Top tips for dealing with driving test nerves

Teenager in car with driving instructorNerves on your driving test are only natural and to be expected. But if you are too anxious, it could well interfere with your functioning and performance. Take a look at our tips below for staying calm and using those butterflies to give you that extra edge.


Sometimes pupils are so nervous about the driving test, they refrain from thinking about it beforehand. The unconscious theory being “If I don’t think about it, I will not feel so uptight.” The problem with this is, if you put it out of mind, you cannot prepare for it appropriately. Perhaps most importantly, the whole activity of preparation is going to help you feel more confident because you have re-visited areas you were unsure or worried about.

Don’t listen to horror stories

Everyone seems to have a horror story from when they were taking their driving test. Listening too much to these kinds of anecdotes can heighten fears, so keep the banter ‘till after you have passed. And remember – horror stories are so interesting because they rarely happen.

Get into the right mindset

You are going to need to be in control of your vehicle and calm. Your examiner will expect you to be nervous, but you need to show that you can function correctly and respond to hazards at all times. So, make sure the examination is the only major event you are concerned with on the day of the test so you can give it full preparation and attention. If you do make a mistake, keep calm, repeat where you are allowed and don’t worry. The examiner is judging you on your overall performance, one little mistake is not going to lead to a fail.

Book the first test of the day

If your driving test appointment is at the end of the day you have got all day to worry and build up tension. If you know you are likely to be affected by nerves, try to book the first appointment of the day. And make sure you get a good night’s sleep before the test.

Dealing with the silent stranger

The driving examination will introduce you to a scenario where the person sitting next to you is a stranger and they will not be helping you, they will be assessing you. This can be a little awe-inspiring at first. To get used to this, it is often a good idea to ask your instructor in your last driving lessons if they have a colleague who will play the examiner in a mock test before the big day.

Don’t forget your theory

You may have passed your theory test with flying colours but you will be needing all that information again fresh and ready to be applied in practice. The examiner will be asking you theoretical questions too. Revise again all the areas you covered before – this knowledge will give you further confidence.

Don’t tell your friends when you are going for your test

It’s great to tell friends, but thoughts of how you will explain a fail can trigger extra anxiety long before the test begins. To help deal with this, try refrain from telling all your friends when you are taking your test. It will mean a lot less tension and hopefully a great surprise for everyone afterwards!

Remember the test examiner is on your side

Not many people look back on their driving tests with great affection. The examiner is often seen as the enemy. Verbal communication, unlike that of your instructor, is never more than instructions, their actions are totally focussed on assessing your performance. But beneath all of that is someone just like your instructor, who is simply trained to assess you on your merits.

Ask and Ask!

On the last day with the instructor don’t pretend to know everything. This is the time to bring any niggling doubts about your performance to the fore and get good input from your instructor. Don’t let pride get in the way – you will regret it when it affects your driving test result. In the lessons before the test, talk to your instructor about what will happen on the day and highlight any manoeuvres, practices or theory you have doubts about.

Hopefully it will not be long before you are proudly celebrating your new independence on the road. And remember, Go Girl offer car insurance for first time drivers at very affordable prices, so get a quote from us today.


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