Doing your driver’s licence test can be a stressful experience. I was one of those people who failed in the yard. I actually cried that day. Learning to drive is an emotional journey, it takes a lot of time, finances and even emotional strain. I cannot begin to tell you how much anxiety I had on the road, especially around trucks! But, with practice, that fearfulness disappeared.

It’s important to remain calm when you’re on the road and to be observant. It is also important to have a good instructor. They need to know what they are doing and be reliable, dependable and very patient. For me, patience and kindness is vital.

Before you can drive on the road, you need to pass the “yard test”. The yard test includes: Parallel parking, alley-docking, three-point turn and incline. In this blog, we will look at parallel parking, alley-docking and three-point turn.

Many people are most fearful of the yard test because parking can be tricky. Here are some tips on how to pass in the yard and some useful terms you will need to know:

What is a blind spot?
Blind spots are the areas to the sides of your car that can’t be seen in your rearview mirror (the interior mirror) or side mirrors (the external mirrors). To make sure these spots are clear before doing manoeuvres like changing lanes, or parking, you’ll have to physically turn around and look to check. All it takes is a shoulder check and a mirror check to make sure you’re safe.

Parallel parking

I’ve heard many of my friends struggling with parallel parking. I’ve had my share of struggling between my left and right too! But, like I mentioned earlier, with practice it gets better. Here are some things you need to do:

    1. Indicate the direction you are going to go in.

    2. Select gear (reverse).

    3. At your second pole, sharp turn to the right.

    4. Once you see the three poles, straighten your wheel.

    5. Now, look in the rearview mirror.

    6. Once the first pole passes your mirror, sharp turn left.

    7. Stop your car once it’s straight, do not roll.

    Poles: The orange circles in the diagram are the poles. The first poles are the ones at the bottom of the diagram, the second poles are in the middle, and the third poles are at the top.

Three-point turn

    1. Check your mirrors and blind spot.

    2. Indicate, clutch in, 1st gear, clutch control.

    3. Full observation (check all your mirrors).

    4. Release park brake.

    5. Drive until you can’t see the white line in front of you.

    6. Sharp turn right until the corner.

    7. Straighten your wheel once you’re at the corner.

    8. Reverse till it’s straight then straighten your wheel.

    9. Keep on reversing till you see the broken line.

    10. Stop vehicle.

    11. Go right.

Alley docking

    1. Position car in the starting block, select hand brake and neutral.

    2. Check your mirrors and blind spot, select indicator.

    3. Select reverse gear and get clutch control.

    4. Do a full observation (check all your mirrorss).

    5. Release park brake and move off.

    6. Check blind spot before turning.

    7. Turn after the second poll passes your shoulder.

    8. Turn once you see three poles in a straight line.

    9. Reverse into parking bay, checking that both sides are equal.

    10. Stop at the second pole.

    11. Select hand brake.

    12. Cancel indicator.

This is just a quick brief on the difference between the three, remember to find a good driving school in your area and go for as many lessons as possible. If you can’t afford a driving school, ask a family member, friend, neighbour or someone you trust to take you for lessons just to practice.

Go and ace that test!


Learn how to de-stress here.

Tell us: Do you have any tips for passing your driver’s licence?