The D.S.A - Show Me / Tell Me Questions and Answers

These are the thirteen D.S.A 'show me tell me questions and answers' that you can be asked at the beginning of the practical driving test

Show Me / Tell Me questions. These are the thirteen show me / tell me questions and answers that you can be asked at the beginning of the practical test.  The examiner will ask you only two.  If you get either or both wrong then one driving fault will be recorded. Show Me / Tell Me questions Show Me / Tell Me questions. These are the thirteen show me / tell me questions and answers that you can be asked at the beginning of the practical test.  The examiner will ask you only two.  If you get either or both wrong then one driving fault will be recorded. Show Me / Tell Me questions

Show Me Tell Me Questions

After your paperwork has been checked and you have read a numberplate for the examiner, you will be asked to lead the way to your vehicle where the examiner will ask you only two of the following show me tell me questions

The Show Me Tell Me Questions are intended to challenge your basic knowledge of the vehicle. Technically proficient answers need not be forthcoming for the show me tell me questions.

Why were the thirteen D.S.A Show Me / Tell Me
Question and Answers introduced?

Do pupils really need to be bothered with a show me / tell me
question and answer session during
their practical driving test?

The D.S.A Show Me Tell Me questions and answers session was introduced in 2003. The show me tell me questions and answers were introduced to combat what was perceived as a general lack of knowledge relating to motor vehicles by pupils taking their driving tests. The show me tell me questions and answers are part of the solution to this problem.

I know for a fact that before this development it was normal for a pupil not to have a clue how to check either the tyre pressures or the oil level. Not only would pupils not know the answers to simple questions which are now covered by the show me tell me questions and answers section of the driving test, they did not see their lack of basic knowledge as a problem.

To be fair to the D.S.A on this one I do think that on balance the show me tell me questions and answers have achieved their desired aim. They have succeeded in raising the knowledge of the average driving test candidate. This I do believe is directly beneficial to the new drivers.

If the show me tell me questions and answers session has raised their awarenes as I believe it has then they are far more likely in the future to be driving a properly maintained car. If there is a fault on their own vehicle they will have a better idea of what is wrong and therefore feel more confident about taking their car to a garage to get it fixed.

What is the future for the Show Me / Tell Me
Question and Answers?

Will the Show Me Tell Me Question and Answer session
be changed, expanded, or phased out?

An interesting question. The show me tell me questions and answers session of the practical driving test will surely not stay the same forever. If I know anything about this industry I know that it is constantly changing in small ways. I will take each of the above posibilities in turn:

Will the D.S.A Show Me Tell Me Question and Answer
be changed?

Personally I believe it inevitable that the show me tell me questions and answers session will change at some point. It would be pointless for me to give examples here as this is not a mechanical forum but I do believe that the show me tell me questions and answers will not stay the same indefinately. The theory test questions change quite regularly. I can see no reason why the questions and answers of the show me tell me questions and answers session should not change as well. The only debate for me is when?

Will the D.S.A Show Me Tell Me Question and Answer
session be expanded?

I cannot see the show me tell me questions and answers session of the practical driving test being expanded. One of the main concerns voiced at the time by instructors and examiners alike was that the time that was taken up by the show me tell me questions and answers was time that could more constructively be spent driving. The practical driving test should be about driving ability after all. Mechanical checks such as these could easily be incorporated into the theory test. Expanding the show me tell me questions and answers session would reduce further the amount of time spent actually driving on the driving test.

Will the D.S.A Show Me Tell Me Question and Answer
session be phased out?

I believe that it is possible that the show me tell me questions and answers session of the practical driving test will be phased out. The show me tell me questions are intrusive into the timing of the driving test and they can easily be incorporated into the theory test. I believe that this would be a popular move overall with pupils, instructors and examiners.

The show me tell me questions and answers are not well regarded by pupils. Pupils do not really want to pay a driving instructor to show them what is under a bonnet or talk to them about what checks they should be making regularly and why. They would regard it as a much better investment of their time and money to be taught more about driving with this time. Although the pupils do see the point of learning the knowledge contained within the show me tell me questions and answers they begrudge paying for the time that it takes to pick it up.

Instructors (he says waiting for a deluge of e-mails to the contrary) would rather be teaching their pupils to drive than how to make a few simple checks that could easily be incorporated into the theory test. It is my opinion (and that of other instructors that I have spoken to about it) that the show me tell me questions and answers should be transferred away from the practical driving test and into the theory test question bank.

I am sure that examiners would prefer to spend the limited time that they do have available to them with candidates assessing that particular candidates driving ability rather than performing the show me tell me questions and answers session.

The D.S.A - Show Me Tell Me
Question and Answer session

Under the Bonnet - Show Me Tell Me

If you have read these show me tell me questions and answers a few times you should be fine. Your instructor will show you under the bonnet of their car and identify for you where the different bits and pieces are. The show me tell me questions and answers are nothing for you to worry about.

  1. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.
    Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum/maximum markers.


  2. Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.
    Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.


  3. Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.
    Identify reservoir and explain how to check level


  4. Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.
    Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.
  5. Tell Me

  6. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.
    The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.
    N.B. Some restraints might not be adjustable.


  7. Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.
    Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.


  8. Tell me how you would check that the brake lights are working on this car.
    A5. Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help.


  9. Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.
    Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.


  10. Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.
    Manufacturer's guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don't forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.


  11. Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.
    No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.
  12. Show Me

  13. Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on whilst inside the car
    Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.


  14. Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them.
    (No need to exit vehicle)

    Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use


  15. Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively, this should include both front and rear screens
    Set all relevant controls including; fan, temperature, air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows.
    Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration


  16. Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wiper
    Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary).


  17. Show me/explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.
    If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance if functioning.


  18. Show me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working.
    Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), walk round vehicle.


  19. Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.
    Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators.


  20. Show me how you would check the horn is working (off road only).
    Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).


  21. Show me how you would check the parking brake for excessive wear.
    Demonstrate by applying parking brake that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

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