How Many Mistakes Are Allowed In The NSW Driving Test?

Getting your driver’s license is an exciting rite of passage for any teenager. It represents the freedom to drive yourself anywhere without relying on others for rides. 

However, the driving test in NSW required to earn that licence can be stressful and nerve-wracking. It’s not uncommon for learners in the state to wonder just how many mistakes they are allowed to make before automatically failing the test. 

Can you recover from minor errors, or will one mistake mean you have to try again? Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help you prepare mentally and avoid issues that would lead to failure. 

How The NSW Driving Test Works

The driving test in New South Wales is conducted by a licensing officer who’s an expert in road safety and has the necessary skills to get behind the wheel. 

When you undertake the assessment, you’ll drive a vehicle provided by the officer, which is fitted with dual controls so they can take over if needed. 

The test involves driving in various traffic conditions, such as low-risk roads, high-risk roads, and areas with different speed limits – so driving lessons ahead of time can ensure you’re prepared for all of these instances.

You’ll also encounter intersections, roundabouts, lane changes, and parking manoeuvres that you’ll commonly face in the ‘real world’. The testing officer will provide instructions and directions during the drive. 

Throughout the test, the officer will assess your ability to properly control the vehicle while obeying road rules and driving safely. From there, they’ll give you a score on skills like signalling, mirror checks, speed control, lane positioning, and gap selection when turning or merging. 

The testing officer will make notes on minor infractions and any major, dangerous errors. While perfection is unexpected, you must demonstrate sound judgement and vehicle control to pass the test on your first attempt.

What If You Make a Mistake?

Unlike a written test, there is no set number of mistakes allowed on the NSW driving test before you automatically fail. The testing officer doesn’t just tally up errors and pass or fail you based on reaching a certain number. Instead, they will score you based on the severity and frequency of any mistakes made during the test. 

Minor mistakes such as forgetting to signal early enough, rolling slightly forward at a stop sign, or touching the curb while parking are noted but do not lead to instant failure. You can recover from these errors as long as they do not become repetitive throughout the test. 

However, major mistakes that show a lack of control or dangerous judgement, such as speeding, disobeying traffic signals, failing to give right-of-way, or near-collisions, typically mean an immediate fail. Even a single occurrence of a serious error demonstrates you do not have the skills to drive safely at this time.

Make Sure You’re Road-Ready

At the Driving Instructor, we help learner drivers just like you prepare effectively for the big test. With all of these obstacles and skills to perform on the day, we make sure you know how to complete and perform every one of them, allowing you to pass the test with flying colours. 

If you’re ready to kickstart your journey to freedom, get in touch and book your lessons with our instructors in NSW today.