How to Stay Calm and Confident During Your Driving Test

Learning how to stay calm and confident during your driving test is essential to your success in the driving test. Everyone who fails the driving test can attribute their failure to one of the following reasons.

  • Be Prepared for the driving test
  • Learn the driving test format and requirements
  • Do a driving lesson immediately prior to the test
  • Stay positive and confident during the test
  • Learn how to deal with nervousness and anxiety
  • Keep practicing and building confidence
  • Learn from each driving experience

How to stay calm and confident in your driving test

Be prepared for the driving test.

Your level of preparation is key to your success on the day. Too often learner drivers turn up on the day of the test and they have not prepared for the test. At the beginning of your Learner Driver Log Book is a list of learning objectives, how many of them have you covered.

The best way of staying calm during driving test is a quality preparation with a skilled driving instructor. Learn to Drive provides comprehensive driving lessons with quality driving instructors.

Choosing the right driving school with professional driving instructors is one of the most important things any learner driver can do.

You will need to complete your 120 log book hours and have your log book filled in correctly. In addition you will need to be mentally and physically prepared for the driving test.

Mentally you need to know exactly what the road rules are and how to apply them. During the driving test you will have to evaluate situations and make decisions very quickly.

Physically you will need to be able to each of the things listed in your log books leaning objectives as and when required. This includes:

  1. steer properly this means being able to do pull push steering and hand over hand steering to Transport for NSW standards
  2. Maintain the correct road position in all road conditions
  3. Scan properly and performing your required observation checks.
  4. Being able to perform your Kerb-side-stop, 3=point turn and reverse parallel park to the required standards

How much time have you spent practicing and preparing for the driving test? The more time and effort you put into preparing for the driving test the calmer you will be.

How to stay calm and confident during your driving test with practice. Learning good driving skills and techniques is key to your success in the test and driving safely. Practicing and perfecting those driving skills and techniques will improve your confidence.

Study your guide to the driving test and brush up on your road rules

When you passed your driver knowledge test you was given a booklet called the “Guide to the driving test”. Have you read it and more importantly have you studied it? A great way to improve your confidence levels is to improve your knowledge and understanding of the driving test.

Take professional driving lessons

The best person to teach you how to pass the driving test is a professional driving instructor. Learn from someone who has extensive experience in preparing learner drivers to pass the driving test.

Each driving test location has multiple test tracks and each test track will test you on different elements of driving. Make sure you know how to pass the test in your local area.

As I driving instructor, I have extensive experience in a variety of driving test locations. I know from experience that each driving test location and each driving test track is different.

I have taught thousands of people how to drive and pass the driving test. So far every learner driver has needed to improve their understanding of the road rules before taking the driving test.

Learn the Driving test format and requirements

You will stand a better chance of passing if you know what is in the test. Many students fail the driving test because they do not know what they will be tested on, or how the test is marked.

During your driving test you will need to perform certain blind spot checks. The number one fail item in the driving test is failing to perform your blind spot checks.

At this point in time, it would be a good idea for you to be able to define what a blind spot is. In addition, you will need to be able to list the specific times you are required to perform a blind spot check.

Whist Blind Spots are covered in the guide to the driving test and the learning objectives in your Learner Driver Log Book, most students never learn them.


Do a driving lesson immediately prior to the test.

Students who do a driving lesson immediately prior to the test are better prepared and have a higher pass rate. Learner drivers often have something they forget on the day of the test. A driving lesson before the test will allow your instructor to identify anything that needs to be improved upon.

This will give you a final opportunity to make sure you have not forgotten anything. It will also increase your confidence levels for the test.

You want to be ready for the test and you want to be relaxed when you start the test. Arriving with your driving instructor after a driving lesson will allow you time to complete the registration process with Transport for NSW. In addition, you will be able to gather your thoughts and relax prior to the test.

Having been a driving instructor in NSW since 2012 I can assure you that learner drivers who take a driving lesson prior to the test are more likely to pass the driving test. Most learner drivers forget something on the day of the test. Having a lesson prior to the test will allow time for your instructor to identify and correct any last minute problems.


How to Stay calm and Confident during your driving test when you get stressed

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. Remember, the examiner is not there to trick you but to assess your ability to obey the road rules and drive safely.

Your confidence levels during the test can play a significant part in the driving test. When you know you are following the rules and driving safely you can focus on your driving.

Unfortunately, some students who are not adequately prepared doubt themselves on the day of the test. Then they start making mistakes because they are not focused on their driving.

First identify what is causing the stress. Usually stress comes from within, this could be because you have not adequately prepared for the test. Try to identify why you feel unprepared, is their a particular thing you are worried about? Most students have something that stresses them out about the driving test such as reverse parking.

When you identify the area of concern you need to correct it. Firstly, are you doing it correctly? Maybe you need to learn how to do reverse parking properly? It could be that you need a driving lesson to correct the issue. Secondly, it could be that you have not practiced the correct technique enough times. Maybe you need a bit more practice to improve your confidence.


Stay calm in the test


Learn how to deal with nerves and anxiety

Being nervous when doing a test is natural. Everyone suffers from nervousness at some time, the key is being able to effectively manage your nerves.

How to Stay Calm and Confident during your Driving Test with Relaxation Techniques

There are a number of different relaxation techniques that you can use to remain calm and confident during your driving test. Different people have different levels of stress and anxiety which can adversely affect your performance on the day of your driving test.

Try different techniques and see how they work for you.

Take deep breathes and release tension

Being able to breath properly and relax during the test will help you. In fact, Transport for NSW believes this is so important they have included a whole section on breathing and remaining calm in the Safer Drivers Course. According to the National Health Service of the United Kingdom this calming breathing technique for stress can be done anywhere.

Practice deep breathing, it helps calm your nerves. Some people take shorter shallow breaths when they are nervous. This reduces the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain and reduces your cognitive abilities. You will need to be thinking clearly to make good decisions and pass your driving test.


Use positive self-talk to calm yourself

Heading into a driving test can be a nerve-wracking experience, but adopting positive self-talk can significantly calm those nerves and improve your performance.

Start by acknowledging your feelings and reassuring yourself that it is normal to feel anxious before a test. Remind yourself that you have prepared diligently and you are ready for the challenges ahead. Remind yourself that the test is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills rather than a daunting hurdle.

At the start of your driving test use a deep breathing exercise to calm your nerves. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly, allowing yourself to let go of any tension. Then during the test use encouraging self-talk to help yourself remain calm and focus on driving safely. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations such as “I’ve got this, I know how to drive safely and follow the road rules” or “I have practiced and I am ready for this.”

During the test maintain remain focused on the next piece of driving you need do. Scan ahead and identify what is ahead of you. Then focus on the relevant road rules that you will need to apply. For example: if you are approaching a roundabout go over the rules for roundabouts in your head. Then if you start to feel nervous remind yourself that you have thoroughly prepared for your driving test and you know what to do.

Make sure that you focus on the actual task at hand. During the driving test, too many people lose focus and start thinking about other things. If this happens during your driving test refocus on the driving you are currently doing. Remain focused and remind yourself that you have prepared for this and you can pass the test.

Picture yourself successfully navigating the current part of the driving test.

How to stay calm and confident during your driving test when you lack confidence

Confidence comes from knowing you are ready, knowing you can do it. If you feel like you are not ready or you feel like you can not pass the driving test then identify why you feel like this. Maybe you are unsure of the road rules or maybe you don’t know what is in the driving test or how they mark the test.

Uncertainty about certain aspects of the driving test will reduce your confidence levels and increase your stress levels. The best way to overcome this is to keep practicing and improving your knowledge and experience.


Keep practicing and building your confidence

Practice is the ultimate confidence builder in any skill, especially in learning to drive. Each session behind the wheel provides an opportunity to refine your skills and familiarise yourself with the intricacies of the road rules. The more you practice and develop your driving skills the greater your more confident you will be.

As you continue to practice, it is essential to set realistic goals for yourself. Break down the leaning process into manageable steps as outlined in your log book and the guide to the driving test. Acknowledge that building confidence is a gradual process, and by consistently setting and achieving realistic goals, you’re laying the foundation for your overall driving confidence.

The more comfortable and skilled you become as a driver, the more natural and composed you will be during the driving test. Your driving examiner will notice your driving skills too.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep the night before the test. You do not want to be tired or fatigued.
  2. Eat a healthy meal you need to provide your body with the energy it needs to function properly. You do not want to be distracted because you are hungry.


Learn from each driving experience.

When you first complete your Driver Knowledge test it can seem a daunting task when you must complete 120 log book hours. Instead of focusing on the number of driving hours. Focus on learning everything you can about driving and become the best driver you can be.

Work your way through the learning objectives at the beginning of your log book. Focus on learning something new when you go for a drive. Make sure you complete your log book properly.

Driving to or from school or work everyday to build up your 120 log book hours will not help you pass the driving test. Instead focus on learning all aspects of driving.


Reflect on your driving performance

Each time you go for a drive make sure you practice something that you are not so good at. In addition, try to add in something new. Use your guide to the driving test and the learning objectives in your log book.

Whilst driving you should be constantly assessing your driving. Things to consider include your steering, road position, decision making and speed management.

Identifies areas for improvement

When you identify a problem, you should be able to self-instruct yourself and correct the situation. If you are unable to self-instruct or correct a specific issue, seek assistance from a good instructor.

Seek feedback and guidance from a professional Driving Instructor

Learning poor technique or bad driving habits will only make your driving worse. Make sure you learn the correct way to drive from an experience professional driving instructor.


How to Stay Calm and Confident during your Diving Test Conclusion


The best way to stay calm during your driving test is to be thoroughly prepared for the test. Anyone who is prepared for the test and remains focused on driving properly will pass the test.