As I am writing this post it is the 14th of June, 2018 and this morning I sat my driving test and passed which I’m over the moon about! As a 17 year old, learning to drive seemed like a daunting thing for me but I always knew that I wanted to do it for the freedom and its such a great skill to have. In this post, I will be sharing some advice based on my learning experience as reading posts like this did help me!
A while ago I did a post about ‘My Driving Experience So Far‘ which I wrote when I was about half way through my lessons (15 hours), I’d say that I completed 30 hours of lessons before the day of my test which is around the average of what most learners have. I did my lessons in 2 hour sessions which worked best for me and overall, since starting lessons at the end of January, it has taken me around 5 months! Something which made having lessons more difficult was the fact that I am in sixth form and in exam season it was hard to fit in a lesson, however, I made sure that I still did at least an hour a week as it was too soon to my test to not have any at all!
Throughout all of my lessons, I was gaining a lot more confidence as I went along, this was something I had lacked at the beginning because it was all so new to me and I wasn’t getting everything first time (which happens to everyone). A lot of the time, I would over think things too much (such as roundabouts) so if this happens to you, just inform your instructor and they should go over it all again with you like mine did.
When I had first booked my test, I knew I wanted it to be in June so that I had finished my exams which luckily I was able to do. Something that I would recommend is that when you book your test, don’t tell everyone about it, I just told my instructor, my parents and my sister, as much as I wanted to tell my friends and whoever asked, I knew that it would add so much more pressure on the day because if I had failed then I would’ve had to tell all of those people which makes it even harder!
The days leading up to the test, I did start getting very nervous so watched a few mock tests on YouTube which were really beneficial as it made me get used to the layout and the type of things that you have to do. I also just kept reminding myself to be confident because the more nervous you are, the worse you will do as you will have put yourself under too much pressure.
For my actual test, I was given a route that luckily I had done before and had to follow the satnav around this route for about 20 minutes. The examiner asked me a few times to stop in a safe place on the left and before starting the test you have to get your sight checked by reading a number plate from afar. After I had completed the route, I followed his instructions and we ended back at the test centre which is where I carried out my manoeuvre which was a reverse bay park (which I chose to do to the right). At the beginning of the test you will be asked a ‘tell me’ question, mine was about how you would check the quality of the tyres and then whilst you are driving you will be asked a ‘show me’ question, mine asked me to show how I would turn on the dipped headlights. Overall, I knew that I had made a few small errors in my test but was confident that I had passed which luckily, I did!
In my last driving themed post, I had mentioned about how I had booked my theory, I actually ended up sitting my theory exam twice because I failed the first time (which at first I was really ashamed and annoyed about but now I’ve accepted it). I failed the first time based off’ the hazard perception section as I over clicked and was annoyingly only one mark away from passing! However, the second time I passed fine after having my instructor explain it to me better. To revise for the theory, the only advice that I can give is to get the official app and use the GOV website for examples of the hazard perception, there are a few other helpful websites if you just type in ‘2018 driving theory test’.
Overall, I am so pleased that I am now finally able to drive my own car and not have to take the bus everywhere! I’m still gaining confidence in my driving so can’t see myself doing really long distances at the moment but I’m hoping that I will get there in the future.
If you are planning on learning then I’d recommend that you just go for it, it is scary at first but it is so worth it at the end and if you have already started learning, then good luck and don’t be afraid to ask anyone for help!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope it was useful and that you enjoyed! If you’d like to follow me on Instagram or Twitter you can find me at @bethxkate.