Emma's Test Day
This is an account of a previous student's experience of "Test Day".
It is very typical of how many students feel as they approach their "Big Day".
I have just copied and pasted from an email from Emma:
Experience of my driving test:
My driving test was booked for 1:43pm on a Friday afternoon. It was my second test, the first one 4 years ago, which I failed for driving in a way I had never done in a lesson before – being too close to the curb. In the days running up to my second test, I was already panicking – what if I did something that I’d never done before again, something I couldn’t prepare for? I’ve never been a calm driver, nor a calm person for that matter, so the nerves built every day to the point where it would wake me up at night.
I had booked the day off work as I had moved house two days prior to my test and thought I would be able to distract myself with unpacking – I was wrong. My new home was an easy 10-20-minute drive to my office, depending on traffic. If I didn’t pass my test, the journey would take about 1.5 hours across 2 buses each way – no pressure! The nerves were unbearable, so I was taking drops of Rescue Remedy as often as possible, but nothing helped. The lesson started at 12:30, and Andrew, as ever, was chirpy and relaxed, telling me everything would be fine. However, during the hour warm up before the test, my mind went blank and I forgot how to drive. My gear changes were clunky, I was forgetting to check mirrors and indicate, other drivers were panicking me – it was all falling apart.
Test time came, and Alex, my examiner, called me forward to begin. He asked me to make myself comfortable in the car while he did some routine checks of the car before we set off. In that moment alone, I told myself that all I had to do was drive. Drive as if it was any other lesson, as if it was Andrew next to me chatting away, and if I didn’t pass then I could always take the test again, even if my journey to work was a little difficult for a few weeks.
The test began – we went over that roundabout that I never quite mastered… and it was absolutely fine. I started to recognise where we were heading and prepared myself for what would be ahead. And it was absolutely fine. I was instructed to follow signs, and I did with no problems. We then pulled up and I did a reverse around a corner. Then a little more independent driving following instructions, again no problem. A quick emergency stop, a little more driving, and before I knew it we were back at the test centre. When we pulled up, my mind went into overdrive again – what had I done wrong? I must have made a mistake as I was so nervous beforehand. Had I missed something really obvious? After a few moments of finishing paperwork and inviting Andrew to listen into my feedback, Alex told me I had passed. All I remember saying was, “Are you joking?”, and he wasn’t!
The nerves before the test were awful, almost unbearable, but I just had to trust that I knew what I was doing and I was ready. The test absolutely flew by and the actual driving itself went just as well as any other lesson. I’m so pleased to say that 8 years after I first sat in the driver’s seat, and on my second attempt, I passed my driving test.