Taking your driving test is a nerve-wracking process that most people have to endure at some point. The apprehension felt in the lead up to the test quickly evaporates when you receive a passing grade but can linger if you’re required to retake the exam. Even competent drivers can fail the driving test if they don’t prepare fully or are overwhelmed by the occasion, so give yourself the best chance of success by heeding these five simple tips to pass the driving test the first time.
1. Bring A Properly Maintained Vehicle To Your Driving Test
You can choose which car you take the test in, so play to your strengths by using the car with which you have the most experience. Research the car requirements beforehand and make sure your chosen vehicle meets the standards. This may involve fitting additional mirrors.
Once you’ve chosen the vehicle you’re going to use, make yourself fully acquainted with its intricacies and nuances. Every car is slightly different and has its own set of foibles and challenges. Test all the controls and settings at least a week before the test so you can fix or replace anything you need. Being in a car that you’re familiar with will benefit your performance on the road and allow you to easily answer the questions an instructor may ask about the vehicle itself.
A surprising number of driving students fail their driving test before ever even getting on a roadway with the examiner. One of the first things your examiner will check for is the condition your vehicle is in, so make sure everything is working properly.
2. Choose A Driving Test Location You Are Familiar With
You have a choice of test locations. Where you take the exam can be crucial to your chance to pass the driving test, so think carefully before booking at your local testing facility. Ask your driving instructor for their opinion and make a considered decision. Generally, it’s best to take the test in a location that you know well but sometimes a specific area can present more difficult challenges than others nearby. Weigh up your options and choose a location that you think offers you the best chance to pass.
In order to increase your chances of passing the driving test, it’s important you visit the location and scout out the test route. Your instructor will likely know the most common routes taken on tests so you can conduct supervised practice runs before the real event. Preparation is an important part of any successful endeavor and becoming familiar with your test location will help you avoid being surprised by any unforeseen challenges on the day.
3. Take Your Driving Test At A Good Time Of The Day
The time of day can have a huge impact on the road conditions during your test. If you want to pass the driving test, make sure you practice in the same area and the same time that your test will be takien. For instance, if you’re not completely comfortable with stop/start traffic you may want to avoid typical rush hour times. After you’ve booked your test, schedule your practice runs for the same time as the real thing.
You need to know what road conditions you’re most likely to face in order to prepare fully for the task. For example, early mornings are more likely to be icy and driving in the afternoon could necessitate wearing sunglasses to ward off glare. Only by researching the area and the time of your test will you be able to be proactive in your preparations.
4. Exaggerate Safe Habits
The examiner giving the driving test will be looking for concrete evidence that you’re making the checks you’re supposed to and adhering to their desired driving practices. Therefore, it’s necessary to slightly exaggerate some of your movements so that the instructor can clearly see them.
One way of ensuring your movements are noticed is to adjust your mirrors so that you have to physically move your head to see out the rear of the car. Obviously, don’t have them offset to a dangerous degree. Having to naturally make a tiny head movement will allow the invigilator to clearly see that you’re making the correct mirror checks. Here is a great article on how to properly adjust your mirrors to avoid blind spots.
5. Try To Relax!
Arguably, the most important aspect of test preparation is relaxation. It is, of course, very difficult to calm yourself down when you’re already feeling anxious but you must convince yourself that failing the test is not the incredible disaster it may seem. You can always retake it and you will eventually pass. Passing may seem like the most meaningful thing but you shouldn’t rush the process. It’s more important that you are a safe and competent driver before being allowed on the roads unassisted. If it takes a few more lessons and little more money to get there, then so be it. Don’t be afraid of the prospect of failing.
If you make a mistake during the test, stay calm and carry on as if it never happened. Often, people will fail because they give up or panic after the slightest mistake near the start of their test where they would’ve passed if they carried on as normal.
Effective preparation can be the difference between success and failure. Take the time to ensure you’ve covered every angle to give yourself the best chance of passing your test. The time and effort it takes to be fully prepared beforehand will be instantly justified when you receive your passing grade and can make your way home as a fully legal and qualified driver.