It’s a known fact that some test centre routes are tougher than others which is reflected in the pass rates. So we’ve asked our instructors in Sheffield about specific areas where learners come a cropper during their tests, and we’ve provided them below to help you through!
One area to brush up on if you’ve picked Middlewood Test Centre is the tricky Wordsworth Avenue roundabout. Yes, it’s the largest roundabout in the test centre area and is frequently used on test routes. What consistently catches learners out here is observation, so go over your MSPSL routine (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look). If you fail at this, it can be a costly error!
Similarly, near Handsworth Test Centre there’s a series of ten large roundabouts leading up towards Waverly, Highfield Spring, Poplar Way, the A630 underpass (which has two roundabouts on it) and Europa Link. It’s safe to say that at least one of these busy roundabouts are likely to feature on your test, so it’s a good idea to get some practice driving around each of them beforehand.
Also near Handsworth Test Centre is the residential area of Ballfield. This has some quieter places where your examiner could ask you to do some parking manoeuvres. Handsworth Grange Road, Retford Road and Old Retford Road are all good places to get some practice in before you take your test and they could be included in the test routes too.
Our local instructor, Frank Brown, has some helpful hints for learners taking their driving test in Middlewood. “The area is quite hilly so definitely make sure you are very confident on hill starts. They can often fluster learner drivers, especially during rush hour, when the roads near the test centre are at their busiest. There are many steep and narrow roads with lots of cars double parked on either side, so remember to take your time when driving on them during your test and you should be ok.”
Jawbone Hill, near Middlewood can be a particularly tough road for learners to drive on and it sometimes crops up in test routes, so make sure you have a go at driving there before you take your test. Frank’s advice for learners is, “Take care going in and out of the car park near the top of Jawbone Hill main road. There is a tight entrance and exit and this hill has many blind spots.”
Make sure you are cautious when approaching the test centre at the end of your test, as believe it or not, this is where many learners make major faults. Frank warns, “When you return from your driving test, be cautious as you drive back into the test centre. It’s tempting to let your guard down in relief that it’s finally over, but that is where mistakes can happen.”