RSA Practical Driving Test Structure
The Irish practical driving test will test your driving ability in 18 separate headings and each heading has
Rules & Checks: You will be asked a series of questions on the rules of the road and asked to identify
and explain different road signs.
Position: You will be tested on your ability to maintain correct road position in a series of bends and
turns as well as on the straight and negotiating junctions, roundabouts and following traffic and stopping.
Observation: This heading will test your ability to look around and observe competently and effectively
before moving off, overtaking, changing lane, cross junctions, roundabouts and turning left and right.
Reaction to Hazards: A hazard is anything that may cause you to change speed or direction. Hazards
come in many forms on the road and range from stationary to moving to environmental, an example of a
stationary hazard would be a parked car, a moving hazard may be a cyclist, and environmental hazard
may be a large pothole on the road.
Mirrors: You should demonstrate correct use and appropriate timing of mirrors. Your use of these
should not be to early or too late.
Clearance/ Overtaking safely: You should allow sufficient clearance to pedestrians, cyclists and
other hazards, you must not cut back in too soon after overtaking.
Signals: You will be required to demonstrate the correct use and timing of signals and should not be
Hand Signals: If 3 or more hand signals are not demonstrated correctly then a grade 2 fault may be
Motorcycle: Only applicable to motorbike candidates being tested.
Courtesy: Demonstrating common sense and using basic road manners during the test
Alighting: Getting out of your vehicle at the end of your test, make sure you have applied the handbrake
and the ignition is switched off, and that all necessary observations are taken before opening the door.
Progress: You must make reasonable progress and avoid any unnecessary delay in moving off, on the
straight, overtaking, junctions. Roundabouts, turning left and right and at traffic lights.
Vehicle Controls: You should be able to make proper use of accelerator clutch, gears, footbrake, hand
brake and steering. Also secondary controls (i.e. driving while condensation restricts visibility or not using
another secondary control when required).
Speed: You will be tested on your ability to adjust your speed accordingly for road and traffic conditions,
at roundabouts, cross junctions, turning, obeying traffic controls and complying with all speed limits.
Traffic Controls: You must comply with traffic lights and road markings, signs, Garda, school wardens,
pedestrian crossings and obey bus and cycle lanes.
Rules & Checks: You will be asked serious of questions on the rules of the road and asked to identify
and explain different road signs.
Right of Way: You should understand and demonstrate correct use of right of way where necessary.
Reverse: This assesses the applicant’s ability to reverse the vehicle competently while taking the
necessary observations and yielding right of way as required. There is second grade 3 fault box in this
section and it is for a candidate who may be reversing out of there space at the start of the test this is
why it is strongly advised that you reverse into your space before the test begins.
Turnabout: This assesses your ability to turn your vehicle safely on the road to face the opposite
direction. Using accuracy, all necessary observation and yielding right of way where required.
Parking: Make sure you are parked in a safe, legal and convenient position.