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10 Tips To Pass Singapore’s Practical Driving Test Your First Time
You’ve gone through all the theory lessons and tests. You’ve done the driving simulators and practical lessons. And you’re finally ready to do the Class 3/3A Practical Driving Test. Here are 10 tips to help pass on your first attempt.
Before you even book a test, you should practice with your instructor. Drive on the roads that you’re likely to be tested on so they’re familiar to you. Hopefully there will be fewer surprises when you’re doing the actual test. A warm-up session with your instructor before the test should give you more confidence too.
2. Book smart
Try to book your test at a time when there’s likely to be fewer cars on the roads, and at a location where you’re less likely to encounter traffic. Peak hours will see more road users, and stressed commuters are less likely to show any patience with learners. The best time to book a test is when the roads are less busy.
3. Be punctual, polite, and well-presented
No, your fashion sense is not part of the test, but if you show up looking like a slob, the tester may take an immediate dislike to you and make your life harder. You should wear clothing that doesn’t restrict your movement, and shoes with soft soles. Being on-time and polite to the tester doesn’t cost you anything and is likely to leave a good first impression as well.
4. Turn off your handphone
This should be obvious, but even if you leave it on silent mode, the vibrations may distract you. Just switch it off.
5. Take the time to adjust
You should have learned the ideal driving position already. Take the time to get in the right position, and then adjust all three mirrors to suit. Getting this right means you’ll have a better view of what’s going on all around you, and proper control of the car.
6. Exaggerate your movements
In a situation where you may lose points for not checking your blind spots, making sure the tester knows you have done so is a good idea. Pulling away from the kerb? Changing lanes? Reversing? Check your mirrors and your blind spots.
7. Leave space
Tailgating is not only a likely cause of a crash, it also reduces your vision of what’s on the road ahead. Leaving enough space gives you more time to prepare to maneuver. Also, you may earn demerit points for travelling too close to the vehicle in front.
8. Watch your speed
Breaking the road rules while you’re being tested is a sure-fire way to fail. Stay within the speed limit (but don’t drive too slowly or you’ll earn demerit points). Don’t try to beat traffic lights. Make sure you’re not too close to kerbs. You’re attempting to show the tester that you will be a responsible road-user. Be one.
9. Don’t get rattled
In the second part of the test, you will be sharing the road with other vehicles, many of them driven by people who are aggressive, or distracted, or in a rush. How you deal with this is the point of testing you on real-world roads. You have no control over what other road users do, but you are in control of your reactions. Getting upset or angry with other drivers doesn’t help your cause.
10. Don’t quit
Almost everyone will make some mistakes on their driving test. If you make a mistake don’t give up – you have 20 demerit points available, and finishing with 19 is still a pass.
Statistically, you have a 48% chance of passing your Practical Driving Test on your first try, but some driving centres are better at getting you a first try pass. Currently, students from ComfortDelGro Driving Centre have the most success at passing on their first try – check out the data here.