How Many Mistakes Will Make You Fail Your QLD Driving Test

Written by Omid Karimi

Could one mistake make you fail your driving test? It really depends on what type of driving error you make. It's understandable that you're nervous about your driving test. Every student driver has that worry that they're going to fail - sadly, sometimes it happens! There are several factors that driving examiners have to consider on the test. This will help them determine whether you pass or fail the test.

The test will run for about 30 minutes. And within that time, your driving examiner will complete a Driving Assessment Report. The checklist will include:

  1. Ancillary controls
  2. Clutch operation and coasting (for manual cars)
  3. Stalling (manual cars)
  4. Accelerator
  5. Steering Control
  6. Steering operation
  7. Braking
  8. Road position
  9. Manoeuvre positions
  10. Left Turn position
  11. Right Turn position
  12. Observations/ Scanning
  13. Shoulder Checks (Head checks)
  14. Checking mirrors
  15. Indicating (Signalling)
  16. Traffic hazards
  17. Judgment
  18. Safety margins
  19. Progress
  20. Observing and obeying Signs/Signals/Markings
  21. Speed

These are the reasons why you would fail your driving test. These driving mistakes are divided into 3 categories:

  1. Non-Critical Driving Error (NCDE). This points out minor errors that do not endanger anyone's safety. This could be pressing a little bit hard on the brake pedal or not steering a steady course. But if you rack up 9 or more of these mistakes, your test result will be a fail. Up until 8 minor errors is a pass, but 9 or more is a fail.

2. Specific Repeated Driving Error (SRDE). For example, repeatedly failing to use your signal lights and forgetting shoulder checks. If you reach 6 of the same mistake, this will be considered 1 SRDE. You will still complete your driving test but you will fail your test.

  1. Critical Driving Error (CDE). Committing dangerous actions such as removing both hands from the wheel is an example of CDE. Doing so could risk your safety as well as others on the road. CDE could also be disobeying road rules and traffic signs. For example, failing to completely stop at stop signs and failing to give way. Ignoring the signs and rules could lead to accidents, so it is grounds for immediate failure of your test.

Another one that you might not know about is the General Critical Driving Error (GCDE). Like the CDE, this driving error is also grounds for termination and failure of the test. Although it's similar to CDE, it's not related to any performance checks. It is when the student driver performs a task that results in:

  1. Intervention by the driving examiner. The examiner has to step in either verbally or physically to prevent accidents. Or due to the student's inability to perform the manoeuvre.

  2. Collision. Collision is defined as your vehicle hitting another object. For example, a mailbox, kerb, or pedestrian resulting in damage or injury.

  3. Dangerous action. The student drives in a way that results in other road users’ forceful stopping. Or causing them to perform an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a collision.

  4. Disobeys an official direction. This could be directions from a school crossing supervisor or traffic controller. You should always obey them to keep everyone on the road safe.

Thinking of all the possible "what ifs" is not enough and could even make matters worse. Make sure you've made your preparations before you take your driving test. Also, learn how to perform different driving manoeuvres and keep practicing them. 

And definitely try to calm your nerves. One of the biggest factors students make mistakes is because they're too nervous. And they end up making simple directions complicated during their test.

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