You’ve booked your driving test. Is the date now slowly approaching? Do you feel like you haven’t had enough practice on the road? Want to just sit in the corner of your bedroom by yourself and watch something on Netflix all day? We’ve all been in that position before, when the date of your driving test is not too far away, and you feel very unprepared. Don’t worry, the nerves are completely normal! Just for you learner drivers, we have some handy tips on passing your driving test the first time. Use these tips, and you’ll smash it!
Taking the right amount of driving lessons
We all want our own car and to be able to drive by ourselves without relying on someone. However, it is easy to let this eagerness take over, and you may start rushing your lessons and booking your driving test when you are not ready. Make sure that you have taken the right amount of lessons and have learnt everything about the road. You may also want to ask your driving instructor their opinion as to whether they think you are ready for the driving test.
Go over the theory test again
The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) theory test is a two-part test that learner drivers must pass to be able to book their official driving test. It’s a good idea to revisit the theory test just to refresh your memory on things such as signs and highway codes.
Show Me, Tell Me
Before your driving test begins, your examiner will ask you one ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ Question. A ‘Tell Me’ question is where you will have to explain how you would carry out a safety task (such as “tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working”). This will be asked before the driving test begins. A “Show Me” question is where you show the examiner how you would carry out a safety task (e.g. “When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?”). This question will be asked whilst you are driving. It’s a good idea to read up on these and ask your driving instructor to show you the ins and outs of the car you are learning on. You can find out more about the questions that can be asked here.
Practise, mock tests, more practise…
Practising your different manoeuvres (mirror, signal, manoeuvre routine), going at different speeds and even switching gears can help you become more confident in your driving skills. Your driving instructor can also do mock tests where they become the examiner and mark your driving as an actual examiner would. By doing this, driving will become second nature, and you will zoom past the driving test (whilst keeping to the speed limit) and pass!
Learn the different driving routes
In each city, the driving centre will have different driving routes that they will take you on. The DVSA don’t always publish the driving test routes, but your driving instructor will always know about which ones you are likely to be tested on. You could expect complicated roundabouts, narrow turns and even jam-packed parking lots!
Be on Time
On the day of your driving test, make sure that you are at least 15 minutes early. Make sure you have everything that is needed (your provisional license and a copy of your theory pass certificate) and have had something to eat and drink beforehand. By being on time, you will get the chance to ask your instructor any last-minute questions, get hints and tips from them, and it will make a great first impression on your examiner.
Exaggerate head movements
One thing a lot of learner drivers receive minor faults on is forgetting to check the centre and side mirrors. Learner drivers (including me) often protest and say that you did check the mirrors and are absolutely sure that you did. However, a common mistake is that we only move our eyes when checking the mirrors. The examiner may be looking straight forward so they may think you didn’t check your mirrors because your head didn’t move (they are checking all this from the corner of their eyes). Exaggerate your head movements (whilst being safe) before your signal to make sure that the driving instructor definitely saw you check those mirrors!
Examiners are human too!
The word “examiner” may sound daunting and terrifying. However, believe it or not, they are human beings too. Stay calm and have a good chat with them whilst driving to put them and yourself at ease. Don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat or re-word something you don’t understand. You won’t receive any faults for it, and 99.9% of the time it will make it easier for you.
Keep Calm and Carry on
The most important tip anyone can give you for passing your driving test the time is to remain calm. Tell yourself that this is what you’ve prepared for, and soon enough, you will be doing this without help from anyone else. The test is not designed to test how fast you can bay park or how fast you can turn ‘right third exit’ on a roundabout. The examiner is there to make sure you are doing it right.
You can also take your driving instructor along if you need a familiar face or just for that extra bit of comfort.