Many of us are so raring to get our licence that we rush into it. But tests are expensive things and require careful planning. Before you book your test dates, bear a few of this tips in mind – they’ll save you money and make the process a lot easier.
Don’t be sucked into buying books and software. There are many sites such as driverknowledge.co.uk that can enable you to swot up on the theory for free.
Your instructor may even be willing to offer a free booklet or guide. Whilst this may only be a small expense cut from learning to drive, it’s still better than nothing.
Before you arrive at the test centre, it’s usually a good idea to get to know the surrounding area well in advance.
Some centres can be fairly tucked away – often a deliberate way of testing the driver. If there aren’t any cars currently in the test centre, you may even be able to sneak in and practice some bay parks.
If your instructor has previously been in the car with a student, they may even know of some of the regular test routes to take you on.
You should aim to make your test as stress-free as possible by timing it during a traffic lull. In some cities, this may not be possible, however in all cases rush hour in the morning and evening should be avoided.
When booking your test date, you may also find it better to book at the beginning of a work day, rather than the end. Not only will you tired when you get to the test centre, you’ll have all day to get nervous about it.
If you can book a lesson during the time your test is booked the week before, you may be able to get a better idea of the traffic conditions and plan ahead (e.g. knowing where pedestrians are most likely to walk out or junctions are likely to get busy).
Most instructors will arrange these for you – by training yourself for the test situation you’ll be much less nervous.
Do this before you book your test, so that your instructor can assess whether you’re ready or not.
After this, role-play continuous tests up until the date. You’ll be so used to the test scenario that when you get to the centre it will be like another lesson.
If you get nervous easily, telling your friends and family you’ve got a test can put more pressure on you to succeed.
Those who have failed beforehand should certainly try to keep things hush – it’ll get rid of any expectations and allow you to perform well on the day knowing that if you don’t pass, you don’t have be the bringer of bad news.
Sometimes it’s best to keep it a secret and then reveal it as a surprise when you do pass.