Overcome your driving test anxiety

Road Test Prep Lesson a Good Idea

Road Test Prep Lesson a Good Idea

So you have gone through driver training successfully, practiced and now it is time for the road test.  How can you overcome your jitters before the test? Just remember that you’re not alone if you are feeling anxious.   I’d love to share some of the common tools Young Drivers uses with their students to help fight those pre-test nerves.

I figured who better to ask than our Director of Training Scott Marshall who has been in driver training for 22+ years and has taken over a thousand YD students out for their road tests.  Here is Scott’s gem of knowledge, “One of the ways I’ve used to keep a student focused on their driving before a road test is to take them out driving before the test time to get them into the driving mode. I will praise them for things they are doing well and remind them that if they take their time and think ahead of time, they’ll be able to make the proper judgment calls in traffic. I remind them that they can drive well and all they have to do is drive like they normally do.”  It is a good idea to consider a warm up lesson before your road test to put your mind at ease.  You can feel confident that you have learned and practiced the correct driving techniques.  Now you just need to show the Examiner what you already know.  Remember that your Driving Instructor would not forward you to that next step if they did not feel that you were ready for it.

Another piece of advice Scott offered was for drivers to do a little running commentary while they take their test, either very softly or in their head, in order to stay focused on the tasked they were asked to do.

I also chatted with YD Driving Instructor Rachel Hesson Bolton who suggested what might work for one person to help calm their nerves may not work for the next but consider going out with the co-driver that makes you nervous weeks before the test for a practice run.  This experience may be just close enough to how your examiner would make you feel.

Some students benefit from using relaxation techniques before the test.  Taking deep breaths will help to slow down the heart rate and keep your body and mind more relaxed.

Concentrate on the driving techniques and blow away any test rumours you may have heard.  Make  sure your expectations going in are realistic and don’t worry about what your friends say about the experience.

Go into the test with a positive attitude and know that being a good driver throughout your life is not just about passing a road test.  It is about always putting the good driving habits you have learned to use and staying safe and collision free.  Sometimes nerves get the better of us but not to worry.   You will be prepared for the road ahead and that’s what really counts.

2 Comments

Filed under Driver Anxiety, Driver Training, Driving Tips, Road Test, Teen Driving

2 responses to “Overcome your driving test anxiety

  1. Thank you for sharing, it is well written material.
    As a driver examiner, I also would like to add – the best way to take the stress off – is to ask questions right before the test. Examiner can answer any question right before – not duri…ng the test. I recommend to use this opportunity to speak out the biggest fear. Sometimes a simple question such as “how long is the test” makes a person more comfortable. This and more in our book written by driver examiners. We encourage people to read it since it was designed to help with the fear and test anxiety. “Alberta Road Test: 81 Myths Dispelled”.
    Best of Luck in your tough field! You are doing a truly awesome job!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment AND for your suggestion on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/youngdriversofcanada to write about this great topic! I hope this post helps new drivers cope with this great milestone. Your professional insight offers wonderful tips for new and nervous drivers who may just take the test with you 🙂

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