Not Test Ready

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“I’ve booked my practical test and my instructor has told me I’m not test ready”.

The first piece of advice we can give here is: always ask your instructor BEFORE you book your practical driving test.  We understand that with current waiting times the temptation is to book the next available slot or else wait weeks for next one, but booking a test prematurely could very easily waste you atleast £62.

As Stuart Taylor, of Bill Plant Driving School explains; “with current waiting times an instructor often has to plan ahead 2 or 3 months along a learning pathway that is not yet fully laid. Sometimes illness causes a loss of continuity and often pupils hear ‘test’ and believe that you have told them they are ready, not ‘if all goes to plan you should be ready’ and their focus falls away believing that the hard work is done. Sometimes unforeseen issues arise along their own pathway of learning, for example: loss of confidence, struggling with a manoeuvre, or picking up bad habits from watching others. We all know these things happen but we would be doing wrong by our pupils if we didn’t try to plan ahead for them.”

What to do about lessons?

If you’ve booked your test you really shouldn’t be cancelling any lessons unless its absolutely essential. Your instructor will have a learning schedule in place for you to be ready for the test, and if you’re missing lessons you could very well fall behind in your learning.

It’s important to remember that your instructor has experience of pupils taking their practical test; and it’s always a good idea to listen to their advice. If you do however still disagree with your instructor and feel test ready, ask for a mock practical test; a 40 minute lesson with the same format as the driving test. This way you’ll be able to prove your ability to pass – and if you don’t ‘pass’ that, you’ll know the areas you need to work on.

Not only is a failed practical test a huge disappointment, it’s a waste of your time, plus the cost of your lesson and test, so think carefully if you do want to go ahead and do the test or if you want to follow your instructors advice and think about pushing it back until you’re ready – which if your test is more than 3 working days away – won’t cost you a penny!


  1. It is difficult at the moment because of the long lead time but it can also work in the favour that if someone has booked a test and isn’t quite ready a call to the DVSA to swap with another better prepared student or an unsuccessful student that is test ready but didn’t make it on the day, I feel this works as it doesn’t put the first student all the way back to the end of the queue, having said all that discussing test booking with your instructor makes life that little bit easier.

    • There is an appeal process but I have never heard of anyone being successful. My advice would be to talk it through with your instructor, who should have been present for the debrief at the end of the test, and see what they think. In all of my years of instructing I have yet to disagree with the reasoning behind a failure


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