Getting your driver’s licence is meaningful, especially if you’re a young adult since it’s another step towards independence. A lot of students and young professionals decide to learn how to drive, and even though it’s a very common process it can be exhausting and a source of anxiety. This is because driving for the first time is difficult but also because of the social pressure to be a ‘driver’. Not knowing how to drive or struggling with your test can impact your self-esteem and that’s what makes learning it so difficult. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place, I’m going to share with you the best tips to nail your driving test!
Study for your theory test
Theory comes before practice, so before thinking about your driving test, you’ll have to think about your theory test first. Although it’s not the most difficult part, the theory test can be challenging and catch you off guard if you’re not well prepared. The test consists of two distinct parts:
- Multiple choice questions. The first part of the test will test your understanding of the highway code and other important driving principles, although it is not designed to trip you, you must prepare thoroughly for this test. The questions are based on the three following books: The Highway Code, Know your traffic signs, and Driving – the essential skills. Although the books are useful, to truly prepare for the test format, I strongly recommend you to get The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers. This book makes it much easier to study as it has clear explanations and all the questions that will come up on the actual test. Overall, studying for the test should take you about a week.
- Hazard perception. Click here to see how the hazard and perception test works. This test consists of 14 videos featuring everyday road scenes containing at least one developing hazard. You are expected to click the mouse when you see any hazard starting to develop. This part of the test of fairly simple, you just click when you see something unexpected or moving fast, indicating the wrong direction, etc. You will not be penalised if you click and get something wrong but you will if you click continuously, so be careful.
Prepare for your driving test
Although you can start taking driving lessons before passing your theory test, I recommend getting the theory test out the way to fully focus on your driving. Driving for the first time can be challenging and exhausting especially if you’re working or studying at the same time. Most importantly, you need to choose a good driving instructor who will fully prepare you for the test and create an ideal routine that will optimise your learning conditions.
- Choose a private driving instructor. You should go for a self-employed driving instructor as they are usually much better than driving schools. Since they rely on word of mouth and feedback, they are more likely to give you a positive driving experience. Ideally, they will support you from the start until your practical test and help you build your confidence on the road. You’ll also have the option to pay as you go instead of paying a lump sum.
- Create a sustainable routine. Once you’ve picked your driving instructor you should try to create a routine that will help you progress optimally. Consistency is key and is the best way to build your confidence on the road. Also, remember to give yourself time to rest and retain information by leaving a few days between each lesson.
- Avoid setting yourself a target. Although setting yourself a target might sound like a good idea, it might add more pressure and impact your learning experience. Also, you’ll most likely be disappointed if you don’t manage to do it by then. Instead, you should try to relax and enjoy it as much as you can, this will make you feel more comfortable and allow you to learn more efficiently. Most importantly, remember that everyone is different and that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. While some people might take 30 lessons, some might need 60 to feel confident but at the end of the day, what matters is that you enjoy the experience!
- Trust your driving instructor. Provided you chose a reputable driving instructor, trusted by your family and friends, you should trust them with the process and focus on your driving, they will make you go through the test centre’s routes and the ‘show me, tell me’ vehicle safety questions you will be asked during the practical test. They will give you honest feedback to help you improve, try to not take things personally but be honest about how you feel.
I failed my driving test: what do I do now?
So you’ve failed your driving test even though you prepared for months and felt confident, you now feel depressed and you don’t know what to do. First of all, remember that you’re not alone, over 54% of people don’t pass on their first attempt, so there is nothing wrong with you. Secondly, the test can be a little tricky, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, you should keep calm and plan your next move.
- You need to move on. Failing your driving test can be emotionally hard and depressing. Your instructor most likely made you feel confident and boosted your ego, thus, not passing will feel like being stabbed in the stomach. You probably can’t stop thinking about it, but there’s no point. Just make sure that you learn from your mistakes and prepare for what’s next, discuss it with your driving instructor and make sure that you’re even more prepared the second time.
- Take a break. You should take a short break from driving just to clear your head. Failing your driving test can be overwhelming and stressful so it’s important you get back behind the wheel with a clear mind and without the pressure of passing. Once you feel ready to start again, discuss it with your instructor and book a second test.
Getting your driving licence can be very challenging, but remember that you will get it eventually, no matter how long takes. Make sure to be patient and listen to your driving instructor. Overall, if you practise regularly, focus, and slowly build your confidence on the road, you will be fine. If you’ve failed your test a few times already and feel depressed and anxious, don’t worry too much, a lot of people go through the same process so there’s nothing wrong with you. If it just isn’t clicking with you, it may be a good time to pause and take a break, but you will pass, so don’t give up!