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How to Pass Your Driving Test Sooner!

Tips for getting the most from your lessons and passing your driving test sooner.

  1. Sleep - It's been scientifically proven that those who are well rested respond far better in reaction tests.  Your driving test is one long reaction test!  The night before avoid having any alcohol or caffeine - both of these will interrupt your sleep cycle.  Humans’ optimum sleep time is 8 hours.  If you go to bed at 10pm, you MUST set an alarm for 6am.  Any more than this and your body and mind enter a new sleep cycle from which waking will make you groggy.  To find out more about sleep,
click here.

   2. Food - What you eat makes your body respond in different ways.  If your exam is early in the morning you need to get a good night’s sleep so eat a carbohydrate rich meal e.g. pasta.  Carbohydrates make your body feel sleepy.  If your exam is in the afternoon you need to eat protein e.g. meat, eggs or fish.  Protein makes your body feel alert.

   3. Be prepared - The night before your test get all your documents ready and leave them by the front door.  You need 4 things; photo driving licence card, the paper driving licence counterpart, your written DSA booking confirmation for the driving test with the time and day (check they are correct), and your theory test pass certificate.

Know what is to be expected from you on the day of your exam.  Have a look at how the practical driving test works and how the Examiners mark it. 

   4. Use this site – Click on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) links and the other useful links on this website. These links will take you to study materials supplied by the DVSA and to further information which will be of use to you. There are also a number of videos which I have created to give you some idea of what to expect during lessons.

People learn in 3 ways; visually (seeing things), aurally (listening to instruction) and kinaesthetically (by doing).  If you learn visually, like I do, you'll greatly benefit by seeing instructions written on a page.  A tiny percentage of people learn aurally, mostly women, and that's how most of the instruction in the lesson is taught.  Most people respond well to kinaesthetic learning, which is great, as your driving lesson is just that.

   5. Practice - “Those who pass their driving test have had, on average, about 45 hours of professional training combined with 22 hours of private practice. Learners who prepare this way, with a combination of plenty of professional training and plenty of practice, do better in the test."  This is copied directly from the DVSA website.  If you have only had a handful of lessons with an instructor and no private practice, you are attempting the impossible.  Although there is no requirement to practise between lessons, i.e. you are not obliged to practise, it’s best to get out on the road and behind the wheel as much as you can.  If you can't learn practically, you MUST practise theoretically!

   6. Make the most of your lesson - I will always give you at least an hour, if I can.  If you turn up late, and I have another lesson afterwards, I can't let down my next client so be ready to go and make sure you get an hour’s worth.

Make sure you are well hydrated; lack of fluids severely diminishes concentration levels.  Make sure you have eaten (no crash diets) preferably something that will stimulate you like; asparagus, avocados, bananas, cod, cheese, peanuts, lettuce or fresh fruit. If you give your brain the right nutrients, you will be able to think faster, have a better memory, be better coordinated and balanced and have improved concentration.

   7. Ask me - If you are unsure about something, ask me.  That's what I'm here for.  If you are thinking about driving whilst at work, text me, email me, Skype me, call me.  I really don't mind and will try my best to explain in the simplest way possible.  I enjoy teaching and want you to pass.

   8. Don't try to do too much at once - I've seen this too much recently.  Students try to pass as quickly as they can, squeezing lessons into lunch breaks, between school/college/university exams and after work.  DO NOT TAKE A DRIVING LESSON IF YOU ARE ALREADY TIRED!  You won't get the most from your driving lesson and it can be counter-productive. This exam is very stressful, be flexible. Don't pile unnecessary pressure on yourself.

   9. Be relaxed and calm - dress comfortably - the Examiners aren’t there to judge you on appearances; they are paid to judge your driving ability. 
      Don't wear high heels - flat shoes are the best option.  Remove bulky jackets and heavy jumpers.
      Breathing - In through the nose, out through the mouth; doing this 5 times slowly will help to lower your heart rate.
      Remedies - Antispasmodic stomach medicine, such as Colofac, can help keep those 'butterflies' under control. Rescue Remedy spray can help too.
      Your environment - open the window.  Fresh air will help keep you alert and cool.  Make sure the car's environmental controls are set so you are comfortable.  Don't sit there melting! Even if I am sitting in the back seat as an observer, protocol requires that I say nothing, so I can’t bring things like that to your attention during the test.

  10. Have confidence - I will only let you go forward for the exam if I think you have a great chance of passing.  If you don't feel confident with your driving ability - you're not ready.  You are allowed to change your test date 3 working days before hand.  Don't throw away £112 (£62 for the test, £25 for lesson before, £25 for use of the car during the test) needlessly!  No one likes to fail and if you think you're going to, you'll make it happen.  Only when you feel confident, do you stand a chance of success.

11. Music - The Mozart Effect is believed to increase learning and spacial awareness by up to 20%.  Years ago it was said that listening to Mozart made people smarter.  This is not the case.  What helps increase learning is to listen to your favourite music for 10 to 20 minutes before you start to learn something.  It helps to increase the brains ability to make memories, and by making memories you remember how to do things, i.e. driving.   So before each lesson, try to listen to your favourite songs for 15 minutes and perhaps you'll be able to learn 20% faster.  This will in the long run save you 20% on the cost and possibly get your licence in far less time. 
When it comes to your exam, you'll have a few minutes wait before your test, why not take a MP3 player/mobile with your music on and some head phones and listen before your test starts.  You'll not be learning anything here, but it could help with spacial awareness, a core skill for driving.

The British driving test is the most difficult in the world. Every day, 10 people are killed on British roads and every one in three deaths is as a direct result of a newly qualified driver.  Due to these horrific statistics, the test is becoming more difficult every day.  The price of the test has increased (now £62 for the practical driving test,  £75 for practical driving test taken during the weekend, £31 for the theory test - both weekday and weekends,) and the pass rate has gone down.  The days of turning up, driving for 40 minutes and passing are well and truly over. Indeed, passing the test is not a “right of passage” as some might assume. You MUST study for this exam alongside the practical driving sessions. Give yourself the best chance possible by following my driving test tips.

First Time Pass Happy Learner!

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Ayr KA7 3SZ
01292 225450