What happens during the full licence test

Wondering what’s in the full licence test? We have everything you need to know.

During the full licence test, the testing officer will be marking you on two types of driving tasks.

The first kind is assessable tasks. These are things like left and right turns, lane changes, and right turns at roundabouts. You’ll be assessed on these skills based on a list of predetermined task assessment items.

The task assessment items are mostly the same as in the restricted test: things like observation skills, signalling, gap selection, following distance and lane position.

In short, the assessable tasks are checking that you can do certain manoeuvres; the task assessment items are checking that you can demonstrate good driving skills while you are doing those manoeuvres.

As well as these tasks, the testing officers will be watching for any critical or immediate failure errors from the moment you leave the car park, to the moment you return.

Hazard identification and response

One of the big differences between the restricted and full licence tests is that during the full licence test, you’ll also be marked on hazard identification and response.

During each of the assessable driving tasks in the full licence test, your testing officer will ask you to talk through the hazards you see (hazard identification), and how you’re adjusting your driving to respond to them (hazard response).

In a few simple words you’ll need to say:

  • what each hazard is
  • where the hazard is in relation to you
  • what you’re doing about it.

The definition of a hazard for the test is anything that is moving, or which might move, that you could collide with or run over while driving.

Hazards include:

  • pedestrians
  • other motor vehicles
  • other road users, such as cyclists

Here’s an example of how to identify and respond to a hazard in the full test:

  • You spot some oncoming traffic. You say to the testing officer “oncoming traffic”.
  • You then explain your response to the hazard by saying “Keeping left to keep a safe distance”.

Even experienced drivers can find it difficult describing this out loud. So don’t worry if it takes some time to develop this skill.

If you need help, get an experienced driver or your driving coach to come out for a drive. You can start by describing hazards and what you’d do about them from the passenger seat. When you’re more confident, you can try it as you’re driving.

Remember, it’s just a few simple words – don’t overdo the detail and don’t worry about using complete sentences.

You can also brush up on your hazard identification and response skills by:

  • reviewing the Drive lesson Scanning for hazards
  • practising at different locations and at different times of the day so you can cover a wide variety of hazards.

Scanning for hazards lesson

Critical and Immediate Fail Errors

As in the restricted test, many people who fail the full licence test do so because they make Critical or Immediate Fail Errors.

The Critical and Immediate Fail Errors that the testing officer will be looking out for—both during assessable tasks and linking manouvers—are the same in the full test as they are in the restricted test – with one exception.

During your restricted test, if you didn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign, that’s a critical error, but on your full licence test not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign is an immediate fail error.

You’re allowed to make one critical error during your full licence test. If you make a second, you fail the test.

For more information, take a look at our guide to Critical Errors and Immediate Fail Errors in the restricted test.

Critical Errors
Immediate Fail Errors

If you can afford it, it’s really good to get a professional driving instructor to take you for a tidy-up lesson before your full licence test. They can help identify anything you need to work on before you sit the test.

What's next?

Common questions about the full licence test