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Coping with driving test nerves?

I've received some wonderful advice on this forum over the years so thought I'd give this a shot.

I'd never been interested in driving before, but a few months ago at the age of 35, I decided to learn to drive as my son had just been born & wanted to make life easier for myself & my family.

I've just failed my driving test for the 2nd time. I failed it really badly, kept getting far too close to the curb & hit it a couple of times. I was all over the place, like I'd never driven before. It was so embarrassing.

I drive fine on my lessons & when I go out in the car with the Mrs, but I fall apart on my test. I was so nervous today & assume that was the reason for it, but i'm very down & embarrassed about it. At this stage, I'm open to any advice/suggestions on how to conquer this as it's getting me down??
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Comments

  • i failed mine 3 times, a lot of it is the examiner, the 1st 3 didnt talk at all and were v stern the 4th was an addick whos daughter happened to be really into her irish dancing as the mrs is from the green isle i ended up spending the whole test giving him tips for his upcoming trip to dublin, if the examiner gauges in conversation just talk to them about anything.
  • You should probably have a stiff drink before the test to steady your nerves. What could possibly go wrong?
  • I had the exact same problem and should’ve passed earlier but my nerves got the better of me.

    I took some beta blockers which you can get from your GP and it worked a treat for me as I passed my driving test. Maybe you ought to go down that route?
  • Managed to pass on my 7th attempt, having my wife on the verge of labor with our first baby and threatening divorce if I didn’t drive her to hospital probably helped. She went into labor on the night I passed, shock, pure relief or coincidence you decide

    7th! Well that makes me feel slightly better. Thanks!!
  • DiscoCAFC said:

    I had the exact same problem and should’ve passed earlier but my nerves got the better of me.

    I took some beta blockers which you can get from your GP and it worked a treat for me as I passed my driving test. Maybe you ought to go down that route?

    Oh interesting. Ok thanks
  • Couple shots of whiskey usually settles the nerves.
  • Failed twice, passed on the third. First time failed cos some twat drove at me and I instinctively moved quickly that *apparently* brought me a bit too close to a parked car.

    Second time stalling actually on the roundabout at the top of my road, some where where every lesson I’ve ever had I’ve managed to drive through without problems and ever since has been the same. Just nerves I guess.

    Third time I treated it just like any other drive but made sure to check my mirrors a lot more than usual. Passed with just 2 minors.
  • Get a lookalike to take the test instead.
    It must be how half the fools on the road get their license.
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  • Failed twice, passed on the third. First time failed cos some twat drove at me and I instinctively moved quickly that *apparently* brought me a bit too close to a parked car.

    Second time stalling actually on the roundabout at the top of my road, some where where every lesson I’ve ever had I’ve managed to drive through without problems and ever since has been the same. Just nerves I guess.

    Third time I treated it just like any other drive but made sure to check my mirrors a lot more than usual. Passed with just 2 minors.

    Nice you could take 2 of your children with you.
  • I tried to get myself really focused almost to the point of a little angry. I couldn't picture anything but passing. I also said what t was doing and looking for, for the first few minutes as I got confident I found I had stopped doing that. First time at 40. My wife took 8 goes.

    All the best
  • Imagine the examiner naked, whether it be male or female.

    If they are up for it, go one step further and ask the examiner if you can both remove your clothes before your test.

    Unorthodox but worth a try.
  • Give the examiner a backhander
  • Passed car test first time when I was just turned 18 years old and direct access bike test first time at age 24ish I think
  • Valium.
  • edited November 7
    I passed third time aged 29 and like you had two failed test which was down to nerves.

    The test I passed I actually thought I had failed after 5 minutes so gave up thinking about passing and just drove like it was a lesson which meant I had no nerves and probably the reason I passed.

    Have you tried calms or anything like that?
  • Everything AFKA said, plus this:

    the test is only designed to determine whether you are competent to drive. More precisely, it's intended to check whether you have learned everything you should have. So, in fact, the learning you do is far more important than the test itself. Once you have learned everything, to the very best of your ability, you will know you're in the right position to be tested and to pass the test. So it's far more important to be prepared than to "perform" well on the day.

    My advice, therefore, is to make sure you have thoroughly learned every aspect of driving that is relevant; that you're certain you know you can do everything in the test; that you know everything you need to know, that you're totally confident in your own ability to do everything you need to do and that you know you can cope with everything that might happen.

    You will then enter the test knowing you have done every bit of preparation that is required and that all you're going to do is to demonstrate you can drive. You won't worry about anything that might happen, because you can cope with it. And all that's going to happen is for one person you don't know to find out that you're really good at driving.

    Last thing: make sure that when you take the test again, your mindset is simply that you are completely competent at driving and all you're going to do is to allow someone else to find out; but that, if for some reason it doesn't work this time, that's not a problem, because it will work the next time. If you prepare well enough, you are *bound* to pass.
  • Failed first two tests then passed on my third. I changed my driving instructor and took my test at a different test centre. First two times I was insanely nervous and failed miserably. Third time I said to myself f*** it doesn't matter how many times I fail can just keep doing it. Just learn from your mistakes and keep going.
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  • I know it sounds simple, but your driving test is one of the few exams you’ll take in your life where you can fail as many times as you like and just take it again in a couple of weeks - don’t let the anxiety of potentially failing stress you out.
  • I passed on my fourth attempt... Didnt start myself till I was 21 as prior to then I showed no interest (being invited to go Go-Karting was what made me interesting in learning actually)

    Took to it really well yet just couldnt get that pass mark ... first time I accepted that I rightly failed yet the other three I felt it was harsh treatment from the Examiners as they were for little things yet nerves didnt help, yet just kept rebooking as knew I'd get there in the end - What am trying to say is you'll get there eventually, everyone is different when it comes to passing and you shouldnt worry, my Wife took nine attempts for example
  • Try another instructor - I know it is your nerves, but a new one may help with your confidence. I think 90% of people who pass their test are not competent drivers - why would they be? My instructor told me that passing didn't mean I could drive, just that I was considered safe to continue learning on my own. The amount of effort the brain uses on the mechanics of driving is much more than with experienced drivers. That is why nerves affect inexperienced drivers more to the point they don't function properly. The more you drive, the less brain power is needed to the point, and I am not saying it should be done, but most of us can daydream when we are driving. Get in the car and drive it as much as you possibly can, and you will be fine.
  • You should just drive without a license
  • Best thing to do is take as many lessons as you can. I had about 30 lessons before I passed first time. Also helped that I had an absolute c*** of a driving instructor who scared me shitless into passing first time! Remember getting kicked out of the car after cocking up my emergency stop for the 4th time during one lesson.
  • Don't rush things on your test. If you think you have made a mistake, forget about it and show the examiner what you can do. It might not be a mistake. Even if it is, give the examinar a good impression. Dwelling can lead to another mistake.
  • Don't rush things on your test. If you think you have made a mistake, forget about it and show the examiner what you can do. It might not be a mistake. Even if it is, give the examinar a good impression. Dwelling can lead to another mistake.

    Excellent advice, I passed on my 3rd attempt despite driving the worst I had done on any of my tests. The examiner told me at the end that despite making several mistakes (like stalling three times at the same roundabout) he was impressed that I had remained calm and on that basis he couldn't see any reason to fail me.
  • edited November 7
    2nd time aged 19. Felt much calmer for the second test as knew what to expect. I found driving every day for the two weeks before the test helpful so on the day of the test, it was just another drive. Also, helpful to remember in order to pass you only need to drive safely and as well as you can for 45 minutes or so. As someone else said, don’t rush into anything, keep things calm and deliberate, and make it very obvious doing lots of checking of your mirrors. Good luck!
  • Don't rush things on your test. If you think you have made a mistake, forget about it and show the examiner what you can do. It might not be a mistake. Even if it is, give the examinar a good impression. Dwelling can lead to another mistake.

    100% this - I remember thinking I’d messed up and carried on with the attitude that it’s just another driving lesson, I’ve paid my money for the car etc so may as well carry on - luckily passed - good luck!
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