If you are concerned about driving test stress you are not alone. Around 1.5 million people take their driving test each year, thousands of people learn to drive in Bournemouth, and the overwhelming majority are very anxious. If you can control your nerves then you are far more likely to do a good job. Let’s take a look at what you can do to get things in perspective and reduce those feelings of panic.
Work out what you are stressing about
Stress comes from what you are focusing on. You need to work out what you are really worried about. For some, it is the amount of money they face to lose if they fail. For some it is just a general fear of failure; being one of the over 50% of people that fail their driving tests the first time. For others it comes from the horror stories they have heard about Bournemouth driving test accidents. Regardless of where your stress comes from, you can rest assured that there is a certain amount of irrationality to it.
The money lost with a failed test is not truly lost. It is a contribution towards becoming a better driver. Think of the accidents that can be avoided if you become a good driver. A failed test can also be a great practice for a test pass a few weeks down the line.
If you are fearing failure then give yourself a check-up from the neck up. What is so bad about failing? Failing is a part of life sometimes. It isn’t to be taken personally. Failure just means you had a bad day or are not quite ready. A sure way to make you more likely to have a bad day is to get stressed about failing. If you are not quite ready then you are just a few more Bournemouth driving lessons from passing.
Reframe the situation, and your thinking about the test, and you can dramatically reduce your feelings of stress.
Schedule your driving test to favour you
Some people make the mistake of scheduling driving tests when they have many other issues bothering them. If you are faced with a deadline at school, or other life issues, you will be under extra stress during your driving test.
It is best for you to put off your driving test to when you are in the best frame of mind. School coursework deadlines, work interviews, and test cannot normally have their time changed, but driving tests can be moved. Do not put yourself under unnecessary pressure.
You also need to book your test in a location where you are comfortable with all the test routes. Of course, you should be able to drive any test route comfortably, but driving on a route you are used to will keep you mentally relaxed. Don’t forget to choose the time of the day you are most comfortable with too. A good tip is to book your test as early in the day as possible if you want to have less time for the worry to build up in the day.
Avoid telling people that you are doing your driving test
You can reduce stress by not discussing your driving test schedule with everyone. People will give you tonnes of “helpful tips”. Unfortunately, most of them will be short cuts, against what your instructor has taught you, or just leave you feeling overwhelmed. You don’t want to be overthinking on your test day. Do want you know and keep it simple like you learned.
Go to a different test centre
If all your friends have failed at a particular test centre, your mind may tell you that the route is hard and add to the stress. If you go somewhere new you give yourself a mental clean slate; no expectations or undue worries. Make sure it is the area you have been driving with your instructor though, as you need to be as familiar as possible with the roads. If you have been learning to drive in Bournemouth then you have the best chance if you try to pass your driving test in Bournemouth.
Concentrate on the manoeuvres you find most difficult in your last weeks of lessons
Your ‘problem’ maneuverers probably give you palpitations when you think about them. If you don’t feel prepared you will be feeling very nervous and stressed out on test day. Communicate with your instructor and let them know about how you feel about the different aspects of the test. You can then build confidence in the areas that you feel are likely to let you down. Take the lead from your driving instructor too, as he will know what you do best; and worst.
Ignore the scary driving test stories
In many cases, driving test horror stories are exaggerated. Taking them to heart and thinking about them will lead to stress. You may end up reliving a horror story of your own. If you are preparing for a driving test, don’t go googling these stories. If you run into the stories accidentally, take them with a pinch of salt.
Remind yourself about your ability
Positive thinking can help you reduce stress. Remind yourself of all you have learnt over the course of your driving lessons and tell yourself that you are good enough to get your licence. Use cross domain confidence building too. Think about how competent you are in other areas of your life and put your driving in perspective that way.
Fear or fun?
Stress and fear have very similar physiological actions as excitement. If you can focus on the dream of passing, and on the skills you have acquired over the course of your lessons, you might just be able to turn some of that nagging stress into a bit of excitement.