Class 5 Road Test vs Class 7 – Successfully Conquer Either

What’s the difference between the ICBC Class 5 Road Test and Class 7 Road Test?

Are you going for your class 5 road test in beautiful British Columbia? Or maybe just wondering about the differences between Class 5 and Class 7 road tests?

I can tell you they are very similar. In each one, an examiner sits beside you, tells you where to go, and judges your every move… fun times.

class 5 road test ICBC

Class 5 Road Test and Class 7?

What Is Class 7 ICBC

Let’s get into a little more detail. And just to be clear, the Class 7 test is for drivers who currently have their ‘L’ and wish to transition to the freedom that comes with the ‘N’ stage.

This freedom would include driving alone.


What Is Class 5 ICBC

The Class 5 road test is a general road test, used for typical passenger vehicles.

It’s sometimes used for drivers from other countries when they’re moving to British Columbia.

It’s also the test used for drivers who have their ‘N’ and wish to transition to the wonderful land of having their Class 5.

Of course, without all the restrictions that come with the ‘N’ license.

road test freedom

How Long Are the Driving Tests?

class 5  how long

Class 7

They say the Class 7 tests takes 45 minutes, but that includes all the time at the end for debriefing, going inside to do paperwork, and etc. Usually the actual driving time is about 30 minutes.

Class 5 Road Test

The Class 5 road test is usually takes about 45 minutes. It’s a bit longer than the Class 7 test. Drivers are expected to be somewhat experienced and show smooth car control, safe decision making, and knowledge/skill.

The Class 5 road test usually includes merging onto a highway or freeway, too.

The Class 7 driving test does not include merging onto a highway or freeway.

class 7 road test highway freeway

Differences between the Hazard Perception Thing

Both tests will include a part for you to show some ‘hazard perception.’

This just means you have to tell the driving examiner what you see in your driving environment that could be a potential hazard.


For the Class 7 test, you will do this while stopped; pulled over on the side of the road.

There may not be a very exciting environment there, but you can say any hazard that you see; or can’t see.

This could include weather, road condition, a blind driveway, hill or curve where visibility is reduced, kids playing, a crosswalk coming up; anything like that.

Read more about hazards here.

For the Class 5 Test you will have to do this while you’re driving.

I guess they figure after having at least a few years of experience, that you should be able to talk and drive at the same time by now.

Both Tests Check Your Global Skills

ICBC’s global skills are a way to measure drivers on the road test. This is because they don’t use demerits anymore. So they’ve come up with a new and totally confusing way to mark the road test.

Both the class 5 & 7 test will naturally check you for these important things.

the global skills are

  • Observation – basically, do you see stuff? Do you see the stuff you’re supposed to be seeing? For example, pedestrians about to cross at the crosswalk, playground zones, other cars doing things maybe they shouldn’t be.
  • Space Margins – Do you keep a proper space margin around your vehicle? Do you follow the car in front too closely? Are you the correct amount of space away from curbs? Are you in the right spot when you’re turning and going straight at intersections?
  • Speed – Are you speeding through a school zone? Are you going too slow because you’re nervous (40 km in a 50 km zone for no apparent reason). Are you keeping up with speeding traffic on the freeway? (Don’t do that)
  • Communication – Do you use your turn signals to tell other road users what you plan to do? Do you honk in a situation where it might be necessary? Do you get eye contact with other road users?

Both Tests May Include

Of course, both tests are driving tests and thus will test typical driving maneuvers. These may include:

Not every skill will be part of your test, but practicing them all will give you the best chance of being prepared.

The thing is, examiners want to obviously see that you are safe and do not break any laws, such as changing lanes over a solid white line.

Class 7 Test

For the class 7 test, around 50% of people fail. Maybe this is why they don’t even bother wasting time on the freeway.

They’re basically looking that you know what you’re doing, you make good decisions, and know how to control the car smoothly. They’re making sure you aren’t doing anything sketchy.

You do need to know how to park, but don’t need to be perfect. It takes a long long time to get good at parking.

Even driving instructors can suck at parking sometimes.

It’s more important that you have the general concept while being safe, and have good observation skills.

Is a pedestrian about to walk behind you while you’re parking? This is more important than being perfect. Also, you can fix your parking if you need to make some readjustments, just as we do in real life.

driving lessons

Class 5 Test

It doesn’t take long to gather bad habits once people start driving on their own. This is mostly what the Class 5 Test is about.

For example, do you still observe and drive the proper speed in a playground zone?

Are you speeding on the freeway? Do you palm or hook the steering wheel? Do you forget all of your shoulder checks?

So you can see, each test is very similar. One is basically a little longer and is mostly checking for bad habits. The Class 7 test is to see that you’ve been properly trained to drive safely on your own.

Need some epic tips for passing the ICBC road test?

Class 5 Road Test Vs. Class 7 Road Test – Infographic

class 5 or 7 road test british columbia infographic

Get more info from ICBC here about the road tests, graduated licensing program, and all of that exciting stuff.

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Carmen became a driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, Canada. She enjoys writing as much as driving, and hopes you have found this website helpful.

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