Taking a driving test can be quite stressful, especially at a young age, and feeling a bit nervous is perfectly normal. However, you shouldn’t let emotions get the better of you; after all, even professional drivers have once stood where you are now, learning to use the turn signals and struggling with parallel parking. With plenty of practice and rigorous learning of the Highway Code, you can become more confident in your driving skills and pass your driving test with flying colors, but sometimes, anxiety and lack of experience can lead to rookie mistakes. To ace your driving test on the first try, you have to keep in mind a few tips and tricks and check out some informative resources. Here is some advice to help you out.
Get as much practice as you can
Tests are always stressful and most people underperform if they are being watched. A good way to make sure you won’t panic and forget everything you know about road signs and the Highway Code is to get as much practice as you can, until driving starts to feel like second nature. Do not go into the exam without familiarising yourself with your vehicle. Take all the practical courses recommended by your instructor and don’t stop at that. Ask your friends and family to drive with you more often, so that when you take the test you have already developed some instincts.
Get used to problematic driving areas
Each town has areas that are stressful even for experienced drivers: roundabouts, intersections, busy streets or steep hills, and you don’t want to discover them during your driving test. Instead, talk to your instructor to take you there on practice lessons. If you’ll have to drive there on the day of the test, you’ll know what to expect and you’ll be more prepared. If not, at least the test will seem easier.
Don’t forget to check these before you drive off
The test doesn’t start after you turn on the engine and drive off. The examiner will also check some things before that and, if you’re not paying attention, you could be penalised. For example, you shouldn’t forget to check and adjust the mirrors, and, of course, buckle your seat belt.
Watch out for common mistakes
Sometimes, people pass their driving test even if they did a few minor mistakes, because the examiner considered them to be minor and other times they fail because they did one, major mistake. You cannot tell in advance how rigorous your examiner will be, but what you can do is drive as well as you can, respecting the rules and avoiding these common mistakes:
- Forgetting to use the turn signal
- Not being aware of your surroundings
- Not respecting the speed limit (this also includes driving too slow)
- Not being able to take a sharp turn or control the steering
- Inability to park
- Failure to adjust the driving speed to the current weather conditions
If you still make the mistakes above a lot and you don’t feel confident at all behind the steering wheel, it’s best to wait and practice for a while longer and take the test when you feel ready.