Examiner Special Assessment Drive.
The competition drive, as it was known, is much harder than the Part 2 test, it is a drive over varying road conditions and speed limits, the drive will last about 1 hour, and you should aim for 4 driving faults or less, there should not be 2 of the same type of fault.
The format is similar to the Part 2, in that, you will perform all manoeuvres including the right reverse.
During the test you will be expected to perform arm signals as you are driving.
The examiner is looking for the near perfect drive, there is lots of competition, and there is no time on the examiners course for driver training, so make sure you are at the required standard first.
Remember examiner training is teaching you how to examine, not how to drive.
You will be assessed on your attire; do not turn up as if you have just left work.
Smart (not casual) is acceptable, anything less is frowned upon, for men; turn up in a shirt and tie (jackets not necessary) black trousers and clean shoes. Ladies similar attire. If in doubt contact your local Test Centre.
Treat it as an interview
You are conducting a driving test, but you are also being interviewed for a job by the examiner, during the drive you will be asked questions about your aspirations and views of the DSA, your attitude and response to the answers will be gauged and recorded. I have heard that even if you pass the drive, if your attitude towards the debrief is hostile you may not be selected for further training.
Be polite but not aloof, the examiner is looking to hold a conversation with you during the drive, if you cannot talk and drive at the same time, maybe you should get some practice.
The complete test is in its self a formal affair, the examiner will try and make you relaxed, he will address you by your first name and you can call him by his first name after you have been invited to do so, try not to call him mate.
If you are not successful, you will not be invited to take another competition drive for about 6 months, if you have set your heart on becoming a DSA examiner then do not waste this opportunity, get the correct training from someone who can help you, your trainer should be getting you up to Cardington Special Test standard, make sure you get a trainer who has passed with an ‘A grade’ (someone like me).
The test vehicle
You will be assessed in a DSA hire vehicle; it will be a mid-sized manual car, about 1600cc. No ‘L plates’ or vehicle signage to say you are on test.
If you arrive at the test centre early, you might be lucky and get to drive it around the block prior to the assessment, but more likely you will just start driving straight away.
Let there be no doubt in your mind that you will struggle to pass this test unless you get advanced training from an advanced trainer.
For more information on how to get the best out of your competition drive, have a look at my advice, by visiting ‘PDI Training, The Day of your Test,’ within this web site and making it as less stressful as you can.
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