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Taking Your Practical Driving Test - Top Tips

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Taking Your Practical Driving Test - Top Tips

Gordon Parkes
19 February 2009

Many people dread their practical driving test, allowing themselves to get extremely worked up before the test. Unfortunately, this is probably the quickest way to fail, as undue nerves will adversely affect your driving.

Instead, you should try to remain calm and confident. While it is natural to feel a little nervous, you can't let it take control of you. After all, your driving instructor wouldn't have put you forward for the test unless they believed you were ready to pass.

If you can share their confidence, you should succeed in your driving test.

Preparation can help you concentration and reduce your nerves. The day before the test, you should go to bed early, ensuring that you are well rested during your driving test. A healthy, nutritious breakfast will also aid concentration.

You can book a final lesson around the test centre on the same day as the examination. Doing this can help you familiarise yourself with the potential test route, so you can identify any potential hazard spots you should look out for during your test.

Before the practical test begins, you will be given a quick eyesight test and will have to answer a few questions about vehicle safety. The 40-minute driving assignment, will include some set manoeuvres, most likely an emergency stop and some reversing exercises.

Don't worry about any minor errors you make during the test. You can make up to 15 minor mistakes and still pass your test. However, you shouldn't try to count them, as this will mean you are not concentrating fully on the road - and that you will get more nervous the closer you get to the 15th error.

During your test, don't feel embarrassed to ask for clarification if you do not fully understand your examiner's instructions. It is better to ask them to repeat the instruction than to carry it out incorrectly.

As long as you are confident, well prepared and follow these driving test tips, you should be able to pass your test with flying colours.

Once you pass, you can build on the skills you developed during your lessons and practical driving test by taking part in a refresher course. This will teach you to cope with driving in different environments, from driving in the country to driving on the motorway.

This refresher course is designed for new drivers and those that haven't driven for a long time, although anyone can take it.

Find out more about driving, such as advice for preparing for your practical driving test. Get more useful driving test tips.

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