Show me, tell me questions - how they work

* The video above focuses on what's going on under the bonnet; the DVSA has also produced a video on what's going on outside the car as well as another one on what's going on inside the car.

Before you start the driving part of your practical test, the examiner will ask you a ‘tell me’ question. You’ll have to explain how you’d undertake a simple task on your car, such as checking the tyre pressures. Fail to answer correctly and you’ll notch up a driver fault. The ‘show me’ question is asked while you are driving. You’ll need to demonstrate that you can carry out a basic safety task, such as demisting the windscreen. Neither question should trip you up so long as you prepare thoroughly.

Typical show me questions

Q: Can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?

A: While still driving carefully, push the demister button, then switch it off again.

Q: When it’s safe, can you show how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?

A: Turn the headlights on using the appropriate control. It’s likely to be a rotary control to the side of the steering wheel or a twist switch on the indicator stalk. Your instructor will have made sure you are familiar with the all the important controls in the car.

Typical tell me questions

Q: Where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how its tyre pressures should be checked?

A: Information will be found using the car manufacturer’s manual. The figures may also be inside the driver’s door, fuel filler flap or on the back of one of the sun visors. Check the tyre pressures by using a reliable pressure gauge when the tyres are cold. Don’t forget the spare and remember to refit the valve caps.

Q: How would you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash?

A: The restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of it 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. Bear in mind that some restraints aren’t adjustable.