How To Overcome Driving Test Nerves

Updated on June 11, 2019
LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

Louise Kirkpatrick owns a driving school in the East Midlands region of England.

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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.

Please Note

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.

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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!

You can reduce driving test nerves by taking your test at a quieter time of the day
You can reduce driving test nerves by taking your test at a quieter time of the day | Source

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!

Strange Advice

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"!

Did you suffer from nerves before your driving test? How did you deal with your feelings? Please share your experiences and solutions in the comments section below. You might be able to help others!

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?

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    • lawrencealcala profile image

      lawrencealcala 

      5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the tips. I am going to it next week. :)

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      5 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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 :)

    • profile image

      mandy1967 

      5 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      stellacorona84 

      5 years ago

      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 £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.

    • profile image

      Ann_Axolotl_Things 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      blestman lm 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      amosvee 

      6 years ago

      Good advice, I have a teen who will be facing this in the coming months.

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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 :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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!! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      garagerob 

      6 years ago

      Very very helpful tips for beginners. Great lens!

    • Ash2013 profile image

      Ash2013 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      jemacb 

      6 years ago

      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.

    • ThisisMissyMiss profile image

      Mommy 

      6 years ago from The Fabulous Midwest

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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) :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      @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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Good luck candi - hope it goes well...believe in yourself! Let me know how you get on (fingers crossed for success!)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      @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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @anonymous: Glad to hear this page helped you zamhaf and I hope you enjoy driving!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      thanks! helped alot! i still feel very sick and nervos and wanna cry every second but this helped me relax a bit!!

    • peterb6001 profile image

      Peter Badham 

      6 years ago from England

      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!

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      BraveLight 

      6 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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 :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      AutoRepairAnswers 

      6 years ago

      I made my daughter a dentist appointment after her scheduled driver test so she was more worried about that! lol

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 

      6 years ago

      I remember I was so nervous for my test. Very interesting lens - thanks for sharing.

    • andrewdar profile image

      andrewdar 

      6 years ago

      Thanks a lot for so many tips for the driving test. It will really help to focus!

    • profile image

      miller83 

      6 years ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      LouiseKirkpatrick 

      6 years ago from Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

      @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 ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Just failed for the 2nd time had 2 examiners in i was nervous emoigh but that just knocked me :-(

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      salele 

      6 years ago

      This is exactly what my wife needs. She is preparing for her test. Thanks for this quality lens.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      KandH 

      6 years ago

      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 profile image

      Freestuffer LM 

      6 years ago

      Very helpful lens. Thanks for sharing

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 

      6 years ago from Here

      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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Failed my test for second time today , my nerves just took over , it's crazy!!!!! I've tried everything now what ????????

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      it happened with me once in my life and this lens make me remembered that day thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      LabKittyDesign 

      7 years ago

      Ran a stop sign on our first driver's test. Yep. Go big or go home.

    • ManualMustafaa profile image

      ManualMustafaa 

      7 years ago

      Just relax, they're not as strict about stuff as you think!

    • ToneyWernsman profile image

      ToneyWernsman 

      7 years ago

      I'm sure this will be very helpful for all those soon-to-be drivers this year... :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      7 years ago

      You've offered up some great advice. Blessed!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Awesome Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      KarlHarer 

      7 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      LoveToClean 

      7 years ago

      I remember being TOTALLY nervous during my driving test... my foot was literally shaking!! Fortunately I still passed :)

    • profile image

      ericstrate 

      7 years ago

      I hit the curb when I was parallel parking during my driving test 'cause I was so nervous... lol! I still passed thankfully.

    • profile image

      kgdunst 

      7 years ago

      I did 7 points on reverse turn...

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 

      7 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      What a fantasic piece of reading! thankyou for that:)

    • profile image

      NewUsedCarsSacramento 

      7 years ago

      @anonymous: Don't worry Ben, just relax. The test will go fantastic if you feel relaxed. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I'm very nervous about taking my drivers test.

    • steph-naylor profile image

      steph-naylor 

      7 years ago

      I just dropped by to say 'super lens' Thankyou!!

    • MrInfopreneur profile image

      MrInfopreneur 

      7 years ago

      @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 profile image

      iPSiArt 

      7 years ago

      Wow, what a big and great article :O gonna bookmark it.

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 

      7 years ago

      I took my driving test at the age of fifty and made it through.

    • profile image

      CristianStan 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Onemargaret LM 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      spids1 

      7 years ago

      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 :)

    • profile image

      joyce-yang-9619 

      7 years ago

      @fish-oil-expert: nice driving tips. tks

    • profile image

      sandi_x 

      7 years ago

      Good info. Interesting lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      driving can be stressful enough.

      Cheap Auto Insurance Available any State

    • jessica ruiz jo profile image

      jessica ruiz jo 

      7 years ago

      Great info! Thanks for sharing!

    • MrInfopreneur profile image

      MrInfopreneur 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. I'm going to take the test in a few weeks and need to be as calm as possible

    • profile image

      antoniow 

      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens

    • curtmaxwall profile image

      curtmaxwall 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Kathylina 

      7 years ago

      If you have prepared good for the test then It will be OK.

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 

      7 years ago

      Really good info. Go in prepared with lots of practice and with confidence.

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      biggking lm 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      CameronPoe 

      7 years ago

      I think some of these advice can be used in other types of situations that gives jitters.

    • blazingzone lm profile image

      blazingzone lm 

      7 years ago

      I just think of the examiner as a friend. This will relax a bit :)

    • WordChipper profile image

      WordChipper 

      7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      ByrlLane 

      7 years ago

      I took a few deep breaths, gave my shoulders a shake and was ready to go.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Hey! Great lens you've got there! Thanks for the advice. Cheers =)

    • MargaretJeffreys profile image

      MargaretJeffreys 

      7 years ago

      Thanks! You've helped a lot of people (including me)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 

      7 years ago

      You've provided a wealth of helpful information. Be prepared; be confident in your abilities; relax. ~~Blessed~~

    • profile image

      Loola 

      7 years ago

      I was really nervous, but determined. Very informative lens, my sister should read this!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      Best wishes to all student drivers. Of course you can do it! "Squid Angel blessed."

    • profile image

      fish-oil-expert 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      radkoaleks 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Close2Art LM 

      7 years ago

      Great tips, I know I was nervous too, Blessed

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This reminded me of my driving test and how stressed I was. Whewww...am happy that was over.

    • profile image

      jjprusk 

      7 years ago

      "High Five" - what a great topic and very helpful for those getting ready for their drivers test.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      dumutu 

      7 years ago

      Listening to music is help to me :)

      Great lens, thank you :)

    • craigmitchell profile image

      craigmitchell 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      KimGiancaterino 

      7 years ago

      I'll have to share your advice with my stepson (Mr. Know-it-All) who is in the process of getting his license.

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 

      7 years ago from San Diego, CA

      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 profile image

      katiecolette 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      oldmedic 

      7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      7 years ago

      How is saying a famous slogan: JUST DO IT!

    • profile image

      linkreggie 

      7 years ago

      fight your fear! If you conquer this stage you will be proud to your self.. Start it in basic..

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Great lens!

      And realy helpfull

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      7 years ago

      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.

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