I know most people feel somewhat uncomfortable taking a driving test. I do not like the knot in my stomach, the increase in heart rate, and the slight film of sweat that I suddenly discover on my brow. And I am only the driving instructor, and not even the student taking the test!
There is so much riding on a successful driving test. The freedom that comes from it, the sense of maturity and independence. Then to have it all gutted by failing the test, it is absolutely heart wrenching.
Sometimes the moment is just too big. The pressure is immense and at that specific moment all the knowledge and experience you have gained flies out of the window and you hit a blank wall. Adrenaline rushes do that to you.
Let me tell you, it may feel as if your whole life depends on this, but in the bigger scheme of things, it is only one stepping stone to your success. You’ll be all right.
So, take a breath and let’s see what some of the reasons are that students fail. This way you can prepare yourself for the test, and cultivate habits that will prohibit you from making these mistakes.
5 Mistakes that cause students to fail their driving tests
- Don’t forget your signalling: remember to always give other vehicles adequate warning of your intentions to manoeuvre and signal accordingly. Remember the 5-second rule before leaving a parking space or moving from a kerb.
- Check your blind spots and mirrors: When you merge, change lanes and do other manoeuvres (not burn-outs!) do a head check in your blind spot. Proper and timeous blind spot checks have saved many lives.
- Stop at a STOP sign. It says STOP, not roll through. Stay behind but within 1.5m of the line. It is there for a reason.
- Turning right at traffic lights: if you wait too long at traffic lights you may be in a situation where the lights have changed over and you are not in a position to drive, and you may be caught in an awkward position. Be decisive and turn at the right time. Be absolutely certain of your obligations when in these situations and if in any doubt ask your instructor and refer to the drive safe book.
Tips on how to prepare for the driving test
- Is your paperwork correct and signed? The logbook must be completed in full and declaration boxes in the green section must be completed and signed.
- Be on time. Be ready for your instructor at the agreed time to make the most of the time available. Southern Cross Driving School will ensure you are at the test venue on time and ready to take the test.
- Ensure that you have your photo ID Learners Permit card.
- Take a deep breath, visualise yourself acing your test. Forget that this is a test, and think of it as a driving lesson. Should you make a mistake during the test, just let it go, and focus on what is going on at the moment. Do not keep thinking of the mistake, because you will lose concentration and may end up making many more. Move on, mistakes happen.
- Practice makes perfect. Know all the manoeuvres you will be asked to do, and keep on practising them. These manoeuvres are only building blocks to the test, should you make a mistake during one of them, it will not necessarily result in a fail.
- If you choose to use your own car make sure you go in a car that you are familiar with. Check the vehicle and make sure that it is test ready. Of course, Southern Cross Driving School will ensure you are familiar with their cars and that their cars are test ready.
For more information on how to pass your driving assessment, you are welcome to download a free copy of How to Pass Your Driving Assessment from my website.
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