Topographical Skills Test – Beginners Guide for PCO Drivers

Topographical Skills Test - Beginners Guide for PCO Drivers

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Passing various tests to obtain a PCO license proves your skills to become an official PCO driver. One of these tests is the topographical test, also known as the Uber topographical test. You need to own a PCO license as an Uber driver, which proves your skills in map understanding. Well, you will be a better driver if you understand maps and routes better, right? In this article, we discuss more details of the topographical skill test and check a few sample questions to see how this test looks. Let’s dig in to learn all you need about the TFL topographical test.

Topographical Skills Test

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  • What are the PCO License and its requirements?
  • What is a topographical test?
  • Topographical mock test free: How to prepare for the topographical test?
  • Topographical test centres in London: Where to take the test?
  • After the topographical test, how long does it take to get the PCO License?
  • How to book the topographical test?
  • FAQs about the topographical test

What is the PCO License and what are the requirements?

The PCO License, also known as the Private Hire Driver License, is an essential document that allows you to work as a minicab driver or chauffeur, such as working for Uber or other ride-share platforms. The PCO License is valid for three years and is issued by the PCO (Public Carriage Office), which is the department of Transport for London (TfL). It expires after three years, and a renewal for the license is required.      

To get a PCO License, you will need to do the process below:

  1. Complete Criminal DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Check.
  2. Pass Medical Test.
  3. Pass Topographical Skills Assessment.
  4. Topographical Assessment with Uber.
  5. Pass English Language Test.
  6. Complete the application form on the TFL Website

What is a topographical test?

topographical test

Topographical assessment is a sub-field of PCO license that examines your skills in reading and understanding maps and routing methods. Some people think it is a challenging test but, don’t worry! It is not that difficult if you are prepared enough. A way of getting ready for this test is to get familiar with question types through topographical practice tests.

If you wonder where to find topographic map practice tests and sample questions, keep on reading.

Topographical mock test free: How to prepare for the topographical test?

One of the ways to get prepared for the Topographical map test is by taking the mock test freely and online. Many different topographical mock tests are provided free of charge and accessible by various websites. You can find the best ones through the following websites:

  1. The official website of Topographical skill test: https://topographicalskills.training
  2. Uber also provides mock tests of Topographical skills: https://www.uber.com/
  3. Topographical skill test which is a specific website for mock tests of topographic map practice test: https://www.topographical-skills-test.co.uk/
  4. App driver which is a company in the UK for PCO cars: https://appdriver.co.uk/

Topographical test centres in London: Where to take the test?

There are six approved centres in London (based on what TfL official website says) to take the official PCO license topographical test. The complete information of these six centres are listed in the table below:

Center Address Assessment schedule More info about the center
Bridge Topographical Training Ltd College of North West London, Wembley Park Drive, Middlesex, HA9 8HP Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays https://www.bridgetopographical.co.uk
Capstar Chauffeur Ltd The Farmhouse, Syon Park, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 8JF Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays http://www.capstar.co/training/
Data Cars Ltd 92-94 Lee High Road, Lewisham, London, SE13 5PT Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays https://www.datacars.com/topographical
Driver Periodic Training Ltd Brooklands House, Petersfield Avenue, Slough, SL2 5DY Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays http://www.learninginmotion.co.uk/
E-Laws Training Ltd Unit 1B, The Show House, Merton Abbey Mills, Watermill Way, Colliers Wood, London SW19 2RD Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays http://www.e-lawstraining.com/tfl-topographical.html
The Vehicle Site Ltd Bridge House (Rear Entrance), 1st Floor, 150 London Road, Barking IG11 8BB Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays http://www.topographical-skills-test.co.uk/

After the topographical test, how long does it take to get the PCO License?

PCO license

The Topographical test will take at least 1 hour, depending on your ability. The results of this test will be announced in a couple of days. After that, if you have completed all the procedures, it will take a few weeks to publish your PCO license. The whole process of taking the exams, filling the forms, etc., will take about 12 to 16 weeks, and it will cost at least £420 in total.

How to book the topographical test?

To register and take the topographical test, you will have the process below to book the topographical test:

  1. As soon as you start the registration process for a PCO license, the invitation to book a topographical test comes to you.
  2. The next step is to confirm the invitation, which costs about £50.
  3. You don’t need to pay the fee online as the payment is done with cards only on the test day.
  4. If you missed the invitation, you could check the TFL website or contact 0343 222 4444 to book the test. It is recommended to book the closest date available if you are prepared.

Topographical test exemption

If you are already familiar with all the streets and alleys in London, there is no need to take the topographical test; however, this is determined by TfL. For instance, if you are a taxi driver and want to join Uber, taking a PCO license is excluded from the topographical test as you are already a London expert!

FAQs about topographical test

Is the topographical test challenging to pass?

No test is that difficult if you are prepared. Besides, the topographical tests are not complicated, and you can pass them easily if you take a few mock tests.

What is the pass mark for the topographical test?

Getting 60 or above from 100 clarifies that you have enough map-reading knowledge to be considered passed.

What if I fail the test?

Once you fail the test, there is a second chance to retake the topographical test, but if you fail the second time as well, the whole PCO registration needs to be redone. So, try to use your double chances wisely or experience a PCO withdrawal!

How long is the topographical test valid?

Although it is valid for only six months, you don’t need to retake it after its expiration when your PCO license is still valid

Is the topographical test a must in getting a PCO License?

If you are a new PCO driver, yes, it is!

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