Preparing Yourself for a Successful Practical Driving Test

You’ve spent hours poring over the Highway Code book, have practiced test questions on the PC, passed your theory test, spent obscene amounts of time and money on driving lessons and finally the big day has arrived.

Take the time to prepare yourself properly for your practical driving test:

Before the Big Day

  • If nerves are your problem take whatever steps are necessary to combat them as anxiety often contributes to test failures. Leave yourself plenty of time to relax before the test and leave plenty of time to get to your test centre so you may collect yourself before starting.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and sensible driving shoes
  • Choose your test centre wisely and try to arrange your test for a time of day when the traffic is unlikely to be too busy. School drop off and pick up times as well as general work start and finish times are best avoided.
  • If you are using your own car for the test ensure that the vehicle is suitable, clean, has enough fuel and that the L plates are of course attached.
  • Ensure you have everything you need in good time. This includes your full provisional licence, your theory test pass certificate and your driving test appointment letter.
  • If you have any worries or concerns or are unsure about anything ask your instructor or the test centre in advance, don’t leave it until the day of the test as it will add to your nerves and you may run out of time if there is an issue with your paperwork (etc).
  • Book a mock test with your driving instructor to familiarise yourself with the process and practice. Some drivers book a lesson with their instructor shortly before their practical test too. How you schedule your driving test day and practice is up to you, your schedule and what you feel will work best for you.


Test Day Preparations

  • Make sure you get an early night so are refreshed and ready in the morning. A hearty breakfast is great for energy and often for calming nervous butterflies.
  • Get dressed, collect everything you need and set off for your test in good time. If you are having a last lesson with your instructor first make sure you take a snack such as a cereal bar to keep you going.
  • Run through the Show Me Tell Me tests one last time.
  • Listen to your examiner, be polite and ask if you have any question.
  • Hopefully you will pass however if you don’t use this test as something to build on to make sure that you do next time. Ask for feedback on what you could improve upon and remember that if you didn’t pass you simply need more time to practice and be ready.


Top tip: Holding that pass certificate in your hand is a triumphant feeling however stop for a minute and remember that you are a new driver, an unexperienced driver and that you need to take the time to practice the skills you’ve learned without an instructor by your side. This blog on being a new driver is well worth a read.


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