Anybody that doesn’t admit to a tiny flutter of nerves before their driving test has got to be made of really stern stuff (or just plain weird.) The driving test is a great leveller, everybody gets the same treatment. And if you don’t cut it, you fail. Which probably goes a long way towards explaining the nerves situation. With such a black and white decision, we don’t get the chance to debate with the driving examiner how our performance should be rated. You have already been judged by a higher power, and you’ll have to take the results, whatever they are.
Nerves are the Norm
So, the first thing to realise about experiencing nerves before your driving test is, it’s totally normal. Only weirdos would be serene.
Having the confidence to take the test is a good way of combating nerves. If you have put in for your test, the chances are your driving instructor has agreed you are ready to meet the challenge. Learner drivers who live in the Oxford area should know there is a local instructor who has not had a single first time test fail for any pupils for the last five years! Yes, wouldn’t you like to have that guy teaching you? It’s good to know that when it comes to a good driving school Oxford is not lacking top tutors. So help banish driving test nerves right from the get-go by learning with the best driving school Oxford can deliver. Good teachers get good results. An experienced driving instructor will know their way around the test and be able to coach you in detail so that you are fully prepared by test day.
Learn Your Moves
Practice again and again all the manoeuvres you need to have nailed for your test. Whether it’s parking, reversing around a corner or taking a junction, the more familiar you are with these manoeuvres the less tense you will feel.
Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises can be useful if you are feeling very wound up and nervous. Also, herbal remedies such as Kalms or Bach’s Rescue Remedies for calming nerves offer relief to some people. Some driving instructors recommend eating a banana prior to the test as it contains tryptophan , a protein that our bodies convert into the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. However, if you are really nervous, eating will be the last thing you feel like doing.
Positive visualization is a good way of spending time waiting for the test. Think about all the exciting things you will do, places you can visit once you have a full driving license. The future looks so bright behind the wheel of a car!
Back Seat Driver
Some test candidates ask their instructors to sit in on the test so that there is a familiar and reassuring presence in the car. Others might feel more pressure if there are more eyes on their performance – it’s very much up to how the individual feels on the day.
Don’t pile on extra tension by turning up at the last minute for your test. You don’t want to be out of breath, sweating or wound tight as a coiled spring as the examiner asks you to start the car. It is likely that your instructor will have familiarised you with the local routes that may come up on the test, so hopefully nothing unexpected should come up.
Embrace How You Feel
Being nervous isn’t always a bad thing. If you are able to channel that extra adrenalin into being the sharpest, most attentive and careful driver, then that can help impress the examiner. If your hands are shaking, grip the wheel hard and focus on the job in hand. If, when it is all over, the instructor hands you a fail, at least you will feel that you gave it your best shot – and you will know what to expect for next time – which will hopefully result in less nerves!
If you are well practised and prepared, the reality is that you will pass your test with flying colours.
Passing your driving test is a real rite of passage and something that most people have on their growing up ‘to do’ list. Once you pass there is the small matter of actually getting yourself a set of wheels to call your own…perhaps that could be the next challenge on the list…