It’s normal to feel a bit nervous before your driving test, but you must learn how to control your nerves if you are to get your driver’s licence. Driving test nerves are a real thing, and lots of candidates find it difficult to cope with the pressure of driving under test conditions. If your test is fast approaching and you are looking for tips to help you overcome your anxiety, we’ve written this guide just for you.
How to calm your nerves before your driving test
Overcoming your nerves before you make the trip down to the driving test centre is the key to success. If you can get the better of your nerves before the day of your test, you’ll have a great chance of passing. If on the other hand, you allow anxiety and tension to build up, it could become a serious obstacle to you achieving your goals. Here are a few tips to help you calm your nerves before your driving test.
Practice makes perfect
The number one reason for driving test nerves is a lack of practice. It’s easy to get nervous and start to panic if you’re underprepared and the feeling tends to get worse the closer you get to the day of your test. You can prevent this by practicing as often as you can in the run-up to your driving test, as the feeling of being unprepared is what leads to a rush of nerves on the big day.
Get comfortable with each of the driving test manoeuvres before you book your driving test. Many candidates worry about being asked to complete the manoeuvre they are the least comfortable with, so mastering each one, will help you to get rid of any lingering anxiety or doubt you might have.
As an added tip, practice with a family member or friend if you can and go over the theory test questions too. Being as prepared as you can be before the start of your test is the best way to deal with any driving test anxiety you might have.
Take a mock driving test
You can improve your confidence by taking a handful of mock driving tests before the big day. A mock test can be just as stressful as the real thing and getting used to dealing with this pressure, will help you overcome your nerves on your actual driving test.
A mock driving test will show you what to expect on the real thing, and this is helpful, as fear of the unknown is a common cause of driving test anxiety. Ask your driving instructor to take you out on a mock test, along an actual driving test route. Familiarising yourself with the road layout in and around your chosen test centre is a great way to improve your confidence.
Keep to your regular routine
Sticking to your normal routine can help you remain calm on the day of your test. Wake up at your regular time, have breakfast if you normally do and try not to do anything out of the ordinary. Breaking your normal routine can unsettle you on the day of your test, and this can lead to an increase in anxiety.
Try to eat before your test as you may end up burning nervous energy if you are anxious. If you’re hungry on your test, it could also lead to a drop in concentration, so try to eat something light before you head down to the test centre.
Have a driving lesson before your test
Talk to your driving instructor about taking a driving lesson before the start of your test. A lesson beforehand will help you warm-up, and it’s a great way to overcome any driving test nerves you might have.
We recommend booking a one hour lesson as this will give you enough time to get warmed up, without you having to overexert yourself before your test begins.
Get to the test centre with time to spare
Give yourself enough time to get to the driving test centre. Avoid rushing as you could end up flustered and more nervous than you otherwise would be. Get to the test centre location around 30 minutes before the start of your test and park up on a side road and go through the show me tell me questions. This will help you to calm down before you enter the waiting room.
Aim to sit down in the test centre waiting room, 10 minutes before the start of your driving test. Do not enter the building any sooner than this, as it could cause the waiting area to become overcrowded.
Candidates that approach their driving test with the wrong mindset, often find themselves overwhelmed with nerves during their test. Thinking positively about your driving test can help you avoid this.
You can overcome your driving test nerves by visualising yourself passing, and thinking positively about all of the things you will be able to do once you have your driving licence.
Keep the date of your driving test to yourself
One of the most difficult things about failing a driving test is the feeling of letting your friends and family down. In reality, your loved ones will still be proud of you regardless of the outcome of your test, but the pressure of disappointing your loved ones still leads to anxiety and worry.
One tip that can prevent you from getting nervous is keeping the date of your driving test to yourself. Avoid sharing the date of your test with your friends, family, and followers on social media. If you can take your test without too many people being in the know, it should remove some of that extra pressure that could turn into nervous energy on the big day.
Book a massage
Massages are a great way of releasing serotonin which helps reduce anxiety. A full body massage before your driving test can help you relax, which could, in turn, improve your driving. Schedule a full body massage the day before your test if you find yourself stressed or overly concerned about what’s to come.