The weeks of taking lessons, practicing what you’ve been taught, learning your Highway Code and preparing for the driving theory test is about to hopefully pay off. The next step is to pass your practical driving test to enjoy the freedom and independence driving affords you.
Being prepared both physically and mentally is the key to giving yourself the best chance possible of passing. The following pointers will help ensure you’re organised and ready.
- Bring all the correct documents with you
Sounds obvious but it’s possible to forget something vital; without certain documents the test won’t proceed. Remember the following:
- Your driving licence – if you have only the older style paper licence you’ll need your passport as photo ID
- Your driving theory test pass certificate or confirmation
If you require glasses to drive, don’t forget them. You have to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres; if you can’t, the test won’t go ahead and you’ll lose your fee.
- Brush up on your Highway Code and driving theory
Even though you’ll have passed your driving theory test, don’t lose sight of how important this information as the test examiner will be looking for evidence that you know and are implementing the rules of the road. Refresh your memory using online driving theory test resources and take the opportunity to make sure you’re fully up to speed with some of the trickier signs you might come across on the test route.
Remember the examiner will ask some ‘show me tell me’ questions at the beginning of the test concerning the mechanical aspects of the car.
- Mental attitude
If you’ve prepared properly there’s every reason to feel confident you’ll pass. Remember; your driving instructor wouldn’t have encouraged you to apply for your test if they didn’t think you were ready.
Be positive and confident without becoming arrogant. If you’re nervous, calm yourself with basic deep breathing exercises.
If you do make a mistake, don’t assume you’ve failed and mentally ‘give up’. You’ve paid for the test and invested the time and effort, so do your best right to the end. Examiners will make allowances for nerves, so don’t assume a little slip up early on has doomed your attempt.
While the examiner will judge you purely on your driving ability, looking presentable and well turned out can’t hurt. If nothing else, it can help you psychologically; if you know you look neat and tidy and are showing responsibility then it’s likely to rub off on your driving performance. Be professional and take the day seriously.
- Your test car
If you’re using your driving instructor’s car, then it should be suitable for the test. If, however, you’re using a different car – a family car or your own perhaps – then ensure it’s acceptable to take a test in.
While your driving instructor will be able to advise here, it’s worth using this check list to ensure all is well with the car. It’s easy to slip up; for example, if you smoke and have one in the car to calm your nerves shortly before the test, the car will not be in an acceptable state to be used for a test.
6. Keep Calm
As the well-known slogan says, ‘keep calm and carry on’. Don’t dwell on small errors you may make, ask the examiner to repeat any instructions you may not have heard properly, and think positively throughout. Be professional and keep your theory in mind at all times and you won’t go far wrong.