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Practical driving test

Practical driving test

Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:17 pm
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Default Practical driving test

I just want to throw some caution out there as the general vibe on BE is practical driving test is a cake-walk and BE veterans are rather blazé about it .

Well, we either got EXTREMELY unlucky, are utter morons, or Colorado is a stricter state, but my husband & I just both failed our practicals! He's been driving for 16 years in the UK, I drove in the US for 5 years and in the UK for 3, so we're not exactly novices (and we've also been here for 6 weeks, which is practice, too!).

Apparently neither of us stopped "adequately" at stop signs or intersections as the powers-that-be advise counting to 3 now to qualify as a 'full stop'!! We think our examiner was quite frankly an idiot, but just wanted to post so new immigrants take some time and consideration before taking their test.

Have now booked into a local driving school to re-test as the DMV was 6 weeks before the next appointment. I would advise doing the same if your state allows it. I look forward to passing tomorrow.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:22 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

I was taught/told to count to 3 when I took my test. I don't think it's a legal thing, but just shows that you are aware that you exaggerating the stop.

It's a well known myth.

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Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:32 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by aless02 View Post
I just want to throw some caution out there as the general vibe on BE is practical driving test is a cake-walk and BE veterans are rather blazé about it .

Well, we either got EXTREMELY unlucky, are utter morons, or Colorado is a stricter state, but my husband & I just both failed our practicals! He's been driving for 16 years in the UK, I drove in the US for 5 years and in the UK for 3, so we're not exactly novices (and we've also been here for 6 weeks, which is practice, too!).

Apparently neither of us stopped "adequately" at stop signs or intersections as the powers-that-be advise counting to 3 now to qualify as a 'full stop'!! We think our examiner was quite frankly an idiot, but just wanted to post so new immigrants take some time and consideration before taking their test.

Have now booked into a local driving school to re-test as the DMV was 6 weeks before the next appointment. I would advise doing the same if your state allows it. I look forward to passing tomorrow.
Sorry to hear about your problems.
IME in GA it was a cake walk, but that doesn't mean that you don't stop properly at STOP signs or red lights or that you do 50 mph in a 40 zone etc. In terms of the overall requirements, and compared to the British test, mine was not a test of driving competence which is why I see crazy driving all around me every day.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by aless02 View Post

Apparently neither of us stopped "adequately" at stop signs or intersections as the powers-that-be advise counting to 3 now to qualify as a 'full stop'!!

When I took my UK driving test way back when, I was instructed to exaggerate all actions such as looking in the rear view mirror, coming to a full stop at red lights/stop signs, and to brake in good time -- not rush up to a junction and slam them on.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:41 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
I was taught/told to count to 3 when I took my test. I don't think it's a legal thing, but just shows that you are aware that you exaggerating the stop.

It's a well known myth.

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I am very aware they closely monitor for *complete* stops on the test, so I definitely made sure I stopped fully every single time, and I still failed. The fact that my husband failed for the exact same thing makes me think the examiner (we had the same one) was being ridiculously strict. Anyway, nothing can be done now, just wanted to alert inbound BE members to be prepared in case they have an unlucky non-cakewalk experience!
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
Sorry to hear about your problems.
IME in GA it was a cake walk, but that doesn't mean that you don't stop properly at STOP signs or red lights or that you do 50 mph in a 40 zone etc. In terms of the overall requirements, and compared to the British test, mine was not a test of driving competence which is why I see crazy driving all around me every day.
I agree - stopping at STOP signs is the one exception I always mention explicitly as some thing you must do and will be failed for if you don't.

I wonder if it was the location of performing the stop? Technically it is supposed to be at the STOP line, but most of the STOP lines near me are set so far back that having stopped there you cannot see other traffic and determine whether it is safe to proceed. I have seen advice that during the test you should stop twice, once at the line, and then roll forward and stop again where you can see whether it is safe to pull into the junction.
Originally Posted by aless02 View Post
I am very aware they closely monitor for *complete* stops on the test, so I definitely made sure I stopped fully every single time, and I still failed. The fact that my husband failed for the exact same thing makes me think the examiner (we had the same one) was being ridiculously strict. .....
You may have just been unlucky and got an examiner who is an a-hole, some are like that, just as some are in the UK.

Last edited by Pulaski; Sep 20th 2017 at 8:22 pm.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

The Stop line is before the imaginary crosswalk that is at every intersection.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You may have just been unlucky and got an examiner who is an a-hole, some are like that, just as some are in the UK.
I am sure that my examiner in Virginia was one of the general DMV staff who just pulled on a yellow tabard, picked up a clipboard and became "examiner" for 15 minutes. Beforehand she had been processing my computer theory test and doing the eye test and taking my photo.

In other words, not a professional examiner that does the job exclusively and is able to assess whether the driver is a safe driver or not (as in the UK), but just someone who has been trained to assess to a tick-list only. Mine told me she couldn't find anything wrong with my drive around the block, and sounded quite annoyed about it. I did do the exaggerated STOP thing, as well as looking in mirrors etc.

Not that UK examiners are perfect - my brother failed 3 times before he passed, and he reckons he only passed on the fourth attempt because his instructor insisted on sitting in the back because he couldn't understand why my brother kept failing. E.g. on one he "failed to keep up with the flow of traffic" on a busy dual carriageway - but he was at the speed limit while everyone else was speeding. Had he kept up with the flow, he'd have been failed for speeding himself.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

I was told to stop so that you can see the white stop line. I don't remember if I did during the test, but it might explain why some idiots don't pull up to the traffic light enough to trip the sensors.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Stopping completely at stop signs and doing some practice computer tests are always my recommendations. Wait for the car to jolt slightly after stopping. Be blatantly obvious that you are checking around even if there are no cars for miles.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Stopping completely at stop signs and doing some practice computer tests are always my recommendations. Wait for the car to jolt slightly after stopping. Be blatantly obvious that you are checking around even if there are no cars for miles.
I did this and got dinged for being too hesitant, however I did pass.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 9:19 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

I live in Colorado and took my test here earlier this year - I'd been driving in the UK for nearly 8 years.

To put it bluntly: Stevie Wonder on Acid could've passed the test I got given, it wasn't even a test. So I feel like you may be unlucky. I drove around the block for around 5-8 minutes and stopped at the test center. All right-hand turns etc and the instructor looked like Jim Morrison with a tye-dye shirt on!

Where in CO are you taking your test?

Last edited by BenK91; Sep 20th 2017 at 9:25 pm.
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Old Sep 20th 2017, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

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Old Sep 20th 2017, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Practical driving test

I'm just looking at my score sheet when I took my test in Washington in January in heavy snow. Maximum score is 100, 80 is the pass mark. For failing to stop properly at a stop sign you would lose 4 points fir the missed stop plus an extra 2 if it was considered a danger potential. Therefore you wouldn't fail with just one missed stop sign, or one incomplete stop. Does not stopping propoerly at a stop in Colorado deduct enough to fail the whole test? Seems odd. I was told by The Husband to spell out "stop" in my head when I stop at a stop sign and only after saying P should I go. The driving examiner was impressed when he saw me mouthing S-T-O-P.

I had to parallel park (in a space where the snow had not even been cleared), hill starts (on icy mountain roads), reverse around a corner, go around a few roundabouts (nothing new to a Brit but tourists from other states are terrified of them and that's the most difficult thing about them - wondering if the car with Oregon or Idaho plates in front knows what the heck he should be doing).
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Old Sep 21st 2017, 12:09 am
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Default Re: Practical driving test

We have roundabouts in Oregon, just not many.
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