Myths About The Driving Test

Pupil on herdriving test

Learner drivers have been getting nervous and worked up about taking their test, since it was introduced in 1935. A big part of this is due to the myths which constantly surround driving tests. While some of these once contained an element of truth, nowadays the majority of them are no more true than the earth being flat. Here we bust some of those driving test myths so you can be confident when it comes to the big day.


Only so many pass each day

One of the most famous driving test myths is that examiners can only pass a certain number of people each day, week or month. This links to the other myth that nobody ever passes on a Friday (presumably as examiners have supposedly filled their quota of people they can pass for that week). Of course, this is not true. It is commonly used as an excuse by people who fail, but nobody who passes ever mentions quotas.

Learners can’t be punished for speeding

As you don’t yet have a driving licence, surely you can’t get in trouble for speeding? Where are the points going to go? Well, onto your provisional licence and then carried over onto your full licence. The law states that the driver of any vehicle is liable for breaking traffic laws. It doesn’t matter if you are a learner driver or in a dual-controlled car, so as well as failing your test you could end up with a fine, three points or having to take a speed awareness course if you speed during your driving test.

The theory test is easy

“The theory test is easy, don’t worry about it.” We’ve all got friends that claim this, but you need a decent knowledge of the Highway Code and the ability to spot hazards quickly to pass. Even then, it’s not a walk in the park. In 2015/16 the theory test pass rate was 49.3%, with just 28% of tests resulting in a first-time pass. That means more people fail than pass the theory test, so it’s highly advisable you swot up beforehand.

Stalling results in instant failure

There are many things falsely believed to lead to an instant driving test failure, stalling being a common one. You do not fail automatically for stalling, unless you do so repeatedly or when pulling out onto a major junction where it is deemed unsafe. The same goes for rumours that you will fail for crossing your hands. It is advisable and best practice to use the push-pull method, but if you are safe and comfortable crossing your hands to steer then it’s fine.

Drive slow and steady

To avoid speeding or driving dangerously, you may think it wise to keep at a slow pace well below the speed limit on your test. Being hesitant and driving too slowly can actually lead you to fail your test, as it can be dangerous. Examiners pass positive drivers, not negative or risk-taking ones. Driving too slowly can also signal that you don’t know what the speed limit is, which the examiner will view as you being unfit to drive.

Boys pass quicker than girls

There is some small truth behind this one, as government figures have shown that women are more likely to fail their driving test the first time than men. This isn’t a guarantee though. If you are well-prepared, stay calm and perform well on the day then there’s no reason you shouldn’t pass, no matter what your gender.


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