Castletown School of Motoring News Pre-test: Practice makes perfect!

Pre-test: Practice makes perfect!

We all know that practice makes perfect, whether you are learning a musical instrument or taking part in regular training with your sports team. It is also very true for learner drivers after all. Driving is undoubtedly a skill that takes effort & determination to develop. So you must practice, over, over & over to success your driving time 1st time. This is especially important when preparing for the driving test, as the driving test can be nerve wrecking & challenging. So while sitting with Castletown School of Motoring for a pre-test we will help you to improve your driving skill to prepare for that challenge & make you a better & safer driver. During pre-test these are the areas that you will improve:

  • Techniques check: You should be able to carry out routine technical checks such as; oil and coolant levels, tyres, wipers, headlights, brake lights and reflectors etc.
  • Secondary Control: You must know and understand the functions of all controls in cock pit of your vehicle and be able to operate them effectively as required.
  • Position: While driving maintain correct position on the straight, on bends and within traffic lanes. Keep 1 metre from the kerb & keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Changing direction at a junction or roundabout make sure you are in the appropriate lane. Watch your position when turning left, turning right and on entering and exiting a roundabout: While stopping in traffic or at a kerb do not cause any obstruction to others roads users.
  • Observation: Having good observation is essential for safe driving. 1) Before moving off from the kerb follow routine GOSH (Gear, Observation, Signal & Hand break). You must also check blind spot before moving off. Never attempt any movement or manoeuvre until you can see that it is safe to do so. 2) Before overtaking, changing lane, entering a roundabout, altering course. You must follow routine: Mirror, Signal, Mirror/ Position, Speed, Gears/ Look Assess & Decide, to make sure that it is safe to do so. Before turning at junctions, always look right, left and right to make sure that it is safe to proceed.
  • Reaction to hazard: While driving you must identify hazards in good time to take any necessary action. You must read the road ahead to observe any situation that will involve adjusting your speed or altering your course. In some occasions you will have to deal with some different hazards within a short space of time. You will have to use initiative and common sense to deal with those circumstances.
  • Anticipation: As a good driver you should anticipate something that may will happen. Be aware of what others roads users may do, by making early use of the available information on the road. . Ask yourself: What am I likely to find? What are other road users/pedestrians likely to do? Should I adjust my speed or maybe even stop?
  • Courtesy: Show courtesy to other road users with regard for their safety and convenience.
  • Mirrors: Make sure that mirrors are properly adjusted. Mirrors should be used from time to time (10 to 15 seconds) to provide a picture of following traffic. You must check you mirror before applying brake unless it is an emergency stop. Make use of your mirrors before signalling.
  • Clearance when overtaking: You should allow sufficient clearance when overtaking any obstructions on the road (motorcyclists, cyclist, parking vehicle….) Allow sufficient space, but not excessive. Do not overtake where it is dangerous or prohibited to do so. Never cut in obstruction when pulling back on traffic.
  • Progress: As you are going for the full driving test you must be able to keep up with traffic, (moving off/on the straight/overtaking/ changing lane/at junctions/at roundabouts/ turning right/turning left/at traffic lights). Maintain good progress & do not cause obstruction to other roads users.
  • Vehicle Control: Make proper use of accelerator/clutch/gears/ footbrake/handbrake/parking brake and steering. Accelerator: The accelerator should be used smoothly. Clutch: Operate the clutch with reasonable smoothness. Do not ‘coast’ i.e. drive for a distance with the clutch disengaged. Do not roll back or stall engine. Gears: Select the correct gear at all times, e.g. moving off, overtaking, vehicle speed, and for turning left and right. Engage gears smoothly. Do not coast in neutral @ any time. Keep your gears high & rev low. Apply Break smoothly at all time (except in emergency break). Coordinate hand break & foot break at traffic light, parking….
  • Speed: Do not exceed the permitted speed limit. Adjust your speed to suit traffic, road & weather conditions: When approaching bends/junctions/ roundabouts/traffic controls/ turning right/turning left. Never drive at a speed that you cannot stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.
  • Traffic Control: You must have a good knowledge of the rule of the road to comply with traffic lights, pedestrian lights, pedestrian crossings, road signs, road markings, yellow box junctions and signals given by Gardai, school wardens or persons in charge of animals.
  • Right of Way: When driving on the public road it is crucial to know when you should give right of way to others road users. Yield right of way as required, (when moving off/ overtaking/ changing lane/ turning right/turning left/ at cross junctions/roundabouts/ when meeting other road users). You must not insist on other road user right of way, it is dangerous to yourself or others.
  • Reverse: Reverse on the corner manoeuvre can be challenging, it is important to demonstrate competence and take correct observations regardless of whether the reverse was carried out on the test route or in an RSA compound, (more information on our previous blog 29/11/2015). You will be required to reverse into a side road on the left. As you demonstrate manoeuvre, you must keep reasonably close to the kerb and to continue reversing while it is safe to do. Wait to be told by examiner to stop. As you are manoeuvring do not bump or mount the kerb. Take proper observations & maintain reasonable progress. Be prepared to stop if necessary.
  • Turn about: is another manoeuvre to test your ability to control the vehicle in a restricted space. You will be required to turn the vehicle within the width of the roadway to face in the opposite direction. That manoeuvre should be made on 3 times if necessary make it on 5. When manoeuvring do not bump or mount the kerb. Show good control of your vehicle (Clutch & Steering). Take the correct and proper observation.
  • Parking: You must be able to park the vehicle in good position & legally with care and consideration for other road users. Make sure that you are happy with your parking before leaving vehicle.

If you are going for your driving test, you will need to demonstrate to the Examiner that you are a safe & confident driver. The Driving test can be challenging. As an ADI we can help you to build up your confidence for the day & help you to pass your Driving Test 1st time. If you need to book a pre-test you can contact us on 086 044 0157 or email us on

Thanks for reading our blog.

Castletown School of Motoring

ADI number 35 371