Louise Kirkpatrick owns a driving school in the East Midlands region of England.
No matter how well prepared they are, nearly everyone gets nervous at the thought of taking their driving test! Even people who are normally cool, calm and collected can be reduced to an anxious, stressed-out jelly as the day of their driving test gets closer and their nerves start to work overtime!
Getting nervous and stressed out is actually the reason that many learner drivers fail their driving test!
As someone who runs a driving school in the UK, I regularly come across learner drivers wanting to know how to stop anxiety and nerves affecting them when they take their driving tests.
Overcoming driving test nerves involves understanding WHY you're so nervous. Once you understand the reasons for your anxiety, you can look for the best ways to help you reduce and maybe even eliminate driving test nerves, anxiety and stress! You'll find lots of hints and tips on this page for self-help strategies to combat test day nerves.
The advice given on this page is intended only for UK drivers and those taking the UK Practical Driving Test. Please be aware that road traffic legislation and what is considered good driving practice varies throughout the world!
Reasons for Driving Test Nerves and Anxiety
There are many reasons for driving test anxiety. And you can deal with all of them.
- Peer pressure. For example, from friends who have already passed, or relatives who say unhelpful things like "I passed my driving test first time after only five lessons". Comparing yourself to others is a recipe for disaster. Everyone is different and learns to drive in their own way and in their own time...what other people did is completely irrelevant to YOU...you're an individual.
- Fear of failure. No one is perfect. No one gets it right first time, every time. When they start to learn to walk, babies fall over...when toddlers learn to ride a bike, they fall off. There may be tears and hurt pride, but mistakes and failures are good sometimes because we learn from them. Driving tests are essentially no different.
- Lack of confidence in your driving ability. if you've taken driving lessons from a professional driving instructor, (and more to the point, if your driving instructor is letting you use their car to take your test in), then trust me, they wouldn't be letting you do that if they didn't know that you can drive independently to the standard required for the test. Your driving instructor believes in you...you should therefore trust their professional judgement and have faith in your own abilities as a competent driver.
- A deep suspicion you're not really ready to take your driving test. This anxiety is a bit different from the previous items in this list but it's one that you can easily address. There are very few people in this world who are "natural" drivers. Driving is a skill requiring many different simultaneous mental and physical processes, which don't necessarily come naturally and which require learning in the first place and then honing by means of consolidation and practice. If you have a test booked and you do not feel confident about EVERY aspect of what you may be required to demonstrate, then my advice is, do not take the test without further training.
- Previous test fails. Having failed a test previously adds a lot of extra pressure. But it's important to remember that the overall national driving test pass rate is only around 45%, so statistically more people fail the driving test than pass it!
Furthermore, more often than not, nerves themselves, rather than a lack of skill, play a big part in most test fails. It's a cliché, but "putting it down to experience" and learning from whatever you did wrong can turn a negative into a positive...dwelling on a fail results in demoralisation and can be the start of a vicious circle.
10 Easy Ways To Reduce Driving Test Nerves!
Here are ten simple self-help strategies for coping (and hopefully avoiding!) minor or short term driving test nerves and anxiety.
For advice and suggestions on dealing with more serious or longer term stress please see the section on Coping With Severe Or Long-Term Driving Test Nerves further down the page.
1. Work Out EXACTLY What You Are Worrying About!
Reducing stress can be achieved by identifying what you are actually worrying about! Stop for a minute and try to define EXACTLY what it is that's making you nervous...try to be as exact as possible. After that, you can come up with an idea that addresses that particular worry.
Are you worried about what's going to happen on the test itself? Your driving instructor can (and should) go through what will happen at your driving test appointment with you in detail so that you know what to expect.
In case they don't, or you're unsure of anything, one of my other learner driver webpages tells you everything you need to know about the various parts of the Practical Driving Test.
Are you scared of failing your driving test? More people fail their driving test than pass, so you'll be in good company!
The standard required for the UK practical driving test is very high. The overall national average pass rate is around 45%. I didn't pass my own driving test until the third attempt and look at me now! I own a driving school, coordinate a team of qualified driving instructors and tell other people how to pass their driving test.
Failing a driving test does not mean that you're not going to be a good driver. It merely means that on the day of your test you didn't meet all the necessary requirements.
Are you worried about the driving examiner? You might have heard tales of miserable, moody driving examiners who take a sadistic pleasure in failing test candidates.
It's a myth. I'm not going to promise you that every examiner in the country is going to have a sunny personality, but almost all driving examiners are perfectly normal human beings, who know that people taking their driving test are nervous and who will try their best to put people at their ease and not to make things worse for them.
Are you worried about driving independently without your driving instructor? OK, on your test, your instructor won't be sitting next to you in their usual reassuring position and so you'll be out of your comfort zone. But that will also be true after you pass your test.
If you've been thoroughly prepared for your test (and by that I mean, you've had as many hours of professional tuition and practice as you need), then you should be fine.
Are you worried about what other people might think if you fail? A natural enough feeling...but most people will be supportive and sympathetic. Anyone who isn't is probably worth avoiding in future.
Are you worried about the cost of learning to drive? It seems like most people don't bat an eyelid about the cost of nights out with their mates, or expensive holidays, but often moan about the cost of learning to drive, which, in comparison, is a valuable skill that will last you a whole lifetime. Learning how to drive a car safely and considerately and anticipate what other road users are going to do, can quite literally save your life.
Skimping on good driving tuition is a false economy. Taking a test before you're ready is a false economy.
Are you worrying about passing your test within a deadline? Customers ring me up and say they need to pass their driving test by a certain date because they are planning a trip or have a week off of work. But imposing deadlines on yourself is an almost cast-iron guarantee of stress, and you don't need stress.
Just accept that learning to drive may be more difficult and take longer than you anticipated, and passing your driving test isn't guaranteed.
My advice is simple: avoid tight deadlines and expectations if you can, but if you are faced with a deadline, clear the decks of your life of all non-essential things and apply yourself.
2. Schedule Your Driving Test Around the Rest of Your Life
Don't take on too much...take your driving test when your life has few other distractions. If there's some kind of important deadline or project involved with work or anything else, then why complicate your life by scheduling your driving test right in the middle of whatever else is going on?
Driving tests can be booked to suit YOU. If you have a test booked and something important has cropped up, then the test date can be moved or cancelled. Exams and work deadlines on the other hand, can't be moved.
3. Take Your Driving Test At A PLACE That Suits You
You can book a driving test at any test centre you like. The routes used for driving tests are intended to be as uniform as possible throughout the whole country, and if you're at test standard, theoretically you should be able to drive anywhere.
If test nerves are an issue, then it makes sense to take your driving test on "familiar territory". I don't suggest that you just "learn the test routes," but being familiar with the roads you may be asked to drive along on your test means that you're not worrying about what might be around the next corner—one less thing to worry about means less stress for you!
4. Take Your Driving Test At A TIME That Suits You
Choosing the time of your test wisely can reduce driving test nerves!
Some people are wide awake and raring to go first thing in the morning whereas others aren't at their best until later in the day.
Think about the time of day that suits you best when taking your driving test, both in terms of yourself and the possible road conditions.
Early morning tests may suit those who like to get on with things rather than spend time fretting, but usually coincide with rush-hour traffic. Lunchtime tests also coincide with the roads being a bit busier, as do tests taken between 2:45 pm and 4 pm when pupils are going home from school.
5. Don't Tell Other People You've Booked Your Driving Test
Not telling people that you've got a driving test booked is a simple way of reducing the pressure on yourself!
"Helpful advice" from those who have already passed can be exactly the opposite when you're on the receiving end, and the nearer you get to the day of your test, the more "advice" you tend to get. Most of the time, NONE of this will be of any value to you whatsoever, especially if it's about driving tests of 20 years ago.
Either don't tell anyone when you're due to take your test, or tell ONLY those people you feel will be genuinely supportive and helpful and not put you under any unnecessary pressure!
6. Ignore Driving Test "Horror Stories"
You'll probably have people queueing up to tell you about their own driving tests in as soon as you've booked your own.
But other people's scary driving test stories are usually exaggerated and are best ignored!
Tall tales about "horrible" examiners and "awful" test routes abound. The reality is that most driving tests are pretty mundane events!
Horror stories aside, people often seem very willing to offer "helpful advice" about what to do (or what not to do) during your driving test. Some of the "advice" can be very strange indeed!
Moving your head. The one that crops up most often is "you need to move your head around a lot to let the examiner know you're looking in your mirrors". But the examiner will know whether you're checking your mirrors without you doing that, so save yourself neck strain and just act normally.
Talking (or not talking). Some say you shouldn't say ANYTHING during your test...and some say test candidates should provide a constant verbal commentary about everything they do during the test and why they are doing it!
Neither you nor the examiner need to keep up a line of "chat" during the text. The examiner will be expecting you to concentrate; so if he or she doesn't seem to be saying much, you shouldn't find that significant. They'll talk before and after the test, but during the test, they'll restrict themselves simply to letting you know what they'd like you to do.
Similarly, you don't need to make small talk; it may affect your concentration. You can, of course, ask for clarification of anything the examiner has asked you to do.
What to wear. I've even come across so-called "advice" that female test candidates should wear "revealing clothes" in order to "impress" the driving examiner and influence a test pass!!!
But such plans will NO effect on the chances of you passing your driving test. It's a test of your driving, nothing more, and who's to say your examiner will be male or even heterosexual anyway? (See the video below for a tongue-in-cheek example of what I mean!) Wear clothes and shoes that you feel comfortable in and which don't restrict your movement—it's your driving which is under scrutiny, not your appearance!
Video: How NOT To Impress The Examiner On Your Driving Test!
Classic comedy video clip from the late, great, British comedian, Dick Emery.
Made in the days long before "political correctness", Dick Emery takes his cast of characters through their driving tests...the young lady at 2mins 42seconds into the video clip is a humorous example of why "dressing to impress" a driving examiner may not achieve the intended effect!
7. Don't Take Your Driving Test Before You're Ready
Don't rush into taking your driving test before you're properly prepared and confident.
Learning to drive costs a fair bit of money, but it's money well spent.
Most people don't bat an eyelid about the cost of nights out with their mates, or going on an expensive holiday, but often moan about the cost of learning to drive, which, in comparison, is a valuable skill that will last you a whole lifetime.
If you don't think you're ready, then don't take your driving test until you know you are fully prepared and confident about the thought of driving unaccompanied.
It's better all round to have a few more driving lessons and a bit more practice, than waste money to take a test you're unlikely to pass and have your confidence dented in the process.
8. Have At Least One "Mock" Driving Test
A mock driving test with a professional driving instructor will give you a good idea of what taking your driving test will be like.
A "mock" driving test is a practice run at taking a driving test. It's conducted by a driving instructor and aims to reproduce a real driving test as closely as possible.
Mock driving tests can be very helpful in getting a learner driver used to what they will be required to do during their driving test and they can help build self-confidence and reduce pre-test nerves!
Your driving instructor may even be able to arrange for another driving instructor to take you for a mock test—this can get you used to driving with someone you don't know which is even closer to the real thing!
Often just sitting next to a stranger, driving the car, taking all the decisions yourself and getting home in one piece can be an immense confidence booster!
9. Be Confident In Your Own Abilities
While it isn't compulsory to take any professional driving lessons at all, a fully qualified driving instructor really is the best person to assess whether you can drive at the standard required for the Practical Test!
Parents and friends may well be competent drivers, but not necessarily good teachers! Even excellent drivers can pass on bad habits and bad driving practice.
In my opinion, in their own interests, everyone should have at least a few driving lessons with a professional driving instructor to make sure that their driving is both safe and up to the standard required for the driving test.
If a fully qualified driving instructor tells you that you are at test standard, then you really have no need for any self-doubt or worry about your ability to pass your driving test!
If you haven't taken lessons from a professional driving instructor, then at least consider getting a fully qualified driving instructor to assess your driving before you take your test...it could save you a lot of money and stress!
10. Think POSITIVE. You Don't Need To Be Perfect!
The power of positive thinking can make a real difference to overcoming driving test nerves!
Your instructor thinks you can pass your driving test, your friends and family are probably rooting for you too, even the examiner wants you to pass - so don't be the odd one out.
Negative thoughts and defeatism tend to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. So think positive thoughts, get behind the wheel and show that examiner what you're capable of.
Just put into practice what you've learned on your driving lessons, listen carefully to what you're asked to do, stay focused and don't let your concentration lapse!
If during the test you think you may have made a mistake, move on and focus ONLY on what you're being asked to do. Whatever you think you've done wrong may not be as bad as you think. Worrying about a minor mistake could affect the rest of your test and make the difference between a pass and a fail.
Driving Test Nerves Can Actually Work In Your Favour...In Small Doses!
Stress is actually a survival mechanism. Although too much stress over a long period can be detrimental to health and wellbeing, in small doses stress can be very positive!
Stress can actually be positive.
When humans get stressed, a hormone called adrenaline (or epinephrine) is released. Adrenaline increases the supply of oxygen to the brain, making you alert and both receptive and perceptive. You have a temporary increase in energy and motivation.
All this is pretty much exactly what you need immediately before your driving test, so this type of positive stress can actually help you. On the other hand, days or weeks spent in a state of severe stress in the run-up to your test will have a negative effect both on your health, mental state and the chances of you passing your test.
Self-Help for Severe or Longer-Term Driving Test Anxiety: Medication, Hypnosis and Other Ideas
In the next few sections, I'm going to look at strategies for coping with, reducing or even eliminating severe or long-term stress associated with taking a driving test.
Products That Help With Stress
You can buy a range of products from a homeopath, chemist or pharmacist which claim to help alleviate the symptoms of stress (e.g. Kalms, Rescue Remedy etc).
It is advisable to consult a qualified pharmacist and ask for their advice before taking any form of non-prescription medication.
For more severe cases, a visit to your GP may be necessary. Some doctors are willing to prescribe a short-term course of prescription drugs for stress (usually beta-blockers), but some aren't! Some GP's will offer practical advice on how to deal with severe stress.
Don't Put Yourself Under the Influence
Please DON'T be tempted to "calm yourself down" before your driving test by having an alcoholic drink, smoking a joint or anything along those lines. Alcohol and cannabis will probably relax you, but driving "under the influence" is illegal and could well be lethal. Don't even think about getting behind the wheel of a car if you have taken drugs or drunk alcohol - no matter how small the amount it WILL affect you.
Even something as "normal" as caffeine can affect judgement...don't believe me? Have a look at the effects of several recreational drugs on a spider spinning a web.
It's easy to forget that alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and tea ARE drugs (albeit socially acceptable ones) and they DO have an effect on your brain and (especially alcohol) WILL affect how you drive.
Other Stress Relief Ideas
Bach Rescue Remedy. Some use this homeopathic product made from flower essences to relieve stress. It can be taken as drops in a glass of water or as a mouth spray.
Hypnotherapy. Glenn Harold, the UK's best-selling hypnotherapist, offers two 30-minute hypnotherapy sessions specifically to overcome driving test nerves, available on a CD or as an audio download.
Relaxation and deep breathing techniques. Watching relaxation videos at home (a couple of examples are below) before your test can help you cope.
But What if I Fail?
If you fail your driving test, it really isn't the end of the world! Lots of other people have failed before you, and often failure is more the result of nerves than a lack of skill!
So don't be too hard on yourself. As the old saying goes:
"If at first you don't succeed, try again"!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2008 LouiseKirkpatrick
Driving Test Nerves - Comments And Feedback - How did YOU deal with driving test nerves?
lawrencealcala on July 30, 2014:
Thank you so much for the tips. I am going to it next week. :)
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on June 04, 2014:
@mandy1967: Hi Mandy - I am absolutely delighted to hear your good news! A HUGE "well done" and I'm so pleased that my words were able to play a part towards helping you to achieve your goal. You are absolutely spot on with your advice - it's fear itself that is the real problem, not really the driving test itself! I hope you can now relax and enjoy driving and all the freedom and independence that it will bring you :)
mandy1967 on June 04, 2014:
I passed my driving test a few weeks ago, at the age of 47! I learned to drive originally when I was 25, but after 3 failed tests, I decided to have a break. However that break lasted 20 years! I decided to take lessons again. I felt so old and useless, especially when I heard of 18, 19 year olds passing their test first time! I felt like I had been learning forever, and my confidence couldn't have been any lower. However, reading this website (and others, but this was my favourite one), it really helped me put things into perspective. It changed the way I thought about the dreaded test, and my opinion of myself. I started reading this website long before my test. I had to keep reading this website every now and then to calm myself down. It has some really useful tips, and boosted my self esteem no end! I wish I'd had this helpful advice 20 years ago, then I would have passed no problem. I only told my nephew that my driving test was coming up, as he had passed his test just 2 years prior and knew the score. He was a tower of strength for me and kept telling me I could do it. Him and this website really helped. I bought hypnotherapy cds but in all honesty they had little effect, but I do believe they work for some people. What worked for me was listening to my favourite tunes. It gave me the feel good factor. I listened to them in the run up to my test and on the morning of the test before leaving the house. I stopped feeling nervous about two days before my test which was a miracle, as there was a time that I very nearly burst into tears at the thought of it. My advice would be to do whatever relaxes and calms you. And try not to think about the test. Don't worry about what might happen. Put it to the back of your mind, fretting about it won't help believe me! The part of the test route I was dreading I never got taken on, so put it out of your mind. I passed my test with just 3 minors. So believe me you can and will do it!
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on November 09, 2013:
@stellacorona84: Hi stellacorona84...as I've said here before, there is no law that says you MUST drive, nor even that if you do that you must enjoy it. In all seriousness, if trying to pass your driving test is affecting you so badly, my advice is simple...DON'T! By saying "don't" I don't mean "never"...I just mean not now. Take a break...come back to it if you want to when you feel less traumatised...and if that never happens, then it never happens. No-one performs well at anything if they feel excessively anxious...and the world will not end if you don't pass your driving test! There will still be buses, trains and taxi's and walking is good for you...I am struggling to understand your logic of on one hand saying that you want to pass due to the money you have spent, yet on the other stating that you hate learning to drive and even if you will pass you have no intention of driving...seriously, read what you have written back to yourself - it's lacking in logic! If the stress of taking a driving test is REALLY doing your head in to the extent you say and if you REALLY have no intention of driving should you pass, then it's a no brainer...cut your losses and quit now. Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best - take care :)
stellacorona84 on November 09, 2013:
Failed a month ago for mounting the curb on a reverse around the curb maneuver. Failed yesterday for 3 major and ONLY 2 minorsâ¦.because of being nervous. I was actually crying right before the test and could not breathâ¦the examiner was a little scared of taking me out and that AFFECTED my test as everything I did she would be extra careful about. Now I know that if you show an examiner that you are too nervous they will be very careful with you, even more careful than they would normally be. That is because of safety. Well, for me driving is now something I hate more than anything. I am now trying to pass only because I have spent so much money that quitting now would be like wasting over Â£1,000. But I swore on my life that once I pass I will never and ever drive a car for the rest of my life. It is one of the scariest things I'eve ever had to do. It is so scary and so stressful. It is affecting my life. The tests are scary with these people writing on a chart, marking every single movementâ¦man it is so scary. I started to learn back in July and I got into this because I truly wanted to learn and now I just hate it. I hate it. I hate it more than I hate everything else. I am now at a point where every test doesn't make me less anxious. On the contrary, it is making me worse and worse. Cuz very failure is a knock on your confidence. Cannot wait to get it per with. And yes I may have PTSDâ¦last night my roommates heard me screaming in my sleep. Three times. I remember I drove of the exam I had the same morning. Scary.
Ann_Axolotl_Things on October 04, 2013:
I passed the third time round, but was so nervous every time, I always ended up getting a major fault despite relatively few minors. It was the best feeling in the world when I thought "thank God I never have to do THAT again". Well two years later (and having not driven since!) I've moved to the US and I've got to take my test again on Monday :-( Even though I know the American test is much easier and I'll be doing it in an automatic all the nerves are coming back! I KNOW I can drive, but I'm just so nervous about making silly mistakes like missing a stop sign. Argh. Hopefully venting like this will help :-)
blestman lm on September 07, 2013:
Yars ago I was a driving instructor. I noticed that wherever your student's eyes went, that is where the car went, even if they did not want it to go there. So I spent time teaching them how to use their eyes when they drove. Also I encouraged them to be very familiar with the car they were going to use at the test.
amosvee on August 13, 2013:
Good advice, I have a teen who will be facing this in the coming months.
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on August 12, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi HThom - glad to have been of help! It's true that driving doesn't necessarily "come naturally" :) If it's any consolation, the first time I tried learning to drive, I was TERRIBLE! Having a Neanderthal as a driving instructor didn't help, but still it has to be said - I was awful. I just didn't understand what I was doing, let alone why :( I failed my first driving test miserably, thought I'd never do it so gave up learning for 10 years...when I started again, I was more mature, my instructor was much nicer and things eventually "clicked". I was academically bright, had passed every exam I'd ever taken, but when it came to driving, it was a shock to find it wasn't as easy as I'd thought! But I got there in the end...and so will you! Don't be too hard on yourself - and I wish you the very best of luck for Wednesday and please come back and let me know how it went :)
anonymous on August 12, 2013:
This is a fantastic resource, thank you for uploading! My first driving test is on Wednesday- I just had a lesson today where I made lots of stupid mistakes which messed up my confidence and my drive and it totally freaked me out, but reading this has helped calm me down. I've just finished law qualifications so am totally used to academic exams, but have found learning to drive very unnatural and difficult. I seem to get nervous before I even get in the car, and then I forget to process things properly and make stupid mistakes. When I've felt happy and confident about drives I don't mess up anywhere near as much. Hopefully with these tips I can keep relaxed and positive, and this will help me pass! Thank you!! :-)
anonymous on August 02, 2013:
My test is in 2 hours, this is my 2nd attempt this year... I am feeling very relaxed now thanks to one of the videos. I will post my results later today, Thank you for the help. :)
garagerob on July 01, 2013:
Very very helpful tips for beginners. Great lens!
Ash2013 on June 16, 2013:
What a fantastic resource! I passed my test the second time round, and I was less nervous by then. I took the philosophy "what's the worst that can happen?". One of the best days of my life...
jemacb on May 28, 2013:
The human mind is a very powerful thing. I am glad that you discussed hypnosis as this is a very powerful tool in one's toolbox.
Mommy from The Fabulous Midwest on May 19, 2013:
It took me 4 tries to get my license because I was so nervous. I wish I had seen this lens years ago. Nice job!
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on May 10, 2013:
@anonymous: Oh no - how frustrating! The wait for another test when you didn't fail by much and are all geared up and ready to have another go is awful :( You could try looking for a cancellation (with your instructor's agreement) - it's quite labour intensive checking the DSA test booking website several times a day, but you may be able to get an earlier date. Best of luck for your next go (and again, please let me know how you get on) :)
anonymous on May 09, 2013:
@LouiseKirkpatrick: Hi I done so well on my test but failed at the end because i went a tiny bit over the 20 mile zone was so gutted because i had 9 minors and done everything else so well the examiner even warned me to say i am on a 20 mile zone he was hinting and i slowed down but went back up again and didn't realise :( been so down all day i booked my test again not for another 6 weeks argh :(
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on May 09, 2013:
@anonymous: Good luck candi - hope it goes well...believe in yourself! Let me know how you get on (fingers crossed for success!)
anonymous on May 08, 2013:
@LouiseKirkpatrick: Hi i read the article and it has been very helpful i also bought the Nelsons back remedy spray and i feel relaxed already i have got my test tomorrow and i am so nervous but been learning for a long time so i should be okay but this is ever test and i am so nervous
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on April 25, 2013:
@anonymous: Glad to hear this page helped you zamhaf and I hope you enjoy driving!
anonymous on April 24, 2013:
Thank u sooo much for this article...i passed my G2 in first attempt today...i cant thanks enough to u...driving is the BIGGEST fear of my life and this article helped me a lottt to overcome it...i read it again and again...and i just focused on some points and got it...thanks again GOD BLESS U for helping ppl like me...
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on April 16, 2013:
@anonymous: Ah yes, good old "peer pressure" strikes again :( Yes, driving is useful...but it's not essential! It never fails to amaze and disappoint me in equal measure how some "supposedly" well meaning friends and family members can put so much pressure on learner drivers that they effectively destroy their confidence. Like anything in life, doing something because you feel it's expected of you leads to resentment. Driving does NOT come naturally to many people and there is no law that says anyone has to enjoy being behind the wheel of a car! I would love to be able to say "make your own choices Nina" but I think you're too far along this particular road (excuse the pun) for that. I see that you would have taken your driving test again yesterday and I'd love to know how you got on...even if you did hold things together and passed, you'd be surprised by how many people pass and then don't drive. I regularly get people ringing me to book refresher driving lessons because they passed their driving test years ago and have never sat in the drivers seat since - the reasons for this are many. Economic reasons, living in a city with good public transport, a lack of confidence despite having passed, or quite simply not wanting to drive! For many, driving is something that they find they "grow into" if that makes sense? Not everyone is a "petrolhead" Jeremy Clarkson clone who lives for the thrill of the open road. It's OK not to want to drive...I always advocate doing things that YOU want to do, not because someone else feels you should :) All the best Nina - please feel free to keep in touch on this page
anonymous on April 14, 2013:
I've been told by everyone to learn how to drive and how it is useful and everything. Funny though, I never felt the want to drive. I was quite happy with the public transport and never felt "gosh I wish I should've taken my license" Nothing!! Now, I can't seem to hear the end of it from my boyfriend, that I should learn to drive. Alright!! I took classes, (apparently my dad's way of boosting my confidence is "remember your uncle phil?? even he is a good driver, anyone can do it" blah blah... ) My instructor told me that I am ready and that I will do well in my test..By this time, something I have no interest in previously (driving), has conquered my life, with all anxiety (tryin to beat uncle phil thing). I failed my first attempt because of my nerves (I burst out crying before my test and my instructor tried to cheer me up), ended up serious fault and like 4 minors (Granted that examiner shouldn't talk much except for instructions, but does it hurt to smile?)
That was the toughest day of my life. I spent hours trying to overcome the failure (I am the kind of person who hums songs lightly during exams). Anyways, I booked second test, which is tomorrow. This time I know what to expect from the examiner. I am just going to concentrate on what I can do to make it safe driving, I expect to fail (there is no difference in my nerves, maybe I won't cry)....maybe it will make things better. Even though I drive well in lessons (and screw up tests) I don't think I can enjoy driving or whatever the guys tell me that driving does to them...I just don't see it. But I hope to pass, just to open up some job opportunities. I don't know why I really do it.
anonymous on March 22, 2013:
thanks! helped alot! i still feel very sick and nervos and wanna cry every second but this helped me relax a bit!!
Peter Badham from England on February 28, 2013:
This is so helpful and well thought out. I wasn't nervous the first time until I had the chief examiner and he refused to shake my hand..... that was mean of him. The second time the examiner was a nice lady, I asked her out for a drink whilst reverse parking. I passed lol!
ChristyZ on February 14, 2013:
Excellent information! I chickened out of my road test because I became so stressed out over it. Thanks for listing so many helpful tips! :)
BraveLight on February 09, 2013:
Driving test and important tests in general cause me to feel like my stomach is bubbling , great infomation and beautiful lens. Thank you for sharing.
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on February 04, 2013:
@anonymous: :) Glad it's helping you rosie - that video may be old but it's still funny (and relevant!)...as I've said on this page, concentrate on the test itself as it happens minute by minute - not the eventual outcome. Worrying about what you've done as you go along will stop you concentrating properly on what else you need to do and 9 times out of 10 any mistake you've made will only be a driving fault rather than a serious or dangerous fault! Good luck for next time and please come back and let me know how you get on :)
anonymous on February 03, 2013:
i'm just about to take my 4th test... I was so nervous on my last test because i just wanted to pass so badly that i had a panic attack just after my manoeuvre.. i feel so ready but my nerves always hit when i walk into the test centre :L this was really useful! i love the video about driving tests! I think i'll take it slightly more lighthearted now :)
AutoRepairAnswers on February 01, 2013:
I made my daughter a dentist appointment after her scheduled driver test so she was more worried about that! lol
WordChipper on January 31, 2013:
I remember I was so nervous for my test. Very interesting lens - thanks for sharing.
andrewdar on January 26, 2013:
Thanks a lot for so many tips for the driving test. It will really help to focus!
miller83 on January 24, 2013:
I failed my first test doing a maneuver I had done loads of times with no problem. I took rescue remedy before my second test and Just told myself the examiner was my driving instructor. It worked for me and passed.
LouiseKirkpatrick (author) from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom on January 11, 2013:
@anonymous: Having an examiner observing another examiner is always horribly un-nerving and I feel so sorry for test candidates who suddenly find themselves lumbered with two examiners. It's not even like you can say no is it :( Don't beat yourself up over it jayne - I know it's easy for me to say that but if you dwell on driving test nerves it becomes a vicious circle of fear...tomorrow is another day - apply for another test and forget the last 2 ever happened - and please believe in yourself ;)
anonymous on January 11, 2013:
Just failed for the 2nd time had 2 examiners in i was nervous emoigh but that just knocked me :-(
anonymous on January 11, 2013:
Just getting ready to take my 2nd test 1st time round i never finished it as i made a mistake and the examiner interviend very nervous feel sick booorrrkkkk help
salele on December 31, 2012:
This is exactly what my wife needs. She is preparing for her test. Thanks for this quality lens.
TapIn2U on November 16, 2012:
There'r nothing like test driving jitters. I had my fair of it when I got to my own license. It can be very stressful. There weren't any relation tips back then that I know of. This is a very helpful lens. Very much enjoyed the video. Sundae ;-)
KandH on November 08, 2012:
Very nice lens - I've got 2 teenage daughters who will be glad for this information when the time comes I am sure!
Freestuffer LM on November 05, 2012:
Very helpful lens. Thanks for sharing
Birthday Wishes from Here on November 02, 2012:
I had a lot of nerves, because I was afraid to fail... But once I was driving, my nerves were gone... Thanks for sharing this great lens!
anonymous on October 23, 2012:
Failed my test for second time today , my nerves just took over , it's crazy!!!!! I've tried everything now what ????????
anonymous on October 08, 2012:
it happened with me once in my life and this lens make me remembered that day thanks for sharing
anonymous on October 05, 2012:
i took my test for the 2nd time and failed it, my nerves were outta control and i couldnt focus, ugh it royally sucks, but this article and comments helped me. hope i pass the next time.
LabKittyDesign on September 14, 2012:
Ran a stop sign on our first driver's test. Yep. Go big or go home.
ManualMustafaa on September 14, 2012:
Just relax, they're not as strict about stuff as you think!
ToneyWernsman on September 07, 2012:
I'm sure this will be very helpful for all those soon-to-be drivers this year... :)
WriterJanis2 on September 02, 2012:
You've offered up some great advice. Blessed!
anonymous on September 02, 2012:
Awesome Thanks for sharing!
KarlHarer on August 30, 2012:
One of the best ways to calm your nerves is to remember that even the biggest idiots are able to get their license... if they can do it, then you can!
LoveToClean on August 29, 2012:
I remember being TOTALLY nervous during my driving test... my foot was literally shaking!! Fortunately I still passed :)
ericstrate on August 28, 2012:
I hit the curb when I was parallel parking during my driving test 'cause I was so nervous... lol! I still passed thankfully.
kgdunst on August 23, 2012:
I did 7 points on reverse turn...
maryLuu on August 19, 2012:
A really very interesting and documented lens. I enjoyed reading it and I remembered my test from 7 years ago... I wasn't worried and afraid because I knew I could do it! I felt that that day was my day of winning and I was right! Positive thinking makes everything possible!
anonymous on August 16, 2012:
What a fantasic piece of reading! thankyou for that:)
NewUsedCarsSacramento on August 04, 2012:
@anonymous: Don't worry Ben, just relax. The test will go fantastic if you feel relaxed. :)
anonymous on August 01, 2012:
I'm very nervous about taking my drivers test.
steph-naylor on July 18, 2012:
I just dropped by to say 'super lens' Thankyou!!
MrInfopreneur on July 12, 2012:
@MrInfopreneur: Alright. I've passed my test :) yippee. It was marginal, but i kept my cool head, looked out for any dangers, checked blind spots etc, and didnt do anything stupid like running over the kerb. Now on to getting a car
iPSiArt on July 04, 2012:
Wow, what a big and great article :O gonna bookmark it.
peggygallyot on July 04, 2012:
I took my driving test at the age of fifty and made it through.
CristianStan on July 02, 2012:
I still remember my driving test day, I was so nervous! In the end, everything went well but I can't say I overcame my nerves :)
Onemargaret LM on June 30, 2012:
It has been so long since I have had a driving test, I don't remember whether I was nervous or not! All I remember is relief when I finally got my license. Yay me!
spids1 on June 30, 2012:
I was nervous and failed my first driving test but after that I took a lot of lessons and practiced a lot more and for my second attempt I was a lot more confident and relaxed and passed easily :)
joyce-yang-9619 on June 30, 2012:
@fish-oil-expert: nice driving tips. tks
sandi_x on June 28, 2012:
Good info. Interesting lens
anonymous on June 19, 2012:
driving can be stressful enough.
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jessica ruiz jo on June 17, 2012:
Great info! Thanks for sharing!
MrInfopreneur on June 16, 2012:
Thanks for this lens. I'm going to take the test in a few weeks and need to be as calm as possible
antoniow on June 08, 2012:
curtmaxwall on May 30, 2012:
The most important thing is to forget that you are actually giving a test.. Take it normally and drive the way you like to..
Kathylina on May 23, 2012:
If you have prepared good for the test then It will be OK.
OliviaDaughter LM on May 23, 2012:
Really good info. Go in prepared with lots of practice and with confidence.
uneasywriter lm on May 21, 2012:
Where was this lens when I took my drive test back in the 90s? I could have used this info then . lol I guess it's great that its here for all the up and comers to use.thanks for a well done lens.
biggking lm on May 18, 2012:
Just don't crash the car!!! You should already feel comfortable driving behind the wheel prior to taking the test. Just remember that you have a few points that can be taken away, and its nothing to fear. Just drive like you normally would.
CameronPoe on May 17, 2012:
I think some of these advice can be used in other types of situations that gives jitters.
blazingzone lm on May 14, 2012:
I just think of the examiner as a friend. This will relax a bit :)
WordChipper on May 12, 2012:
I remember that I took my test on a Friday. However Thursday evening it snowed about 15 inches. That was a stressful parallel park maneuver.
ByrlLane on May 04, 2012:
I took a few deep breaths, gave my shoulders a shake and was ready to go.
anonymous on May 03, 2012:
Hey! Great lens you've got there! Thanks for the advice. Cheers =)
MargaretJeffreys on April 30, 2012:
Thanks! You've helped a lot of people (including me)
JoyfulReviewer on April 29, 2012:
You've provided a wealth of helpful information. Be prepared; be confident in your abilities; relax. ~~Blessed~~
Loola on April 25, 2012:
I was really nervous, but determined. Very informative lens, my sister should read this!
Joan Haines on April 22, 2012:
Best wishes to all student drivers. Of course you can do it! "Squid Angel blessed."
fish-oil-expert on April 21, 2012:
My driving test went fine. But I failed the written part the first time! They ask all these questions I didn't need to know, like how many hours a minor needs to get a permit. GRRRR! :)
radkoaleks on April 21, 2012:
Take your nerves on by accepting them. Nerves can be positive. They tell the body to release adrenaline which helps keep you alert and focused. Use nerves to your advantage and they will increase your performance.
Close2Art LM on April 20, 2012:
Great tips, I know I was nervous too, Blessed
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 20, 2012:
This reminded me of my driving test and how stressed I was. Whewww...am happy that was over.
jjprusk on April 19, 2012:
"High Five" - what a great topic and very helpful for those getting ready for their drivers test.
anonymous on April 19, 2012:
I have just had the last of my 3 children complete their driving test. It's amazing how different each of your children can be and how they approach passing their driving test. My son had so much confidence that he did little more than glance at the manual whereas my tow daughters spend hours making sure that they could answer each and every question.
dumutu on April 19, 2012:
Listening to music is help to me :)
Great lens, thank you :)
craigmitchell on April 18, 2012:
Very helpful advice which I will show to my daughter - she is very nervous about her test! So am I, as I'll be paying for another test if she fails!
KimGiancaterino on April 17, 2012:
I'll have to share your advice with my stepson (Mr. Know-it-All) who is in the process of getting his license.
Shorebirdie from San Diego, CA on April 17, 2012:
Even though this lens is geared toward UK drivers, I think we all can related to driving test anxiety. I am afraid to fail because it would mean I can't get to work or my work options are very limited. The public transportation here is horrendous.
katiecolette on April 17, 2012:
I was very nervous about taking the driving test but I knew I could re-test some other day if I did fail. I ended up doing just fine :) I do have a friend that could have taken her test 3 years ago but so fearful of the test that she just won't take it...
oldmedic on April 17, 2012:
Thanks for this great and valuable info. When I took my driving test 20 years ago I was shaking visibly and the policeman who was supposed to be in the car with me calmed me down by telling me what to do before starting the engine and set off. It really helped me a lot and I passed the test the very first time I tried it. But I was a nervous wreck.
Fcuk Hub on April 17, 2012:
How is saying a famous slogan: JUST DO IT!
linkreggie on April 16, 2012:
fight your fear! If you conquer this stage you will be proud to your self.. Start it in basic..
anonymous on April 16, 2012:
And realy helpfull
goo2eyes lm on April 16, 2012:
blessings and congratulations for winning the purple star. i don't have good nerves to drive a car so i have a husband who drives me around like a vip.