How to deal with driving test nerves and keep calm - giving you the best chance of a first-time pass!
Nerves are something that we all suffer with from time to time, but unfortunately, they affect some people much more than others. Below you’ll find some really helpful advice and tips on how to make sure that your driving test nerves don’t destroy your chances of achieving a first-time pass!
How to combat driving test nerves
In order to combat the driving test nerves, it’s essential that you feel confident BEFORE you put in for your test. You have to believe that you can do it, and just remember your instructor wouldn’t have recommended you apply if they didn’t think you were good enough!
Practise makes perfect when dealing with driving test nerves
Make sure that you have practised all the manoeuvres and driving routines that you could be tested on in your exam plenty of times before your test. This will help you to feel much more confident and help to banish those driving test nerves. The worst thing that can happen is that you start your driving test uncertain of a particular manoeuvre and the examiner then asking you to complete it. This will not help your nerves! If you are struggling on a particular manoeuvre ask your instructor to spend more time on it or take a look at our practical videos.
Help and support to combat driving test nerves
Ensure that you have your instructors support. Talk to friends and family about your nerves and anxieties and see if they can offer any advice. You can also join our friendly community over on Facebook where you can interact with thousands of other learner drivers who are all in the same position.
Why not play our interactive quiz - 10 Reasons For Failure - which will guide you through the reasons that people fail, and how you can combat them. There's also a questions section that replicates what you could face on your test!
Can herbal remedies help with driving test nerves?
Certain herbal remedies such as Kalms can be helpful for some people to help calm driving test nerves. Make sure that you read the label thoroughly and remember that you will need to start taking these a couple of weeks before your test.
Can breathing help test nerves?
It may sound strange but breathing exercises can be very useful to help combat driving test nerves. Simple deep breaths whilst focusing on your in and out breaths will help to relax and soothe any nerves that may be brewing.
Can bananas help with nerves?
You may have heard instructors and learners recommending that you eat a banana before your test. They are full of vitamin B which will help to calm your test nerves. The main reason for this is that they contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’.
Can distraction help with test nerves?
It’s recommended that you arrive at the test centre with plenty of time to spare on the day of your test. However, sitting in the waiting room before your test begins is often where most people begin to feel the real nerves kick in. Take along something to read to help distract your attention or why not try the breathing exercises to help keep you calm.
Pretend you’re on a driving lesson to help combat nerves
If the idea of sitting your driving test sends you to jelly, try to think of it as an ordinary driving lesson, but you’ve simply got a replacement instructor in the car. So long as you remember everything that you have been taught and you drive to a high enough standard, you will pass!
Driving test tips and hints from other learner car drivers
Here are some tips and hints from other learner car drivers about how they overcame driving test nerves:
- Think of all the good times that you’re going to have when you pass your test.
- Imagine that you’re a taxi driver and you’re taking someone home and have to follow their directions.
- Chill out with friends before your test to help relax.
- Chew on chewing gum.
- Bach’s Rescue Remedy.
- Have a positive attitude – “I will try my best but if I fail then at least I’ve tried”.
- Don’t have a big meal before your test – it will make you feel sluggish and tired.
- Ask your instructor to sit in on your test – a familiar face in the car can make you feel more at ease.
- Don’t tell everybody when your test is!
- Eat a bowl of porridge before your test.
- Beta Blockers.
- Listen to music before your test.
If you’ve found a great way to overcome driving test nerves, why not let us know in the comments below!
And if you’re nervous due to certain manoeuvres, or questions you may be asked, take a look at our practical online training.
With over 35 new video tutorials covering all the essential manoeuvres and routines that learner drivers may be tested on in their exam, including parallel parking, reverse bay parking and rejoining traffic, this training could make the difference between a pass or a fail.