On The Road: 5 Reassuring Thoughts Before Your Driving Test

LD
Written by
Luke Davies
29th of April, 2015

Back in January, Grazia writer Anna Hart wrote about the challenges of learning to drive when youre 30, blogging about it here

Big news! On paper, I can drive: Ive just passed the Theory Test of my driving exam. Back when I was 17, the Theory Test was considered a total doss. Today, its acknowledged as significantly trickier; you have to score 43 correct answers out of 50, and the multiple-choice questions are no longer of the Is the vehicle below a) a car b) a bike c) a truck d) a rocketvariety. I wanted the rocket questions!

On the plus side, there are now slick apps that run you through the questions, which Ive mostly done on the number 55 bus through Hackney. So I have Hackneys traffic congestion to thank for my academic success on this count.

Still, I only scored 46; a couple more dumb errors (which I am always capable of) and Id have flunked. And the hard bit, however, is looming next month, when I take my practical test.

Here are five things Im trying to remember in the run-up to T-day:

1. Its okay to not feel ready. One good thing about taking my test at 30, rather than 17, is that life has taught me that people NEVER feel fully prepared, for ANYTHING. Everyone is winging it, all the time. And so I dont really expect to feel 100% ready for this test. Im just aiming to feel okay about it, and to give it my best shot.

2.  Its also okay to fail. Being over 25, I am more likely to flunk my first test than to pass it. Most recent BSM figures indicate that at the age of 17 the pass rate in 2013/14 was 56.6%, by 25 it had dropped to 46%, and by 35 it was 38.4%. So failing first time doesnt make me a loser! It makes me normal. I need to fail a few more times before I can justifiably call myself a loser.

3. Yes, Im a driver. People told me that one day it would just click. I didnt believe them, but its true: one day I got into Marios BSM car, looked at the controls, and thoughtYou can totally do this. Youre a driver.Im just not a legal driver. Yet.

4. If you dont trust yourself, trust your instructor. The good thing about having a brilliant instructor, like Mario, is that even when Ive doubted my own ability to do something, Ive had faith in his judgment. Including his judgment of me. So if he thinks Im ready to go on a roundabout, I am. If he thinks Im ready for fifth gear, I am. And if he thinks Im ready to take my test, Im ready.

5. Practice makes perfect. I know some people will call this defeatist, but Im finding it helpful to view this first test as a practice runfor my real test. This takes some of the pressure off; I dont NEED to pass, I just need to learn more about how to pass next time. Of course, Im desperately hoping that this more relaxed mentality ultimately puts me in a state where I do, in fact, pass

Wish me luck!

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