As our second lockdown comes to an end you may be concerned but your driving test is very soon, and you haven’t driven with your instructor for several weeks.
It is possible of course to postpone your driving test but many people are aware that they may not get another test date for many months and are determined to be safe and test ready in time.
You can use this time in the lead up to your test to become aware of what’s expected and to prepare, even if you can’t actually have a driving lesson.
In this blog I will tell you:
- Five Top Typical Test Fails
2. How to prepare for your test
3. How to lose driving test nerves
Typical test fails
- Observation at junctions
Not looking well enough before deciding to drive into a new road
- Mirror use
Not checking mirrors often enough, particularly before changing position, direction or speed
- Moving off safely
Not selecting a good time to move away and not making correct observations. You must check your right blind spot every time you move away.
- Turning right
Selecting the wrong position in the road or the wrong time to start to turn
- Steering control
Not keeping good control of the steering wheel
Preparation for test and making sure faults aren’t created
- If you haven’t driven your instructor’s car for a few weeks, don’t worry about it. It may seem and feel different but when you can drive you can drive any car. It won’t take you long to get used to the feel of a different car, and it’s not likely to cause serious faults in your driving test if you don’t control it as well as you control your own car. Even if your driving test is on the day after lockdown you will get the opportunity to drive you instruct his car before your test and it won’t take you long at all to get used to how it feels.
- The examiner is looking for a safe drive, and for you to make good decisions based on what you can see and what you cannot see. Many learners don’t look correctly at junction’s and, even if there are no other road users around, this will create faults on your driving test. The examiner notices where you are looking and if you haven’t made all the appropriate checks s/he will not feel that you are a safe enough driver to pass your test.
- You should always be wanting to know what is behind and to the sides of you. You know this by checking your mirrors frequently. Remember that the things you do while driving will affect other road users. You should check your mirrors well before you slow down, speed up, change position in the road, signal or change direction.
- During your driving test your examiner will ask you to pull up on the left side of the road several times. You are expected to find a safe, legal and convenient place to pull up – just as in your driving lessons – and choose a safe time to move away again. You will only know it’s safe to move away if you make the correct checks and include a right blind spot check.
- If you are turning right, you must follow the correct procedure of checking mirrors well before you signal. You must Cheque your right door mirror in case anybody has decided to overtake you. if it’s safe apply your indicator before moving to the right side of your Lane. slow your speed and then look ahead and into the new road to decide on a safe time to start turning. If you don’t know, don’t go! Keep prepared so that you can take a safe gap when one appears. Before starting to steer into the new road you must check your right door mirror again.
- Although it is not absolutely necessary to keep your hands at the 10 to 2 or ¼ to 3 position, and it’s not absolutely necessary to use Pull Push steering, these methods are the safest ways to use the steering wheel. If you use these methods you are much less likely to create steering faults in your driving test, and you are much more likely to keep good control of your car in your test and as a qualified driver.
- As you are driving and noticing hazards you should always be thinking about what you can’t see and driving appropriately. what I mean by this is, if you notice there is a van parked on your side of the road you should be wondering what you can’t see in front of the van. For example, is there a pedestrian about to step out in front of you? Thinking about what you can’t see will help you to select a safe speed and an appropriate gear, therefore much less likely to create driving faults.
- Although you cannot drive with an instructor at the moment you can continue to prepare for your driving test in other ways. there are lots of great videos on YouTube that cover many different driving topics. I have an online driving workshop which covers the syllabus and is a good reminder of what you need to demonstrate during your driving test.
- During your test you will be asked one show me and one tell me question. although you only get a minor fault for answering a question incorrectly, it still I’m really good idea to be fully prepared to answer these questions. you will be asked the tell me a question before you start to drive and answering it accurately will help you to feel calm and confident. I have a video on YouTube which covers all of the show me tell me questions in detail. remember though that cars are different, and the controls are different. it may be a good idea to ask your instructor to take a photograph of the car controls so you can look at these as you are watching the video.
- You are NOT the examiner! While you were driving you should not try to judge your own performance. if you make a mistake take a deep breath look while I had and carry on focusing it on your driving. many people make more driving mistakes because they have focused on a past mistake. this could potentially cause you to fail your test, as you are focusing on a minor mistake you go on to create a serious fault
Nervous about your Test?
- Trust your driving instructor. If s/he says you’re ready then you must be. A good driving instructor does not say that you are test ready if you’re not.
- Visualise your test day in your mind and imagine passing. Think positively about your test and tell people the people who know you have your test that you WILL pass!
If you think you can…you probably will
- On test day, think about your test as just another drive. You CAN drive a car; the examiner is just looking for evidence of this. Drive as you normally do in your lesson to keep yourself driver under the road users safe, and you’ll get the positive result you deserve.
- Consider using some breathing techniques, confidence building techniques or hypnosis to help your state of mind. I have a test confidence workshop which includes all of these things. The hypnosis track can be listened to in the days leading up to your test which will help to alleviate anxiety and build confidence.
- Talk about driving and driving decisions with your family and observe family members when they are driving. Imagine you are the one driving and making the decisions. Would you have made the same decision? If not, talk about it! It’s not a good idea to start to correct or criticise the driver, but it can help to have honest discussions about driving.
I hope the tips in this blog help you to feel more confident about your driving test considering that you have been in lockdown and unable to take driving lessons.
Being fully prepared for your driving test is really quite important at the moment. It’s always important because you want to be safe and keep other road users safe but if you don’t pass your test you may have a very long wait until to a new date.
If you follow the tips above about preparing for your test and deal with your nerves about your test you will find you get a positive result.
It’s worth making that extra investment to fully prepare and fully feel confident so that you pass your driving test on this occasion.