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Beating Driving Test Nerves

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Being nervous is a feeling many of experience a great deal of the time, this is often amplified during the driving test. This is understandable.  The thought of being judged by an examiner sitting right next to you is no doubt intimidating. Sometimes, it’s better just to book a driving test cancellation rather than having to worry unnecessarily.

Unfortunate, these nerves can have an impact on how you perform throughout the driving test. Excessive nerves can negatively impact the driver, yet a small amount can help you focus and stay alert throughout the test.

Knowing what to expect

Preparation is vital for any test you may have to do throughout your life, knowing what exactly will occur throughout the test will ensure that they’ll be no unexpected surprises.

If you are familiar with the layout of the driving test, you’re far less likely to be nervous throughout the test. Once you’re at a good level of confidence, ask your driving instructor for a mock test. This will massively help you as it’ll expose areas of weakness, but also allow you to understand how the test will work and what exactly to expect.

Furthermore, to make it more realistic, you could contact another driving school and arrange for a mock test. This will mean you’ll have a stranger sitting next to you, examining your driving ability. This is the closest you’ll be able to get to a real-life test and would be brilliant practice at gaining confidence.

Know the test centre

The highest level of nervousness often occurs at the very beginning of the driving test. A large number of people fail due to mistakes made at the test centre! Therefore it’s important to take a number of lessons around the test centre itself. Being familiar with the nearby roads means you’ll be more comfortable driving there. You should also observe where to park at the centre and the entry and exit.

Booking your driving test

The day and time that you book your test may help you become more confident. Some learners prefer to drive when it’s busier, others when there are barely any cars on the road. If driving in less traffic helps you feel less nervous, try to book your test outside rush hour times. Furthermore, some test centres will offer Saturday tests and weekday evening tests during the summer. However, be aware that they will charge an additional £13 for this test.

Test centre waiting room

For many learners, this can be the longest part of the entire test. The 10 minutes waiting silently can be antagonising. It would be beneficial to have casual chat with your instructor to take your mind off it all. Or you could read or listen to music, anything which tends to relax you should help you feel less nervous.

Tips to reduce nervousness

  • Avoid large doses of caffeine. This is especially apparent with people who have early morning tests. Whilst it is a stimulant, it has the side effect of making you jittery, anxious and an increase in nervousness.
  • Exercise. This is highly effective at reducing stress and anxiety. Depending on how active you feel, it may be beneficial to go for a quick walk or jog before your test.
  • A drink and food. Follow up the exercise by a drink of water or milk which contains protein lactium which helps to relax you by reducing blood pressure, also contains magnesium and potassium which helps in reducing anxiety.
  • You could also include small amounts of food such as a banana for slow release energy or blueberries which include vitamin C which aids in reducing anxiety.
  • Don’t take the test too seriously. It’s never the end of the world if you fail, considering a large majority of people do the first time. Furthermore, your instructor believes you are test ready, therefore, there’s no reason why you couldn’t pass.
  • Breathing exercises. This can help for a large number of people, when nervous, deep breathing can do wonders. Try breathing in through your nose slowly and deeply, counting to five. After, slowly release your breath through your mouth whilst again counting to five and repeat.

In conclusion, nerves can be a major reason for driving test failures. Many candidates are up to a passable level of driving, yet falter during the test. It’s important to remember that the examiner isn’t there to fail you, and it might as well be a normal lesson. If you suffer greatly from nerves, use the above tips and you’ll be on your way to passing.

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