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Understanding the UK Driving Test Marking Sheet: Navigating Your Road to Success

The UK driving test marking sheet is the key document used by driving examiners to assess your performance during the practical test. This sheet, known as the DL25, records faults in your driving that can be categorised into minor, serious, or dangerous faults.

Understanding how this sheet works can demystify the assessment process and help learner drivers focus on areas that need improvement. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you need to know.

The DL25 Marking Sheet

The DL25 document is divided into various sections, each designed to capture specific types of information about the test and the candidate’s performance:

  1. Personal Details and Test Information: At the top of the sheet, there will be fields for your name, the test centre, the date, and your driver number.

  2. Eyesight Test: Before you get into the car, you’ll have to read a number plate from a distance. A fail here will end the test immediately.

  3. Pre-Set Reversing Manoeuvres: This section is used to record the performance of manoeuvres like parallel parking, bay parking, and pulling up on the right and reversing.

  4. Controlled Stop: If asked to perform an emergency stop, the examiner will note how you handle the vehicle during this manoeuvre.

  5. Vehicle Checks: This includes the ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions about vehicle safety and maintenance.

  6. Driving Ability: The largest section, where the examiner records various aspects of your driving, including control, judgment, and position on the road.

Fault Categories

1. Driving Faults (Minor): These are relatively small errors that aren’t potentially dangerous but if you repeat the same error throughout the test it could become a serious fault.

  • Maximum Allowed: You can have up to 15 minor faults and still pass; the 16th minor fault will result in a fail.

2. Serious Faults: A serious fault is something that could potentially be dangerous or indicates a significant lack of judgement or understanding of the road rules.

  • Allowed: Zero. One serious fault results in a fail.

3. Dangerous Faults: This is when the examiner has to intervene in some way, either verbally or physically, or an actual dangerous situation arises because of your actions.

  • Allowed: Zero. One dangerous fault results in a fail.

Marking Sections

Each section on the DL25 corresponds to a particular aspect of driving. The common ones include:

  • Use of Mirrors: Faults recorded here would relate to not using mirrors before signalling or changing direction.
  • Signals: Not signalling, misleading signals, or signalling too late could lead to a mark in this section.
  • Clearance to Obstructions: Too close to parked cars or not handling narrow spaces well might earn a fault here.
  • Response to Signals: How you respond to traffic lights, road signs, and markings.
  • Use of Speed: Not adapting speed to road conditions or not respecting speed limits will be marked here.
  • Following Distance: Not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • Move Off Safely: Faults related to moving off from the side of the road, from behind a parked vehicle, or on a hill.
  • Junctions: Approach speed, observation, and accuracy when turning or dealing with roundabouts.
  • Positioning: This can include lane discipline on roundabouts and dual carriageways.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the test, the examiner will total the faults across all categories and give a verdict of pass or fail based on the criteria mentioned.

Post-Test Feedback

After the test, regardless of the outcome, the examiner will go through the marking sheet with you to discuss faults and provide valuable feedback.


Understanding the DL25 marking sheet can help you prepare more effectively for your driving test by allowing you to identify where you need to focus your practice. Remember, minor faults reflect that you are not consistently demonstrating safe driving practices, while serious and dangerous faults are immediate fails as they compromise road safety.

The key to a successful test is a combination of technical ability, awareness, and safe, confident driving practices. With this knowledge of the marking criteria, you can refine your driving skills, making sure you’re ready not just to pass the test, but to be a safe and responsible driver on UK roads.

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