Top tips for helping you pass your driving test practical. It’s a nerve racking time for anyone, but use these tips to make it an easier and less stressful process!
Tell no one
You’ll put less pressure on yourself, and there won’t be any jeering from your mates if you don’t pass.
Get there early
Don’t aim to get there 10 minutes ahead. Aim to get there at least half an hour before! The last thing you want is to arrive flustered and stressed. Getting there early will mean you feel more calm and prepared.
If you manage to make it with plenty of time, then go for a quick walk around the centre. Just to check if there are any roadworks or change of road layouts in the immediate area that may affect the test route. Some fresh air will help calm your nerves too.
Have a lesson before the test
Try and arrange a lesson with your instructor before the test. It’ll mean you get to talk through any worries that may have kept you up the night before, plus you can practice any manoeuvres you think you may be weak at.
Get to know the area
Ask your driving instructor to drive you around the area near the test centre. If for some reason they can’t, get your mum, dad or a friend to drive you round it in their car.
If they won’t do it then use Google Streetview! You can use it to see if there are any complicated looking roundabouts or confusing cross-roads.
Go to the toilet beforehand
This one is pretty self explanatory!
Explain what you’re doing
Tell the examiner what you’re doing if you think they may be unsure. If for example you see a child riding a bike ahead, it will do no harm if you say ‘I’m going to slow down slightly because of the kid ahead’. It simply shows to them that you’re aware.
One of the main reasons for people failing their test is that the examiner doesn’t think they are observing what’s going on around them. By glancing in your mirrors the examiner won’t necessarily know that you’re being aware of your surroundings. Physically turn your head so it’s clear that you’re taking in what’s going on behind you.
“I’ve failed, haven’t I?”
Don’t ask this question! Even if you do think you’ve messed up, just keep going.
It may be what you’ve done isn’t as bad as you think it is. If you’ve just run someone over then yes, you’ve probably failed. But if you’ve just made a little mistake, or stalled, then don’t worry you can likely still pass.
Sneaking a peek
Whatever you do, don’t try and look at what the examiner is writing down. You won’t be able to see, it will distract you from the road and they will notice! It is slightly disconcerting to see them scribble something down as you’re driving, but don’t think too much into it, they’d be writing things down even if you did a perfect test.
Making idle conversation
You shouldn’t try and make friends with the examiner. Even if you’re driving down a long empty road, or stuck in traffic, don’t make small talk. It may feel awkward sitting in silence with a stranger next to you, but they’re totally used to and just doing their job. You concentrate on driving, not trying to strike up a conversation about the weather.
Easier said than done, but don’t get too anxious. By the time you’re old enough to take your test, you’re probably used to dealing with exam nerves. So try and figure out what it is that works best for you. Just remember that even if you do fail, it’s not like most exams, there are plenty of opportunities to try again.
(That was 11 tips by the way, we threw in a bonus one!)
Once you’ve passed you’ll wonder what all the stress was about. When you’re done, come back to carwow so we can help you choose what new car to buy!