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 on how to make sure that test nerves don't destroy your chances of achieving a first time pass!
Most importantly, have confidence and believe in yourself
It is 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, practise, practise!
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. 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 this until you feel confident. It’s also advisable that you complete a couple of mock tests before the big day so you know what to expect.
Help and support
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 and riders who are all in the same position.
Certain herbal remedies such as Kalms can be helpful for some people. 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.
It may sound strange but breathing exercises can be very useful. Simple deep breaths whilst focusing on your in and out breaths will help to relax and sooth any nerves that may be brewing.
Many instructors and learners alike will recommend eating 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 seratonin, the 'happy hormone'.
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 normal lesson
If the idea of sitting your practical test sends you to jelly, try to think of it as an ordinary lesson with your instructor. So long as you remember everything that you have been taught and you ride to a high enough standard, you will pass!
Hints and Tips from other learner riders
Here are some hints and tips from other learners about how they overcame driving test nerves:
- Think of all the good times that you’re going to have when you pass your test
- Chill out with friends before your test to help relax
- Chewing on chewing gum
- Nelson's Back 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
- 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 deal with or overcome test nerves, why not let us know via our contact us page. Who knows you could be helping thousands of other learners beat their test nerves too!