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How to pass the ADI exams


In order to charge for driving lessons you must first become an ADI (approved driving instructor), which involves proving your competence by passing a three-part test. The qualification requires you to demonstrate your theoretical knowledge, hazard perception skills, practical driving ability and ability to teach pupils, all of which are essential to being a successful and capable driving instructor.

Preparing for the tests is necessary not only to avoid having to pay for them again if a retake is required, but because if you do fail part 3 of the test three times, you can’t retake it again without resitting all 3 parts.

Here’s our guide to what each part of the test involves and how you can best prepare yourself for them.

ADI part 1 – the theory test


Cost - £81


What’s involved?


Part 1 of the ADI qualification involves passing both a multiple-choice test and a hazard perception test.

The multiple-choice questions cover the following topics:


How to prepare yourself


For this you’ll need to show knowledge and understanding of the highway code, demonstrate your knowledge of the traffic signs, and show you’ve got the essential driving skills. You’ll also have to demonstrate thorough knowledge of theory and hazard perception awareness through studying the official DVSA guides for Approved Driving Instructors, and ensure you’ve studied the Driving Instructors Handbook.

Learning and revising all of these topics thoroughly will not only benefit you in passing your ADI standards test, but will also mean you begin your career as a driving instructor with as much knowledge and confidence as possible.


ADI part 2 – the driving ability test


Cost - £111


What’s involved?


Part 2 of the ADI test is a practical test of your driving ability, lasting for around 1 hour.


The test involves:


This will involve proving you can drive safely in a range of different road/traffic conditions and demonstrating your knowledge of the highway code through the way you drive. The books mentioned earlier would all be helpful in passing this stage, and then it’s just ensuring you apply all you’ve learnt to your everyday driving.

Once you’ve passed the ADI part 2 test things start to get really exciting, as you can apply for your trainee driving instructor license, which lasts for 6 months. This license allows you to charge for driving lessons, and provides valuable experience teaching students that will help you in passing the next part of the ADI test.


ADI part 3 – the instructional ability test


Cost - £111


What does it involve?


Part 3 of the ADI exam is a test of your ability to teach pupils.

Your marks will depend on how you perform in three main categories:

This will test how organised and thorough your lesson is, how you react in a potentially hazardous situation and your ability to explain things to your student, amongst many other things.


How can I prepare for it?


We’d recommend studying the practical teaching skills for driving instructors manual, as it’s full of useful tips and information to help you communicate effectively with your pupils, and of course practising your teaching with your trainee driving instructor license.


The ADI standards check


Once qualified, you must pass an ADI standards check every 4 years to ensure your teaching remains up to scratch. To help you prepare for your ADI standards check we’ve produced the Target 51 Standards Check manual, which was specifically developed for the new the standards test that was brought in in 2014. It’s an informative and humorous manual, with easy to digest information to keep you engaged throughout the learning process.

By familiarising yourself with the process of the ADI exams, and with the materials mentioned in this article, you can ensure your journey to becoming a qualified driving instructor is as smooth as possible.