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Driving test nerves are normal! Before you can learn to keep calm and carry on during your driving test, you first need to understand that you’re not alone and that other people feel nervous before their test too. Once you come to terms with your nerves and accept that they are there, you can begin to manage them.
Understanding Your Nerves
The first step is understanding your nerves. Can you pinpoint exactly what it is you’re nervous about? What consequences do you fear – everyone is different and it could be anything from fear of failure to road safety issues.
Working Through Your Nerves
When you’ve figured it out and you understand what it is that is causing you to feel anxious, talk it through with your instructor for reassurance as they are trained to help you. He or she will be able to tell you that your safety is not at risk because you’re in a dual controlled car alongside a professional Driving Test Examiner.
Your Driving Test Instructor will also be able to tell you that fear of failure is normal, and that nervousness can be positive when used in the right way. Your instructor will be able to teach you coping mechanisms that help you use nerves to your advantage, helping you to increase your performance and confidence.
Advice On Keeping Calm & Carrying On
Each and every individual is different, but there are common ways used to control nerves and help with success. Below we’ve listed a few for your consideration. Good luck!
1. Take control of the things you can.
You can’t always control what will happen during your driving test, but you can take control of other related things, such as what time you schedule the test for and when you decide to take it. By taking control of the things that you can, you decrease stress for yourself and make the process an easier one to manage, for both yourself and the examiner. Book your test at a time that is suitable for you. If you’re not a morning person, book one for the evening and vice versa. If you’ve got a busy week at work, hold off for a little while until things settle down. There’s no need to overload yourself or make things more difficult than they need to be.
2. Remember, timing is everything.
Again, don’t make things more difficult and rushed by being late to the driving test centre. Instead ensure you arrive in plenty of time, helping you to get in the ‘zone’ beforehand and prepare yourself properly.
3. Rest well before the test.
This goes back to point 1, where we mentioned arranging the test for a good time. If you’re super busy one week and are unlikely to get much sleep, this isn’t the week you should book your driving test for. A good night’s sleep is essential to the success of passing your driving test, and it is proven that 36% of all vehicle accidents are sleep (or rather, lack of sleep) related.
4. Learn a calming breathing technique
Learning to breathe well can help to calm your nerves, as it tricks your body into a different state of mind. If you breathe calmly, your mind and body will follow, so try 4-7-8 breathing. This technique is taught worldwide, and you can find examples on YouTube to help with home practice.