Stage 3 Instructional Ability

Stage  3 Instructional Ability Test

To Pass The Test

The object of the test is to assess the value of the instruction you give and your ability to pass your knowledge on to pupils. The test is in 2 parts, each of which lasts about half an hour. You must pass both parts on the same test. You will be asked to show your knowledge and ability by giving practical driving instruction to the Examiner who will first take on the role of a pupil who is a beginner, or a learner driver with limited knowledge, and then a pupil who is at about test standard.

The Examiner

The Examiner will explain everything to you in full at the time. For each of the two roles the Examiner will choose one of the exercises given below as the basis of the instruction:

  • Safety precautions on entering the car and explanation of the controls.
  • Moving off and making normal stops.
  • Reversing and while doing so entering limited openings to the right or left.
  • Turning the vehicle round in the road to face the opposite direction, using forward and reverse gears.
  • Parking close to the kerb, using forward and reverse gears.
  • Explaining how to make an emergency stop and practical instruction in the use of mirrors.
  • Approaching and turning corners.
  • Judgment of speed, making progress and general road positioning.
  • Dealing with road junctions.
  • Dealing with crossroads.
  • Dealing with pedestrian crossings and giving correct signals in a clear and unmistakable manner.
  • Overtaking, meeting, crossing the path of and allowing adequate clearance for other road users.

Understanding What Is Required

It is essential that you understand what is required in this test. You should listen very carefully when the Examiner explains what is required for each part. If you don’t understand, say so and the Examiner will repeat his explanation. Remember during the exercises the Examiner is role-playing the part of a pupil. You need to forget that he is really an experienced driver.

Once the test starts the examiner will remain in character in order to maintain, as far as possible, an air of reality. This is to help you forget he is an examiner. However, there may be times that s/he has to come out of role to clarify instructions or for road safety reason.
The instruction you give should be tailored to the time available. (ie about 30 minutes for each part) and to the standard of the pupil being role-played by the Examiner. You will probably find it helpful to establish the depth of the pupil’s knowledge in each phase, by asking questions and observing the pupil’s performance as you would with a real pupil you had not taught before. You should remember that asking how many lessons a pupil has had previously does not establish their ability.

You are allowed to use lesson plans and training aids and you may refer to brief notes or subject headings. You should not read at length, word for word from notes or books. The ‘pupil’ must be given a chance to demonstrate what has been taught, and any faults must be corrected. You should note that because there is only a short time for each part, you should limit the amount of stationary instruction and pre-briefing. You should also be prepared for the ‘pupil’ to ask questions.


In assessing your performance, the Examiner will take into account:

  • The method, clarity, adequacy and correctness of instruction given.
  • The observation, analysis and correction of faults committed by the ‘pupil’.
  • Your general manner.
  • On the day of the test you will need to bring your appointment letter and driving licence and photo identification if your licence does not have a photograph.
  • Sometimes the examiner’s supervisor will come on the test as well as a matter of routine to ensure quality.

Causes of Failure

Among the many reasons for failure, the most common are:

  • Too long a briefing or one which is muddled or repetitive.
  • Expecting too high a standard from the ‘pupil’ in the beginner or part-trained stage.
  • Not instructing at a level appropriate to your pupils needs (over or under instructing).
  • Inability to recommence instruction at a different point or to go back and explain again.
  • Failure to detect faults.
  • Treating a ‘pupil’ as a novice in the trained stage.
  • Inability to adjust the content level of the lesson to match the ‘pupils’ knowledge.
  • Demoralizing the ‘pupil’, e.g., “The Examiner will fail you if you do that on a test”.

Result Notification

A letter will be sent within five days of the test to inform you of the result.

Vehicle Requirements

You must provide a car and proof that it is properly taxed, MOT’d, (if necessary) and insured including any liability of the Examiner as a driver or person in charge of the vehicle (see below).

  • It must be a saloon or estate car in proper condition.
  • It should have a manual transmission, right hand drive, a readily adjustable driving seat and a seat for a forward facing front passenger.
  • Cars must be fitted with an appropriate head restraint for the front driver’s seat, and seat belts for front and rear seats in working order.
  • You must also provide ‘L’ plates visible to the front and to the rear of the vehicle from a reasonable distance.

Insurance Requirements

Your insurance must cover, for the time the Examiner is driving, any liability which the Examiner may have for all third party and damage risks, and for liability to any passenger, including an official passenger. You will not be able to obtain the name of your Supervising Examiner because we cannot guarantee that a particular Examiner will conduct the test. You can however advise your insurers that all examiners are over 21 years and that they are trained to a very high standard.

Saying all that, it is better to hire an ISM car for your Stage 3. Insurance will be provided in the cost. Please contact Karl at 01 864 1790 for a competitive price.


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