Quality driving lessons

Many pupils who are very capable drivers can be vulnerable to Driving Test Day Nerves!  It is a 40 minute snapshot of the your ability to drive.  However, human frailty can expose weaknesses which may not occur under normal conditions.  The following are a number of things which can make a difference and create a better chance of passing your driving test on the first attempt.

Believe in Yourself.

You can Do It !

As with most things in life, confidence and belief can make a huge difference in a person’s level of performance.  By the time test day comes around, you may be sitting in the Test Centre waiting room feeling nervous, and that is fine.  However, the driving test day nerves should only be there because it is a test and NOT because of worries about your driving ability.  In the weeks leading up to test, any problems in your mind need to be discussed with your Instructor.  A problem shared is a problem halved.

Perfection comes by Practice!

Self belief will come with more practice of all things driving.  You should feel confident in all manoeuvres, skills and routines.  You shouldn’t have a favourite manoeuvre as you should feel competent in all of them.  As the test approaches, if you are feeling concerned about a particular skill or routine, you should air these concerns.  Time can then be allocated to overcome the worry.  The driving test is a test and should be treated with the importance of any other exam or test. We should respect the achievement of a good standard of driving.  Whether we pass or fail, our level of driving stays the same.  You should take responsibility for the test and recognise when you are feeling ready and capable.  The option of postponing a test to allow more practice should be seen as an opportunity of increasing the levels of skills and understanding.  Of course it is great to pass first time and, by focusing on a good standard of driving, the chances to pass with a good result automatically increase.  It shouldn’t be seen as a weakness or failing on the part of the pupil or instructor.

We are here to help you.

Your instructor has a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding.  They want to help you as this is their passion.  Your safety on the roads after your driving test is their main aim (the same can be said for the examiners too).  So you can help your instructor, and help yourself, by asking any and all questions you may have before test day is upon you.  As stated earlier, you should have no doubts about your knowledge or skill.  If you have, then this will reduce your confidence come the big day.  The only ‘silly’ question is the one which stays inside your mind, unanswered!  If in doubt, ask the question.

Prepare yourself well for Test Day.

The practical test is a test just like any other exam or assessment.  Most pupils will be undergoing A Levels or maybe university exams.  The practical test should be afforded the same priority as any other exam.  It is only 40 minutes long but gives a qualification which lasts a lifetime so we only want to do it once.  Good test preparation can ease the feelings of anxiety on the big day.  It is important that you understand exactly what will happen on arrival at the test centre, up to the point that you start the engine at the beginning of the test.  This should be discussed between pupil and instructor well in advance of test day.  This allows any doubts or questions to be aired.  It also helps some pupils to visit the test centre before the big day; familiarity can certainly help to ease any nerves.

You should be mentally and physically prepared.  Ensuring that you have enough sleep in the week (not day or two) prior to the test can make a huge difference to mental alertness.  Also, having a decent breakfast and staying well hydrated can help to make you feel healthy and alert.  You should try to visualise what you will feel like on test day; you should expect to feel nervous and accept the nerves.  Allow them to sit in the back of your head and don’t try to fight them.  Encourage your driving skills to overcome the nerves and put them to sleep.  You will find that as you drive away at the start of your test, your worries will slip into the background.

You can also revise your theory knowledge by going online and revising some theory tests, as well as revising the methods and skills of any manoeuvres so that they are all fresh in your mind.

The Driving Examiner is a human.

Sometimes the impression of a Driving Examiner (DE) is that of a complete ogre who takes total joy at failing pupils.  That couldn’t be further from the truth; they are just normal men and women who are doing a job.  They are obliged to be pleasant to test candidates and they also enjoy completing the Pass Certificate with your name on it.  The DE only wants to see a good display of basic driving skills.  He/she wants you to display your normal, natural driving style and for you to be in the correct position, doing the appropriate speed and in the correct speed in all situations.  He doesn’t expect to see an advanced driver, nor does he expect to see the extraordinary skills.  However, he certainly doesn’t want to see a learner.  If he sees a learner, you will more likely leave the test centre as a learner.

Therefore, prepare yourself well with the help of your instructor to ensure that all knowledge, skills and understanding is as habitual as possible.  Make sure that you go out on test with a determination to have a smiley, relaxed drive.  This will then make the DE feel smiley and relaxed.  Your aim should be to make him feel bored with the confident and smooth driving style which you have produced many times before for your instructor.

Now, take this advice and make the driving test a mere stepping stone on your journey to freedom and independence.

Good Luck.

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