Driving Lessons - Driving Test Nerves

How To Calm Driving Test Nerves

If you are affected by driving test nerves then the first thing to remember is that you are not alone. Driving test nerves affect the majority of learner drivers, the overwhelming majority of whom will eventually go on to pass their driving test's.

The second point to remember is that you shouldn't be taking your practical driving test unless your Instructor thinks you are capable of passing. The expert thinks you're ready. The expert thinks you're capable. Already you have a vote of confidence from someone who matters. Why do you feel nervous? What consequences do you fear? Is it for your safety on the road? If it is then don't worry, you're in a dual controlled car with a professional Driving Test Examiner. They know the game and they know how to play it. They know how to deal with you and any mistakes you may make.

Maybe your nerves stem from the fear that if you fail your test you'll let your friends and family down. If so then don't tell them. In some people exams of any sort can cause nerves and anxiety to rise. If this is you then put your driving test in context. It's a lot easier to retake a driving test than it is your GCSE's or A-Levels. The main loss of a failed driving test is financial, several more lessons and the cost of a second test. Take your nerves on by accepting them. Nerves can be positive. They tell the body to release adrenaline which helps keep you alert and focused. Use nerves to your advantage and they will increase your performance. Turn the day to your advantage. When are you at your best? If you're a morning person then make sure you book your driving test for a morning start. If it takes you until noon to "wake-up" then make sure you book an afternoon test. Never book a driving test during a time when you know other stressful events will be happening. Arrive at the driving test Centrex unhurried and at least 15 minutes before your test is due to start.

There are many techniques/remedies that claim to ease nerves and anxiety. From herbal remedies such as Kalms tablets to psychological techniques such as visualization and even hypnosis. Does any of this work? Well maybe. I myself have no first hand or even second hand experience that any of them do work so I won't be recommending any. One technique I can recommend however is 4-7-8 breathing. Breathing correctly can have a profound effect on the way you feel. It is widely considered to be the most effective and time efficient relaxation method that exists. The standard breathing relaxation method recommended for your natural breathing pattern is found below.

The standard breathing relaxation method

  1. breathe into your diaphragm, (the bottom of your stomach), not shallow chest breathing
  2. inhale through the nose
  3. exhale through the mouth
  4. take longer to exhale than to inhale
  5. slow your breathing down (less breaths-per-minute)

4-7-8 Breathing method

  1. slowly breathing in through your nose for a count of 4
  2. Hold the breath for a count of 7
  3. Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8

When you exhale, try to make a soft whoosh sound by holding the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth (or lightly clench your teeth) as you exhale slowly. Repeat this process for three more times (for a total of four breaths.) Do not do more than four breaths at first - with practice, you can work your way up to eight breaths. Do this twice each day. 4-7-8 breathing shouldn't be your naturally breathing pattern but should be used to calm nerves and find a more relaxed state of mind at or before times of increased anxiety.