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How Many Mistakes Can I Do in a NSW Driving Test?

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

NSW Driving Test Mistakes

Passing the driving test requires a lot of driving practice. In this way, we can avoid mistakes in NSW driving test. Our learners needs to do a lot of practice driving. If you are under 25 you need to do at least 120 hours of driving. When practice making sure you understand road signs, signals completely. Please, read this Service NSW Driving Test handbook before your driving test. To understand the road rules completely including giveaway rules is very important.

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Avoid mistakes in driving test

Speed is the common problem students fail the driving test. Making sure not to go over the speed limit making sure you have a good vision at least 5 seconds. Scan the road to see the speed warning signs before you turning into a new to you are going to. If you go 1 km over the limit it is considered as immediate fail. Don’t drive too slow, as it will impact the traffic flows. Say, if it is 50 km speed limit, driving say, less than 30 km is not okay (on a good traffic/ weather condition one should not let other cars slow down. It is ideal to go say 3-5 KM less than the posted speed limits to keep a speed limit buffer.

Signal is another issue can not be taken lightly. Making sure give proper direction signals. There is no specific timeframe when and how long to give signals. The main purpose of signaling is to let everyone and road users aware the direction you are taking. Better to give signals earlier than late (About 3 seconds before)

Blind spot checks one of the most common problems students tend to miss. You only can miss 2 blind spot checks and 2 signal errors. If you miss three observation checks and three signal errors including head checks it is a fail. Making sure to turn your head over your shoulder completely when turning left, right, change lanes, moving off, parking and taking exit on any directions on multi lane roundabouts. please, remember to look back window (not rear mirror) and turn your head back to check as is considered blind spot when cars are being reversed and going back. We Practice in driving Test routes to practice on Speed limits, Signal, Blind Spots and other criteria's for the driving test.

You need 90% out of 100. There are immediate fail items for example, touching phone while driving, not following road rules, speed over 1 km, illegal turns and others.

If you’re a learner driver who has recently failed their driving test, you may be asking yourself, ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test?’.

While there may be a range of reasons to cause this, from speeding to signaling errors, rest assured that there is something you can do to avoid it in the future – and that’s practicing under the guidance of a driving instructor.

In this article, we’ll explore the common reasons learners fail, what happens if you do fail, and how you can nail it next time.

A Comprehensive Guide to the Driving Test made by Best Quality Driving School

The driving test assesses your ability to safely operate a vehicle within the road rules and regulations.

Your driving test will be like many of your previous driving lessons, especially those taken with an instructor. The only difference is that you’ll demonstrate what you know rather than learning something new. You will pass the test easily if you have completed all your logbook hours and thoroughly practised all the necessary parking and driving skills.

However, if you find nerves do overcome you on the day, and you don’t pass the test, don’t be disheartened. On average, a little more than one in every three driving tests will result in a fail.

In some of our previous articles, we’ve looked at what the driving test involves, ways you can prepare for your driving test, and common reasons people may fail the driving test. Here, we’ll be focusing on how many mistakes are allowed in the NSW driving test.

We’ll also explain what actions lead to an automatic failure.

How Many Mistakes are Allowed in the NSW Driving Test?

So, how many failed items are allowed in the driving test in NSW?

You must score at least 90% to pass the driving test and have no fail items.

However, this doesn’t mean no mistakes are allowed.

As long as your mistake isn’t classified as an illegal or dangerous mistake, and you make just one to two mistakes, you can still pass the test. However, if you make three or more of these mistakes, you will fail the test.

An illegal or dangerous mistake will result in an immediate failure. This means you can score 99% on the test and still fail if your one mistake falls under the illegal or dangerous category.

Repeatedly failing to indicate correctly or failing to make the required observation checks are considered driving errors. You can make two of these mistakes and still pass the test, but if you make three or more of these errors, you will fail the test.

You may also fail due to a low score. As mentioned, you need 90% to pass, and a below 90% score suggests you have made multiple minor mistakes. For example, you might steer incorrectly and lose a point for this. You won’t fail automatically, as it is not illegal to have poor steering technique, but you will lose a point. So, if you keep repeating such mistakes and therefore keep losing multiple points, you will fail the test.

What Automatically Fails You in Your Driving Test?

Below, we take a look at what automatically fails you in a driving test in NSW.

Your Vehicle is Unsuitable for Use

First let’s start with the fastest way to fail your driving test — the vehicle itself. Before you begin your driving test, it is a legal requirement for your testing officer to inspect your car for general roadworthiness and to ensure it is legal to drive on the road.

If your car is determined to be in poor condition or if it is not registered, then your driving test will result in a failure with immediate termination.

Failure to Obey Speed Limits

By the time you attempt your driving test, you are expected to have the confidence and experience to drive at the posted speed limit. During the driving test, your testing officer will be looking at how well you control your car and your behaviour, including your ability to maintain appropriate speed in traffic.

Exceeding the speed limit while driving may result in an instant failure depending on the incidents severity, duration, and context.

On the other hand, it is also possible to fail your driving test if you drive well below the speed limit.

While any significant breach of speed limits will result in a fail, you may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Refusing to Cooperate with the Testing Officer

You are required to undertake the entire test and demonstrate a sufficiently high level of skill and confidence in all driving areas to pass.

Refusing to carry out any part of the driving test will result in a failure and immediate termination of the driving test.

Performing Illegal Actions

Illegal activities such as driving without a seatbelt or answering or using a mobile device while driving will result in a failure being recorded. You may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Trying to bribe or emotionally plead with your instructor for a pass will result in an immediate failure and termination of your driving test.

Failing to Indicate

It is expected by the time you attempt your driving test that you know the appropriate situations and duration to use the indicators on your car.

Failing to indicate your intentions before making any driving manoeuvre is hazardous and unpredictable and creates a significant risk of an accident. Failing to indicate will result in a failure. However, you may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Disobeying Road Markings

The lines on a road, including markings at intersections, crossings, or the dashed and continuous lines separating lanes on a road are all used to indicate specific driving behaviours that are legally allowed or not allowed.

It is expected that by the time you are attempting your driving test you will know what all markings on a road indicate, and failure to obey road markings will result in a fail.

You may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Not Giving Way

Vehicles are expected to give way to the right at all times or when instructed to give way by signage (including roadwork) or police.

Failure to give way creates an unpredictable hazard for traffic and puts you and others at serious risk of an accident. Failure to give way will result in failure. You may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Collision with Vehicles, Pedestrians, or Objects

If the vehicle you are driving is involved in an accident at any point during the driving test, then you will immediately terminate the test with a recorded fail regardless of who is at fault or the severity of the accident.

Aggressive Behaviour

Your driving behaviour and your behaviour towards other traffic and people will be assessed.

If you are caught behaving in a manner that is considered aggressive or dangerous either towards your testing officer or towards other traffic (including cutting vehicles off or tailgating) you will fail the driving test, and the remainder of your test may be cancelled immediately on the spot.

Causing Someone Else to Crash

If you cause another vehicle to crash as a direct result of your driving behaviour (whether or not your vehicle also crashes), your driving test will be recorded as failed with immediate termination of your driving test.

Being Unprepared for Your Test

It is possible to fail your driving test if you are not deemed to be appropriately prepared for the test. This may include wearing certain clothing (such as restrictive clothing or headgear that obstructs vision) or footwear that is considered inappropriate for driving or if you are significantly unwell or under the influence (of drugs or alcohol) unfit to drive.

Your testing officer may refuse to go ahead with your driving test until you are able to rectify these issues (such as changing your clothes) or may terminate the test if you are unable to rectify the situation immediately.

Judging Traffic or Conditions Incorrectly

Making dangerous decisions, such as pulling out into traffic, merging, or giving way unnecessarily, may result in failure if your actions pose a significant hazard.

If you fail for any of these reasons, you may still be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience, depending on the severity of the danger caused by your actions.

Failing to Identify Serious Hazards

It is expected that you are able to accurately identify and respond to all hazards when driving. Failure to identify a hazard that causes your testing officer to intervene will result in a failure. If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

Using the Wrong Lanes and Roads

Driving on the wrong side of the road, driving the wrong way down a one-way street unnecessarily, or using the incorrect lane when turning will result in a failure. You may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience depending on the type and severity of the critical error you have committed.

Failing to Obey Traffic Lights

Failure to interpret and adhere to traffic signals of any form (including at intersections and rail crossings) during your driving will result in a failure being recorded. If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

Failing to Obey Road Signs

Failure to obey road signs during your driving test will result in a failure being recorded. If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

The only time you are allowed to disobey a sign is if you are required to do so to make way for an emergency vehicle, and it is safe to do so.

Failing to Obey Traffic Controllers

If a traffic controller (such as police or emergency services) is present, you are to follow their directions. Failure to do so at any time during your driving test will result in a recorded fail.

If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

Not Checking Blind spots

By the time you are attempting your driving test, it is expected that you will be able to maintain full situational awareness of your surroundings and traffic conditions while driving, including your blind spots. Neglecting to check your blind spots during the driving test will result in a fail being recorded. If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

Not Meeting Required Parking Standards

During your driving test, you will be expected to perform several slow-speed manoeuvres, including reverse parallel parking, U-turns, and other manoeuvres that require you to bring your vehicle close to the kerb. Failure to park correctly, including mounting the kerb, parking too far from the kerb, or parking outside of the marked parking space during the test will result in a fail being recorded. At your assessors discretion, you may be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

Obstructing Traffic

Stopping your car abruptly or in a dangerous position (such as the middle of the road or intersection) or otherwise obstructing traffic or pedestrians will result in a failure being recorded. If your instructor deems it appropriate, you might be able to carry out the rest of the test for the experience.

Stalling Your Car in a Manual (and Not Being Able to Restart Immediately)

It is often still possible to pass your driving test if you stall your car only once during the test. However, stalling your car will usually be recorded as a critical error.

There are occasions, however, where stalling your car may result in an immediate failure of the driving test if your car becomes stationary and poses a significant hazard to other traffic or puts you and your testing officer in immediate danger. If this happens, you may still be able to carry out the remainder of the test for the experience.

If You Hit the Kerb, Do You Fail?

During your test, you may be asked to complete a parallel park.

Mounting the kerb at any time during the test will result in failure. If you gently nudge the kerb, you may also have points removed.

Driving Test Scoring Sheet

Let’s take a look at how to read the NSW driving test score sheet.

Understanding how to read the score sheet can help you pass the test, as you’ll know what the examiner is looking for and how they’ll be recording what you do.

The test score sheet is broken down into three sections.

The section on the right-hand side of the sheet is the Assessments area. This is where your assessor will record what you do or fail to do during your test.

On the left-hand side is a panel called Fail and Immediate Fail Items. This is where your assessor records the summary details of failed items from the Assessment Panel.

There is also a section for administrative details, including the date, start time, car registration, test track, and your signature.

This score sheet is designed to record a lot of information with minimal writing so that your assessor can record your results in real-time while observing your driving.

Each driving test consists of 25 zones; therefore, the assessment table comprises 25 rows. Each row represents a zone of the driving test. The zones vary in length. You will be assessed on five elements of low-risk driving in each zone.

There are also six columns labelled with letters. These letters represent the type of low-risk driving you’re being assessed on. They are

Road position

Decision making


Response to hazards

Control Issues

Speed Management

If you make a mistake, your examiner will put a circle around the corresponding letter in the relevant zone of the test.

Let’s take hazards, for example. When you encounter a hazard in a particular zone, you will need to respond correctly to that hazard.

If you respond appropriately (there are different ways to respond correctly), you will receive a tick. If you respond incorrectly (taking an action that increases the likelihood of an accident), your examiner will circle the letter ‘R’.

Driving Test Tips: How to Pass Your Ps Test

Booking the test – Choose a time that is convenient for you and the person taking you to your test.

Consider traffic and weather – Think about the traffic conditions in your area at certain times. For example, if you live near a school, avoid peak drop-off and pick-up times when the traffic is heavier. Weather is impossible to predict, but prepare yourself for any conditions by going on practice drives in all kinds of weather.

Don’t book your HPT on the same day – This might seem convenient, but booking your HPT and driving test on the same day is not recommended. If you don’t pass your HPT, you won’t be able to book your driving test, but you will have paid for it.

Go for a final lesson – Book your final driving lesson with your instructor the day before or the day of your test. They will be able to take you through a test run and give you feedback.

Rest up – Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before your test. Drink lots of water, eat well, and do not drink alcohol or take illicit substances before your test.

Arrive early – Make sure you get there early so that you can position your car properly and take your time to settle before the test.

Stay calm – Easier said than done, we know, but it’s very important to remain calm during your test. Focus on the driving tasks you’re completing, and take a few deep breaths when you feel nervous. If you think you’ve made a mistake, let it go and move on to the next task. Remember, you’re well prepared for this!

Ask for clarification – If you don’t understand what your assessor is asking you to do, politely ask them to repeat their instruction. It’s better to ask for clarification than to assume what they asked and go ahead with the wrong instruction.

Driving Test Checklist

You are ready to take the driving test if You have a minimum of 120 supervised driving hours of experience in different traffic, road and driving conditions. You have a minimum of 20 hours of night driving experience.

You can perform driving tasks safely on all kinds of roads.

You can perform driving tasks safely without help from your supervisor.

You demonstrate the necessary safe driving skills, including

Observation: You are aware of other road users and road conditions. You complete head checks and mirror checks.

Signal use: You use indicators correctly.

Gap choice: When moving into or merging into traffic, you choose a safe gap.

Speed control: You drive under the speed limit but not too slowly.

Following distance: You leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.

Lateral position: You select the safest driving lane and stay within the lane bounds.

Stopping: You stop fully in the correct position when at the necessary signs and crossings.

Control: You are always in control of the car and drive smoothly.

You can demonstrate these actions safely in various conditions

Right and left turns at intersections

Right and left lane changes


Reverse parallel parking

Three-point turn

Driving along straight or curved roads

You can drive in different conditions without making any serious mistakes,

including Colliding with or mounting the kerb

Going over the speed limit

nsw roundabout rules

Almost crashing with another road user

Causing other road users to avoid a collision due to failure to indicate or give way

Stopping the car unsafely

Driving too slowly

Failing to check your mirrors or indicate

Blocking a pedestrian crossing

Failing to stop at a stop sign

Driving through a stop sign or red light

I Failed My Driving Test…Now What?

If you failed your driving test, try not to be too hard on yourself.

Firstly, ask your assessor or examiner for feedback. You can take this feedback back to your driving instructor and brush up on those skills.

You can rebook your test immediately, but you’ll need to wait a week before sitting the test again.

Remember, you’re not the first person (nor the last) to fail your driving test. Aim to learn from your mistakes and get some more practice in so that you’ll be ready to go next time.

If you’ve failed your driving test, you can book practice lessons with us. We’ll help to get you on the road!

Read our Blogs in an to your Driving Test NSW here.

Let’s start with the basics. Answer a few common questions here:

How long does a driving test go for?

A driving test will go for around 30-35 minutes.

How many people fail their driving test?

If you’ve been wondering, “Why can’t I pass my driving test?”, hopefully it brings you some reassurance to know that you aren’t alone.

Many learner drivers across states experience failed driving tests and are required to repeat the driving test multiple times until they pass.

The driving test pass rate in Victoria is around 65%, meaning just over half of learner drivers pass their driving test, while around 35% of learners fail.

And the same is true for NSW. A government survey found over 200,000 driving tests were attempted in NSW alone, with a driving test pass rate of 61.4%.

You’ll be surprised, too, by how many learners fail a second or even third time!

We don’t want learners feeling anxious behind the wheel or having to repeat the test over and over again.

We work with learners who tell us they can’t pass their driving test and learners who want to pass their driving test on the first go.

Through our guidance and education, our learners pass at a rate of more than 98%, saving them time, money and the mental strain of needing to repeat the driving test.

What happens if you fail your driving test?

Having to say ‘I failed my driving test’ can be hard to swallow, especially if you’ve spent time and money on driving lessons and getting your practice up.

After you’ve failed your driving test, you’ll need to re-sit your test again before your Hazardous Perception Test lapses, which will usually be one year from the date you sat it.

Failing your driving test may impact your employment, if your job requires driving, or other opportunities and commitments, which is why it’s important to find the right support for next time.

Despite how it may feel, failing your driving test isn’t the end of the world. But it should be an indication that you need additional training on the road.

Rather than asking yourself ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test’ over again, it’s best to use this time to brush up on your theoretical and practical knowledge.

If it’s anxiety or the fear of failure holding you back, it’s important to note that these emotions can impact your driving test performance.

Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to regain your confidence behind the wheel, to give yourself the best chance of passing next time.

Read through your learner manuals again, and be sure to book in more driving lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Never taken a driving lesson before? Here’s what you can expect for your first time.

Why can’t I pass my driving test?

If you’ve recently failed your driving test, your testing officer should have provided you with clarity around what caused the fail, and what areas you need to improve on before resitting your next test.

We’ve unpacked some additional examples of failing to demonstrate the right skills below:


Driving too fast or too slow is sure to wind up in an immediate fail. Make sure you’re paying attention to any speed signs. If you struggle remembering how fast to go on side streets where there aren’t speed signs, this is an indication you should revisit your learner manual and book a few more lessons with a professional driving instructor.

Failing to stop completely at Stop signs

A Give Way sign and a Stop sign have two different functions. If you failed to stop for an appropriate amount of time at a Stop sign, this will definitely have prevented you from passing your driving test.

Poor observation checks

Mirrors are there to be checked. At any given time, you should be aware of your surroundings: what’s happening behind you? What’s happening in front?

Your testing officer will assess how observant you are of the road, and how well you can safely adapt to the needs of your driving environment.

Not checking your mirrors frequently will result in you not passing your driving test. You can miss up to 2 head checks or blind spots checks.

Poor judgement and decision making

Whether you’ve accidentally cut someone off at an intersection, or sped up for an orange light when you should have slowed to a stop, making the wrong judgement call can land you with a fail.

How can I pass my driving test?

Learning to drive is just like learning any other skill. You must first be taught the correct techniques and behaviours. Once you have a strong foundation, it’s time to practice until it feels like second nature.

Our instructors Best Quality Driving School almost always recommend an average of seven driving lessons per learner before attempting your test.

The more you practice, the more competent and confident you will become on the road, and the less likely you’ll fail your driving test. Learners often make the mistake of letting their friends and family teach them. While they may be confident drivers, that doesn’t mean they’re equipped to help you pass your test, especially if it’s been a long time since they sat the test themselves.

To increase your chances of passing the driving test, we strongly advise a series of professional driving lessons early on, rather than relying on the people around you.

Remember, 98% of learners who have completed a driving test with the support of an driving instructor have passed on their first go, and have never had to ask themselves, ‘Why can’t I pass my driving test!’

To prevent you from dwelling on why you can’t pass your driving test, or spending unnecessary time and money on a test you’re not confident in passing, we highly recommend booking driving lessons to give yourself the best chance at passing. Easy pass driving school. Mistakes in NSW driving test can entirely be avoided with Best Quality Driving School. Book your driving lessons or driver test packages now! Hang on, please check our review first in Google Business Profile. Read this post here regarding 5 star Reviews.

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