Take a look at the how the test is marked page, for more details of the SE’s use of the driving test report form and how it is marked.
The outcome of your part 2 test of driving ability relies on the number of driver errors you accumulate during your test. The SE will mark the part 2 driving test form each and every time they see you commit a driving fault that they feel warrants an error mark against you.
You actually start off this test with a completely ‘clean sheet’, just like a learner does. In other words, you are assumed to be a perfect driver before you even set off. Another way of putting it is this way . . . it sounds strange, but you’ve actually passed the test before the wheels move. You don’t have to do anything to ‘gain’ points during the test. You just need to make sure that you don’t loose them.
Driver errors are classified into 3 distinct flavours. These 3 are driver errors (commonly referred to as ‘minors’), serious errors and dangerous errors.
They are marked on the SE’s test sheet with a single line in the relevant area.
To pass this test, you must not accumulate more than 6 driver errors. If you are marked for just 1 serious or dangerous error, you will not be successful.
So, what are the differences in these error classifications? Certainly, the difference between serious and dangerous errors seems to cause much confusion.
The term driver error refers to what is basically a minor error committed by the driver. This could be a missed mirror check, a minor observation fault or a Controls fault such as poor use of the hand brake.
The rule of thumb is that these errors are minor in nature and cause no actual or potential danger to any road user.
As above, you must not accumulate more than 6 driver errors during your test.
If you commit the same driver errors, you may find yourself accumulating more errors than you’d like. Worse, if you keep on making the same error throughout the drive, sometimes even only 2 or 3 times, you may just find the SE elevating the matter to a serious error, and you will fail the test.
Serious errors are driver errors that could potentially place any road user in danger. No actual danger need be caused to anyone. The fact that the error could have caused danger, should another road user be present, is sufficient to warrant a mark for a serious error.
As an example, you approach a junction on the right and the SE asks you to turn into it. With no good reason, you turn far too early and cut the corner significantly. No other cars or vehicles are present, and you have not caused any actual danger to anyone. The SE may mark this as a serious error, as your actions could have been dangerous if another road user had been present.
Any single serious error will ensure that you are unsuccessful
Errors that warrant a mark as dangerous are exactly the same as serious errors. The only difference is that with an error marked as dangerous, another road user was put in actual danger by your actions.
Take the example of the corner cut above. This time you do exactly the same thing, but as you turn another car is Emerging At T Junctions from the junction and has to take action to avoid a collision.
You have placed another road user into a position of danger.
Any single dangerous error will ensure that your test is unsuccessful
Remember, you start with a clean sheet. Your aim is to keep it as clean as possible. With the help and advice you’ll find throughout this area of the site, and with good instruction from your trainer, you should have no problem preparing for this test.
Consider the section of the Marking Sheet shown here. The SE has marked the sheet with a short line under Progress, ‘appropriate speed’
There is also a mark under Junctions, ‘observation’
The number (‘1’ in the diagram) is the total number of driver errors made in that category on test.
The large white boxes are for the SE to enter ‘driver errors’. The smaller yellow boxes are for the SE to record serious or dangerous errors. The boxes are smaller, because any one error in either of these boxes means that the candidate has not been successful.