When it comes to your driving test– dealing with driving test nerves is paramount if you want a successful result. More than 50% of driving test candidates report excessive nerves on the lead up to their practical driving test, with classic symptoms of sleepless nights, clammy palms, heightened heart rates, and stomach knots contributing to the effects of nerves on the big day.
For many learner drivers, the highly anticipated big day is one of the most important days their life. This life-changing qualification only heightens a learner driver’s nerves on the big day. Being able to contain emotions and focus the mind on the job in-hand, can in-turn, prove to help with test day nerves.
For example: If 80% of your brain is concentrating on worrying about whether you will pass or fail, then this only leaves 20% of your brain’s capacity to focus on the road ahead! Remember, your brain only focuses on what you want it to focus on.
Here is an example:
Take 30 seconds to look around you. I want you to find as many things that are the colour purple… GO! 1……2……3……4……5…….6……7 seconds…
Now, tell me all the things that were the colour blue?”
Of course, you never saw any things that were the colour blue. As you were only focusing on things that were the colour PURPLE!
This example is exactly what happens on test day. You do what you focus on – so, therefore, if you convince yourself that you are going to fail – guess what, you probably will! Focus ONLY on ensuring you drive with one clear vision: “To be a safe, legal and responsible driver!“
Sometimes the pressures and expectations from loved ones can also add to test day nerves. One way to tackle this is keeping your driving test appointment a secret. The fewer people that know about this, the less pressure you will put on yourself.
Why Do We Get Nervous?
According to LifeHacker- nerves are part of our flight or fight responses to stressful events. The video explains the reasons of nerves and how to combat them with specific thoughts prior to and during a specific event.
Whether you are about to have an interview or face a life-threatening event, the need to deal with our ‘flight or fight’ responses is crucial to our mindset during specific stressful times.
The video explains the thought processes that athletes may use prior to a big race. With the use of “Mental Imagery” and “Motivational General Mastery”, athletes are able to streamline their thinking to be able to deal with specific thoughts, emotions and nerves.
How To Deal With Nerves On A Driving Test
When it comes to learner drivers, it is vital to be able to maintain a clear head whilst out driving. Unlike at school, a pupil isn’t obliged to sit an exam, so why show the driving examiner a poor performance? A driving test is indeed a life-changing opportunity, but alas, it is also an opportunity without restrictions.
Very often, learner drivers place so much expectation on their shoulders to pass first time, as failing is deemed “shameful’, however; in my opinion, failing is a blessing in most cases. The whole emphasis on the ‘what if a question arises’? Nobody is able to forecast future events, but, failing a driving test first time is a forecast of future potential possibilities.
What if next time you cut a lane and there was a car there? What if next time you exceeded the speed limit there was a pedestrian crossing the road? Learner drivers never fear the unknown, just like a toddler doesn’t fear a crack in a pavement or a scolding hot oven door. Only an experience can place fear in reality of a situation happening.
Passing a test first time should never be the pre-requisite of thinking for any driver, more like: passing well whenever that pass maybe. Failing a test on the first go could possibly be simply that you shouldn’t have entered the driving test.
Driving badly due to nerves is a fallacy, driving badly is usually through lack of training, consistency and planning. Taking the practical driving test when a learner driver is ready, is the only probable solution to deplete test day nerves. If the ability and planning are valid, the ability to drive well is possible-which will in return, present a pass result.
So, when it comes to your practical test day- pop your nerves in a bottle, and focus only on the road ahead, and is a good safe and legal driver. Change your thinking, change the result!