Most drivers are able to remember the day they sat their driving test and the nerves that plagued them.
Worry over wasting the investment spent in driving lessons, the keen eagerness to drive their own car that may well be waiting for them in their driveway, and the imagined pressure from friends and family who have already passed to catch up.
It’s never possible to banish all the butterflies, but there are a few ways to improve your chances of passing.
There are always people who love to show off about how quickly they passed their driving lessons. Boasts about how it only took ten lessons, or that as soon as they were behind the wheel of a car they knew they were ready for the final test.
It’s usually untrue, and either they received a lot of extra tuition from their parents which they are discounting, or they’re simply underestimating the real amount of time they took.
Good driving schools will tell you when you are ready to sit the test and not put you under any pressure to go for it early – so if your instructor has the confidence in you to put you forward, chances are you are good to go.
Relax. Really; it’s better to take your time and wait for both you and your instructor to feel OK for you to go to the next step than rush and lack the confidence and experience you need.
A third of your lesson time is spent revising the stuff you previously learned – that’s how it should be as we learn best through repetition. Have something taught to you once and you’ll be lucky to properly remember it, but with it becoming something regular, you gain in confidence and it sits with you forever.
Prepare for your lessons and make extra use of that two thirds where you are learning something new – see if a friend or family member can take you out for an informal lesson in between the paid-for sessions to help ground some of the basics and free your mind for the new information.
Make sure you space these informal trips however, so they neatly bridge the gaps between main lessons, rather than cramming and overdoing it.
Being excited about your driving test, there’s the likelihood that you want to tell everyone you know about it, but it’s best to keep it to only the people close to you. If you fail, you’ll get the support you will need from people you are comfortable with and you won’t feel under as much pressure to perform on the day.
Friends can become very competitive about who passes first and how many times it takes. Don’t play that game – encourage your friends to do their best and allow them the space they need and they’ll do the same for you.
Many learning drivers make the mistake of limiting their practice to the areas near the test centre and places they know well, but it’s far more beneficial to drive on a wide variety of roads and in a mix of driving conditions.
New roads pose new challenges and make you concentrate on the way you drive – then the experienced gained helps you grow in confidence and ability.