If your driving test is soon approaching you’re probably feeling a little nervous about it, but as long as you’ve practised enough and followed our guide, it should be smooth sailing all the way…
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, you can’t really take your driving test without having at least a little bit of practice behind you and, as with most things, the more practice you put in now the more likely you are to do well on the day. The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency states that you should have at least 45 hours of driving practice with a professional instructor and around 22 hours of private practice. To complete private practice, you’ll need to invest in temporary car insurance and be accompanied by a driver over the age of 21 who has held their license for at least three years. You should also make sure that you’re with an instructor that makes you feel at ease and comfortable enough to ask any questions, no matter how silly you might think they are.
Don’t Ignore Road Signs
All of the signs on the road are there to help you out, so make sure you don’t ignore them either in your driving lessons or in your test. During your test, you’ll be unable to ask the examiner for advice and you’ll need to have the confidence to know signs and the highway code. It’s definitely worth revisiting your theory books so that you can refresh your memory of anything that you may be struggling with.
While it’s easier said than done, staying calm is a vital part of passing your test. If you make a mistake or are unable to remember something during your test, try not to panic. Instead, deal with it in a calm manner and take the appropriate actions to rectify your mistakes. A mistake such as taking the wrong turn won’t count as a fail, as long as you do it safely. Something like this will be noticed by the examiner and you’ll be considered a good driver.
Don’t Think Negatively
Swap negative thoughts like “I am going to fail my test” with positive thoughts like “I will pass my test first time”. To do this, try something called creative visualisation which involves closing your eyes and imagining driving safely, calmly and confidently over your route. You’d be surprised at how much this technique can help before you buckle up.
Make Sure You Know The Car
During the course of the test, you’ll be asked a few questions about the vehicle that you’re driving so it’s important that your instructor goes through these with you before your test day. For example, you’ll need to know how to turn on things such as the windscreen wipers, the front and rear lights and the fog light etc. You’ll also need to lift the bonnet and inspect the inner mechanics of the car. This way, you won’t pick up any minors during the ‘Show Me Tell Me’ part of the test.
You can’t be certain of the road conditions on the day but preparing for any eventuality should make you feel less panicked. Before you get going, think about the rules you must follow if the roads are wet or slippery or what would happen if you stall the car or need to do an emergency stop. After enough practice, you should have driven in most road conditions so you won’t find any nasty surprises either on the test day or when it comes to driving on your own. Similarly, by taking the time to think of the mistakes or bad habits you’re usually prone to when you drive, you’ll be able to avoid them on the day.
Eat Before Your Test
When we’re nervous or stressed it’s a common human reaction to fail to eat but having some food before your test is more important than ever. You’re going to need to have a lot of mental clarity and having something on your stomach will settle your nerves and help you to maintain focus on the tasks (and road) ahead. Try some ‘brain foods’ such as blueberries, broccoli, avocados and even dark chocolate!
Stay Confident Throughout
Even if you believe you’ve made a mistake at the beginning of your test, carry on with the same level of confidence because you can’t be sure of the result until the examiner has the final say. For instance, something that you believe you have done incorrectly may have been smoothed over by how you chose to address it and therefore you won’t fail. Stay calm, stay focused and stay confident from beginning to end.
Are you feeling a little less nervous yet? Don’t worry, when it comes to your test day you should be fully prepared for whatever lies ahead.