How To Pass The Show Me/Tell Me Questions

Last Updated: 10/05/2022

When you’re sitting your driving test, it’s not all about sitting behind the wheel and performing manoeuvres or driving.

In fact, you will need to know some basics about vehicle safety.

At the start of your car driving test, you will be asked two vehicle safety questions.

These questions are often referred to as the “show me, tell me” questions.

It’s an important and unavoidable part of today’s modern driving test, so you’re going to need to know what to expect and how to come through it unscathed.

What You Will Learn

To help get you prepared for these questions, we have put together this useful guide which will give you the advice you will need so you can answer these questions with confidence.

  • Step-By-Step Guide
  • Video Demonstration
  • Useful Information
  • Final Thoughts
  • Further Resources

Step-By-Step Guide

The examiner will start the test by asking you one “show me” question.

This will require you to show them how you would carry out a specific check.

You will then be asked one “tell me” question.

This will require you to explain how you would carry out the check.

Below Are Examples Of ‘Show Me’ Questions:

Question:

“Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working”.

Response:

Demonstrate this to the examiner by applying the indicators and hazard warning switch and check that they are all working properly. Switch the ignition on if necessary.

Question:

“Show me how you would check to see if the brake lights are working properly. You can switch the ignition on if you need to, but do not start the engine”.

Response:

Demonstrate this to the examiner by looking around for anything that would reflect the brake lights, for example windows, garage door etc and operate the brake pedal to see if the lights are reflected.

Also explain to the examiner that you would if necessary ask a passerby to help.

Question:

“Show me how you would check that the handbrake is working properly. Do not lose control of the vehicle”.

Response:

Demonstrate this to the examiner by applying the foot-brake firmly then applying the parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself.

Also explain to the examiner that you would only do this when the vehicle is stationary and when safe to do so.

Question:

“Show me how you would check that the horn is working”.

Response:

Demonstrate this to the examiner by pressing the horn control button (usually on steering wheel) to activate the horn so the horns sound rings out from the car.

Question:

“Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washers and wipers”.

Response:

Demonstrate to the examiner how you would operate the windscreen wiper control to activate the windscreen wipers and wash the windscreen. Turn on ignition if necessary.

Question:

“Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them. You do not need to get out of the car.”

Response:

Demonstrate to the examiner how you would operate the fog light control switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary) to activate the fog light.

Also provide examples to the examiner when the fog light should be used and when it should not be used.

Question:

“Show me how you switch your headlights from dipped beam to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on”.

Response:

Demonstrate to the examiner how you would operate the headlight control switch(s) (with ignition or engine on if necessary) to flip between dipped headlights and main beam.

Also demonstrate to the examiner the different lights on the dashboard when dipped headlights and main beam have been activated.

Question:

“Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively”.

Response:

Demonstrate to the examiner how you would set all relevant controls including fan, temperature, air direction and source, and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. There is no need to start the engine.

Below Are Examples Of ‘Tell Me’ Questions:

Question:

“Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that brakes should always be tested before moving off. They should not feel spongy or slack and the vehicle should not pull to one side.

Question:

“Tell me how you would adjust your head restraint so that it offers the most protection if you were to be involved in a crash”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that adjustment to the head restraint should ensure that the hardest part of the head restraint is level with the eyes and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.

It is also advisable to point out to the examiner where the clips are located on the seat which allows the head restraint to be adjusted.

Question:

“Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You do not need to get out of the car”.

Response:

Turn on ignition if necessary. Switch on the headlights and tail lights.

Explain to the examiner that you would get out of the car and walk around it to make sure both sets of lights are working correctly.

There is no need to physically check the lights as this is a “tell me” question.

Question:

“Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that a warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

It is also recommended to explain to the examiner that you would not drive the car if there was a problem with the vehicle’s ABS system as this could be a massive safety risk.

Question:

“Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would consult the vehicle’s manufacturer guidebook or alternatively consult the key information stickers usually contained inside the drivers or passengers door panel (if possible).

If both those guides aren’t available, explain to the examiner that you would use a reliable pressure gauge to check and adjust pressure when tyres are cold.

Also don’t forget to mention the spare tyre and remember to refit valve caps.

Question:

“Tell me how you would check the tyres so you know that they have  sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would first check for any deep cuts and bulges, and then you would ensure there is 1.6mm of tread depth across the central ¾ of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

Also explain to the examiner that if any deep cuts, bulges or low thread was found, you would not drive the vehicle as these issues could cause a major safety risk.

Question:

“Tell me where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would first check the dipstick and then show the examiner where the dipstick is located in the vehicle’s engine bay.

Explain to the examiner that you would check the dipstick to make sure the oil level was within the minimum and maximum markers.

Finally, explain to the examiner that you would also consult the vehicle’s on-board computer (if available) to make sure the oil level was fine.

Question:

“Tell me where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would first check the coolant system and then show the examiner where the coolant system is located in the vehicle’s engine bay.

Explain to the examiner that you would check the coolant levels to make sure coolant was within the minimum and maximum markers as advised on the coolant system tank or radiator cap.

Finally, explain to the examiner how you would top up coolant to make sure it is at the recommended level.

Question:

“Tell me where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would first check the fluid reservoir system and then show the examiner where the fluid reservoir system is located.

Explain to the examiner that you would check the fluid reservoir to make sure it was within the minimum and maximum markers as advised on the fluid reservoir system.

Question:

“Tell me where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level”.

Response:

Explain to the examiner that you would first check the windscreen washer reservoir and then show the examiner where the windscreen washer reservoir is located in the vehicle’s engine bay.

Explain to the examiner that you would check the windscreen washer levels to make sure it was within the minimum and maximum markers as advised on the windscreen washer reservoir.

Finally, explain to the examiner how you would top up the windscreen washer to make sure it is at the recommended level.

Video Demonstration

Useful Information

You should use the examples given above as a starting point for preparing for your driving test.

Ensure you can answer them for your car or your instructors cars, depending which you’re going to use.

That said, the vast majority are generic enough to be the same regardless of the car.

Final Thoughts

While this element of the test may seem inconvenient, it’s actually really useful.

Before this was added to a driving test, too many people were getting behind the wheel without the knowledge of how to deal with certain scenarios.

This puts you in a much stronger position.

Further Resources