Topographical Skills Test – Beginners Guide for PCO Drivers

 Passing various tests to obtain a PCO license proves your skills in becoming an official PCO driver. One of these tests is topographical test, also known as Uber topographical test as it is essential for Uber drivers to own a PCO license, which examines your skills on 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 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

Content preview

  • What is PCO license and its requirements?
  • What is topographical test?
  • Topographical mock test free: How to prepare for topographical test?
  • Topographical test centers in London: Where to take the test?
  • How long does it take to get PCO license after topographical test?
  • How to book the topographical test?
  • FAQs about topographical test

What is PCO license and its requirements?

The PCO License, also known as the Private Hire Driver License, is the most essential document which allows you to work as a minicab driver or chauffeur, such as working for  Uber or other ride-share apps. The PCO license is valid for 3 years and is issued by the PCO (Public Carriage Office), which is a department of Transport for London (TfL). After 3 years, it expires and renewal for the license is required.        

In order to get 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 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 hard 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 test and sample questions, we will tell you.

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

One of the ways to get prepared for the Topographical map test is taking the mock test freely and online. There are many different topographical mock tests provided online and free by various websites that you can simply 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/
  5. Etc.

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

There are 6 approved centers in London (based on what TfL official website says) to take the official PCO license topographical test. The full information of these 6 centers 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/

How long does it take to get PCO license after topographical test?

PCO license

Depending on your ability, the Topographical test will take at least 1 hour. 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 for your PCO license to be published. The whole process of taking the exams, filling the forms, etc. of doing the PCO license will take about 12 to 16 weeks and it will cost at least £420 in total.

How to book the topographical test?

In order 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 process of registering 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 can 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 allies in London there is no need to take the topographical test, however this is determined by TfL. For instance, if you are taxi driver and want to join Uber as well, taking PCO license is exclude of topographical test as you are already a London expert!

FAQs about topographical test

Is the topographical test difficult to pass?

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

What is the pass mark for the topographical test?

Getting 60 or above it of 100 clarifies you have enough map reading knowledge so you are 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 or experience a PCO withdrawal!

How long is the topographical test valid?

Although it is valid for 6 months, you don’t need to retake it after it is expired if the PCO license is still valid.

Is topographical test a must in getting PCO license?

If you are a new PCO driver, absolutely yes!

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