How to Prepare for Your Driving Test: Top 5 Tips

Having been a qualified driving instructor ( until my illness took over) I know how difficult it can be for anyone to transition from a provisional to a full driving licence, the driving test itself can often be a very daunting prospect. Both the theory test and practical test are actually very straightforward, but the pressure often makes these tests more difficult than they should be. My son has recently passed his theory test and hopefully will do his practical test quite soon ( when he gets a break from uni).

So, If you’re taking a driving test soon, these next five tips will help you prepare better in no time.

Take Advantage of Online Mock Driving Tests

There are many ways you can prepare for a driving theory test. You can read one of the available books on the UK driving test and learn more about the highway code and other knowledge. You can also use the tests at the end of those books to practice. The best way to prepare for the actual test, however, is to take a mock test online. I always advised my pupils to do what they think will be enough ( especially with teenagers!) and then do lots more!

There are a lot of sites that offer mock driving theory tests for you to try. Taking the online tests will help you prepare for the actual test mentally too, which is why it’s the best way to get ready. You can learn from your mistakes more effectively this way.

Timing the Test

Never take a driving test at a time when you feel stressful. For instance, you shouldn’t take a driving test on the same week as a school exam or any other stressful events in life. You have all the time in the world to get the driving license you need, so time your test correctly.

Get Enough Sleep

As mentioned before, it’s the pressure of taking the test that often make you fail. The test itself is very easy to handle. It is very normal to be nervous, but do not allow the nerves to take over, think of all the people already driving on the road they have all had to pass the test! To avoid feeling stressed on the day of the actual test, get enough sleep the night before. You should also avoid drinking too much coffee (or worse, energy drinks) before the test. The high level of caffeine will make you feel more agitated than usual.

Get There Early

Arrive at the test centre early. There is nothing worse and more off putting than rushing through the test centre doors with only minutes to spare.  Give yourself at least 20 minutes to get used to the test environment and catch your breath. You will feel so much better when the test starts and you’ll have no trouble at all passing the test with flying colours.

Getting to the test centre early will also help you prepare for the test mentally. Take deep breaths and visualise completing the test. Be positive about it and you’ll feel so much better – and so much more prepared – for the driving test. The examiners are normal people ( I know it’s hard to believe!), they are not there to fail you I promise.

Take the Necessary Documents

Last but not least, make sure you have the right documents with you. Most of the time, you need your driving license and your theory test pass certificate. Don’t wait until right before you leave for the test centre to prepare these documents. Have them ready the night before. If you do not have the appropriate documents you will not be able to take the test, so please be prepared.

You are allowed to bring someone to the test. If your child is taking their driving test, it is always a good idea to go with them and sit in the back of the car during the practical test. You’ll be providing a lot of moral support and your kids will have an easier time in general.

If you have a specific tip that helped you on the day of your test please share it with us as it could help someone else who is feeling very nervous about their upcoming test.

Would you pass your driving test again?

Answer to that for most people would be a big fat NO!

I have been driving for 20yrs now and lots of things have definitely changed in that time. The roads are much busier, some the junctions now can be very confusing and now we are sign mad to the point that it can be difficult to take in all the information!!

I recently had the ‘opportunity’ *cough* to attend a Speed Awareness course ( thanks to being snapped doing 37 in a 30mph road!). I hold my hands up and at the time didn’t really think that was that bad as I am an ex driving instructor and generally drive defensively, however I was in a rush that particular day as my youngest was nearly late for a panto performance ( but I appreciate there are no excuses).

Anyway, I’m no snob but I was really expecting a room full of chav’s and boy racers with attitude! To my surprise everyone was just like me, and by that I mean normal ( whatever that is!), a range of ages and personalities.

We met our course instructors and I was hoping that we wouldn’t be quizzed too much.

I hate to admit it but I actually enjoyed it! They weren’t condescending or asked about what you were caught doing, and they were light hearted but definitely got their point across.

One of the best things they said that I know I will never forget is

‘If you went for an operation and the surgeon last trained 20 years ago……..would you be happy for him to carry out the surgery?’

Err NO!

Even though I went through driver instructor training a few years ago as well I was amazed at how much I had already forgotten! It truly is frightening.

The driving test is so difficult now and for a good reason. They need to know that the people they are putting out on the roads are safe. Even the theory test and hazard perception test could put some of us through our paces.

There were some videos to watch on the day and they were straight to the point, and put any thoughts of further speeding to rest. Even a few miles over the 30mph could prove catastrophic.

Most people there thought that the most dangerous roads would be the motorways but they would be very much mistaken. It’s our normal urban 30mph roads that have the most horrendous statistics for accidents, injuries and fatalities!

So how much of the Highway Code could you remember? if you were asked would you know the relevant stopping distances?

Check out this video with Quentin Willson below to see that you are not alone. There are lots of us around who have been driving for many years and have fallen into all the same old bad habits.

Interactive test Web TV show with Quentin Willson

So how many of the signs would you have recognised?

It’s amazing isn’t it- actually how little we can remember!

So I would urge anyone who happens to get snapped on a speed camera to take the course instead of the points on their license. For me if I had taken the points I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But after doing the course I have slowed down for the right reasons and I realise that even a few miles over the limit could mean fatalities and that I could not live with on my conscience……………………………..COULD YOU?