Whether you're thinking about booking your driving test OR you're on the test countdown I thought I'd share a few tips and pieces of info that may make the anxious time a little easier.
Finding the right instructor //
If you've read my previous driving post you'll have heard about the horrendous instructor I started off with. Finding the right instructor is harder than it seems, I think you're very lucky if you've managed to hit it off straight away. The difference changing instructors for me was pretty significant, my confidence shot through the roof & my driving improved rapidly. It's important to make sure they're fully qualified, reliable, patient and have the right attitude.
Regular Lessons //
Having regular lessons is so important, it's best to budget to see if this is what you can do. This will help build your confidence and you'll progress consistently. You won't forget all that you've learnt on that regular two hour slot. Some learners opt to have private practice with a family member or friend, for me this wasn't an option I didn't want to pick up bad habits, neither did we need a family fallout. While learning to drive I had more than my fair share of cancellations, at some points it'd be two weeks to a month without a lesson. I was expected to carry on where he'd left off - it was impossible to remember in the early stages. Once I had a reliable instructor who was able to give me regular lessons my driving improved rapidly.
Plan your time //
You only have to google to find helpful tips on your particular test centre/town. The best times of day to aim for are just after the morning rush hour. Everyone should be at work & children will have been dropped off at school. It's also a good idea to avoid lunchtime & the home time rush hour, I found my time of 11:21 to be perfect which in this time I followed signs for the motorway, countryside and a housing estate before heading back to the centre. If you're particular worried I'd avoid booking a test when schools & colleges are on holiday. Remember to always make sure your date/time is fine with your instructor as they may already have someone booked that day.
Rearrange your test //
If you aren't ready for your test you can easily log back on and rearrange for a few weeks times. You're able to rearrange your test date 6 times before you lose your money. You needn't worry though, if you cancel the test altogether on your last 'chance' you won't lose your money. Remember to cancel within three working days of your test day or you WILL lose your money.
Staying Calm on the day //
The one thing you'll be fed up of hearing when it comes to your test is everyone telling you to stay calm. Leading up to my test I decided to get it into my head that I couldn't drive, lessons started to go wrong & insults from a previous instructor were still rolling around. However come test day I felt incredibly calm, to the point where as I started my test I thought if I fail, I fail. Thankfully I had a first time pass. I found having a relaxing bath the night before really helped. I'd saved Lord of Misrule especially for the occasion. Pair with fresh bedding, new PJ's, manicure and making sure all my clothes & items needed for the morning were ready. You'll usually have a lesson before the test which helps with nerves & gets all those silly mistakes out of the way. Other options are Rescue Remedy on the days leading up to your test!
Show Me Tell Me Questions //
The Show me Tell me section of the test can seem daunting though it really isn't something to worry about. The majority of questions you'll already know, with only a few that your instructor will need to run through with you OR show you on their car. You'll be asked one 'show me' and one 'tell me' question before you drive off. If you do happen to get one or both wrong you only get one minor for the pair. Despite remembering them all I was asked the most easiest on the day - car manual & horn...
Independent Driving //
The Independent Driving is a fairly new section added to the test and was different to what I expected. Having watched the video and read online I assumed they'd show me a few maps, pulling in each time for a new one. Instead I was just following signs for the motorway, another town and back to the test town before the examiner started with directions again. It's no different to what you cover on your lessons. If you go the wrong way you won't fail, you'll only fail for too many minors OR a major. Talking to people after 'I failed for going the wrong way'...as long as you carry on driving safely you won't be penalised. Never be afraid to ask the examiner again to make sure you're clear on where you're going, they're always more than happy to repeat & really aren't that scary. Is anyone else learning to drive? What do you remember from your driving test? Lucy x