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Learn Drive Survive driving instructors, know too well that many people of all ages, get nervous before sitting their driving test. Driving test nerves can be a big problem for some learners however, becoming too nervous creates unwanted stress and anxiety on the day of your driving test. And unfortunately, the moment you get sweaty hands, your heart rate increases and the pit of your stomach has that sinking feeling and you’re are overcome by nerves, your ability to do what you’ve been practicing for the past 12 months, can be compromised.

Believe it or not, being nervous or anxious before sitting your driving test is more common than people may think. Most people will admit that sitting a test with a pass or fail outcome is nerve racking. So why do so many people feel overwhelmed when it comes time for their driving test? Having to sit a driving test is different from other assessments. This is because you are being observed by a driving examiner who is monitoring and assessing your every move. In addition, you must also follow their directions and adhere to the test criteria and road rules. This alone can add pressure.

The fact is, if you are well prepared, have put the work in and practiced in a range of different situations, locations and scenarios, then this will certainly help you to manage your nerves. In saying that, your nerves and lack of confidence will be increased due to poor preparation and a poor driving ability. You can help control or reduce your nerves before or during your driving test, once you understand what makes you nervous.

As mentioned before, the fear of failure is normal for most people when faced with tests that have a pass or fail outcome. Experiencing the fear of failure is relatively common and this often leads to feeling stressed, nervous and/or anxious. This can unfortunately result in otherwise competent drivers, doing things they wouldn’t ordinarily do such as making unsafe decisions, exceeding the speed limit or failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs. Simply put, all of the unnecessary errors that will result in a failed driving test. On the other hand, being nervous can also help you to focus and be more aware of what’s happening around you. Being able to control your nerves will essentially show in your driving ability.

As you get closer to your driving test, many people start to doubt themselves for making the simplest of errors. Just remember, if you didn’t think you were ready, you probably wouldn’t have even booked your test. Preparation is key so make sure that you put the effort in. Drive in all traffic conditions as well as different times of the day and night. Even if you’re a passenger in the vehicle, drive from the passenger seat by observing the traffic, signs, road markings or telling yourself when it would be safe to move off at a roundabout or intersection. The more you do, the better you get and this will show during your driving test.



Some learner drivers lack confidence and/or continually question their ability to carry out specific driving tasks. Even after 12 months of holding a learner licence and reaching the required log book hours, they delay booking their driving test. There are probably several reasons why people lack confidence or are scared. It may be because of something that has happened in their personal life or an incident that occurred in a vehicle. Whatever the reason, just remember, you’re not alone. There are many learner drivers and experienced drivers, who fear or lack confidence when driving.

As a learner driver, keep practicing in environments that make you feel comfortable. The once you feel a little more confident, slowly increase your radius to include more traffic and varying situations. Initially, you may feel overwhelmed and out of your comfort zone. If there is a particular driving skill that you don’t feel so confident doing, practice that area more than just general driving. But just remember, with more practice, your experience and skills improve which will help lead to building your confidence.



Driving instructors at Learn Drive Survive have found over the years, that many people place way too much importance on what their peers will say or think if they fail rather than focusing on the test itself. This creates additional pressure and causes unwanted nerves and anxiety. During a driving test, people’s nerves can take over causing hesitation and confusion when making decisions. The reasons why people get so nervous vary and everybody’s different. Worrying about what others think is common among young people. Feeling the pressure from friends or family members who say they, “passed first time,” can add pressure as there appears to be this artificial expectation. Young people feel they have a status to uphold, so not being seen as a failure, is common.

By accepting who you are and ignoring or not caring about what others think, is a step in the right direction. This should actually be your mind-set throughout your whole life. Worrying about what people will think, will hold you back from doing what you desire. Good preparation will help eliminate any driving test fears. To help eliminate additional pressure, keep quiet and don’t tell anyone that you’ve booked or when you’re sitting your test. If you really need to, only tell your family members.



Anyone who has failed their first driving test, regardless of why they failed, will find the second test a little easier. This is generally due to a couple of reasons. The first reason is because they know what to expect and what’s involved. The second reason is because went away and continued to practice what they did wrong and have improved overall. For anyone who has failed a driving test once, twice or even five times, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a safe or competent driver. It just means that you didn’t demonstrate your skills in accordance with the test criteria by accumulating too many errors or doing something that caused an automatic fail. Remember how nerves can interfere with your true ability?

A lot of people hate failure but failure teaches you how to improve and how you can do things differently. If you happen to fail your test, who cares. Ask yourself how it happened and what you would do differently in the same scenario. Learn by your mistakes and practice. Preparation and the feeling of being prepared, builds confidence and will help you to overcome your driving test nerves.



Driving Lessons with Learn Drive Survive Driving School can help with your learning journey. Become a safer driver and learn from calm, experienced and qualified driving instructors. Have a driving test coming up? Book a driving lesson or call us on 1300 898 969 and we will happily book your test and get you prepared for your big day.