Dealing With Driving Test Nerves - Anxiety and Driving

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

Looking for help with driving test nerves? Well, you're in the right place!

I've mentioned before about my driving anxiety, and my experiences of driving during a pandemic, but with the test date becoming closer... here come the driving test nerves and anxiety.

I'm still waiting on my test date, but I'm already worried! Yet I know I'm not alone. Almost everyone has suffered from driving test nerves. Naturally, it can be quite intimidating to be judged by another person, yet it's important to remember that if your driving instructor thinks you're ready - you probably are!

Dealing With Driving Test Nerves

Before You Take Your Driving Test

Do Your Research Research everything that you can to make sure you're fully prepared. Read about the structure of the typical test, i.e. common Show Me Tell Me questions, know exactly where your driving test centre is and how to get there, research popular driving routes so you can practice with your instructor. Preparation is key to passing your test.

Mock Test

Thankfully, my instructor has offered to do a 'Mock Test'. So as part of my lessons, we've agreed to do a mock test where he will mark me against the official criteria. This is super helpful, and will highlight any areas that I may need extra practice on. *Cough* Reverse bay parking *Cough*.

Shh, Don't Tell!

This one is up to you, but I've already decided that I'm not going to tell anyone the date of my driving test. To them, it's just another lesson. I'm hoping this will reduce any driving test nerves because I won't feel as disappointed if I fail.

How to Reduce Driving Test Nerves Pin

The Day Before Your Driving Test


Ensure that you've got everything prepared for the big day. Make sure your clothes are all ironed and ready to go, your paperwork is all there (remember your theory pass letter!) and in current Coronavirus times, don't forget your mask!

Self-Care Okay, I know this one is difficult but there's not much more you can do! You've crammed in all the lessons, you've prepared all you can - put your feet up, watch some telly, and do some self-care. Try to relax your mind and body to reduce anxiety.

Sleeping and Eating This is the one that everyone recommends, but it's still important! Ensure you get a good night's sleep and eat well - and of course, DON'T turn to alcohol to calm down, it may just make you feel worse and you may even be over the limit for your test!

During Your Driving Test

Breathe Obviously. But seriously, take some deep breaths and drive. Use your driving test nerves and anxiety to your advantage, the adrenaline may keep your more alert and focussed on your surroundings.

Mistakes Try not to worry if you make a mistake, you're allowed up to 15 minor faults before you fail.

Friend not Foe Remember, while the driving instructor is there to assess your driving skills, they're looking to ensure you're a safe driver for the road - they're not judging you as a person. Think of the test and just another driving lesson with your instructor. Likewise, failing your driving test does not make you any less of a person, keep trying and you'll get there!

Laughter is the Best Medicine Similar to above, the examiner isn't someone to fear. Make small talk with them, it may help ease the pressure and also (if you're like me), you may be a better driver when you're more comfortable with someone. I've mentioned before that when I'm nervous, I basically do a little running commentary while driving (like telling pedestrians to watch their toes when I'm driving down a narrow street - yes I really do that!) it's part of my anxiety but makes light of the situation.

A Little Humour (At Myself)

Feeling nervous after reading this post? It's reminded you of that upcoming driving test, hasn't it? Well, to cheer you up a tad, do you want to know more of my cringeworthy anxiety-isms? Probably not, but I've also said:

  • 'RIP' to every roadkill I've passed

  • Hummed a little 'Do do do-do' song EVERY SINGLE TIME I reverse

  • Instructor: 'You're going too slow. Speed up to catch the bus, pretend that the driver owes you money'. Me: 'I'd rather just catch the bus instead'. Awks.

  • Most recent: 'I've got my lucky socks on!' (I don't even have lucky socks...)

Anxiety, eh? I just hope none of these come out when I take my test!

I hope this information gave you some information on dealing with driving test nerves, and hopefully helps with any anxiety. Good luck on your test!

Have you passed your test recently? Do you have any driving nerves tips to add? Or even better, do you have any anxiety habits to share, to make me feel better? :P

Take care and stay safe,

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