During the next few posts, I’d like to explain and give my opinions about the UK driving test. There are certainly several myths about this practical test and I intend to cover those and maybe dispel them in a later post.

This link is to the whole form, which comes in four sections – Driving Test Report Form.

DL25A – Top copy – I believe this is returned to DVDA HQ and filed
DL25B – Test Centre copy, the reverse side is used by the examiner as an aide memoire; more details lower down.
DL25C – Candidate’s copy of the report, the reverse side of this has guidance notes and appeals procedure. These notes are meant to explain how the test was scored. This is not easy to understand, but see below.
DL25D – Guidance Notes – given to the candidate as explanatory notes. Also not very easy to comprehend but again see below.

The front side of each copy of the report are substantially the same and I wouldn’t worry about the small differences. 

At the end of a driving test (pass or fail) the candidate is given their copies and I think most people never read them or still less understand them. After explaining the result (more details in a later post), the examiner will return to the office and fill in the reverse side of their copy. This is to help them to remember what happened in case of an appeal. Doing 7 tests/day, 5 days per week must be boring and tough to remember if asked a few days later. So they make a few notes about the weather, the car, what the candidate looked like, any other info to jog memory. I guess that they pay more attention to this section when they are expecting an appeal against the decision.

So let’s see if I can make some sense of the driving test marking form – the top section is below


Most of this part is self explanatory, but here are a few pointers.

Orange arrow shows the test application reference number, received when a test is booked.
Blue arrow contains the middle 6 digits of the driver’s licence number.
Green arrow indicates tick box to be used if car is an automatic.
Red arrow shows tick box for an extended test. Necessary if driver has been banned and is going through the process again. Actually not just returning from a ban but that the incident that caused the ban was VERY serious.
Purple arrows indicate if the test was observed by a supervising examiner and/or instructor. Several years ago, I was asked to sit in on a test which also had a senior examiner checking the test examiner. Four of us in a Fiesta on a rainy day, windows misted up continuously. But well done to Stuart for concentrating with a car full and passing his test.

Here’s the left side of the form; one of the most important of the whole form is shown by the two red arrows and the black arrows, but more of that later. Progressing from the top and using the reverse of part 25DLD, the explanations.
1a. Eyesight Test, you are asked to read a number plate at a reasonable distance and if you can’t the test will not go ahead.

1b. This wouldn’t apply to a car test, used for tractor tests or some other specialist vehicle.

2. Controlled Stop: Around 30% of car tests are asked to do this. The blue arrow 
indicates the box that shows if this occurred.

3. Reverse Left: Around 25% of car tests are asked to do this. The blue arrow indicates the box that shows if this occurred.

4. Reverse Right: Currently this is very rarely done.

5. Reverse Park: Around 50% of car tests are asked to do one of these manoeuvres. the first green arrow again shows if this was done and the second arrow indicates if this was done on a road (parallel park) – box R or if done in a car park (bay park) – box C.

6. Turn in road: Around 25% of car tests are asked to “turn the car around using forward and reverse gears, try not to touch the kerbs”. This is their current way of asking you to do a three point turn.

7. Vehicle Checks: These are the so called Show Me Tell Me questions (click link).

Sections 8, 9 and 10 are not used in the car test.

Ok let’s go back to the top of the form and discuss the S an D columns, this applies to all relevant sections and explains what the difference is between a driver fault (a minor) and a serious or dangerous fault (a major). As an example, look at item 12 which is control and then section titled parking brake. So a mark or marks in the long horizontal box would show minor(s), but one in the S or D column would be a major i.e. a test fail. 
So let’s say that on a test the driver was asked to stop on the left, sounds simple. After stopping, the examiner says “drive off when you are ready” and because the car is on a hill and the driver makes a mistake, the car rolls backwards. If it rolls back a few inches and is recovered by the driver it will be recorded as a driver fault (minor). However if it rolls back a few feet it will be deemed serious or even dangerous especially if there is something or someone behind.

Let’s look at the other parts of this form next time and remember if you want to learn to drive quickly in Tamworth or Birmingham click a link and give me a call.