The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency suggests that learners, on average, need about 45 hours of professional training plus 22 hours of private practice. Make sure you learn with an instructor you feel comfortable with, from a reputable driving school – and practise with an experienced friend or relative to hone your skills.
2. Warm up
Book a lesson near the test centre just before your test appointment time, so you don’t drive ‘cold’ when you have to get into the car with the examiner. It can also helps to scope out any obstructions such as potholes, local congestion or new roadworks, so you’re prepared if you encounter them during the test.
It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about taking your driving test, so take the pressure off yourself by not telling many people beforehand.
On the day, take deep breaths, count to 10 and exhale just before entering the test centre. Do this a few times and you should find yourself calming down and ready to drive.
4. Think positively
Before you enter the test centre, believe that you’re going to pass. Try some creative visualisation, which involves closing your eyes and imagining yourself driving well over the route, making flawless manoeuvres and seeing all the potential hazards.
5. Be comfortable in your car
Make sure you sit your test in a car you’ve driven regularly – either your instructor’s or the car you use for practising.
You need to feel completely comfortable with controls and, even more importantly, the biting point of the clutch, which will allow you to move off and change gears smoothly.
6. Know the route
Do your homework and make sure you know the area around the test centre and all the possible routes you’ll be driving. Drive them as often as possible with your instructor and, if possible, when practising privately.
It’s also important to be comfortable driving different on as many different types of road as possible, so you’re ready for the independent driving section of the test and, more importantly, life after passing your test.
7. Avoid the usual mistakes
Common driving test pitfalls include not checking mirrors sufficiently, inadequate observation when reverse parking or moving away, poor positioning at junctions and roundabouts, and inappropriate speed.
Discover these bad habits when you learn to drive to help you avoid them.
8. Be ready for anything
9. Don’t be afraid to ask
If, at any time during the test, you don’t understand what the examiner has asked you to do, don’t be afraid to ask him or her to repeat the instruction.
10. Keep your eyes on the road
Whatever you do, don’t look at the examiner during the test or try to look at their notes and work out how well you’re doing.
Keep your eyes on the road, making full use of your mirrors and concentrate on what’s going on around you.
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