Possibly the most stressful test you’ll take outside of a school hall, the driving test is enough to make the most confident person a bag of nerves. But with the right attitude, preparation and driving instructor, nothing should catch you by surprise, least of all the 'show me tell me' questions. Failing to answer one or both of these in your driving test will lead to a fault. Read our helpful tips and watch our video to make sure you know what to expect, and how to answer them.
The show me, tell me questions are there to test your knowledge of the essentials; they were put in place to check you can do the basic safety checks and manoeuvres required to be a safe driver. Each scenario is meant to mirror real life. The questions were only recently changed in December 2017, so new drivers should take extra care to pay attention to this part of the test.
You'll only be asked 2 questions, so it’s up to you to properly prepare and learn each answer thoroughly.
Tell me questions
These are usually asked at the beginning of your test, before you've started driving. They test your basic understanding of safety measures and manoeuvres, and will ask you to explain how you’d carry out a task. Though most can be answered from your seat, you might have to get up and pop the bonnet for some questions, so it’s wise to get familiar with what’s going on under the hood. No one's expecting you to have mechanic-level expertise, but a general understanding of the inner workings helps create a safer driver.
Q: Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
A: Your answers should include brakes not feeling spongy or slack, brakes needing to be tested as you set off, and checking the car doesn’t pull to one side when braking.
Q: Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressure should be checked.
A: Answers such as looking in the manufacturer’s guide, using a reliable pressure gauge, checking and adjusting pressures when tyres are cold, not forgetting a spare tyre and remembering to refit valve caps would be correct.
Show me questions
The ‘show me’ questions are asked while you’re driving and will prompt you to show how you’d carry out a task. It’s important you practice different manoeuvres and controls before the test so you feel comfortable carrying them out in a natural manner. The point of these questions is to prove that you’re capable of not being distracted while driving; you’ll need to show you can do the required task while staying in complete control of the car.
Q: Show me how you'd check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear, making sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.
A: Apply the footbrake firmly. Apply the parking brake (handbrake); you should only have to lift the brake a couple if inches before it locks. If you have to lift it to 45 degrees to make it work, the brake cable might need replacing or adjusting.
Check out the full list of show me tell me questions and answers. Or watch the DVSA's video guide below.
Being nervous on the day of your driving test is understandable, but with the right steps you can control these nerves. With a good driving instructor to show you the ropes and a head start on what show and tell me questions you could be asked, you’ll be road ready before you know it.