Passing your driving test comes with an amazing sense of relief and achievement. You’ll be free to explore the roads and go on adventures. You can take road trips with your friends or simply stop relying on mum and dad for lifts! You might even have the perfect car sat on the drive just waiting for you to drive it. It really will open up your world and give you the freedom you deserve. There’s just one small detail, you need to pass your test!
The driving test is a nerve wracking hour of maneuvers, signalling and independent driving. With the examiner breathing down your neck and watching your every move, it’s a stressful time. There’s only one thing worse than taking your driving test, and that’s having to take it twice! We know drivers who have been through five or six driving tests before they passed. This is the last thing you want. Today we’re going to show you the tricks of the trade and make sure you pass first time. Ready? Let’s take a look.
The theory test – This is the really easy part and we advise getting it out of the way early. Make sure you have passed your theory test before you’ve booked the proper exam. If you have a disaster on the theory test, you’ll have to rearrange. This is a simple test of the highway code and hazard perception. There are plenty of resources online to help you pass this. Book your theory test online and start swotting up! Get this out of the way and you’ll be ready to take the physical exam.
Take enough lessons – This may seem like an obvious suggestion. Unfortunately a lot of driving students simply don’t put in the time behind the wheel. Your instructor knows all the techniques and tips you need to know to pass your test. Only book the test when they say that you are ready and prepared. The number of lessons will vary according to your ability. However, most companies suggest at least 25 lessons. Some will insist on 40 lessons before the test takes place.
Practice, practice, practice – Outside of the instructor lessons, you ought to practice at home. Pick up some learner plates and convince mum or dad to come along with you. Practice the techniques you learned in the lessons over and over again. Repeat the parallel park until you get it just right. Get comfortable with the sensation of driving and allow your natural instincts to develop. Driving gets easier with practice, so drive as much as possible.
Familiarise yourself with the test area – Once upon a time, you could find the exam routes online. Unfortunately, these have now all been removed. Having said that, you should know your local area well enough to predict a likely route. Get to know the area and be prepared. Take note of where certain lanes merge or where difficult maneuvers are needed. Get comfortable with the roads around the test center so you’re not caught out on the day.
Practice your weaknesses – Every driver has that one maneuver they can never get right. It could be the parallel park or the turn in the road. Whatever it is that troubles you, practice it again and again. There will be at least two maneuvers on your test and you can pick up a number of faults here. Keep practicing until you get it perfect.
Understand the biggest reasons for failure – There are two main ways you can fail your test. The first is too many major faults. This could be dangerous driving, speeding or pulling out in front of others. The second is too many minor faults. You can incur quite a lot of minor faults before you fail, but they add up quickly! The biggest reasons for failure are these minor faults. Within that, the biggest culprit – by far – is failing to check your mirrors. Every time you don’t check your mirror before turning, indicating or stopping you’ll get a minor fault. These add up quickly over the test. Always remember your mirrors!
Book an extra lesson before the test – On the big day, it’s worth booking an extra lesson. There should be no pressure on this lesson at all. It’s all about getting into your groove as a driver. Get comfortable in the car again and get used to the drive. It will help you settle in before starting the test. You’ll shake any cobwebs and build a little confidence. If you like, you can practice some maneuvers to get you in the mood.
Keep yourself calm and focused – It’s really important to keep the nerves in check before the test. A good long drive beforehand will help. However, it’s worth taking a few extra precautions too. One tip that we swear by is taking some chewing gum along. If you get nervous, your mouth tends to dry up which is infuriating! Chewing gum will easily solve the problem and help you forget your nerves. We all have our own way of dealing with this, find yours.
Learn the ‘show me, tell me’ questions – The very first part of the test is the ‘show me, tell me’ part. It’s a simple question and answer session about your car. It could be ‘show me where the oil should go’. It might be ‘tell me how to check the brakes are working’. There are only about 12 of each and they’re very simple. Learn them all so you can answer confidently. Getting these right will give you confidence and you’ll get into the car knowing you got it right.
Confidence – Confidence is the most important part of passing your test. You know you can do this! You’ve practiced everything, you know the local area and you’re a comfortable driver. Just do everything you’d normally do and you’ll be fine. Try to settle in and – dare we say it – enjoy yourself!
Follow this advice and you’ll pass with flying colours! You can celebrate with your new certificate and enjoy your new found freedom!
Photo credit : Flickr