How to Pass Your ARDS
The standard driving test is a rite of passage for people both young and old. Being able to drive means more freedom to travel where you please, without having to rely on public transport or lifts from family and friends. But for some people, the opportunity to further their driving skills to a more advanced level, and for that, special courses need to be taken. The Association of Racing Driver Schools, or ARDS, offers just such a test to drivers of different experience levels.
What is the ARDS?
The ARDS test takes place at a number of racing circuits around the country. The aim of the test is not to see how quick you are around the track, but how you handle the car and how safe you are when dealing with higher speeds and more aggressive corners. The test is operated by ARDS Member Schools, who run the Novice Driver Training Course – this is a mandatory test for those who want to apply for their first race license.
Before you can take the ARDS, you will need to purchase the MSA’s Go Racing pack. This pack contains the MSA Yearbook, which contains the regulations and application forms for the test, as well as a Go Racing DVD that you should watch to prepare yourself for the test. As the ARDS test also consists of a written examination, watching the DVD is vital as it contains all the answers to that part of the test.
The test consists of driving with a fully qualified race driver around one of the various official ARDS tracks in the country. Your driving is observed as you do a few laps around the circuit, learning the various cornering techniques and even starting techniques, after this you take the written part of the exam. It consists of 28 questions, the first 14 of which require you to identify flags, with the next six concerning safety. You need to score the full 20 marks to pass the section, after which it is on to the final eight multiple choice questions about general racing, where you must score a minimum of six.
The driving assessment is next, where you perform three laps around the circuit, with every aspect of your driving being judged. Different cars will be on the track at the same time as you, so it is important you do not get distracted!
After this part of the test, you will be informed of whether or not you have passed the test, and your form will be stamped after you have completed a medical. If you pass the test, you can say that you are officially a qualified racing driver.
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