Driving tests are never exactly “fun”, but in some countries, or states, they are significantly more trying, stressful, and difficult to pass, than in other locations. On top of this, regardless of what the driving exam is like in your corner of the world, some people just take to driving a lot better than others.
In today’s world, driving is basically a rite of passage. It’s something that many teens are eager to start doing, because it makes them infinitely more autonomous, and puts them in the same category as fully fledged adults – at least in one area.
For fully fledged adults, learning to drive and acquiring a licence opens all sorts of new doors. Instead of being anchored to a particular geographical area, you are now free to apply to work opportunities further afield and embrace the commuters lifestyle.
Or, in your leisure time, you’ll now be able to go to concerts, cultural and historical events, and even just attractive geographical regions that are a bit far from home, as and when you like – and regardless of whether or not there is a good bus connection.
Of course, many of us grind away at our driving lessons only to find that we fail our test the first time. And the second time. And the third time…
If you’ve been taking driving lessons for some time now, and have been experiencing the frustration of failing to pass your test over multiple attempts, here are some tips that might help you out.
Focus on relaxing beforehand – like, really focus on relaxing
If you’ve failed your driving test several times by now, you’ve properly been through the unbelievable irritation and confusion that comes with knowing that you were driving 10 times better in your lesson just the day before and that all your “skills” seem to have evaporated literally overnight.
A major part of the reason for this is stress. If you’ve been taking driving lessons for some time now, you’re likely pretty comfortable being in the car with your instructor. You know more or less what’s going to happen, you’ve got a feel for sitting behind the wheel, and that’s just the way things are.
When you’re driving next to an examiner, on the other hand, all bets are off. You know that you are now back under the microscope. You’re fully aware – painfully aware – that any little mistake might cost you this opportunity to become a licensed driver.
In these cases, one of the best things you can do is to focus on relaxing beforehand. Like, really focus on relaxing.
This could mean eating a certain meal of delicious comfort foods. It could mean getting a massage right before your test. Whatever the case, figure out ways to relax, and your odds of passing increase dramatically.
Start getting a lot more sleep before your tests
The neuroscientist and sleep researcher Matthew Walker had a lot to say in his bestselling book “Why We Sleep” about the many benefits of sleep, and the many downsides of not getting enough. For one thing, people who fail to get enough sleep are far less attentive to detail and are far more likely to make mistakes in their work and their lives.
It’s pretty common that people fail to get enough sleep the night before the driving test. You could think of this as something like the reverse Christmas effect. Instead of staying up all night because they are too excited to sleep, these unhappy souls stay awake all night because they are too freaked out to sleep.
Needless to say, you want to be on top form when you take your driving test. You don’t want to be half-lobotomised by a restless night. So, do whatever you can to start sleeping more the night before your driving tests.
Let go of your expectation to pass after a certain number of tries (and stop worrying about how other people will judge you)
This goes back to the anxiety point – but if you’ve already failed a couple of tests (or more than a couple), there is a good chance that you are pretty self-conscious about other people’s perceptions of you.
Let go of that. Let go of your expectation to pass after a certain number of tries, and stop worrying about how other people judge you.
Even if it takes you ten tries to pass your test, it’s not likely to make you a social pariah. More likely, it’ll be a funny anecdote for parties, as long as you’ve got the confidence to share it without cringing.
What’s more, by letting go of your expectations, and fear, it’s likely that you’ll pass long before your tenth try.