How to Read & Understand your ICBC Road Test Results

(Last Updated On: December 7, 2015)

No more demerit system

 

Gone are the days of demerits. These days when you go for a road test in BC, you receive this very complicated-looking piece of paper with many small boxes. I’m a bit rusty on some of the exact details but I’ll see if I can make some sense of it.

 

Global Skills

 

Along the left-hand side are the “Global Skills” that drivers are being tested on. These are skills you should be competent at when you are driving and they are: Observation, Space Margins, Speed, Steering, and Communication. Within each of these global skills, there are a list of items. Think of this as basically a list of things that you could do wrong! In other words, the examiner will only write down something on this paper if you do something wrong, miss something, or make an error. If you look at the very first one, A1, it reads “Shoulder check.” In other words if you get an A1 on your paper, it means you forgot or did not do a shoulder check at a time when you were supposed to.

 

ICBC_Road_test_1

 

Driving maneuvers

 

In the middle or main section of the paper we find your actual driving maneuvers. This is where the examiner will keep track of your errors. These are separated into left turns (“Intersection Left”) right turns (“Intersection Right”) going straight through at intersections (“Intersection Through”), “General Driving,” and “Vehicle Handling.” General driving and vehicle handling include such things as your parking and your steering abilities. In each category you can see how it has 1, and then ABCDE. The “1” means the first time you turned right. The “2” means, the second time you turned right, and so forth. The ABCDE relate to the global skills along the left margin. For example, A means “Observation Skills”. ย B means “Space Margins” and so forth.

 

RT2

 

Result for each section

 

Along the right-hand side of the paper is your result. You are marked on each section (Left turns, Right Turns, Intersection Through, General Driving, and Vehicle Handling). If you fail one section, you fail the entire test. There is a tiny box which says “Qualified: YES or NO.” At the beginning of the exam, the examiner will circle how many errors you’re allowed. There are different routes; and some routes may have more right turns than others – therefore the driver may be allowed more mistakes on right turns when compared with other routes. Either way, they will circle 3X, 4X, 5X. This is the amount of errors you’re allowed to make in each category and in each of the global skills. ย So you can make some mistakes, but it is better to make a bunch of different mistakes, rather than the same mistake over and over again.

 

RT3

 

The first thing I would do if I failed this road test would be to look at where it says “Qualified: YES or NO.” Find where it says NO, and then see which section that is in. Did you fail all 5 sections, or did you just fail on your right turns?

 

Then, read the main section to see what the examiner wrote. A common mistake is not enough shoulder checks on right turns. If you look on your sheet and see under the “Intersection Right” category, you have a bunch of A1’s. Count them. If it’s more than the error-cut off that the examiner circled, then that’s why you failed. I have seen road test results with 5-7 A1’s in the right turning section. That tells me the driver does not shoulder check before turning right.

 

It looks something like this if you fail for not enough shoulder checks on right turns:

 

RTf

 

A2 is a scan: This means the driver didn’t look left and right before proceeding.

 

A3 Mirror Check – the driver did not look in the mirror

 

A4: 360 Check – The driver did not look and do a 360 circle check before reversing

 

B4 is another very common one. This says “GAP” What the heck does that mean? It is usually found when turning. It means you were doing a (usually) left-hand turn, and there was a big gap in the oncoming traffic where the examiner thought you should have turned, but you didn’t turn and sat there and waited for a bigger gap in traffic. This could also happen on a right turn. Drivers who are over-cautious sometimes stop before they turn right, even at places they do not have a stop sign. “Gap” basically means there was extra time going by when there shouldn’t’ve been; you didn’t “Seize the Opportunity” to go!! Again, if you do this once or twice, it’s fine. If you do this on every single left turn, you will not pass. It indicates a serious lack of skill and/or confidence, both of which are important for people to have before they drive alone.

 

I think the others are fairly self-explainatory. B5: Blocks Crosswalk. If you block a crosswalk by accident, just stay there. Reversing on a crosswalk is illegal. The examiner will simply write B5 on your paper once. Having one B5 on your test result is not a big deal. If you do that more than 3X (or whatever the error cut-off is) then you’ll fail that section, and the test.

 

Hope that helps.

Many moons ago, Carmen became an ICBC-approved driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, and has spent many years working with new and experienced drivers around the lower mainland. She can be found reading the Motor Vehicle Act for fun while receiving strange looks from others. May the quest for great driving continue!
  • beagle

    i failed my road test today ๐Ÿ™
    i didn’t drive the car i always drive with. the section i failed was vehicle manoeuvre, i couldn’t do a parallel park to save my life today / got an accel/decel / backing / ended up getting an ‘M’ for that section lol. the examiner was really nice, and told me i failed really nicely (haha)..
    im kind of meh about it ’cause i guess there’s probably a good reason why i failed , but i dont understand 2 things:

    1) Around Macdonald and 20ish he asked me to pull over on the main road at one point. I didn’t do it because there was a ‘no stopping’ sign, but he repeated it (and sounded kind of annoyed) it so i quickly pulled over because i didn’t wanna fail… i ended up pulling into the bus stop. Another time was in a residential area with a no parking sign, and i did the same thing (drove ahead looking for a spot with no stopping/no parking signs) when he told me to park because there was a frikkin no parking sign there!! After the test he said that i was slow to follow his instructions, cause when he said ‘pull over’ it was generally safe to do. On my next test, if this happens, do I just pull over even though theres a no parking / stopping sign?

    2) At a left turn intersection on the main road i got ‘gap’. I didn’t want to make the left turn because i could see a small truck coming towards us, although he was a block away. My instructor always said to not turn if a car is visible. When there finally was a safe gap, i turned, but the truck behind me got tired of waiting so he turned at the same time. The examiner quickly stepped on the brakes on his side, which was great cause i could have collided with the truck. After the test he told me i could have turned even though i had seen the car because it was far enough. I kind of ‘get’ it, like it might have been safe but i guess i wasn’t driving confidently?
    Also i got ‘Qualified’ for the left turn section even though the examiner had intervened. I spent the whole time after that turn feeling super blah because i thought that was an automatic fail.

    Anyway the test wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be, i took it when the roads were busy as well and i dunno if there are such things as ‘easier’ routes but this was definitely not as difficult as i thought it would be! i spent a lot of time worrying about that left turn with the islands on Macdonald! Your blog was super helpful, especially about turning on amber. thanks!

  • Jen

    Hi, I just did Road test yesterday, unfortunately failing because of overspeeding in playground area. Examiner said I did good but failed to see where playground ended. Can somebody tell me regarding Head Restraint on lower right of the sheet what a C mark means? Thank you.

  • Good advice. The driving test sheets can be as confusing as the driving lessons! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Tanja

    If one has a mistake in the red part…does that mean they automatically failed or not?

  • Serena

    hi! i really flunked my first attempt at class 7 this week and it sucks bad because I lucked out with perfect driving conditions, (no sun no rain) and a nice examiner but I brought all kinds of stupid to this test. Can I contact you with my results? (uploader isn’t working) hoping you can lay it out for me in the easiest way; I really can’t believe I’ve got ‘rolling stop’ and ‘school zone’ on here because I spent hours and hours studying online to make sure I drilled in my head not to get those wrong. I took my foot off the gas when I saw the school zone sign and my car just wouldn’t slow down under 40 and it was so frustrating aghh! and I could not of felt any more dumb when he pointed out I’m not even allowed to drive with 2 feet. I guess I’ll have to practice that and only that before the next test but as far as the rest of my life goes idk I just find it really comfortable and easier to control and stop properly. That might sound dumb but I googled it and others were also fighting against it being ‘dangerous’ and that never in their life had they confused the break for the gas. Also lots of parking on the test damn! at the end he even made me back up between 2 cars which I did not see coming. I don’t know how but I actually did it pretty good and that was my first attempt ever lol! too bad it was all a waste

    • Serena

      results!

      • Okay.

        Those results aren’t considered pretty good.. I mean you failed 3/4 sections. And of course you aren’t allowed to drive with 2 feet you know how dangerous that is?

        • Serena

          Thanks!!!1!1!!!!! I didn’t say my results were pretty good. I said my parking was pretty good for how nervous I was about it. Also thanks for telling me how dangerous it is. like I didn’t clarify that I wasn’t already notified of that.

          • Hey Sorry to hear. I didn’t really get the other comment. Hope everything is good ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kc

    I just had my road test in Burnaby yesterday. What does it mean by “uneven speed”?

    • Maybe like you kind of speed up and slow down a lot, you do not travel at a consistent speed.

  • Melody

    I’m taking my class 7 test on Christmas Eve (no pressure right?) and this is my second time to take the test. I looked on my sheet and I noticed I got a couple B4’s for left turns. When I thought back to it, I couldn’t make many left turns because I couldn’t see if there were on coming cars since the car on the opposite side was a larger vehicle and blocked my vision. I’m afraid to make that mistake again. Any advice for that??

    • Hmm. Did the examiner explain anything to you about your turns or do you just have the result sheet to ponder over? Turning left is so dangerous in general you want to be very careful and only turn if you are 120% sure it is safe. So if your vision is blocked, then just don’t. Wait until you have a good view, then you can make a good decision.

      Maybe you did some other turns that were not at traffic lights? That is the only thing I can think of, that maybe you slowed/stopped when you could have just turned? Do you think it is possible?

      • Melody

        He basically just handed me the result sheet, told me I need practice but didn’t tell me on what, and left my car. So I had to figure it out the hard way. When I made left turns at a traffic light intersection, there was always a large vehicle blocking my vision and I knew if I couldn’t see, I should rather wait than get hit by a speeding car. (And the test was in Richmond and all the drivers there either tailgaited me or were speeding a lot so now my teacher said to just book at the Point Grey Location).

        The left turns not at traffic lights were mainly on the residential streets, there were no checks in those boxes, I surprisingly remember the route because it still haunts me now. If I had to slow down, it was because a pedestrian was halfway done walking and I didn’t want to hit them. And the examiner mumble good when I did something so I thought I was doing great the entire time.

        Well, my test is this Thursday so I hope I can get it this time around. I wanted to let you know, I’ve been reading your blog lately and they have all helped me with my practices and cleared up questions I didn’t get definite answers to!

        • I’m glad it helped. I’m not sure what advise to give you as it sounds like you have the right idea about the left turns (lol) although it is hard to see your driving thru the internet of course ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway let me know how it goes. If it does not go well be sure to ask for clarification on any issues.

  • Manmohan Singh

    What does c.c. disp (mc) mean? Its on the top right hand corner?

    • Oh man I have no idea, I don;t think it’s important.

      • Tim Whitehead

        I believe it is for a Motorcycle for when you are taking your class 6.

  • duncan

    What does 4b ‘gap’ mean, I got it for both some left and right turns and failed despite not getting it once the first time I took the test

    • Gap means there was a space between the oncoming vehicles for example on a left turn, that was safe for you to go, but you didn’t. That, or the space/time was not enough and you went when you should have waited. Were you hesitating/being really cautious? This would happen on a right turn if you had no reason to slow down or stop but you stopped or slowed down anyway… Like if you have no stop sign and no pedestrian and no red light, then you should just turn, but if you stop anyway just to look around then extra time goes by, that is considered a gap, like an extra amount of time or space that is not necessary.. does that make sense?

  • Adam

    Hi there, wish I found your blog earlier, failed my class 7 road test. What does 4C mean.. accel/decel? Thank you

    • Paul Hodgson

      I believe that ‘uneven speed control’ would cover this; including both failure to slow down when conditions call for it – as well as not increasing speed to whatever’s reasonable.

      Demonstrating that one can drive at a reasonable speed for conditions is a key element on a Class 7/8 Road Test.

      • BCDrivingBlog

        Thx for that!

  • carmenac

    If it doesn’t have a posted speed limit, then the speed limit is common sense and/or 50 km max. Orange cones all by themselves may not be a reason to slow down to 30 in certain cases; if there are people working in the middle of the road ie construction workers, then that’s a different story. Drivers must always think about appropriate speeds based on current conditions.

  • kumkum

    I had my road test today and i failed..but good to know about how to read your scores. would like to know whats the speed limit in a construction area where road is surrounded by orange cones..my speed was 30..and i was said it is too slow. failed for slow driving as my speed limit was between 40-45.

  • Fred Meyer

    Don’t rest your elbow on the arm rest when driving or move your head more than 2 inches when shoulder checking…..they don’t like it – especially on rainy Tuesdays! Also no clear instructions afterwards re what was wrong….. wonder why….hard to tell how a person drives in 15 minutes! Totally ridiculous!

  • competentdrivingbc

    Some good advice, here.

    I think the most important difference between the ‘old’ Road Test scoring and the ‘new’ one depicted is this: under the old system, the Driver Examiner looked for, or at least noted, errors. 2 points for something minor like failing to set your wheels when parked on a hill, 5 points for more serious mistakes like overshooting a stopline, 10 points for the serious stuff like failing to stop (as at a stop sign, or before attempting a right on a red). Plus of course, for egregious errors such as violations or the DE having to take control (verbally or physically) an automatic fail.

    But so long as you didn’t make too many errors – and this might depend on luck, in some cases, depending on other traffic encountered for instance – then you would pass. But there were some drawbacks to this; for instance, a DE was only allowed to mark any one error (no matter how frequently repeated to a maximum of three times; so if you didn’t ever use your turn signals for instance, but got everything else down perfectly, then you would get a 30 demerit RT Sheet, and be provided with your Driver License and an admonishment that you really ought to use your turn signals. (This is theoretical, because the DE would probably tag the fourth occasion of not signalling as a Violation, but you get the idea.)

    Whereas, with the current format, which is really much more positive so long as it’s comprehensible, it’s not sufficient to avoid demerits, but rather than that it’s required that you be able to demonstrate those certain Global Skills.

    The big problem these days, in my opinion, is that in the old days there was an understanding of roles – the instructor (whether a paid licensed professional or ‘merely’ a parent or friend) did the teaching, and the Driver Examiner determined the result from objective observation of performance. But when the RT was completed, the DE would very briefly target on the three main weaknesses noted in the driver’s behaviour (Pass or Fail irrelevant here) and then head back into the DSC with the Applicant to process the paperwork as necessary; but also, the opportunity would be there for the applicant, the instructor, and the DE to participate in a quick but useful dialogue about the prospective driver’s performance during the RoadTest.

    But these days, the DE (who is NOT licensed or qualified by ICBC as a Driving Instructor) will generally spend quite some time sitting in the car after the RoadTest discussing the result 1 on 1 with the applicant, but rarely find time to do this in a useful way with the instructor or parent. And that’s wrong; they shouldn’t be trying to talk the talk if they can’t walk the walk.

  • carmenac

    Steering wheel position. When you’re turning left, you should keep the steering wheel straight while waiting (not turned) in case of a rear-end collision. It may also refer to turning your wheels when parked on a hill. It may mean you did not turn your wheels at all, or you turned them the wrong direction when doing hill parking.

  • Anonymous

    What is steering wheel POS?

  • carmenac

    Thank you for the comment!

  • Henry

    I’m having my Road Test for Class 7 tomorrow, your tips really helped me make note on what I should be more careful on. Cheers!

  • carmenac

    Glad it helped. Maybe get a few driving lessons if you can but yes, practice practice practice!

  • Lilian

    I’m really glad I found your blog. I had my road test today, and I failed ๐Ÿ™
    I didn’t get what “gap” means and i was puzzed. Thank you for make this clear to me. I’ ll practice more and i hope i’ll be able to pass next time.