Tips To Calm Nerves Before Taking Your Driving Test

in Driving Test by

The thrill of passing your practical driving test is a feeling that everyone looks forward to, however along with excitement tends to be overwhelming nerves. You may be one of the lucky ones who are able to clear your mind easily and keep calm no matter the situation, but if not and you’re feeling worried about your test, not to worry. This feeling is completely normal before taking your driving test, and we’re going to give you some simple tips to calm nerves.

boy holding l plates in car

What To Remember Before Taking Your Driving Test

Before taking your driving test, it is crucial to make yourself aware of what the 40-minute test will consist of. You will be expected to be able to answer two ‘show me, tell me’ questions, follow direction instructions from your examiner, carry out an independent drive and prove you can safely complete the chosen manoeuvre. All skills required to pass your test will be those that, if you have taken driving lessons, you will be familiar with, so don’t worry about the possibility that you may be asked to do something you have never done before. If you test is approaching, keep reading for our top tips on how to prepare!

Take Mock Tests

A common reason for a build-up of nerves before taking a test is due to the fear of the unknown. You can never fully anticipate exactly what will happen on the day as you cannot plan the drivers that you will be surrounded with and what they will do. Although you cannot see into the future to the day of your test, you can prepare yourself for any situation that may arise and practice how to deal with these potential issues. Taking mock tests with your driving instructor in Luton will help you to familiarise yourself with all possible test routes, so you know exactly what to expect. Ask your driving instructor to step into the role of an examiner and conduct your lessons as if it is your test, step by step carrying out each section of your test. They will be able to make you aware of the most common mistakes drivers that examiners look out for which often lead to a major on your test. Common errors include mistakes such as not looking in your mirrors continuously, forgetting to signal at the right times and causing other drivers to slow down.

Have Plenty Of Rest

It seems obvious, but everyone knows how easy it is to end up engrossed in a television series then suddenly realise its 1 am and you’re still awake. Leave this for another evening and have an early night the night before your test. Lack of sleep and tiredness slows down your reaction time which could have a huge negative impact on your driving skills. On average, 8 hours of sleep each night is recommended to keep the body fully functioning, any more than this, your body moves into a second sleep cycle, which could actually end up making you feel worse.

woman stretching

Don’t Rush

Don’t book in a day filled with activities on the day of your test, where you will be non stop in the hours building up to your test. It is recommended to book your test for in the morning, but if you can’t then keep the beginning of your day free to relax, you don’t want to be rushing around to try and make sure you make it on time. Always leave plenty of time to arrive at the test centre, leave in advance, even if it does mean you’re sitting around for a while twiddling your thumbs. Rushing only makes you flustered, and this makes you more likely to panic.

Dress Comfortably

There is no dress code for your driving test or to enter the test centre, you are not expected to dress smart, so use this to your advantage and dress comfortably. Tight clothing is likely to restrict your movement and ultimately will be uncomfortable to sit in the same position in for 40 minutes straight.

Sensible shoes are the most important part of dressing for your test; trainers are a perfect choice. Opt for a shoe that doesn’t have a thick sole as it will stop you from being able to feel the pedals as well and is likely to mistake your judgement on the correct bite point. Thinner soled, flat shoes will help you to be able to achieve better clutch control and refrain from stalling.

different shoes lined up

Keep Your Test Private

As tempting as it can be to let all of your friends and family know the exciting news that you’ve finally booked tour driving test, the only thing this does is add extra pressure to you. The more people you tell, the more you will feel as if you are expected to pass, and you end up worrying as to how you will break it to them if in the worst case scenario, you don’t succeed the first time. But then once you do pass, it will be a fantastic feeling surprising all of your friends!

Of course, there are some people you will have to inform of your test such as your driving instructor, parents, if you are still in education, your tutors or if you are at work, your line manager. Always ensure that your time off has been accepted and the relevant points of contact are aware of your test.


The main piece of advice you can receive before taking your driving test is that practice does, in fact, make perfect! The more practice you have, the more you are able to pick up on areas that you struggle a little more on, which is a great indication on the areas in which you can focus on in your next driving lesson. A popular choice for extra practice is to get yourself insured on a family members car through your provisional licence for out of lesson driving. Take a look at this MoneySuperMarket article to see how to get the best insurance deal.

Get as much feedback as you can from your driving instructor, they are the best source of information on small, helpful tips to pass your driving test. Also, positive feedback is the perfect way to build your confidence and help you to progress further!

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