Common where? There's usually about a 3 week wait for another exam date.
In Wrocław it's like this:
(after having attended the required driving lessons, I think)
1. You have to pay and register for, and pass the theory exam - which as far as I can tell is quite easy, as it's a small set of questions - which you can also find and test yourself on internet. The theory exam is valid for six months. If you haven't passed the driving exam by then, you have to do the theory exam again. By the way, it is very cheap too. You can also do both exams combined the same day.
2. You have to pay and register for the driving exam. Typically in Wrocław you can find a time for next day, otherwise the day after. The driving exam consists of: two "theory" questions that you randomly choose from a deck of cards (!), such as "check if lights work", "check engine oil", and such; łuk
; and 25 to 40 (?) minute drive in the traffic. If you fail, you can do it again the next day or whenever you want
3. If you fail the driving exam three times, you have to take six additional driving lessons - at the authorized instructor of your choice. You are also entitled, if you want, to a free visit at a psychologist. Then you are free to return to point 2. (or point 1. after six months).
What surprised me the most is how codified everything is and how "impartial". All the cars are the same (Renault Clio at the moment) - which is why driving schools also have to have them. Theory is objective, a computer can pass or fail you, but this is the same everywhere. The "theory" questions about the car in the driving exams are fixed and randomly assigned, not chosen by the instructor. Everything you do in the traffic, well or bad, is noted on a preprinted paper with all the possible situations noticed. The whole exam is recorded on video. Everywhere in WORD there are posters inviting to denounce corruption, and a list of convicted people trying to offer "help" in exchange of money (examiners), offering money (those being examined) or having someone else do the exam in your place.