How to pass your driving test

Avoid the most common reasons for failing.

The driving test in WA should last for 35 minutes. In that time you need to drive to the best of your ability and avoid making any mistakes or bad driving habits you may have. There are certain critical errors that may result in an immediate fail (indicated in bold text below), whereas minor errors will not result in an immediate fail, but could cause you to fail depending on how many you make.

Here is a list of the most common mistakes people make when attempting to pass their driving test. Even the most experienced and proficient drivers will make some of these errors below, at some time.

  • Failing to stop at a stop sign. Drivers must come to a complete stop and wait for 2 seconds before proceeding. Drivers must stop within 1 metre of the stop line. If they stop short of the stop line they must move forward, to the line and stop again.
  • Excessive speeding – 5 km over the limit.
  • Head-checks – not doing head-checks where necessary; before moving away from the curb; lane changing; merging; at any time when deviating from a path and if moving into the path of another vehicle.
  • Candidates vehicle not road-worthy – check lights and tyres.
  • Candidate causes a potential crisis.
  • Candidate is unable to perform any part of an exercise – parallel parking, bay parking or left something behind.
  • Failing to give-way at give-way lines.
  • Lack of control of the vehicle. This could be stalling, selecting incorrect gears, rolling back, coasting or riding your clutch, steering incorrectly, over revving or not being able to use wipers and demisters if necessary.
  • Failing to signal correctly. You must signal for 5 secs before moving away from the kerb. Signal at least 30 metres before turning, if it’s practical to do so. Signal correctly at roundabouts and cancel your signal within 3 flashes of completing a manoeuvre.
  • If the assessor has to intervene to prevent an accident or potential accident.
  • If the assessor has to help the pupil. (Depending on the situation).
  • Not obeying any traffic law, regulatory sign or road marking.
  • Not able to follow a direction given by the assessor.

Understanding how the driving assessment is structured.

People generally assume they could fail on manoeuvres above everything else. On a driving test you can attempt a manoeuvre several times before you fail. So getting your general driving skills up to scratch is far more important, unlike manoeuvres, you only get one chance to get your driving right, you generally can’t rectify a driving error.

Reasons why an Assessor will not allow you to commence a driving test.

  • Insufficient id
  • Log book isn’t filled out correctly
  • Vehicle isn’t roadworthy – check lights are working and not cracked, check tyres are legal and correctly inflated, check seatbelts work correctly and windscreen is not cracked.
  • If the car hasn’t got dual controls it must have a centrally mounted handbrake.
  • Late for the test appointment – make sure you’re at least 10 minutes early.
  • If you turn up for your test in a vehicle which has the faulty Takata ‘Alpha’ air bag fitted the assessor will advise that the PDA cannot be conducted until the airbag is replaced or an alternative vehicle is used for the test.

Students on the log book system also need to comply with the following:

  • Completion of 50 hours of logged, supervised driving (including 5 hours of supervised night time driving).
  • 5 hours of night time driving is now a requirement and must be entered into your log book. If you are on the old log book, which does not include the night time driving column, then you will need to evidence your night time driving practice on the E49 form.
  • Successful completion of the online Hazard Perception Test.