The day is finally there. After weeks, possibly even months of learning it’s time for the big test. Your driving test is not like any other test you have taken before. In a typical examination classroom, your success will depend on how well you prepared for the test. The same cannot automatically be said for driving test. You may have prepared very well, done your homework and done everything your driving instructor taught you, and yet you are all cranky when it comes to actually moving the vehicle talk more of passing your test. While this is natural, becoming a perfect driver takes experience, you will be looking to overcome your driving test anxiety as this will only make matters worse.
With the invigilator sitting right next to you observing your every move it is natural to see your driving test nerves and confidence take the better of you. Or the problem could be outside of your own car. There could always be another reckless road user who couldn’t care less that you are trying to show that you are now a capable driver. There are just enough things that may seem to be working against you and it’s important not to let your driving test nerves take over.
You have worked hard to try and pass your driving test, but what you can’t see to have under control is how to overcome driving test anxiety. You freak out at the mere thought of it. Driving nerve, when unchecked and left to roam freely, often results in the failing of the driving test. For this reason, it is important to learn to control driving test nerves and remain confident or you will keep on scheduling driving tests that are never successful.
If your problem is driving test anxiety, then you are in luck because as a driving instructor, I will list some of the best advice I give to my students that work like charm all the time. Read on for my personal tips for driving test nerves.
Go Over What You Have Learned With Your Instructor
Two days to your driving test, go over what you have learned with your driving instructor. Make sure that the two of you cover what you are to expect on the main day. It is referred to as the mock driving test. If you have a decent driving instructor he will probably have done this before, possibly even filled in the exact form that the invigilator will be filling in. He might even wear a high vis vest to really replicate the situation.
These mock tests are not the time to assume you know it all. Ask all necessary questions. Make sure that the mock test is tailored to the type of car you are going to be driving on that day. Now to help calm the nerves you may exhibit on the test day, ask your instructor to be stern with you. Make sure that your instructor asks you all the questions that you are likely to be asked. Go over it with him time and time again. Let your instructor twist the questions until you can comfortably answer each and every one of them.
While at it, your driving instructor will know all the routes you are likely to drive during the test. Ask him about these. He will definitely be able to point out where most people make small mistakes. Familiarise yourself with the routes as much as you can. Pay special attention to the narrow or busy areas, and also know the maneuvers you are supposed to demonstrate. If there are really busy areas that make you especially nervous, it can be a good idea to walk out there and observe traffic for a while. This can help you anticipate other traffic better.
Tell Few People About the Test
Now, excitement is good. But too much excitement can bring pressure. I feel that out of the several driving test anxiety tips that work well it can be extremely important to limit the number of people that know about the test. Hopefully, this relieves you of unnecessary pressure and helps you focus on the task at hand. If a student of mine failed their driving test and I ask what went wrong, 9 times out of 10 they tell me that there is a lot of external pressure on them.
The fewer people that know, the less the pressure you are going to expose yourself to. If you are prone to being anxious, then you can really do without that. If possible, don’t tell anyone except your instructor of course. If you must tell anyone else, let it be one or two persons at most. These people should be people that encourage you and help to motivate you. It could be your parents or close friends. Try to keep it from the rest of the world until you are done with the test.
Get to the Venue Approximately 30 Minutes Before Starting Time
This is common advice for people going for a job interview, or any type of situation where you could get under stress. Being on time is very helpful in the situation of driving test anxiety. When you get to the driving center on time, it gives you the opportunity to get familiar with the environment. You will also ease into the environment much better than if you had arrived just a few minutes to your driving test.
On the other end of the coin, do not get to the driving center too early. You will only be waiting around for it to start, and if this time is too long, you could end up even more nervous than you already were. I always recommend 20-30 minutes, as that should be plenty of time to take a breather and go over everything in your head, yet it’s not so long you start to feel like they might have forgotten about you.
Take some breathing exercises
Taking a deep breath and exhaling slowly is a proven technique that can be very powerful at relieving most forms of anxiety and stress. Before stepping into the car, or even before your examinator comes to get you, try some breathing exercises a few times. This can help calm your driving test nerves and ease you up. Without anyone teaching you these, you will be able to know how to overcome driving test anxiety just by breathing the right way. The result will be relaxed muscles as against tensed ones.
Act like the driving test invigilator is a friend
I have seen thousands of nervous students get their drivers license. They were all ready, they knew what to do but still, they couldn’t get that anxious feeling of dread out of their head. One of the most effective driving test anxiety tips that I have given is to pretend they are sitting next to a friend. The reason most of you are feeling driving test anxiety is because there is someone sitting next to you that judges you.
You have gone through the mock test with your instructor, and he was stern with you on the last day of your driving lesson, but today is different. This guy is really out there to get you. Or is he?
Today, you think of that person sitting next to you as nothing but a friend who wants to see you succeed in your driving test. Even if the invigilator has a stern face and appears unfriendly – invigilators rarely have friendly faces, anyway – stick to the mentality that he is nothing but a good old friend who isn’t in the mood to share jokes. You will fare better this way. If you get lucky, he might ask you a few questions. Feel free to ask him questions back and you will soon see that he is just another person doing his job, just like you are.
Act like there’s nothing to lose
Now, you have done all you need to do. Your driving instructor tells you that you are ready for your big test.
You never missed your driving lessons, and even when you did, you made sure you caught-up with what you missed. You have taken your mock driving test, and you have done your breathing exercises. What more can anyone ask for? Treat the driving test like it’s just another lesson day. Don’t dwell on the thought of failing the test. If the thought comes up, dismiss it and tell yourself that you have nothing to lose. Your instructor thinks you are ready, and he wouldn’t put his reputation on the line.
Think about what you’re doing it all for. That moment when you are issued your license is worth consideration for a few minutes. Thinking in this manner will help you put in your best because you can already see your name well printed on that driver’s license. It will help you last longer and put tension far away from you. There is really no point in letting driving test anxiety get the better part of you. You are ready, and now it’s time to show it.