The easiest way to pass your driving test is to prepare! The DVSA now recommends between 40 to 45 hours of in-car tuition to pupils learning to drive.
Here are our top ten tips to pass your driving test from Bill Plant Driving School:
- Learn from a professional instructor! Whilst your parents might profess to be the driving experts in the family, when it comes to your driving lessons leave it to the professionals! Driving Instructors go through months of training and their own examinations just to qualify to be able to teach. It is their day-to-day job to get their pupils through the lessons, understand how to safely drive a vehicle and how to best prepare you for your driving test. Importantly: Professional driving instructors are aware of the latest changes in the law and driving test, such as being able to drive while taking navigation from a Sat-Nav as well as the various new manoeuvres being implemented.
- Practice your manoeuvres as often as you can! Frequently practicing your manoeuvres will help you feel more comfortable when doing them in your test. Getting to know how a vehicle moves and feeling comfortable with the controls will assist you with any nerves or issues you may experience during your test.
- Revisit your theory! Knowing your signs and your highway code when on your test will greatly aid your decision making and give you the confidence required to drive in a relaxed and safe manner. If its been a while since you did your theory test, by revisiting it and practicing some questions you can be sure you are up to date with the DVLA standards of driving and what is expected of you as a driver in the practical test. This is noticed by your examiner!
- Eat and sleep well before your test! Not eating prior to your test will magnify your stress levels and decrease your attention levels substantially (This doesn’t mean have a Red Bull for breakfast!) By grabbing a bite to eat and having a good healthy sleep your nerves will settle substantially and you will be far better able to maintain focus on the road ahead and the Driving Examiner’s instructions. There is a direct link between attentive driving and having eaten and slept well the night before and on the day!
- Get to know your likely test routes! Driving Examiners are expected to follow one of several routes that are local to your test centre. These routes are often known by your Driving Instructor and can often be found online through websites that allow you to copy the route onto a Sat-Nav device. Practicing these routes with a Sat-Nav device can be very helpful to mimic the real thing!
- Do not panic! If you make a mistake, feel overwhelmed, or simply get a blank mind during your test, do not panic! Making mistakes does not mean you aren’t a skilled driver! By taking a deep breath to compose yourself and showing your examiner that although you had an issue, you comfortably overcame it, will make the best of the situation and give you the best chance to carry on your test error-free. Remember: Showing discipline and skill in areas when you’ve hit a struggle will only help your chances of passing your driving test – a huge proportion of drivers that fail are because they let one minor mistake escalate in to another more serious one by overthinking errors and not focusing on the road ahead!
- Learn to drive in different conditions! You can’t be 100% certain that road conditions will be dry and the sun will be shining when it comes to your test. As such, you should ask your Driving Instructor to take you out for lessons in varying conditions if possible. By driving in bright, dark, wet, dry and foggy conditions you will pick up priceless experience that will pay off hugely when it comes to both taking your test and all future driving you undertake. Don’t just stick to the same roads either, ensure you Driving Instructor takes you on a mixture of major and minor roads, country lanes and importantly dual carriageways.
- Get to know the vehicle! Make sure that your instructor has given you a brief rundown of the mechanics of the car, this knowledge will be invaluable with addressing the Show Me, Tell Me but will also help give you better all round knowledge of what it means to drive a car. The ‘Show Me Tell Me’ section of the practical driving test might seem challenging but the questions are actually very basic and by understanding your vehicle you should know the answers with hesitating to maximize your chances of passing. Mastering the Show Me, Tell Me means you will not pick up any unnecessary minors during the initial part of your test.
- Speak up! So you’re driving along and the Driving Examiner asks you to do something, and you don’t quite hear her or him. Ask what was said, don’t try to guess the instruction or remain quiet as this can lead to you making an error – remember its your ability to drive not the examiner’s ability to instruct that’s being tested! Ask the examiner to repeat what they just said so that you can confidently carry out their instruction!
- Don’t overthink! I know we’ve said this one already, but its so important to remember that whatever you think about your driving in the moment on test day, the examiner has the final say on whether you’ve passed or not! You might feel you’ve failed already following a mistake, but if you have addressed it correctly and done all you can to maintain the safety of yourself and other road users the instructor might not even mark it down as an error. Remain calm and positive and think about the next instruction given to you to give yourself the best chance of passing.
Remember to stay relaxed and drive safely and you’ll be sure to pass your test with flying colours!
Bill Plant Driving School
Looking to book your driving lessons? Learn to drive in style and comfort in a brand new BMW, all new Bill Plant pupils have the first hour FREE!* Book online or give us a call directly on 0330 555 2254. We’ll be happy to hear from you!
Image credit @laurentrombone