How to Pass Your Drivers Test
3 Tips for Passing Your Drivers Test
It’s natural to be a little nervous about your driving test. Driving’s not as easy as it looks, and the tiniest error you make during your exam might be the one that keeps you from bringing home that sweet, liberating piece of plastic. You’re prepared, but are you prepared enough? After all, you don’t know for sure what’s coming, and it would be pretty disappointing not to hit the road when your friends do.
Well, first things first: relax. You’re not supposed to sweat the small stuff, and a driving test – one you can retake anytime – definitely qualifies as small stuff. There’s plenty you can do to make sure you’re ready. And while you never know what’s going to happen, a little preparation can go a long way.
1. Get time on your side.
Most states mandate around 40 hours of driving before you can take your test, but it’s important to remember that that’s just an absolute minimum. Even though most everyone drives and adults can make it look like second nature, the fact is that the skills you need don’t develop overnight. There’s no driving gene: you need to develop the muscle memory, situational awareness, and timing that driving demands. After 40 hours, you may be able to get around without hitting anything, but there’s a whole lot more to driving than that. Take the time to get better, and you’ll find your confidence improving every time.
2. Practice strategically.
It’s so nerve-racking to get behind the wheel for the first time that, when you finally settle into a groove, you might find yourself tempted to stick with what you’ve already mastered – say, driving slowly in a straight line down a deserted road. You can keep doing that for 40 hours or much more, and still not have learned very much about driving.
You’re much better off thinking strategically: What do you need to improve? You may have lane changes down, but is your parallel parking up to snuff? Instead of sticking with where you’re strongest, work on your weak points as much as you can. You’ll improve much faster this way than if you waited for the rare opportunities to present themselves.
3. Schedule time with your folks.
We know – the hardest part sometimes isn’t one that you can control. You can’t just go out and drive; you need to wait for your parents to take you (or whoever else is around to teach you). It’s a work-a-day world, and parents tend to be very busy. Even more frustrating, many parents are even more nervous than you are about teaching you to drive. It’s unnerving for many people to have their kid behind the wheel for the first time, not least because they’re concerned about your safety.
It’s not easy, but do your best to work against this kind of inertia. Explain to your parents that the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it, and the better you get at it, the safer you’ll be. To make things smoother, try scheduling some time with your folks in advance so they make it a priority.
Remember to stay calm and focused when you’re driving – and that goes double for when you take your test. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine.