Unlike the tests that you take in school, you can choose when to take your practical driving test. Though this might sound like an advantage, it can actually make things a little tricky. You don’t want to book the test when you’re too inexperienced but you also don’t want to keep putting it off.
So, how many driving lessons do you need before you can be a safe and competent driver? To help you figure out when to book for your P’s, here are five signs you’re ready for your driving test.
- You’ve completed all the legal requirements
These requirements will be different depending on the state or territory that you’re in.
If you’re under the age of 21 in Victoria, you must have at least 120 hours of supervised driving before you can take a probationary driving test. These hours must be logged in on your myLearners app and signed off on by yourself and your supervisor.
In these 120 hours, you need to drive in a variety of conditions including wet and high-speed roads. Additionally, you need to have at least 20 hours of driving experience at night. If you’re over the age of 21, you don’t need to log in 120 hours, but it is strongly recommended.
Next, make sure that you’ve completed your hazards perception test (HPT). Some drivers will opt to do the test on the same day as their practical exam. However, it is recommended that you do them on separate dates as failing your HPT means you won’t be able to take your practical driving test later that same day.
- You’re familiar with the road rules and signs
There are a number of rules that many learners overlook on the day of the test. Therefore, it’s important that you familiarise yourself with the road rules and signage. Do some research and look at the common mistakes that learners make.
One rule that trips up a lot of students is the rule regarding the stop sign. At a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop before you reach the intersection. Not coming to a complete stop can put you and other motorists in serious danger. Oftentimes, learners will perform a rolling stop like they would at a give-way sign. This is a critical error.
If you already know this, then you’re a step closer to passing your driving test.
- You’re have experience driving in different conditions
A learner who’s ready to take the test will have experience driving in different traffic conditions. You need to learn how to drive on wet and high-speed roads. For example, on wet roads, you need to leave four seconds between you and the car in front. This will give you enough space to brake safely on slippery roads.
You also need to get used to other cars coming in and out of your lane, multiple cars going through the roundabout and so on. In short, you need to get used to driving on busy roads. The important thing here is learning how to react to the actions of other motorists. For instance, if the car in front begins to signal a left turn, you must slow down and be prepared to stop.
- Your instructor has told you you’re ready
If you’re ready to take the test, your instructor will let you know. Due to their experience, professional instructors will know the skills that you’ll need to pass the probationary test. During your driving lessons, they would have taken you through everything that you needed to learn. If they feel that you have practiced these skills well enough, they’ll likely tell you to book your test.
Additionally, you can tell if they have confidence in you by looking at the way they supervise your driving. If they don’t need to interfere too much during your lesson, then chances are, you’re doing everything right and are ready for your test.
- You’re confident
This is perhaps the most important point on this list. It’s crucial to have confidence in driving tests because it helps you perform at your best. If you’re too tense and nervous, it can affect your ability to maneuver the car and cause you to forget obvious road rules.
There are two reasons why someone would lack confidence. First, they’re simply not experienced enough. If you don’t have sufficient hours spent on the roads, you’re going to be a nervous wreck. This is why it’s important to familiarise yourself with your car, the roads, the signage and so on.
The second reason is nerves. Sometimes a student can have the right skills and have the right amount of experience, but they still feel inadequate. In such a case, it might help to openly talk to your instructor about your worries. They might be able to run you through any part of the test that you’re concerned about.
If you check all of these things off your list, you should be ready to take your probationary driving test. This test is designed to make sure you’re a safe driver. So, simply follow the rules, stay calm and you should be able to pass it with flying colours.