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Show Me Tell Me Q & A – what is this all about?

At the start of your practical driving test you will be asked 2 from 19 questions relating to basic maintenance and auxiliary controls. The questions include either the phrase ‘show me’ or the phrase ‘tell me’. With ‘show me’ you will be expected to carry out the procedure.

For example, you may be asked to ‘Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working’. In this case you actually check that they work.

Or you may be asked ‘Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey’. In this case you would describe verbally how to do this.

At Kwik-Pass you will be given a complete list of the questions and answers for you to learn and, of course, your instructor will help.

How many driving lessons will I need?

You will hear from lots of people giving you advice about how many lessons it takes to learn to drive, but in truth – everybody is wrong! Everyone will offer in good faith all kinds of advice and guidance, which may be based on their own experience of learning to drive…

‘You will only need a few lessons to learn the test route’ or ‘I passed with only 15 lessons – nobody needs more than that’

When you keep hearing things like this you may start to feel a bit inadequate when you are on your 51st lesson! Or even that your instructor is giving unnecessary tuition.

Perhaps the first thing you need to take into consideration is that driving is more complex than it used to be and so people take more lessons now than they did even ten years ago – no one (or at least just one in a million) passes the modern UK driving test with as little as fifteen hours driving.

This might have previously been possible in 1974, but not today. When somebody who has passed recently lets you know that they just had a handful of lessons they are possibly being deceitful, or perhaps failing to mention the 30 or 40 hours practice they did along with Mum or even Dad.

The reality is that people learn in different conditions and at different rates; you are an individual and definitely will learn at your own pace. There is no reliable system with regards to working out how long it will take to learn to drive; the number of lessons required varies from one person to another.

Typically, the more mature you are the more time it takes to learn. Nevertheless, there usually are a good deal of examples to show this guideline incorrect. Regardless of what age you are, you should expect to take a minimum of 25 hour’s instruction with a Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Approved (or Licensed) driving Instructor. If you are not able to practice in between lessons that number could possibly be at least double.

Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency research has shown that on average people take close to 45 hours with an instructor plus an extra 22 hour’s practice in between lessons to reach driving test standard.

Frequently older people are astonished how long it takes to learn nowadays, but they overlook – the test is much more challenging than it used to be and the roads are actually a great deal busier. Lots of ‘experienced’ motorists would certainly fail the modern driving test. There’s an old saying: ‘Safe driving is no accident.’ Bear in mind, it’s not learning quickly that makes a good driver, it’s learning properly and remaining safe.

Tell Me Questions:

1. Tell me how you would check the brakes are working before starting a journey
Brakes should be tested as you set off by applying gentle pressure at slow speed. Brakes should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.

2. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked
In the manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road
Tyres should be checked to ensure there are no cuts or bulges. There should be 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference. This can be checked with a tyre depth guage or the depth markers in the tyres themselves.

4. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
Adjust the rigid part of the restraint so that it is close to the back of your head and level with your eyes or top of your ears

5. Tell me how you would check that the headlights & tail lights are working? (no need to exit the vehicle)
Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), get somebody to walk round vehicle.

6. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system
The ABS warning light would become illuminated on the instrument panel if there is a fault.

7. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil
Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.

8. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid
Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

9. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

10. Open the bonnet, identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level
Identify reservoir and explain how the washer fluid should be filled to a level between the min and max markers on the side of the reservoir.

Show Me Questions:

11. Show me / explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey
If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

12. Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, make sure you keep control of the vehicle
Apply footbrake firmly, Demonstrate by applying parking brake so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

13. Show me how you would check that the horn is working (off road only)
Check is carried out by pressing gently on the control (turn on ignition if necessary)

14. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working
Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and then check functioning of all indicators.

15. Show me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car (I can assist you, if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine)
Switch ignition on, operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors etc, ask someone to help.

16. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers
Operate windscreen washer control button and then activate the windscreen wipers (turn on ignition if necessary).

17. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens
Set all relevant controls including air vents at both sides to point towards the side windows, use the control switch to direct hot air onto the windscreen then operate the fan, press the heated rear screen switch to clear the rear window.

18. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it /them (no need to exit the vehicle)
Operate the rear fog switch after switching on dipped headlights check switch is illuminated and explain that they should only be used when visibility is reduced to 100 metres or less

19. Show me how you would switch on your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car
Move the stalk attached to the steering column forwards/backwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panelhe steering column forwards/backwards which will illuminate a blue warning light on the instrument panel.

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