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The Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) Exams

The examination to become an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) comes in three parts:

  • An computer based theory test and a video based hazard perception test.
  • An eyesight test followed by a practical test of your driving ability.
  • A practical test of your ability to instruct others.

You must take and pass all three parts of the examination in this order and must complete the whole examination within two years of passing the theory test. If you are unable to complete the examinations within this time you must start again from the beginning and pass each part once again. You are only allowed to take a test of ability to instruct after the two years have expired if you have applied for it before the two years expired. However, you will only be able to have one application lodged with the Registrar at any one time. If you pass that test you are deemed to have done so within the two years.

You are only allowed three attempts at each of the practical tests. If you do not pass in the three attempts you must wait until the end of your two year period before you can requalify, starting with the theory test.

Want to pass you ADI Exams?

Part 1 – The Theory Test

The ADI Theory Test takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and includes:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Hazard Perception

You must pass both parts at the same time to pass the test. There’s no limit to how many times you can take the test.

The test is a computer based exam that uses a touchscreen system similar to that used for the standard ‘L’ test, and will be conducted in your local Theory Test Centre. The theory test demands a very high standard of knowledge on subjects ranging from The Highway Code, road safety, car control, basic mechanics and instructional techniques, and must be complete within 90 minutes. The theory element is split into four sections of 25 questions, however you must obtain a minimum of 20 correct questions in each section with an overall pass mark of 85%.

After a short break you will then move onto the Hazard Perception Test, which must be passed on the same day. You will be shown a tutorial video after which you will see 14 video clips, each featuring a number of different types of hazard. You must respond by pressing the mouse button as soon as you see a hazard developing which may result in the driver having to take some action, such as changing speed or direction. There will be a total of 15 hazards shown, and you can score up to five marks on each hazard. You will need to gain 57 out of a possible 75 marks to pass.

Part 2 – Driving Ability Test

Part 2 of the driving instructor training test is a practical test consisting of two parts:

The Eyesight Test

You must be able to read a car number plate from a distance of 27.5m (90 feet) in daylight and in god conditions, with the help of glasses or contact lenses, if worn. If you cannot pass the eyesight test you will not be allowed to take the practical driving test.

The Practical Driving Test

This is a far more difficult test than the standard ‘L’ test, and will take about an hour to complete. It is of an advanced nature and a very high standard of competence is required. You must show that you have enough knowledge of the principles of good driving and road safety and that you can apply them in practice. At the start of the test you will be asked questions on basic vehicle safety, based on a Show Me/Tell Me format. You must be able to demonstrate safe and confident driving skills complying with the speed limit on all types of roads including motorways. You will also be expected to carry out various manoeuvres successfully. You will only be able to make 6 driving errors during the test in order to pass.

Part 3 – Ability to Instruct Test

Part 3 of the ADI exam is also a practical test, which lasts about an hour and is conducted in certain Driving Test Centres around the country. The test is conducted by the examiner who will be role playing as your pupil. The first part of the test involves the examiner pretending to be a pupil in the early stages of learning and the second part as a pupil near test standard. You will need to explain what you want your ‘pupil’ to do and then will be expected to spot any errors they make, explain the reasons they are going wrong and suggest how to correct them. You must come across as knowledgeable, but friendly, patient and understanding at the same time. The object of the exam is to assess the quality and accuracy of your teaching technique and your ability to pass on your skills and knowledge to all types of pupil.