If someone had told me a year ago that right now I’d be writing a post on how to pass a driving test I would have laughed in their face… but here we are! My driving experience was most certainly an experience I won’t forget.
A little background information: I failed two tests miserably before passing my third. In my first test which I took in November 2018, 8 months after my first lesson, I failed with 3 majors and a few minors (can’t remember how many). In my second test, a month later, I failed with 2 majors and a dangerous fault. I didn’t even know you could get that! My nerves just kept getting the better of me and with each test I got more nervous, which was a recipe for diaster. However I finally passed on my third attempt in December 2019, after taking a 7 month break to focus on my a-levels.
So here are my tips for passing your driving test, whether it’s your first attmept or fifth attempt. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!!
Book a test at the right time of day
My first two tests I booked for the last time slots of the day (which I believe is 3:30 ish) which was a huge mistake. In the winter it gets dark around 4pm, so by the time I was half way through my test it was getting dark, which obviously was not ideal. I made the mistake a SECOND time too, and by the third time I’d realised that maybe the afternoon slots just weren’t working for me. Of course it depends what kind of person you are, but I found doing mine mid-morning was the best because there was no traffic and I was not tired from the rest of the day.
Eat a good breakfast/lunch beforehand
I would strongly recommend eating something substantial and filling before your test. I had scrambled eggs on toast before mine and it meant I didn’t get hungry at all.
Don’t put pressure on yourself to pass
One thing I would recommend doing is not telling anyone you have booked a test, or if you do, don’t tell them the date. If you tell everyone you might feel more pressure to pass because you know they are going to ask how it went. I didn’t tell many people at all about my driving test, only the people closest to me.
Another piece of advice my last driving instructor gave me before my test was ‘expect to fail‘. I know it sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. I was SO nervous about my third test to the point I would cry and I wanted to cancel it. He told me to expect to fail because that way there are no pressures and if I do fail, I won’t be hugely disappointed, but if I pass it will obviously be great! I know not everyone will agree with having this mindset but I believe this is why I passed my last test.
Try and remain calm
I’m smiling as I’m writing this because before my third test I was a nervous wreck. To calm myself down I took deep breaths. I would recommend visualising it going well; don’t imagine all of the things that could go wrong because it will just make you panic. For me this was difficult on my third test because I’d already gone through two bad tests, so I knew that it was very possible that this one could go the same.
Make sure you’re comfy
Being comfy will hopefully make you feel more relaxed – I know it did for me anyway. I would recommend a comfy outfit such as a hoodie and leggings.
Ensure you’re prepared
Make sure you feel confident in every aspect of driving and that you know the answers to the show and tell questions. Looking back, on my first two tests I was not confident on roundabouts, especially big ones, and hesitation was one of the reasons I failed. Don’t be afraid to ask to go over things you aren’t sure of, even if you feel like you’ve gone over it too many times! Your driving instructor is there to help you be confident on the roads – after all, when you pass, you won’t have them next to you.
‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’
Consider switching instructor
If after multiple tests you feel like it’s not working for you, do not be ashamed or feel bad for trying out a new instructor! I did this after my second test and it is the best decision I made. My first instructor was great but just not for me, and that is ok. Everyone works differently and sometimes you have to switch to find the perfect instructor for you.
I think it’s important with driving to not compare your journey with everyone elses. I struggled with this because everyone I knew seemed to be passing their test first time after 6 months of lessons, whereas I was taking a lot longer.
The real drivings lessons are once you pass your test!
Have you started learning to drive? Have you passed? Let me know in the comments!