very poor driving experience and if they fail can get quite threatening towards examiner. A few years ago I actually applied for an application form to enlist as an examiner. Having giving it more thought I decided not to apply and I still have the uncompleted form at home. The examiner really does have a tough job to do. Respect!


Further details of the driving test can be found on the left hand link menu "drivingtest" 










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