Top tips for preparing for your driving test
Doing your driving test can be a nerve wrecking experience. Hey, some people even compare it to the leaving cert. However, rest assured the more prepared you are going into the test, the less stressed you will be for the duration of it. Avid preparation is the key to success when it comes to passing your driving test. Here’s some tips before you sit into the driver’s seat.
1. Plan your lessons properly
Consider how many lessons you have left to undertake. Then consider the possibility that you might need one or two additional lessons outside of your required 12. When you have done these calculations, try to plan for the length of time it will take you to finish all the lessons you require. Then go online and book your test. Remember, it can take up to 3 months to get a slot for your test after you book it. It’s also important to note that Covid-19 has also further impacted a pre-existing back log, so take that into consideration.
2. Adhere to your instructor
Your driving instructor is your friend when it comes to preparing for your driving test. Because a large percentage of people have already sat their driving test, a large percentage of people also have an opinion on how you should drive a vehicle. While friends and family might try to give you their ‘two cents’ on the 3-point turn and how you should approach it, you’re better off to listen solely to your instructor.
Don’t forget that an important aspect of your driving test is based around observation of road signage. The road signage feature means more than knowing when to stop or knowing what speed you should be driving at. It also means being able to identify when lanes are merging, if there’s loose chippings on the road or if your approaching a cul de sac for example. Allow time to get savvy with road signs ahead of your test and this will take some of the pressure off.
4. Use the car you’re most comfortable in for your test
Some young drivers primarily learn how to drive in their instructor’s car and hence it makes sense for them to use this car in their test also. However, some other young drivers learn to drive primarily in their own car or their parent’s car so they may prefer to use this car when sitting their test. Get comfortable in which ever car you practice in the most and then use this particular car for your exam!
5. Reverse around a corner again and again
While overall, practice makes perfect with your driving, we think this particular aspect of the test needs its own point. Reversing around a corner is probably one of the most hated features in the driving test but it doesn’t have to be. When you are out practicing in your own time with your qualified driver, drive to a quiet place that allows you to practice this segment of the test. Do it again and again until you feel you are prepared for your exam.
6. Get savvy with controls
Ahead of your test, you might be so consumed with reversing around corners and perfecting your hill-starts that you may forget to give a once over to the controls. Know how to adjust your seat and have it done prior to your test.
You should know how to adjust your mirrors also. Identify your secondary controls and ensure you are proficient with the operation of the windscreen wipers/washers, the demisters, the rear window heater and the air conditioning.
These controls can easily slip your mind, but you don’t know what kind of weather you will encounter during your test and you want to ensure you can expertly demonstrate how to use them.
7. Know your test
One of the best ways to feel prepared ahead of your driving test is to know exactly what you’re in store for. The driving test is relatively straight forward in terms of its agenda. For the traditional car, the duration of the test is approximately 40 minutes.
It includes the following:
a. Questions on the rules of the road (hand signs and road signs).
b. Reversing around a corner.
c. A turnabout in the road.
d. A hill-start.
e. Driving appox. 8km under a mixture of traffic conditions.
For more information on what the driving test entails check out the road safety authority’s website.
8. Complete your pre-test
Pre-tests are a vital part of preparing to pass your driving test. These tests are a mimic of the actual driving test and they allow you to have a practice run at the exam. They typically are carried out on the expected route of your actual driving-test which helps you to familiarise yourself with the route.
9. Be observant
When it comes to starting your test, remember to be observant. Be extra vigilant when stopping at signs and red lights. Remember to frequently check your wing mirrors and your rear-view mirror. Keep your distance from other cars, leave at least two seconds of distance between you and the car up ahead. If it happens to be raining on the day of your test, leave additional distance.
10. Have all your documents ready to go
Avoid any added stress on the day of the test by ensuring that all the documents you require are appropriately ordered and are in your possession. By laying your documents out in time you’ll avoid any last-minute panic.
Ahead of your exam, try not to panic or stress yourself out. The driving test is daunting but if the worst comes to the worst it can always be re-sat. Do your research and try to fit as much practice in as you can. You will have your full licence in no time!