Driving test nerves, how can you deal with them!

Driving test nerves, could possibly be one of the biggest reasons why people fail driving tests!

 

Is there a cure for driving test nerves?

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.

  1. 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

Passing the driving test and what it means to Amanda

First of all congratulations to Amanda Gould for passing the driving test at her FIRST attempt.

passing the driving test by Amanda Gould

Amanda who took her lessons with instructor Phil Hardcastle said having a full driving licence will be really helpful to her, because she will be able to drive herself to work instead of begging lifts from others, or hoping the buses are on time.

A driving licence offers different opportunities to each individual after passing the driving test.

For many people owing their own car is the ultimate reward for the hours of persistence behind the wheel learning to be a safe and responsible driver.

I think for me owning a car meant real freedom. For 2 year prior to passing my driving test I rode motorbikes, starting on a 50cc moped before passing the bike test and eventually moving up to 1000cc racers.

But although bikes give you freedom, cars add a different dimension. With a car you can carry more passengers, chuck your gear in the boot and keep dry.

With a bike you need protective clothing and you’ve got to carry it around with you. You can’t exactly go on a shopping trip either because where do you put your new purchases.

With a car life’s a lot easier, whether it’s commuting for work, shopping or going on holiday.

Nostalgia takes many of us back to our first car reminding us of the fun and excitement we experienced. Which is why we always remember our first car with such fondness, even if it was a complete banger!

For me bikes are exciting, but cars are practical, and they can be a nice place to spend time, especially if you can afford a luxury motor.

But, until you pass your driving test and experience owing your own set of wheels you’ll never really understand the benefits of being able to drive, because you haven’t had the experience before.

I’m sure Amanda’s always going to remember the day she passed her driving test as one of life’s great achievements.

 

#passingthedrivingtest

5 Star Review from Dan Mitchell!!

Here is a WONDERFUL review from Dan Mitchell regarding his lessons with Elite Driving School!!

I would rate Elite Driving School: 5/5

I went with Elite due to recommendations from my friends who went with them.

The excellent quality lessons I was given allowed me to pass my test first time!

My experience with Elite has been amazing. Each lesson was planned out brilliantly allowing me to improve my driving skills significantly each time.

At first my confidence with driving wasn’t very good but my instructors always encouraged me and it sky – rocketed.

I would definitely recommend Elite to anyone looking to learn to drive and would like to say a big thank you Stu and Kev!

 

The perfect learner mindset

Why you should get the right Learner Mindset!

 

For the average learner driving lessons are not cheap, on average a lesson cost £25 per hour but there’s a lot of expense that goes in to each lesson.

First your driving a car which is adapted for teaching which might be costing the instructor £450 a month, insurance is another £150, fuel £3 per hour, maintenance, tyres, tax, and that’s before we start adding marketing cost’s and extra insurance to the mix.

Then after all expenses the instructor get’s paid his hourly rate which we already know isn’t £25!

 

So, how can the savvy learner save money on lessons?

driving tips for new drivers

Well, here’s a few tips:

  1. Book the same day & lesson time each week, this conditions the mind for learning.
  2. Read information relevant to the previous lesson and the next lesson to keep your mind focused.
  3. Don’t skip lessons, make sure you’re there ready and on time every week.
  4. Be active in your lessons, rather than expect your instructor to tell you everything, be responsible for your own learning. Ask questions offer solutions to problems where you can.
  5. If possible book lessons when your not tired. Avoid late evenings after a long day at work.
  6. Wear appropriate shoes, high heals and flip flops are out!
  7. If you don’t understand something your instructor says, ask them to explain what they are trying to acheive.
  8. Don’t panic about other road users, or worry about what they think about you, just do your best, besides they’ve got their own stuff to worry about and probably won’t spare a moments thought over you.

 

Above all don’t stop and start lessons, or leave big gaps between them, because this will increase the lessons you’ll need and you could be learning for years.

After each lesson reflect on what you’ve learnt and write the important stuff down so you remember what you’ve learnt.

Before each new lesson read your notes from the previous one, this will avoid the instructor having to cover too much old ground.

Before you drive away make sure everything in the car is set correctly and that you are comfortable.

And finally, make sure you understand the purpose of the lesson, and what you are trying to acheive. Set a goal for improvement at the start and see if you manage to accomplish it at the end. This might be as simple as giving yourself a figure out of ten.

 

#learnermindset

 

 

Craig Flintham passed his driving test with Joe!!

Congratulations to Craig who passed his Driving test in July 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

craig flintham!

Craig passed his driving test, with Elite Instructor Joe! Joe really enjoyed teaching Craig and instilling him with safe driving for life!

We want to wish Craig all the best for the future!

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivingschoolshull/

Jordan Passed his Test!

Congratulations to Jordan Hampton who passed his Driving test in July 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

Jordan Hampton

Jordan passed his driving test, with Elite Instructor Tim! Tim has taught Jordan to be a great driver, and just in time before he leave Hull after graduating from University!

We want to wish Jordan all the best for the future!

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivingschoolshull/

Christabel Passed!

Congratulations to Christabel who passed her Driving test in June 2019!

Passing your driving test is an awesome stepping stone in life. It provides freedom and independence, career opportunities, and those insta moments of being able to post a pic of your first car! Driving around with your friends, being able to go places in Summer, or even driving to maccies on a Sunday morning. Once you get a car, you’ll always want to be the designated driver. Plus, lots of careers require you to have a license! All these amazing opportunities have opened up for:

Christabel Fisher

Christabel passed her driving test, with Elite Instructor Tim Richards! Tim has taught Christabel to be a safe and conscientious driver, meaning she is instilled with safe driving for life!

We want to wish Christabel all the best for the future!

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivingschoolshull/

Freedom when you pass your driving test

Congratulations to Lewis Rennison who passed his driving test on his FIRST attempt with only 23 hours of tuition! Lewis is a part of the Ron Dearing Bursary Scheme, and was so pleased to have passed his test first time!

 

Lewis now has the freedom to drive, meaning he can drive his friends round, go shopping without having to rely on public transport, and not have to rely on mum and dad anymore! We hope Lewis has a great time driving, and we want to wish him the best of luck for the future!

 

ADI training – my first student on a proper driving lesson

My First student on a proper driving lesson

Well, today I took my First student for a proper driving lesson, no role play, the real thing.

My Student was a young man who had been near test standard 5 or more years ago but hadn’t driven since.

So, my plan was to pick him up and drive him somewhere quite to get him started, after all he’d probably be very rusty & would appreciate starting from a easier location than in a busy area of Hull.

I was apprehensive because it was my first time instructing after more than a 25 break, and I also had the eagle eyed Stu sat in the back to evaluate my performance and offer recommendations.

As it turned out Stu proved he was also useful as my personal assistant, responsible for passing my training workbooks from the back seat when I needed them.

Next time I’ll get him to fetch the starbucks 🙂

After meeting my student and explaining the plan to drive him to location, I asked him about his previous experience on the way, and why he hadn’t taken lessons for over 5 years.

He was nervous, which was evident from his shaking hands, but I reassured him that the lesson would go well, and he would enjoy his time with me.

Having no previous knowledge of his ability, I asked if he had any concerns or worries from past lessons, and suggested we should start with a drive which would help him get used to the car as well as me and Stu.

We both agreed that was a good idea, and before getting underway I asked him if his seat and mirrors were adjusted correctly, and if he could recall where the blind spots were.

We then spoke about the balance of responsibility, and how much input he wanted and needed, and that that responsibility might alter during the lesson.

I also assured him  that I had dual controls, but would only use them as a last resort, and if I did use them, I’d let him know, and we’d pull up and talk about it.

He asked for a dry run through the gear box with the engine off, and I also suggested he take a few attempts at finding biting point with the engine running.

Ok, “ready to move” Yes, “then move away when it’s safe please was my instruction.

I was prepared for him to stall (negative) but he moved the car with very little problem. “well done”, I said “that was nice & smooth” (early praise).

After 8 minutes of driving a fairly basic route we pulled over to the left. This was my chance to workout the lesson plan.

His driving was as expected rusty, but it was his driving position that was my first focus and in need of immediate attention.

He drove way too far to the right, and a mile away from park cars, which left oncoming vehicles needing to move to the left.

He also had a habit of cutting left turns resulting in the rear wheel nearly mounting the kerb on several occasions.

Time for Mr fix it, ta dah.

Right, I said; “How do you feel that went.

“I was a bit scared he said but it wasn’t as bad as I expected”.

“Yeah, I completely understand why you would be scared after 5 years, but you did well, your move away was good, as was your gear changing” I said.

“What do you think about your driving position” I said, “especially during normal driving, and passing parked vehicles”?

“I’m terrible with distance, and scared of hitting parked cars” he said

“Yes, I understand why you would be scared of hitting parked cars, do you feel you move further to the right to compensate” I said.

“I’m not sure how far I am from the left” he said.

So, we agreed the distance required from the left hand side of the carriageway, and an adequate distance from parked cars.

We also made sure we both agreed on a measure, for example I asked him what a meter looked like to him, He demonstrated using his hands with a gap of only half a meter, so that was a big learn for him.

We spoke about the result of being too far right or left and the danger of colliding with other road users, parked cars and even the kerb.

We also spoke about cutting the left corners, and I explained why this happens, and the dangers of getting it wrong .

“So, if we were to go back over that route again, how would you handle it differently?” I said.

He explained what he would do differently, and we agreed on his aims and objectives for the lesson.

After the lesson I reflected on my performance with Stu. We agreed it went pretty well, my student gained in confidence and ability, and I felt I’d done an okay lesson.

Sure, I was in control of the lesson, but I felt my communication skills needed work, and I also knew I needed to involve my student more, giving him an input in the lessons direction and content, and allowing him a more active role in the decision making process.

This was also confirmed by Stu after the lesson.

So, the big take from today’s lesson is communication, it’s a two way thing. I should treat the lesson more as a conversation in which my student and I talk about their goals, and how between us we can acheive them.

Until the next outing

See Ya.

 

 

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ADI training part three 2nd session

ADI training part three, the story so far

 

ADI training part three 2nd session & Wow, 25 years away form the driver training industry and the teaching methods have really changed.

Sitting in the passenger seat instructing feels alien. You wouldn’t believe I’d been an instructor in the past.

The first thing I noticed are all the new road layouts in the city. I don’t normally travel  around these area’s so planning the route has led to a few hiccups.

There were few roundabouts I totally cocked up on directions. The first was at the end of mount pleasant, where you can no longer turn right.

The second was at a roundabout in Hessle. We had just left the A63 at what I call the B&Q roundabout heading towards the flyover in Hessle, the one where Asda is.

I asked Stu to take the first exit, before noticing that a new super market had been plonked to the left. The result could have caused confusion had Stu put a signal on. Fortunately he entered the roundabout passing the exit of the car park first before signalling.

Stu recommended I put some miles into driving around the city and re-learning the roads and new layouts.

But, the big change to teaching is the DVSA’s desire for instructors to be client centered in their training. I gather this is one change many ADI’s themselves are struggling with.

I’ve found there’s a lot of confusion among instructors, and it seems as though the DVSA haven’t been clear about what client centered learning looks like in today’s lessons.

Stu’s got client centered nailed, but he said ADI’s are seeking help to understand what the DVSA want, especially from those ADI’s who have been invited for a standards check.

Any way back to my part three training. My early sessions are the role play method, before we move on and find students for me to teach.

Stu put me in control, and left me to decide which lesson theme we would be practicing, and what level the student’s knowledge and ability would be.

Eager not to start at too high a level, I chose a trained pupil at a reasonable standard, but not yet ready for a test as the character Stu would role play. And the lesson theme I decided to tackle was defensive driving.

Now to be clear, we didn’t treat the role play like the old part 3 role play scenario. Stu portrayed as near as dam it a real learner consistently making mistakes throughout the lesson aimed at throwing me off the lesson theme.

I started the lesson with a recap of the previous lesson covering what was learnt and what we had agreed to work on this lesson.

I asked questions that probed his knowledge and helped him find solutions that would help him fix the mistakes made from the previous lesson.

We agreed on the lesson structure, and who would be responsible for the various roles during the lesson.

“Ok Stu, have you got your seat in the correct position and mirrors adjusted correctly, yes? right then move away when safe please” was my instruction.

Within the first 10 seconds we found ourselves leaving the car park we were in via an exit that had a blind view to the left due to overgrown foliage.

And, a blind bend 50 meters to the right to contend with. I asked Stu, to point out the danger, and how we should deal with it safely.

He said that his main worry was a vehicle coming quickly round the bend while he was creeping out into the junction to get a clear view of the left.

We agreed that it would be the best practice for him to lean forward and quickly check both sides constantly until we were sure there was not danger from the left, then at that point we could briskly emerge to the right before a vehicle could be upon us.

 

A good start I thought, even though we’d only traveled a few hundred feet.

As the lesson progressed, I identified errors Stu was making and relayed them back to him with the dangers that they could cause, and what was needed to avoid these mistakes again.

The more serious problems, and those difficult to talk about on the move, I pulled Stu up on the left for a chat. This was an area which wasn’t great for me because I was telling and not questioning as the DVSA wanted.

Ask questions that probes their knowledge. This approach will help you understand their thinking and then you can help them find a solution that they can focus on to resolve their mistakes, Stu said.

Easier said than done, because the original method of instruction I was taught 30 years previously, is to tell them what they’ve done wrong, explain why it was wrong, and demonstrate the correct way to do it, simples.

Anyway, at the end of the lesson after my debrief, Stu gave me some examples of using client centered techniques during a students debrief, which would help me gain valuable feedback and in turn help both myself and my student understanding where the gaps in their knowledge might be.

My my big learn from today is to ‘listen more talk less (something my partner reminds me to do often), ask better quality questions and understand the needs of my students’.

 

Watch out for my next post, the journey so far.

“Till next time”

See ya.