Your Driving Test – what’s involved!

What’s involved to get you on the road!

The driving test is designed for you to show your practical skills and understanding of the Highway Code and the theory of driving safely. Throughout the test, your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. As an established driving school, LCD Driving Academy provides all its clients with the highest standards of tuition. Our approved instructors are committed to training each client to an advanced level, preparing clients to a lifetime of safe driving. 

What is involved in the practical driving test?

The driving test is straightforward and has been designed to see if you:

  • can drive safely

  • know the Highway Code and can demonstrate this through your driving

The eyesight test: The examiner will test your eyesight by asking you to read the number plate of a parked vehicle a distance of 20.5 m or 20 m if the letters and figures are 50mm wide (12 m or 12.3 m respectively for category K - Mowing Machine).

Failure to read correctly and your test will not continue. Further details are available on the NIDirect website.

Vehicle safety questions ‘Show Me, Tell Me’: 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. If you give the wrong answer for one or both questions, you'll be marked with one driving fault. 

View the ‘Show me. Tell me’ questions AND answers here.

Observer on Test

The DVA has made a policy change to the practical driving test in Northern Ireland (NI) by actively promoting the benefits of candidates having an ‘observer on test’. This involves an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), parent or friend sitting in on the test to observe and listen to the examiner’s feedback – all with a view to providing critical support for the learner and newly qualified driver’s ongoing development and lifelong learning. The examiner will ask you if you wish to have an accompanying driver to sit in on the test. If you decide that you do not want to be accompanied you will, at the end of their test, be given the opportunity to have your accompanying driver present for debrief at the conclusion of the test. This policy change will also allow an ADI to act as an interpreter on the test for their own pupil.

Your driving ability: The driving part of your test will last about 40 minutes. Throughout the test your examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. During your test the examiner will give you directions which you should follow. You'll drive in various road and traffic conditions. You should drive in the way your instructor has trained you.  You may also be asked to carry out an emergency stop. You'll be asked to complete an exercise to show how well you can reverse your vehicle. The examiner will choose one exercise from:

  • reversing around a corner

  • turning in the road

  • reverse parking - either into a parking bay, or parallel parking at the side of the road

The examiner will be looking for an overall safe standard of driving. You can 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.

NEW: Independent Driving

From 27 June 2011 the driving test will include 10 minutes of independent driving, when you will 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 verbal directions, the examiner will show you a diagram. This is designed to assess your ability to drive safely while making decisions independently.

Further details are available on the NIDirect website. Your LCD Driving Academy tutor will thoroughly brief you on what is required of you prior to your driving test.

Video Resources

Find out about the theory and practical driving tests and what you need to do to pass them. For more information, visit

Are you learning to drive? It is important to be well prepared when you are taking your driving test. Watch this video to see what to expect.