What happens during the full test?

Wondering what's in the full 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 perception

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 awareness.

The definition of a hazard for the test is “anything that is moving, or which might move, and poses a clear and direct threat to you in carrying out the driving manoeuvre.” In other words, a hazard is something you could realistically collide with while you’re driving.

Hazards include: 

Hazard identification 

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, and how you are adjusting your driving approach to respond to those hazards.

In a few simple words you will need to say:

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

Even experienced drivers can find it difficult to describe all this out loud. To prepare for the test, it’s a good idea to get your driving coach to come out for a drive. Practise describing hazards and what you’re doing about them. If you find this hard, start with your coach driving while you describe hazards from the passenger seat. 

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

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 and Immediate Fail Errors in the restricted test.

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.

Get more info

If you would like more information on the full licence test, download the Full Licence Test Guide.

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