Staying calm in your driving test

There is no doubt that many people get extremely nervous before the driving practical test, and whilst this can be frustrating or disconcerting, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people perform their best when they have a little bit of nerves beforehand: for instance Olympic sprinters and top athletes or performers at any level learn to channel nerves to improve their performance.

The key is not to let the nerves affect you DURING the driving test, and this is where many learners let themselves down. Nerves can stop you thinking clearly, and in many cases for instance a driver taking their test is so nervous and just focussing on steering the wheel that they forget the simple things like performing observations before and during manoeuvres, leading to them failing their test when in practice they knew perfectly well when and how to use their mirrors and did so correctly.

There is nothing more frustrating than feeling that you failed not due to a lack of driving ability, but due to not being able to conquer your nerves. So what can you do if you are nervous as a driver to stop those nerves beating you?

Well, the main and most important thing is to be as prepared as you possibly can for the test. The more confident you are in your driving ability and the more you believe that you can and should pass, the more you will be able to control the nerves, as for many nerves come through not being confident in their ability or having control over the situation.

Secondly, take some deep breaths and try to relax just before the test. For many, the nerves fall away as they start the test and concentrate. And that really is the key: concentrate so hard on your driving and keep a clear head, and you should find you are too busy to remember the nerves. Don't tell yourself in your head "oh my God I'm doing my driving test...aarghh!" or some variant of that. Rather, keep things in your head simple: concentrate on your driving.

Have mental checklists that you go through in your head and stick to them: for instance some learners are so nervous they forget to put the seat belt on or to look in the blind spot before pulling away and so on.

Be as prepared as you can, relax before the test, then steel yourself to focus 100% on your driving in the test and banish all other thoughts, and you give yourself a good chance of controlling those driving test nerves. Good luck!

Related Articles...

driving theory test
Tips on braking on snow and ice
Braking on snow and ice takes a lot longer than it does on a normal road in ordinary conditions. But you might be very surprised at how long it can take. Infact tests have shown that it can...

The lane discipline of a motorway
Driving on a motorway is not something you will be able to do until you pass your test, and therefore it is important to understand as much about motorway driving as you can before your first...

Switching to driving an automatic
When you switch to an automatic car it could be for a wide range of reasons. Of course number one on that list could be that you are simply given an automatic car or you are driving in a country...

What causes accidents: junctions
An alarmingly high proportion of accidents happen in and around junctions. This is because of the combination of busy roads, traffic that can be nose to tail and people crossing all sorts of...

How to deal with bus lanes
If you see a bus lane then you will see a range of different attitudes from drivers. Mainly there will be frustration that they are stuck in a huge queue and there is a perfectly good lane that is...

Using head restraints
Your car will have head restraints in it, but do you take the time to adjust these before using the vehicle and ensuring they are set at the correct level for you? Head restraints in vehicles are...

The automatic car explained
In most cases, you will learn to drive with a car that has gears in the United Kingdom. However there are people who prefer to learn in an automatic car, and there are various driving schools...

What causes accidents: overtaking
When you overtake a vehicle, there are often many things to consider. First of all you need to ensure that it is, as far as you are aware, safe to do so. Therefore don't overtake close to...

Why communication matters
When you are driving, in the vast majority of occasions there will be at least a fair number of other road users on them at the same time as you. This means that they will be reacting to how YOU...

Your car and the lights on it
We are all used to seeing cars in the dark, and also seeing their indicators in the day to communicate to other car drivers. But what must you ensure with regard to the lighting of your...


Back to home page of driving theory test questions