What’s in the RMS Driving Test?

A common question that we regularly get asked is “What will I have to do in the driving test?”, as well as “How long does the driving test go for?”

In order to know what you’ll be tested on, you need to know the main five criteria that you will be assessed against:

  • Vehicle position
  • Car control
  • Speed management
  • Hazard perception
  • Decision making

For the Vehicle position section you will need to properly position the vehicle on the road. This includes aspects such as stopping at a safe distance from the vehicle in front (1-2 metres), maintaining the right distance to the kerb during the reverse parallel park and kerb side stop (50cm), and choosing the right line around a corner. Besides being aware of the area surrounding your car, which is called the “safety cushion”, you’ll also need to avoid driving in other driver’s blind spots.

What the testing officer is looking for in the Car control section is your ability to operate car controls smoothly and to stay in control of the car. Besides operating the brakes, steering, clutch, gears, and the accelerator, you must remember about mirrors, seat belt, and seat position.

The aim of the Speed management section is to determine your ability to select the right speed depending on the situation. Keep in mind the three second gap and also consider variables such as available vision, space around your car, other cars’ speeds, and road surface.

As part of the Hazard perception section, you will have to demonstrate your ability to respond quickly to potential dangers on the road. The testing officer will mark you on 5-10 hazard situations.

As for the Decision making section, this can be the most challenging part, because you’ll need to pay attention to what’s happening around the vehicle at all times. For instance, you’ll have to proceed correctly at intersections and choose safe gaps.  It’s a matter of judgement and experience in which to enter a road or change the lane.

Besides these 5 sections, your performance on two (2) of the following manoeuvres will also be assessed:

  • Kerb side stop
  • A hill start
  • Three point turn
  • Reverse parallel park – 90° or 45° front or rear to kerb depending on your location.

Driving Test Route

As for the other common question, you should know that the driving test takes place on a designed test route; every test location has multiple routes to select from during the exam.

Be prepared for the following situations:

  • Changing lanes on multi lane roads
  • Stop and give way signs
  • Single and multi lane roundabouts
  • Right hand turn across busy traffic
  • Narrow roads
  • Up-hill start
  • Right hand turns at lights with no green arrow
  • Different speed zones
  • Changing between busy lanes
  • Turning on road with limited vision
  • Taking multiple decisions