Test Day

Posted on 01 March 2018

Nerves and the driving test go hand-in-hand. Realistically, the main reason we get nervous on test day is because the outcome means a great deal to us -- that being the case, telling people not to worry, won't help. And of course, nerves don't have to be debilitating – they can actually help keep us focused.

As with any test, preparedness helps build confidence and alleviate nerves. Your hard work in conjunction with the support of your driving supervisor/instructor will have hopefully prepared you well in terms of your driving ability. The aim of this article is to provide learners with 'Test Day' insights into the New South Wales driving test – insights that will ideally further increase confidence and reduce butterflies.

About the New South Wales Driving Test

Five separate assessments are made within each of 25 predetermined zones travelled.All (5) key performance areas are assessed on a continual basis throughout each zone. In addition to the 25 zones, learners are required to complete a kerbside stop and one other manoeuvre - a 3-point-turn, reverse-parallel-park, or a bay-park. The (5) key performance items are:-

1. Speed Management

2. Road Positioning

3. Decision Making

4. Responding to Hazards

5. Vehicle Controls

The test officially commences when you sign the score sheet. A non-roadworthy vehicle results in test termination without refund (ensure all brake and indicator lights are working). A minimum score of 90% and NO Fail Items is a pass. If a Fail Item is recorded, the test continues so that you may receive a full assessment. You are not advised of a fail during the test.

A Licence Application Form must be completed before the driving test commences -

- At Service NSW Centres it's a green form marked as Form 1001 on the bottom right of page 4.

Sign and date ALL 20 learning goals in the coloured section at the front of your logbook. The Declaration of Completion page needs to be signature certified by a parent/guardian or whoever has undertaken the majority of logbook entries. You, as the learner driver also need to sign-off on this declaration page.

About the Testing Officer (Examiner)

Many people feel awkward when it comes to silences. Try not to over analyse silences during the test. The environment may sometimes feel somewhat sterile; however the testing officer simply doesn't wish to distract you with any unnecessary information.

After the testing officer walks around the outside of your vehicle and checks that all brake and indicator lights are working, and they are seated, they will say something like: "We will be going for a short drive. I will be giving you directions when to turn. We will be doing two manoeuvres, a kerb side stop, and ... (a reverse park / three-point turn / angle park). If you have any questions please ask now, if you are not sure during the test what I have said, please ask for clarification. "Are you ready to commence driving?"

Resist the urge to look at what the testing officer is writing during the test. They have at least 150 boxes to mark off regardless – so if they are writing, it doesn't necessarily mean you have done something wrong.

At the completion of your drive, the testing officer is not authorised to advise you how you went – so don't panic when they walk back into the service centre without saying anything. Once they have completed the score sheet, they will call you up to the counter to advise your result and provide feedback.

About You (The Learner)


Do your best to get a good night's sleep.

Try to have something to eat.

Stay hydrated.

Try to explore the test centre carpark and the exit area PRIOR to test day.

Try to have a 'warm-up' drive before your test.

Arrive at the test centre 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled test – don't rush.

Breathe. Try breathing in for 3 seconds and out for 6 seconds.

Smile. It doesn't matter if the testing officer doesn't know how to.

Turn off your mobile phone.

If you didn't clearly hear the testing officer's direction, ask them to repeat it.

If you make an error, don't panic. Not all errors are fail items.

Remember, if unsuccessful, you're eligible to reattempt the test in 7 days!

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