Learning to drive and passing your test is up there as one of the most stressful things in life you can do. But the rewards can be significant.
Mobility equals independence and becoming a competent driver opens a world of possibilities from job opportunities to leisure time. With dozens of driving lessons behind you, here is the chance to put it all into practice, impress the examiner and grab that glory.
So, in no particular order, here are seven tips to help you pass that test.
1 – Sleep
Not at the wheel obviously. But if you know you have the big day ahead and want to pass, it is important to get a good night’s sleep or at least decent rest before heading out. Fatigue will affect your judgement making decisions and this is vital for driving. So save the late nights for after you have qualified as a driver.
2 – Eat
Again, not at the wheel. Though you feel like your stomach is churning and its contents could make an appearance, it is a good idea to eat before the test. Eating will give you the fuel to accomplish your task and it is decidedly a bad idea to try and run on adrenaline alone. If nothing else, try a banana. It is a super food and really could make the difference between passing or failing.
3 – Being comfortable
A strange item on this list perhaps but if you are wearing comfortable clothing, appropriate footwear and feel relaxed, you are more likely to perform well. Wearing restrictive clothing and a brand new pair of shoes, for example, probably are not going to enhance your chances. Clothes may make the man but make sure they also help you pass.
4 – Breathe
Deep breaths before the test will calm your nerves because everyone gets nervous. The flow of oxygen to your brain will help you focus and concentrate on the task, calming those pesky nerves and relaxing your muscles.
5 – Practice
Repeat after me: Practice, practice, practice. It is a simple mantra but one which makes sense. You have grasped the basics of what makes a vehicle move, motored along at just under the legal speed limit and performed your manoeuvres. You must now practice as much as possible, really get a feel for the road, drive in different weather conditions. And remember that you learn far more when stuck in slow moving traffic than ticking over on a straight empty road. Learn the bite point on a clutch, check your stopping distance and always use your mirrors.
6 – Venture along different routes
If you are unfamiliar with your test area, you may struggle as the unfamiliarity of your surroundings will be an added pressure. Drive in the neighbourhood of the test centre prior to your test and familiarise yourself with various traffic flows, junctions and signs. Knowledge is power.
7 – Positive attitude
Ah yes. Easy to say yet not easy to achieve, the positive attitude is an elusive thing, particularly when you feel as confident as a Premiership manager on a losing streak. Yet it really is all in the mind. You know you can drive well. Your driving instructor had some faith in you to have put you in for the test in the first place.
So it is down to you to believe in that faith yourself and believe you can achieve. If you fail – because you have to accept that failure is an option – it is not the end of the world. You can, after all, reapply for another test.