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Learning to drive in Singapore – Part 5: Ace the practical driving test!
The final obstacle between you and your fabulous driving license is the practical driving test. First-timers can be over-worried and may even end up failing the test because of nerves. But not to worry! Here’s how you can prepare to ace yours.
Like the saying goes – failing to plan is equivalent to planning to fail. Our very own learner driver has good advice on how to plan before your practical test:
- Think and recap the tips and instructions given to you by your driving instructor.
- Mentally prepare yourself the day before the test – And relax. Keep a cool mind and meditate if you need to calm yourself.
- Ensure that your Provisional Driving License (PDL) is still valid. If your PDL has expired, you will not be allowed to take the practical test. And remember – absolutely no flip-flops!
Tips for the actual test
As there is no fixed scenario when driving, we have compiled tips and advice from people that have passed their practical driving test recently.
- Make a good first impression. Your attitude and tone sets the first impression the examiner has of you. Address him/her as Sir/Mdm or Officer.
- Always check all mirrors before you set off. Ensure that you have a clear view from both side mirrors and the rear mirror as well.
- Adjust your seat so that you’re comfortable and don’t forget your seatbelt.
- Before you start, clear your mind of negative thoughts and always keep calm. Being frantic will only cause you to make more mistakes.
- While driving, always remember to always keep in the left lane unless told otherwise.
- While making a turn, moving to the left lane, or even to the right lane to prepare for a U-turn up ahead, always remember to look over your shoulder to check your blind spot. This is currently, and has always been the highest contributor to the total demerit points during the test.
- Always check your rear mirror once every while to ensure safety. This is an important factor that the test officer looks for.
- Keep a constant look out for cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians. They are harder to spot in your blind spot, which is why it is always important to be aware of them.
- Do not be afraid of the kerb! Many people are afraid that they will strike kerb, which accounts for a large deduction of demerit points, or worse, mount the kerb, which results in an immediate failure.
From the experience of many who have taken the test, almost every instructor has told them not to be afraid of the kerb, as its original purpose is to guide your path and keep you safe. The more wary you are, the higher your chances of making a mistake or striking/ mounting the kerb.
Keep these tips in mind and you should have no problems with your practical driving test. All the best, and we hope that your driving test will be a cinch!
Final tip? Keep yourself protected by getting insured.