Driving test nerves, could possibly be one of the biggest reasons why people fail driving tests!
Is there a cure for driving test nerves?
Well there’s a lot of advice available online to learner drivers who think they might suffer with driving test nerves, from hypnosis to beta blockers (you must speak to your GP about taking any kind of medication).
But do any of these methods really work?
Some of these methods will have proved successful in helping people pass their driving test, but they may not work for everyone.
Test passes in the UK
Generally, the yearly test pass statistics produced by the DVSA show a national pass rate of between 40 to 50%.
This means that at least half of the candidates taking a driving test each year are unsuccessful.
Looking at the figures, you could assume that a reasonable percentage of those candidates will have failed due to poor preparation, in other words not being at the required standard to pass a driving test at the time of taking it
If you take lessons from a professional driving instructor, and take their advice when to take the test, you should be above the required standard to pass the driving test.
However, the learners who do fail could be those who struggle with nerves on the test, and have made an error which would be out of character.
How can you deal with driving test nerves?
Those pesky nerves stop many people from doing things that they would like to do but just can’t face.
I remember once attending a sales training course. During the first day I was asked to play the character of a car salesperson, and to deal with a customer who had worked in to a car showroom.
The scenario was a role play model that took place in an empty training room, or so I thought.
The trainer finished the brief and said, “I’ll leave you both to role play the scenario and listen from outside the room to avoid distraction”.
Well, that made the exercise a lot easier knowing we were not being watched, so I settled into the role.
I greeted the customer and we started chatting about his desire to buy a new car. Everything was going quite well…
That was until half the wall opened up and at the other side was 50 people sat in a cinema like surrounding watching our performance.
Well I clammed up and struggled to make any sense of what I was saying.
It’s amazing how we can put ourselves under such pressure when you are pushed out of your comfort zone.
It wasn’t the audience that put me under pressure, they were probably sh**ing themselves waiting for their turn, especially now they knew the entire course candidates would be watching.
So, the same applies to learner drivers. On a normal driving lesson, they drive with ease and confidence, but replace the instructor with an examiner in the passenger seat and they act like a chimp trying to control a car.
The examiner isn’t the one putting them under pressure, they’re just doing their job. The candidate put’s them self under pressure!
So why does this happen?
Well I’m no expert, I’ve been in similar situations all my life, and each time i venture out of my comfort zone I act like a chimp.
But it’s the pressure you put yourself under when you are being watched or judged.
I’ve read books on the subject, watched videos and attended seminars, but I still haven’t found any conclusive evidence of one thing that works for the majority of learners.
What I have found interesting, and which might be helpful in reducing driving test nerves is the following techniques.
- Visualization: It works by imagining yourself in the future driving your own car. You actually have to believe that you’ve passed your driving test and driving the car you hope to get.
This is something that you’ll need to do on a daily basis, and for long enough so that you can recall that image of you driving without effort.
2. Stop the head chatter: How many times have you had an argument or conversation with someone in your head, that really isn’t real, it’s just you playing out a scenario?
Well many learners see themselves finishing the driving test and hearing the examiner mutter “sorry you’ve been unsuccessful this time”
They reply this image daily in their head as they approach test day, hoping to pass but thinking they will fail.
The problem is they reply the image so many times that their subconscious mind might believe it to be true.
The trick is to stop the head chatter. Every time you find yourself failing the test in your head stop, it and replace it with test success, and the thought of you driving your own car.
3. Don’t let others influence you with their stories: Failing a driving test isn’t cool for some people and those who fail might not actually tell you what really happened!
Their ego prevents them from accepting it’s their fault, so they might blame the examiner, or someone else caused them to fail, or it was a freak incident.
The truth is if you drive well, and don’t get any serious, or dangerous faults you’ve passed, it’s that simple.
So, take guidance from your instructor, take a MOCK driving test to see if you are at the standard required, and focus on the positives not the negatives.
You can read articles from other organisations regarding driving test nerves here
#driving test nerves