During the test -The examiner will not realistically expect a 'perfect drive', though it is the basis on which the candidate will be judged. Any deviations from perfection are graded into three categories of fault: less serious, serious or dangerous. Candidates do not normally fail for a less serious fault unless they accumulate on the same subject. They must not however get any serious or dangerous faults.
Before a less serious fault is marked onto the sheet the examiner will first consider its significance to the overall performance. You are only allowed a total of 15 of these less serious faults, 16 would result in a fail. During your driving lessons your instructor will make clear what qualifies as a fault on each of the subjects covered.
The examiner will be sympathetic to the candidate as they understand that nerves can be a factor on test day. You should realise however that while nerves are often used as an excuse for failing, they are rarely the real cause. Provided that you are fully prepared and know what to expect, nerves should not pose much of a problem. Therefore it is important to make sure that realistic 'mock tests' are carried out prior to test to give pupils an insight into what to expect.
During the test it is important not to lose heart and give up if you feel you may have made a mistake. Leave the error assessment to the examiner and do your best all the way through.
A common misconception is that the examiner will 'miss' or 'ignore' certain faults. He/she is however a trained professional, able to spot any actual or potential faults, so don't fall into the trap of thinking he/she won't notice - they will.
The examiner will want to be satisfied on the aspects of driving covered in the ' Official DSA Driving Test Syllabus and Standards'.
When you pass - When you pass the test you are issued with a 'Certificate of Passing of a test of Competence to Drive' (D10) as well as a copy of the examiners' marking sheet (DL25c). You will then be able to drive unaccompanied and without 'L' plates. You should apply for your full licence as soon as possible by filling in the necessary parts on the back of your D10 and sending it off with your provisional licence.
If you fail - If you fail the test you will be given a copy of the examiners' marking sheet (DL25c) showing the faults made and which ones were serious enough to fail you. It's important to book a DL25c appraisal lesson with your instructor as soon as possible after failing where you can use the DL25c as a guide to rectify any problems in the time until your next test. In theory you can apply immediately after failing but will not be able to take the test again within 10 days.
There is a high standard needed to pass the test but this is with certain things in mind - It is important to understand the responsibility that comes with driving. The car is a potential lethal weapon and unless your standard of driving is high enough this potential is increased. Every year the traffic population increases and space on the roads gets more and more limited - the room for error therefore becomes less and less.