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On your Practical Driving Test, your examiner will direct you where to go for most of the time, but for a period of around 10 minutes you will have to drive ‘independently’ - either following destination signs to a specific place or following a series of directions given to you by the examiner. This allows you to show that you can drive, on your own, completely unprompted and unaided, just like you will have to do once you pass.
If you ask for a reminder of the directions, the examiner will confirm them to you. If you go off the independent driving route it won’t affect the result of your test unless you commit a driving fault. If you go off the route or take a wrong turning, the examiner will help you to get back on the route and continue with the independent driving.
If there are poor or obscured traffic signs, the examiner will give you directions until you can see the next traffic sign - you won’t need to have a detailed knowledge of the area. You can’t use a sat nav for independent driving as it gives you turn-by-turn prompts. Independent driving tests how you make your own decisions. Further DVSA advice on independent driving can be found here.
To help you understand where you’re going, the examiner may show you a diagram. It doesn't matter if you don't remember every direction, or if you go the wrong way - that can happen to the most experienced drivers. Independent driving is not a test of your orientation and navigation skills.
Driving independently means making your own decisions - this includes deciding when it’s safe and appropriate to ask for confirmation about where you’re going.
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