So you’ve held your learners permit, practiced behind the wheel and now you’re ready to take your driver’s test as your final step towards receiving your license. Getting your driver’s license is a huge step into independence and is a very exciting time for many new drivers, however, along with that excitement also comes nerves.
The driver’s test can be intimidating and anxiety arises for many first-time drivers and even experienced drivers who need to renew their license. Nerves are a completely normal part of this process, but it’s important not to let them get the best of you. Follow these tips from Alliance Defensive Driving School to calm your nerves prior to your driver’s test:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way to fight nerves before your driver’s test is to get comfortable behind the wheel. The only way to do that is PRACTICE. Driving begins to feel more natural and will start to feel instinctual when you spend more time on the road. Once you are confident in your abilities, the nerves will begin to subside as you feel more prepared for the exam.
While logging hours with your parents is a great way to get comfortable behind the wheel, spending time practicing with a professional driving instructor will provide you with the knowledge you need to become a confident and safe driver. The staff at Alliance Defensive Driving School is accustomed to working with teens, adults, and seniors through behind-the-wheel training that prepares drivers for the road. One-on-one driving lessons are very beneficial for anyone learning to drive and can give you the assurance you need to take on the driver’s test with confidence.
2. Study Up!
The driver’s test is designed for your success and the Department of Motor Vehicles clearly outlines its requirements and expectations on its website. Knowing and practicing the skills that you’re expected to perform during the driving test will ensure there are no surprises during your exam. Driving tests typically last about 20 minutes and assess the following skills:
- Left and right turns
- Straight-line backing
- Lane changes
- Driving in street traffic
- Driving on the highway
Along with being competent in your driving skills, you should also have a firm understanding of traffic laws for both your driving test and written test. Each state has its own driver handbook and all the material on the written exam will come from this handbook. The DMV offers sample tests on its website that you can take to help prepare for the test. Knowing the laws and etiquette of the road will help you become a careful and capable driver.
3. Take Care of Your Wellbeing
Make sure that you are well-rested and well-fed prior to the exam to give yourself a clear head for the driving test. It’s easy to burn yourself out with over-studying or staying up late worrying about whether or not you’ll pass. A quality night of sleep will be more beneficial to you than a late-night cram session so get to bed early. On the day of the test, you should eat a hearty meal so you’re energized and alert while you’re behind the wheel. Taking care of yourself and being kind to your body is the best thing you can do to calm your nerves before your driving test.
You’ve practiced behind the wheel, you’ve studied the material, you’re fully prepared to take your driver’s test, so now it’s time to relax. Be secure in your abilities and know that the DMV wants you to pass the test. Before you even start the car for your driving test take three deep breaths and assure yourself that you are a fully capable driver. You got this!
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
Some people don’t pass the driving test their first time and that’s okay and completely normal. You can take the test as many times as you need to in order to prepare yourself for the road. Don’t become too discouraged if you don’t initially pass, turn it into a learning experience and continue to practice. Remember, the driving test is designed to assess your abilities in order to keep you and others on the road safe. By practicing these tips you can ensure you are fully prepared to take on the road with confidence and earn your driver’s license.