K53 Test Preparation

To pass any test, you must prepare well. The learner’s licence and K53 driving licence tests are no exception.

This is why it is important to prepare properly, using the best teaching materials available.

DON’T leave your studying until the day or night before! The tests are not easy, so you need enough studying time to know the information well.

IMPORTANT! – Buy your study material early enough

Don’t assume that your nearest bookshop will always have the manual you’re looking for, on the day you need it. Some shops may have just run out of stock and are waiting for their next delivery. Even the online sellers and digital downloads sites cannot always guarantee immediate download. You or they may have an Internet access problem, or a computer system may be down somewhere; Internet banking may have a glitch, and so on.

So, shop for your K53 manual a good few weeks before you are scheduled to write your test. Some people start trying to get hold of a manual the night before they write the test. And then they complain when the world does not match up to their unrealistic demands.

NOTE too: This website does not sell or distribute any K53 products. ALL queries about availability should be directed to the bookshop/s, or the online sellers or the publishers themselves.


Why do people fail?

People who fail these tests do so for one of several reasons. Here are some of them, and what you can do about it so that you pass the tests instead of being like many others, who fail.


Learner’s licence test: some reasons why people fail

(Or skip down to Driving Licence test)

  • Study well for the learner's licence testAn over-confident attitude, thinking you only need to know what a few road signs mean, and believing the rest is just common sense. WRONG! There are many road signs, and some of them have meanings you would not know unless you had studied them thoroughly. And the rules of the road are many and detailed.
  • Not understanding the information clearly. This can happen through no fault of your own, but simply because your studied from a manual or DVD that just gave you the raw facts, without explaining the information in an easy-to-understand way. Or it could be that you ran out of time and did a quick swot of the information without really engaging your brain in regard to the understanding of what you were learning. So, make sure you study from a manual that suits your own learning style best. Use one that does indeed give you the understanding you need so that you can answer any question no matter how it is worded in the official test – because you truly know the work. Here are reviews of the different manuals to choose from.
  • Nervousness/anxietybefore and during the test. This happens to many people, yet anxiety can be reduced in several ways, for example:
    • Prepare thoroughly beforehand and self-test your knowledge by working through some mock tests included in many of the books, as well as questions and answer explanations that one or two products provide – i.e. The New K53 Manual and the Topscore K53 CD-ROM reviewed on this site).
    • If possible, revise the work with a friend or family member who can ask you questions which you answer orally.
    • Revise, revise, revise until you are very confident of you knowledge and understanding.
    • Arrive at the exam venue well before time so that you are not rushed in any way.
    • When the invigilator gives the instructions before the students start answering the test questions, make sure you understand exactly what is required of you, and – very importantly – exactly which sections you must answer according to the licence code you are applying for. If you’re unsure, don’t be shy to ask.
  • Irregular/illegal test questions included in the computerised tests. Unfortunately, in recent times the National Department of Transport has decided to set test questions that are outside the required syllabus as specified in the SA National Road Traffic Act. These kinds of questions are not part of the Rules of the Road, but are drawn from other parts of the Act and its Regulations. Such questions relate to legislation in respect of vehicle specifications and such-like. You can read more about that at this series of Web pages. Until this mess is sorted out and the Department is forced to correct this mistaken practice, the failure rate is likely to remain high. However, you can get some help on some of those kinds of questions by buying one or other of the best K53 products available, as featured on this website. You can also get information by clicking on this link.


Driving licence test: some reasons why people fail

  • An over-confident attitude, assuming that as long as you can use the vehicle controls to drive, steer, stop, reverse and park, you’re home and dry. WRONG! The K53 testing system places a lot of emphasis on a special system of defensive driving. The K53procedures differ from manoeuvre to manoeuvre. To learn about these K53 procedures you need to read up about them in one of the better manuals available so that you know, in theory, what you must do during the test. Then learn how to put that understanding into practice by taking driving lessons.
  • Not understanding that the days are over when mom or dad could teach you to drive. At some stage of your preparation you will need to take driving lessons with a suitably qualified and registered driving instructor (see note lower down).
  • Nervousness/anxiety during driving lessons and then while doing the driving test. Most students are nervous during the test. A lot is at stake – the costs paid so far and the fear of having to pay more and do the test over at a later date; whether or not you will have the freedom of ‘wheels’ after the test – for your own transport to and from work, or for recreation, for your job, and so on. But, just like with the learner’s licence test, you canreduce anxiety to a large extent, if you want to take the right steps. Here are some suggestions:
    • Buy a manual or the CD-ROM reviewed at this site, and read up exactly what the test covers and how you will be scored. This will reduce the extent of the unknown, and it will help you know what you need to practise while you are learning to drive.
    • Take some driving lessons with a competent and qualified driving instructor. The knowledge you gain from the books/CD-ROM will also help you assess whether you are getting your money’s worth and whether the instructor has a good knowledge of the K53 system and the test system.
    • Make sure you know which vehicle you will be using for the test, and get to know that vehicle’s controls and handling so that you are confident in that regard when you go for the test.
    • Make sure you are well on time for the test and that you have all the required documents with you when you arrive.



Learning to drive/driving lessons

IMPORTANT: The K53 driving test is a practical test where you get to show the examiner that you are competent enough to drive alone on public roads. You cannot learn to drive from a book. The driver’s licence books mentioned at this website explain everything about the test so that you’ll know exactly what and how you will be tested.

Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors logo

Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors logo

However, in addition to the preparatory knowledge you’ll gain from the manual or CD-ROM, you do need to take driving lessons with a qualified driving instructor, preferably one who is registered with SAIDI – The Southern African Institute of Driving Instructors.

When you are ready to make a booking for driving lessons, don’t be shy to ask the driving school to show you proof of membership of SAIDI. After all, YOU are paying for the lessons, so you want to be sure you have a competent instructor.


Where to find a driving school?

iDRIVE LogoYou can refer to the Yellow Pages for adverts by driving schools, or you can use the convenient and growing online national database offered by iDrive.co.za. Click this link to watch the iDrive video.

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Related pages

Learner’s Licence Books – Overview

Learner’s And Driver’s Combo – Overview

Which K53 Book To Use? (Comments About Each)

Topscore Interactive CD Covering Both Learner’s And Driver’s Test – Disc or downloadable


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