Learn to ride with Visordown: Test routes

Why it's a good idea not to know the test routes too well

What do you mean 'turn right'? - Never assume you know the route

ONE OF the most common questions asked of any motorcycle instructor is if they can show their students the test routes, which sounds a reasonable enough request, but is it actually a good idea?

Examiners have designated test routes, which encompass all the elements needed to test a candidate's ability, like a dual carriageway, a town centre, a roundabout or two and a reasonable amount of left and right turns. But they can alter the routes at their discretion for various reasons, like road works or maybe an accident.

So imagine a candidate that knows all the routes in their sleep being asked by the examiner to turn right at the end of the road, when they expected to be turning left. This often completely throws a candidate's concentration, because they suddenly feel like they're not in control of the situation any more. So to avoid the problem altogether:

1. Ask your instructor to show you any areas that may catch you out on test, rather than badgering them about test routes. They'll probably take you to a specific junction, a change of speed limit or multilane roundabout, but avoid covering the whole route, as you may not go that way on your test.

2. Practice your manoeuvres away from the test areas. The examiners and local residents hate training schools bombarding their test routes.

3. Learn to ride to test standard in a totally different area - even a different town altogther, as it'll make you a stronger, more confident rider.

4. Finally, remember a full licence validates you to ride anywhere in the world, so try to think big and avoid clinging to the test route mentality.

ONE OF the most common questions asked of any motorcycle instructor is if they can show their students the test routes, which sounds a reasonable enough request, but is it actually a good idea?

Article originally published in September 2007, updated July 2013

Examiners have designated test routes, which encompass all the elements needed to test a candidate's ability, like a dual carriageway, a town centre, a roundabout or two and a reasonable amount of left and right turns. But they can alter the routes at their discretion for various reasons, like road works or maybe an accident.

So imagine a candidate that knows all the routes in their sleep being asked by the examiner to turn right at the end of the road, when they expected to be turning left. This often completely throws a candidate's concentration, because they suddenly feel like they're not in control of the situation any more. So to avoid the problem altogether:

1. Ask your instructor to show you any areas that may catch you out on test, rather than badgering them about test routes. They'll probably take you to a specific junction, a change of speed limit or multilane roundabout, but avoid covering the whole route, as you may not go that way on your test.

2. Practice your manoeuvres away from the test areas. The examiners and local residents hate training schools bombarding their test routes.

3. Learn to ride to test standard in a totally different area - even a different town altogther, as it'll make you a stronger, more confident rider.

4. Finally, remember a full licence validates you to ride anywhere in the world, so try to think big and avoid clinging to the test route mentality.

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