Driving Examiners – the Facts

The driving test and driving examiners are something that almost everyone has an opinion on. There is always someone willing to give you the benefit of their own driving test experience.  However, you may not always hear the truth.

driving examinersBut is it really that bad? Are driving examiners the tyrants that some people say they are? Do they deliberately ‘fail’ people who turn up with the wrong haircut or the wrong colour t-shirt?

In short… no, it isn’t, and no they aren’t!

If you’re properly prepared with quality training, and get enough practise under your belt, you should find the test reasonably straightforward.

Examiners are ordinary men and women most of whom are ex driving instructors. They will normally do their best to make you feel at ease, because that means they’re likely to get a better, more comfortable drive. And they don’t want you to fail. Why would they?

If a test candidate passes, the examiner only has to make a few brief notes and can hopefully catch a five minute break. But when a candidate fails, the examiner has to write a detailed report on why that person failed. This can take time and often examiners are very short of that precious commodity. Also, if you drive well and pass, your examiner’s day will be less stressful and who wouldn’t prefer that?

The Myths

You will no doubt hear some of the sillier stories surrounding the driving test. I’ve heard so many that I couldn’t really list them all here, but here are a few of the most popular examples:

‘I failed because they can only pass so many a day and the examiner was over his quota.’

What absolute rubbish! The driving test is a straightforward assessment of your ability to drive safely. Examiners don’t ‘fail’ people. You will only fail if you make serious or persistent errors which show that you’re not yet ready for solo driving. There are no ‘pass quotas’ and never have been.

‘I’ve heard that examiner never passes any women.’

Everything an examiner does is recorded in great detail, including their individual pass rates for men and women. A comparison is then made with the other examiners at the same centre as well as on a national level. Where an individual has a significantly higher or lower level in ANY area of assessment, management would highlight and investigate this. The DVSA just don’t allow it to happen!

So, the next time you hear a story about how awful an examiner was, think twice before you believe it. Go with an open mind and find out for yourself. You will probably come away from the driving test centre with a completely different, more positive opinion. And one which you will hopefully share.


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