top of page
  • AA Academy Of Action

How To Conquer Anxiety On Your Driving Test

Updated: Apr 9

A learner's plate being thrown out a car window

'That is the end of our test and I am pleased to tell you that you passed'

These are the words that every learner wants to hear after enduring the stress of a driving test; nothing is worse than having to go through all of the stress once again, which in turn makes it more likely for you to make a mistake. Finally completing your driving test gives you a sense of freedom unlike anything I have ever experience before. I did not have to rely on anyone else anymore, I could go anywhere, whenever I wanted to.

I had previously failed my driving test twice and thought that I had made too many mistakes in this one that I had already given myself the fail before we had even returned to the test centre. I knew that I had already made a mistake by overtaking a cyclist before a turning, with the examiner expressing his concerns for this manoeuvre multiple times afterwards. In my head, this would be what caused me to fail this test and it happened within the first 10 minutes. As a result, I had another 30 minutes to sit with my thoughts.

However, I did not let this negative feeling take over me and still tried my best just so I knew that I would not be picking up any unnecessary faults, along with proving to myself and the examiner that I could drive well. I think it was the fact that I stayed calm and collected after this mistake that allowed me to pass my test.

But how exactly do you beat anixety on your driving test?


How To Mentally Prepare Before Your Test Date

an illistration of a driving instructor talking to her studentent whilst he thinks

  1. Believe in Yourself: Confidence is key; remind yourself that you have been preparing for this test, and that you are ready, after all, your instructor would not let you take the test if they did not think that you were ready.

  1. Increase Practice: The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be. In particular, try to practice on routes near the test centre so that you will be familar with your surroundings. With enough practice, anything can become second nature. Do not feel pressured to take your test immediatly, take your time, wait until you feel truly comfortable. There are lots of packages available on our website to help you refine your skills:

  2. If you are not sure why you are doing something the way that you are, ask your instructor to explain it to you again, even if you get it right every time. Once the reason for doing it clicks, you will have no trouble applying it every time you drive.

  3. Practice Mindfulness: Being able to self-soothe in a safe and controlled way could make the difference between passing and failing. it is important to remember that different things work for different people, so speak to your instructor and try out various methods. Some people like to keep the window closest to them slightly open, so fresh air can get in. For me, it was having the radio on at a very low level, so that I could bring my attention back to the music any time my mind drifted towards intrusive thoughts. There are links to additional resources at the bottom of this blog that you may find helpful.

  4. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts: For example, if you feel like you 'have' to pass, then you might end up under so much pressure that your concentration is affected. Remind yourself that you have prepared well, but if you don’t pass this time it is not the end of your career as a driver. You will get to try again and the world will still be spinning afterwards. Try it and see if it works for you!

  5. Have a quiet night in before the big day.


How To Stay Mindful On The Date Of Your Test

a driving examiner taking notes on a clipboard in a car

  1. Put any thoughts of drinking alcohol or taking drugs – either the night before or on the day of your test – out of your mind. It might seem an obvious thing to say, but it doesn’t make it any less important!

  2. Have some food and stay hydrated. There is nothing worse than having the jitters before and during your test and focusing on a growling stomach will disturb your concentration.

  3. Ask your instructor for an hour-long lesson before your test. This will give you the chance to have a last-minute practice, brush up on manoeuvres and loosen up a little bit.

  4. It’s perfectly acceptable to let the examiner know if you have any additional support needs. The examiner will be happy to accommodate this, and even repeat each instruction if needed.

  5. During your test, make safety your number one priority. For instance, if you have been told to go left, but you are in a right only lane, go where the lane takes you. You might have to pull over and allow your instructor to reroute, but what is important is that you demonstrate your ability to follow traffic rules and are always aware of your surroundings. Going the wrong direction will not get you a fail if you adhear to the rules correctly.

  6. Do not focus on what the instructor is writing down, they have to mark down all different aspects of your journey; just because they are writing on the paper does not mean you have done something wrong.


The Test Is Just The Begining...

A red car driving into the sunset with fields either side

After a year of driving I can safely say that passing the test is just the beginning of your driving journey. Drivers encounter countless situations and figuring out safe ways to respond to them is crucial. In a sense you are always a student – so do not assume that passing your test means you know everything!

Good luck, stay safe and enjoy your driving…

150 views3 comments



Excellent advice for young drivers . Great blog



Such a helpful read, with practical tips that can be utilised in advance of taking your test- as a parent supporting their kids through this milestone event I am going to share this widely- I often find if I am not the one giving the advice it is received more readily!!


Josh Christie
Josh Christie

This is just the advice I needed, thank you for sharing! I have got my test booked in a month, so I will start working on these strategies.

bottom of page