1st Gear Driver Academy

The Practical Test 🚗


The practical driving test includes an eyesight check 👀, safety questions 🚫 and about 40 minutes of driving which will include a short section of independent driving.

Driving Lessons Derry

Eyesight check 👀


The practical test will include an eyesight check (if you fail this, your test will not continue). The eyesight test requires you to read a number plate from a certain distance away. Having successfully completed  the eyesight test you will be asked two vehicle safety check questions.

Vehicle safety questions 🆘


These are questions on basic safety checks that a driver should carry out to ensure the vehicle is safe for use. Although some checks may involve the candidate opening the bonnet to identify where fluid levels would be checked, pupils will not be asked to touch a hot engine or physically check fluid levels.

The examiner will ask you one 'show me' question, where you'll have to show them how you'd carry out a vehicle safety check. You'll also be asked one 'tell me' question, where you'll have to explain to the examiner how you'd carry out the check.

For example, the examiner might ask you to identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell them how you'd check the windscreen washer level.

If you give the wrong answer for one or both questions, you'll be marked with one driving fault.

 View Clip On Show Me Tell Me


Practical Driving Section 🚗


Your driving instructor is able to accompany you on the test. The test candidate must make this request to the examiner before the test commences. Your driving instructor is only there as an observer but this can prove beneficial after the test ends as he/she will be in a better position to give feedback on whatever errors may have been committed.

During the driving test the examiner will give you clear directions which you should follow.

Test routes are designed to include a range of typical road and traffic conditions. During the test, the examiner will ask you to carry out set exercises or maneouvres. 

You will be examined on your general driving and on one reversing exercise. The reversing exercise will be chosen from:

  • Turning in the road

  • Reversing around a corner

  • Reverse parking either on the road or into a parking bay

You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop exercise.

The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You are able to make up to 15 driving faults and still pass the test (16 or more results in failure). However, if you commit one serious or dangerous fault you will fail the test. If at any time your examiner considers you to be a danger to other road users your test will be stopped.

  View Clip On Practical Driving Test


Independent Driving 🆓


In the independent driving section of the test, you'll have to drive independently by either following:

  • traffic signs
  • a series of directions
  • a combination of both

To help you understand where you are going when following his/her verbal directions, the examiner will show you a diagram. It is not a test of your sense of direction or memory so ask the examiner if you forget the route they have set you. 

  View Clip On Independent Driving


After the practical test 🚫


When the driving test is over, you can call your instructor over to the car (if they didn’t go with you on your test) so that they can hear the result and go through the feedback with you and the examiner. This feedback is beneficial for your ongoing improvement.





On The Day Of Your Practical Driving Test, Your  1st Gear Driver Academy Training Vehicle Will Be Made Available For You So That You Can Take Your Test In A Car That You Are Used To.