The PDA determines if you can drive without assistance. This part helps you to decide if you are ready for the PDA.
Do a Practise PDA
Try some exercises similar to those in the PDA. You’re ready if you can do these without difficulty. The PDA checks your ability to:
- perform set exercises
- drive around streets following directions
Practise driving under the same kinds of situations as in the PDA.
Try practise exercises first, then ‘following directions’, then both together.
|Section 1: Follow Directions|
|Section 2: Exercise A||Try the exercises first then practise driving around ‘following directions’|
|Section 3: Follow Directions|
|Section 4: Exercise B|
|Section 5: Follow Directions|
Practise the Exercises
You will have to do 2 exercises in the PDA. Each exercise combines 2 low speed manoeuvres into an everyday situation. These exercises have names like ‘Stopping for Shopping’ and ‘I’ve Left Something Behind’.
So you’re not surprised in the PDA, try various combinations of manoeuvres. The manoeuvres included in the 2 exercises are derived from the set of 10 manoeuvres listed below. Use these manoeuvres to devise practise exercises.
|1. Drive forward into a driveway on the right, then reverse and change direction|
|2. Reverse into a driveway and then drive forward to go back along the street in the opposite direction|
|3. Drive forward into a driveway on the left then reverse out to change direction|
|4. Drive forward into a driveway on the left, reverse back to leave in the same direction as you started|
|5. Complete a U-turn|
|6. Complete a U-turn at a roundabout|
|7. Complete a reverse parallel park|
|8. Complete a forward angle park|
|9. Complete a reverse angle park|
|10. Complete a 3-point turn|
Combine the Manoeuvres
By practising different manoeuvre combinations, you will be comfortable with all possible combinations that could be asked in your PDA.
Try various combos in different locations. Go to car parks to practise both forward and reverse angle parking next to other vehicles. Get used to car parks in shopping centres.
Combine Manoeuvre 1 with Manoeuvre 6 and you have an ‘I left something behind’
Try Manoeuvre 3 followed by Manoeuvre 9 (a forward angle park) in a car park nearby.
Manoeuvre 5 followed by Manoeuvre 8 (a reverse parallel park) is what drivers often do when looking for a park.
Check the Results of Your Practise Exercises
Each PDA exercise combines 2 manoeuvres. During each manoeuvre practise, your supervisor should mark you on your flow, movement and path. If all aspects of both manoeuvres are completed well, your supervisor will give you 6 ‘✓’ marks.
During each exercise your supervisor should also mark for look behind and signal. You will get 2 additional ‘✓’ marks if you complete these elements well.
Your supervisor should use the table below to score you during practice. They should tick the box next to each PDA item if you perform the task correctly.
When you consistently score at least 5 ‘✓’ marks, you will be near PDA pass standard.
You can find a quick guide to scoring the PDA items below.
Use the exercise practise forms in the original ‘How to Pass your Driving Assessment’ to record performance. There are blanks so you can try your own combinations.
Check What You Think
After completing an exercise, consider how you felt about your performance. Did you:
- do it without asking any questions?
- do it without having to think really hard about it?
- complete low speed manoeuvres while chatting to your supervisor?
Check What Your Supervisor Thinks
Ask your supervisor to consider how they felt while you were practicing. Did they:
- feel comfortable while you did the exercises?
- stay quiet without giving any help?
- feel happy about staying quiet while you were driving?
Practise Following Directions
During your PDA you will be asked to drive from the PDA site to your first exercise, then from your first to your second exercise and so on. In total you will complete 4 sections following the assessor’s directions each of which should last about 5 minutes.
Use the Follow Directions Practise Form in the original ‘How to Pass your Driving Assessment’ to check your ability to drive following directions.
During each practise session you should drive through situations similar to those in the PDA. You should be familiar with:
- traffic lights
- GIVE WAY signs
- right turns at intersections
- STOP signs
You may not experience all of these features in every practise session or every PDA section. However, after each ‘following directions’ session you should have been through at least 2. During each ‘following directions’ session your supervisor should mark you on each of the 7 PDA items.
Quick Guide to Scoring the PDA Items
Use this page as a quick guide to scoring the PDA items.
Part 3 has detailed information on each PDA item and how it should be scored.
|✓ When all conditions are met||✘ When any of these occur|
|Starts the manoeuvre promptly.||Does not respond to an instruction. Is very slow starting or misses opportunities to start a manoeuvre.|
|Proceeds continuously through the parts of the manoeuvre.||Stumbles or pauses performing parts of the manoeuvre.|
|Proceeds directly through a series of manoeuvres.||Falters joining manoeuvres together.|
|Fits in with other traffic.||Inconveniences or unnecessarily slows or holds up others during a manoeuvre.|
|Complies with rules for stop / give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way.||Does not comply with the rules for stop signs, give way signs, traffic signals, and right of way.|
|Drives without assistance.||Asks for, or requires, help to perform any manoeuvre.|
|Adjusts as situations change.||Continues with driving pattern as situations change.|
|Directs eyes to hazards posing an immediate threat.||Keeps head and eyes directed forward when approaching hazards to the side.|
|Smoothly adjusts to a safe speed in the presence of threats to safety.||Adopts a speed that prevents avoiding a collision with road users not complying with the law or with safe and reasonable driving.|
|Uses a suitable/safe/legal low-speed manoeuvre for location.||Uses an unsuitable, unsafe or illegal manoeuvre for the location.|
Continue reading the How To Pass Your Driving Assessment Summary:
2. Preparing To Drive On Your Own
3. A Quick Look At The Practical Driving Assessment
4. The Practical Driving Assessment Items
5. Are You Ready For The Practical Driving Assessment?
Check out the other resources available to help you pass the Practical Driving Assessment and get your provisional licence (Red Ps):