Driving Lesson Syllabus

A driving lesson syllabus is a list of all the skills you need to learn in order to pass the practical driving test. This driving lesson syllabus is for the UK driving test, for both automatic and manual cars and is ideal for providing a visual reference for your learning to drive progress. It can also be used as a reference guide if you’re teaching someone to drive without a driving instructor.

Pre-driving Knowledge
Cockpit Drill
Car controls
Observation and setting the mirrors
Driving and planning ahead
Moving Off from the Side of the Road
MSM (Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre) driving routine
POM (Prepare, Observe, Move) driving routine
Moving off in an automatic car (on a level surface)
Moving off uphill (Hill starts)
Moving off downhill
Moving off at an angle (from behind a parked car)
Stopping at the Side of the Road
Choosing a Safe, Convenient and Legal Position (SCALP) to park
Close and parallel to the kerb
Stopping on the left on a level surface
On an uphill gradient
On an downhill gradient
Mirrors and Blind Spots
Before changing speed
Before changing direction
Understanding where and when to check blind spots
Gear Changing (Manual Cars)
Changing up gear in sequence
Changing down gear in sequence
Block gear changing
Effective use of gears on an uphill gradient
Effective use of gears on an downhill gradient
Gear Changing (Automatic Cars)
How to change gear in an automatic car
Give clear, well-timed signals when necessary
Respond correctly to the signals from other road users
Use of Speed
Assessing speed limits for all road types and environments
Choosing an appropriate speed for the conditions
Following Distances
Understanding how to maintain a safe following distance (2 second rule)
Adapting following distance to weather conditions
Road Positioning and Lane Discipline
Maintain a safe road position on all road types
Being considerate and safe when changing lanes
Reading and understanding road markings
Junctions: Left and Right Turns from Major into Minor Roads
MSPSL (Mirror, Signal, Position, Speed, Look) driving routine
LADA (Look, Assess, Decide, Act) driving routine
Turning left (Open and closed left turns)
Turning right (Open and closed right turns)
Junctions: Emerging at T-Junctions
Turning left (Open and closed T-junctions)
Turning right (Open and closed T-junctions)
Stop junctions (Emerging left and right)
Emerging left and right at a T-junction on a hill
Meeting Approaching Traffic
Passing parked vehicles on the left side of the road
Passing parked vehicles on the right side of the road
Passing parked vehicles on both sides of the road
Giving a safe and adequate clearance when passing parked vehicles
Unmarked crossroads; left, right and ahead
Marked crossroads; left, right and ahead
Controlled crossroads; left, right and ahead
Traffic Lights
Approaching and dealing with traffic lights (left, right and ahead)
Dealing with box junctions at traffic lights
Pedestrian Crossings
Understanding and dealing with Zebra crossings
Understanding and dealing with light controlled pedestrian crossings; Pelican, Puffin and Toucan
Supervised crossings
Anticipation, Planning and Hazard Awareness
Looking and assessing into the near, mid and far distance
Planning ahead
Reading and understanding road signs
Scanning left and right
Awareness of other road users to the side and behind
Awareness of pedestrians
Emergency Stop
Stopping promptly and under control
Moving off safely after the emergency stop
Turning left
Following ahead
Turning right
Going full circle
Mini Roundabouts
Turning left
Following ahead
Turning right
One Way Streets
Turning left at the end of a one way street
Turning right at the end of a one way street
Independent Driving
Following traffic signs
Following sat-nav route directions
Dual Carriageways
Joining a dual carriageway using a slip road
Following the road ahead
Exiting a dual carriageway using a slip road

Show Me / Tell Me Vehicle Safety Questions

You should introduce the show me / tell me vehicle safety questions that the examiners ask along with the appropriate answers at an early stage of the learning to drive process. Throughout the driving course, refer back to the questions to ensure the learner driver answers appropriately.

Show Me / Tell Me Vehicle Safety Questions
Cover the show me / tell me questions and answers and where necessary demonstrate inside and outside the car and under the bonnet

Rural Driving

Rural roads are the most hazardous roads in the UK. Not all driving test centres feature rural roads on their driving test routes, for example, if the test centre is located in the centre of a large city. Where possible, always incorporate rural driving into the driving lesson syllabus regardless of whether they are part of the practical driving test.

Rural Driving
Driving on country lanes


Manoeuvres should be introduced to the learner driver at the earliest possible stage in which they have enough control over the vehicle to carry them out. This should ensure that the learner driver has sufficient time to perfect the manoeuvres.

Reversing in a Straight Line
Straight line reverse
Reversing, moving away from the kerb and straightening up
Reversing towards the kerb and straightening up
Reverse Bay Parking
Reversing into a bay from the left
Reversing into a bay from the right
Forward Bay Parking
Driving into a bay and reversing out to the left
Driving into a bay and reversing out to the right
Parallel Parking
Parallel park on a level road
Parallel park on a on an incline / road camber
Pull up on the Right and Reverse
Pull up on the right side of the road and reverse on a quiet road
Pull up on the right side of the road and reverse with approaching traffic / pedestrians

Manoeuvres that are No Longer Carried Out on the Driving Test

The following manoeuvres are no longer requested by examiners during the driving test but can still prove beneficial to teach on driving lessons due to their usefulness in everyday driving.

Manoeuvres No Longer Used
Turn in the road
Reverse around a corner


Eco-driving should be taught and used once the learner driver is capable of sufficient control of the car.

To drive in such a way as to minimise fuel consumption and the emission of carbon dioxide.
Additional Tuition
Passengers and loads

2 thoughts on “Driving Lesson Syllabus”

  1. Hi my name is Tabs, newly qualified ADI.
    I have read through the above topics and find them really good to follow and understand.
    I would like to kindly ask, if its possible to email each of the topics above so i am able to download these and use them as a ref at all? It would be much appriciated.
    Many Thanks.

    1. Hi Tabs,
      Congrats on becoming a newly qualified ADI. Hope it’s working out well for you.
      Unfortunately we don’t have any content that we can email.
      However, you can save webpages in PDF format which is an ideal format for reference.
      Depending on your browser, if you select the option to print the page, but rather than printing, choose the option to save as PDF.

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