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2 January, 2013

10 Steps to Pass YOUR Test – Step 10: The Big Day

We continue our 10 steps series with the final step, concerning your driving test itself.

Before the day even begins, it’s worth reminding yourself that nerves are normal. You might even say they’re important (remember the old adage about pride coming before a fall). It’s still wise to avoid out and out panic, take a few deep breaths. You’ll do far better if you’re calm but alert.

As with any exam, there are stages leading up to your driving test. During the preceding days, fill up your spare time with as much practice as you can. Ask your RED instructor to run through a mock test, replicating test conditions as closely as they can, making adjustments according to their feedback. Try to envisage situations in your head as clearly as you can, training yourself to make the correct decision quickly each time.

 Driving test sign against blue sky

Ignore the advice of friends and family; make your instructor’s voice the only one you trust inKeep it between you, your instructor and the examiner. Every friendship group will have its own driving test horror stories, and few people recall their own experience without some form of nightmare cropping up. If they don’t, it’s more than likely that they’ll think they know best, and no matter how quickly it took them to train up and pass, their advice will have developed flaws.

The day before your driving test, be sure to use your common sense. Avoid alcohol and get a good night’s sleep. Prepare all the documents you’ll need before you hit the hay – you won’t want to be running around looking for your provisional licence moments before you leave for the test centre. Also make sure you know exactly where the test centre is! A silly number of people have fallen at the first hurdle by turning up late.

As we said in step 9, the best way to approach the day of your driving test itself is by treating it as though it’s as normal as any other. Go about your business as best you can without seeing it as some kind of huge, immoveable life-changing event. If you fail, you fail. You did the best you could, and you’re welcome to as many attempts as you need. If you pass, you have simply proved that you are ready to join the other 35 million UK inhabitants who currently hold a full driving licence.

Nervous man

Get to the test centre as early as you can and sit quietly. Recognise again that nerves are natural, and that your examiner will take that into account. Major mistakes will be punished, but you’ve done what you can to eliminate them from your driving style.

Be aware, also, that it’s simply not possible to prepare for every eventuality. If you encounter a situation during your test that you have not encountered before, try and assess it as calmly and practically as you can, and make your decision based on good judgement rather than instinct.

If you think you may have made a mistake, let your examiner know, but above all keep going. Remember: you’re not the examiner, so your decision is not final. For all you know, you’re about to pass with flying colours.