So you’ve finally decided on your ARDS test date and location, it’s time to prepare.

I decided to go for Brands Hatch as my location and what would obviously be a sunny date in August (yea, RIGHT!!!). I chose Brands for various reasons. Firstly it is my local track so less fuel costs, no need for accommodation and I would only need one day off work. Another big plus was I had spent an experience day at Brands so already had a tiny bit of experience there.

Now I started trawling through forums looking at other peoples experiences to get an idea of what exactly I would need to know. Everything I read pointed to just learn your flags and watch the DVD, it’ll be fine. Oh and make sure you learn your flags. Then learn them again. Did I mention flags yet? learn them.

So I took my booklet with the flags to work and went over them each lunchtime in the week leading up to the test. I began writing out the description for each flag and then double checking it. I was fairly confident I had the flags nailed but would continue to repeat this process until the night before. Enlisted sim racing friends to ask me flag questions while messing around on the virtual track and everything seemed to be going well. I was now certain I was good with the flags. Checked. Then checked again. Still certain. Ok Good.

A lot of advice was the rest of the paper would mainly be common sense, oh balls! Made sure I watched the safety DVD through a couple of times and actually put it on the night before when I couldn’t sleep (it had sent me to sleep once previously..) There is definitely a lot of useful information on the DVD which is not limited to passing the test, some health and safety sections that are worth watching at some point with useful tips.

So in summary. Make sure you learn the friggen flags! Watch the DVD a few times, though they will also show you this just before you sit the written part of the exam AND MAKE SURE YOU LEARN THE FLAGS.

Flags. Know them. Live them. Breathe them. Everything will be fine.

I would end up falling asleep to the safety DVD the night before my test whilst trying and failing to get an early night…