What to expect at the K53 driving test?
K53 is the term for the current practical driving test for motor vehicles. Light motor vehicles, like passenger cars, require a Code B (or code 8) licence to operate.
This name, or rather number was based on testing method proposals submitted in the 1980’s and it has been updated 53 times to become the current accepted way to test aspirant drivers.
The test consists of 2 main parts:
Part 1. The K53 Yard test
The K53 yard test starts with an internal and external inspection of the vehicle, the demonstration of the starting procedure. Once you have completed these you will be taken to the testing grounds to perform a series of manoeuvres to show the examiner that you can control the vehicle.
You will have 20 minutes for this, which is more than enough, if you know what you are doing. These are life-like situations that you would normally encounter on the road and in traffic, like: alley docking, parallel parking, incline start and turning on the road (3-point turn). Instructor Sandor has some awesome, ease-to-follow step-by-step techniques that help you complete the manoeuvres seamlessly. Please remember: examiners have eyes on the back of their heads! Even when they seem to be not looking, they are looking! Perform all tasks with this in mind and don`t risk your code B licence on a silly mistake.
Only once you have successfully completed the yard test may you go on to the road test.
This could be you soon:
A perfect alley docking exercise
Part 2. The Road test
During the road test the examiner will instruct you to to drive along a pre-established route on public roads. The examiner will be assessing your driving technique and how you respond to different traffic situations.
The examiner will also rate you on using your turn signals, leaving the appropriate following distance, accelerating and braking smoothly, checking your mirrors and blind spots, and obeying all speed limits, traffic signs and signals, and pavement markings. You’ll most likely be tested on driving through an urban residential or business area, so make sure you know the default speed limits.
The road test is approximately 30 minutes long, but it is not timed as strictly as the yard test. Instructor Sandor knows the common pet peeves of the testing centre examiners and will teach you what to look out for during the K53 road test. Book your driving lessons with Sandor in Pretoria or Centurion and pass your drivers test like a pro.
The scoring method for the K53 drivers licence test
The practical part of the driver`s test is marked by the examiner on a standard scoring sheet. We, at SG Driving School feel that it is important for you to see this scoring sheet before the test, so you understand what the examiner is looking for and what are those actions which are monitored very closely.
Your can download the scoring sheet for the K53 below. The document has a lot of abbreviations, make sure to check what they stand for. The black rectangles indicate instant fail. The number of points allocated for the different actions also vary, so while a bad steering method will “cost” you 1 point on the test, failing to check the blind spot is 5 points, but the violation of any traffic law is an instant fail.
Bonus tips for your code 8 licence driving test from Sandor
Your test examiner does not want you to fail. They will not try to trick you or ask you to do anything dangerous or illegal. They are only there to evaluate your driving and ensure that you are a safe driver. Examiners have feelings too 🙂 so be polite and respectful with them at all times. During the road test they will be sitting next to you with a clipboard and the K53 scoring sheet and silently observing your driving skills.
Don`t pay attention to what they are doing while you are driving, focus on the road. They will not share their markings with you until you have returned to the testing station and your final points are calculated.
Instructor Sandor`s words of advice are these:
“The purpose of the K53 yard and road test is to see if you can perform practical driving tasks according to prescribed criteria. Correcting bad techniques requires twice the effort as learning the proper driving skills and good practices right from the start. Understanding the test, good techniques and regular practice build driving confidence and these together will help you pass the Code 8 licence exam!”
What documents will you need for the K53 driving test?
- Your original Learners Licence
- A copy (black and white is fine) of your Learners Licence
- Your original ID
- A copy of your ID (does not need to be certified)
- 2 ID photos (can be colour or black and white)
- A copy of the proof of payment of the test fee (when you booked your appointment online and went to the licencing station to pay to secure your booking, you were issued an A4 size paper: a receipt that is also your proof of payment. It contains the date and time of your test as well as your personal particulars.)
- Cash or card (once you have passed your Drivers test, you will need R228 that needs to be paid for the issuing of your Drivers Licence)
- If you wish, you can bring an eye test certificate from your optometrist (optional), as some testing centres will test your eyesight right after the road test. This is to determine whether there are limitations which need to be put on your licence (eg. must wear glasses/contact lenses). The eye test conducted by the testing centre is free.
Which licensing centre is best for the driving test?
While no testing centres are created equal, we generally recommend the one closest to you or where there are available appointments.
We have had excellent experience at Waltloo, Centurion, Temba and Bronkhorstspruit alike, and there is definitely an improvement in service delivery at these testing stations. There is now an online appointment booking system (at last!) so you can avoid lengthy waiting-in-lines. Book your driver`s test appointment online, here: https://online.natis.gov.za