Driving Test

The driving test in NSW is a practical, on-road test that you take with a Roads and Maritime testing officer. The on-road driving test assesses your driving skills, decision making, awareness of other road users, and how you share the road with other traffic.

Please see the details by downloading  A Guide to the Driving Test. If you pass, you’ll be issued with a provisional P1 licence.

1. What will you be tested in a driving test?

Learner drivers often ask “what will I be tested on?” or “where will the examiner take me during the driving test?”

The driving test follows a set course comprising 25 zones. During the test a testing officer will be in the car with you directing you where to drive, and recording your performance on a score sheet. Your score will be based on your driving performance in a range of situations and your ability to demonstrate low risk behaviours. To pass the driving test you must achieve a score of 90 per cent with no fail items .

You will be assessed against the following five key performance areas:


1.1 Car Control(C) – The testing officer will be looking for your ability to stay in control of the car. You will be required to smoothly operate the accelerator, brakes, steering, clutch and gears. An often forgotten section is your posture in the vehicle e.g. the seat position, seat belt and mirrors.
1.2 Vehicle Position(P) – The testing officer will be looking for where you position the vehicle on the road. This could be selecting the correct line around a corner, stopping a safe distance from the vehicle in front and your distances to the kerb on the reverse park, three point turn and kerb side stop manoeuvres. Positioning also includes where you choose to drive in relation to other vehicles and the vision available. For example, driving near or in other driver’s blind spots is considered poor positioning. You must be aware of the area surrounding your car, your Safety Cushion.
1.3 Responding(R) to Hazard(H) – The testing officer will be looking for your response to any potential danger around the car, both on and off the road. There won’t necessarily be hazards in all parts of the test course, however, you will usually be marked on 5-10 of these hazard situations.
1.4 Speed Management(S) – Selecting the correct speed for the situation is the purpose of the Speed Management section. The appropriate speed will be governed by the vision available, space around the car and the speed other traffic. Keep a three second gap! The road surface will also influence the appropriate speed. Wet or gravel surfaces are situations where speed should be managed carefully.
1.5 Decision Making(D) – The testing officer will be looking for you to choose good gaps in traffic to enter a road, change lanes or proceed at an intersection. This is the section that blind spot checks are critical. You will need to have good observation all around the vehicle at all times. Getting this wrong is where most learners fail.

In addition, you will be asked to perform the following manoeuvres:

•  Reverse parallel park
•  Three point turn
•  Angle park
•  Kerb side stop

Where will they take you for your driving test?

The driving test is conducted on a specially designed test route. There are a number of routes at each test location making learning each of them laborious and fraught with error. The best knowledge to have is the types of scenarios that you will be presented with.

During the test you will face the following scenarios:

Right hand turn across busy traffic
Lane changing on multi lane roads
Single and multi lane roundabouts
Stop and give way signs
Up-hill start
Right hand turn at lights with no green arrow
Narrow roads
Varied speed zones
Turns onto major roads with limited vision
Busy lane changes
Multiple decision situations

2. The Role of the TESTING OFFICER

In summary, the Testing Officer’s role, during the test, is to:
BRIEF –  applicant about the test, before starting
DIRECT – applicant around the test course
OBSERVE – applicant driving behaviour
ASSESS – applicant performance according to assessment criteria
RECORD – assessment of applicant on the score sheet
DETERMINE – whether applicant has passed or failed the test
• DEBRIEF – applicant on their performance

3. Will I be tested on reverse parking?

The answer is maybe not, but you will need to be proficient at parking before sitting the test.

A lot of learner drivers often worry too much about reverse parking. ACR driving school will train you to ensure that you nail it every time.

In a driving test, you will be asked to do some manoeuvres that will be selected from the following:
– A kerb side stop
– A hill start
– A three-point turn
– Parking: Reverse Parallel, 90 or 45 Degree, Front or Rear to Kerb

When performing any of these manoeuvres, you will be tested on your ability to position your vehicle in a manner that is safe, legal and using the correct procedure.

Without knowing which manoeuvre you will be asked to perform, you do need to be good at them all.

3.1 Reverse Parallel Parking       ..read more information...

Most learners worry too much about reverse parking.
Using the four-point Reverse Park Procedure will ensure that you nail it every time.

To reverse park and pass the test you must:

– Park your vehicle parallel to the other vehicle in line with the driver’s seat (until both rear bumpers are level)
– Select reverse gear, and do full turn to the left until reaching 45 degree angle. Reverse back until the rear of the vehicle is now 45 to 50cm from the kerb.
– Full turn to the right until the vehicle is parallel to the kerb. Move forward until the vehicle is 100 to 200 cm from the vehicle in front.

3.2 Angle parking                         ..read more information...

During the test, you may be asked to perform an angle park, either 90 or 45 degrees from the kerb.
Make sure you read the signs as it could be signed a ‘front or rear to kerb only’ space.

To angle park and pass the test you must:

– Finish as close as practical to the angle required for that parking area.
– Finish within any marked lines.
– Ensure you approach the park in the correct direction.
– Use appropriate steering.
– Use no more than four direction changes

3.3 Three Point Turn                    ..read more information...

A three-point turn is performed where you would like to turn around and drive in the other direction but the street is too narrow for a U-turn.

To perform a three-point turn and pass the test you must:

– Check left and right for traffic before each movement during the turn.
– Use a maximum of five direction changes.
If it can be done it three points, you are expected to do so.
– Not use a driveway.

3.4 Kerbside Stop                        ..read more information...

A kerb side stop will involve returning the vehicle to the kerb, shutting the car down, turning it back on and leaving the kerb.
More often than not, this manoeuvre is performed on a hill, bringing a hill start into play.

To perform a kerb side stop and pass the test you must:

– Park parallel to and less than 50 cm from the kerb.
– Shut the car down using the correct procedure.
– Start the car using the correct procedure.
– Not roll back more than 50cm.

Mounting the kerb at any time during the test will result in a fail.

3.5 Observation Checks              ..read more information...

When performing any manoeuvres, you must check for other vehicles, road users and potential hazards.

You must turn your head and check your relevant blind spot before you:

– Move towards the kerb to commence a manoeuvre.
– Leave the kerb to rejoin the traffic.
– Steer while reversing as the front of your vehicle will swing into the lane. While reversing you must check in the direction of travel.

You can master all these and more with ACR Driving School.