Controlled Stop Exercise

There is a one-in-three chance of a learner being asked to perform the controlled stop or emergency stop exercise on their test. Many years ago it was guaranteed to get one on your test but this has changed to a one-in-three chance probably because the examiners shoulders started to ache.

If the examiner wishes for you to do this exercise on your driving test they will usually ask you to pull up on the left in a safe and quiet road and then they will ask you to perform this exercise. A common fear from a lot of learners is that the examiner will surprise them at some point during the test by shouting STOP but thankfully this is not the case.

Unlike previous years where the examiners used to hit the dashboard with their clipboard (passenger airbags have now made this a not so clever idea) this time they will only raise their right hand up and say STOP quite loudly.

You will be expected to instantly react and immediately bring the car to a stop. Good advice is to keep both hands on the wheel as a lot of weight will be thrown to the front of the car and brake hard and fast, keeping your foot depressed as far as possible onto the brake. You can put the clutch down at the same time as the brake or a second after, using the clutch here would not bring you to a stop any earlier it would just prevent the car from stalling. Stalling here would not be the end of the world and may result in just receiving a driver fault but it’s always a good idea to avoid unnecessary driver faults.

Once you have stopped safely secure the vehicle by raising the handbrake and placing it into neutral. This will allow you to come off the brake and maybe off the clutch and readjust your foot on the clutch as it may have slipped down your foot.

The examiner will then ask you to drive on when you’re ready so you should now prepare the car so you’re ready to drive on by getting the biting point, check thoroughly around you again to make sure it’s safe as you are much further down the road and you don’t know what’s around you at this point and then drive on when it’s safe to do so.

You’ll either love or hate this exercise so however you feel make sure you brake firmly and keep your hands on the wheel and try not to scream.