No matter if you have 15 or 150 hours of driving lessons under your belt, it’s always a nerve-racking experience when test day rolls around.
On average, less than half of those who take a practical test each year in the UK pass with anxious manoeuvres often resulting in driving errors.
Beating the stress is crucial to passing, especially if you’ve failed in the past, but there are plenty of things you can put in place to remain as calm as possible.
Take a lesson before your test
Most tutors will offer student drivers a lesson immediately before their practical exam that ends at the test centre itself.
This helps you gain confidence at the wheel ahead of the test and it’s likely that you’ll cover some of the same roads that you are about to travel on as part of your test.
You’ll also have the chance to practise your manoeuvres and get to grips with the kind of questions that the examiner will be asking as you drive.
Pick a kinder time
Your driving test is stressful enough, so don’t amp things up by choosing a time that clashes with peak traffic in the morning, lunchtime, or evening.
With fewer cars on the road, you have a lower number of hazards to worry about and you will have more opportunities to prove your manoeuvring skills to the examiner, rather than sitting in traffic jams.
Prepare yourself physically
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial so do all that you can to get to bed at a good time, so you’re refreshed and sharp mentally on test day.
Your eyesight is crucial at any time you’re driving so if you are shortsighted or longsighted, don’t forget your glasses or contact lenses on the big day – and remember to remove your lenses the night before!
Visualise your route
Most instructors take students around the roads they are likely to take their test on, so it’s highly likely that you will be familiar with the route you take.
This gives you the opportunity to visualise areas ahead of time. Busy junctions, roads with multiple lanes, changing speed limits and more – planning your approach to these stress-inducing sections ahead of time can improve your confidence if you come across them later on.
Revise your questions
Your examiner will ask you two safety questions during the course of your practical test, often referred to as “show me, tell me” questions.
For “show me” questions, you will have to point the examiner in the direction of where you would fix the fault mentioned. For “tell me” questions, an explanation of the process will suffice.
Have you passed your practical driving test? Drop your #1 piece of advice for learners in the comments section!