How to Pass Your Driving Test (On Your First Try)

how to pass your driving test  (on your first try)

Earlier this month I passed my driving test on my first try, and whilst it took me months of lessons, stress and expense (which trust me does not end once you’ve passed), it was SO worth it and I love the freedom I now have to go anywhere without waiting hours for a bus. I must admit, I’m definitely not the best driver, but luckily you don’t have to be in order to pass your driving test, examiners are only looking for a safer driver. Here’s the tips and tricks that I used to help me pass first time:

1) Stay Calm

I know that it’s a cliche and you’re probably thinking about looking at another website that might contain some actually useful tips but hear me out. Staying calm is the most the thing that you can do when it comes to your driving test because if you appear calm the examiner will believe that you’re a confident driver. This was definitely my downfall as a learner, anytime I would make the smallest error I would go into meltdown mode and forget everything about driving. Because of this, I spent the entire test saying “It’s fine, keep going, stay calm” in my head and honestly it worked. Panicking won’t help anything!

2) Focus on the Basics

Driving tests can feel pretty overwhelming because there’s so much stuff that you have to remember to do (or not do) in just 40 minutes. The best way to deal with this is to focus on the basic things that an examiner will definitely be looking out for: mirror checks and observations, speed, gentle starting and stopping and lane positioning. Focusing on the basics means you can’t go too far wrong, and you won’t feel snowed under trying to remember everything.

3) Take it Slowly

It rained on the day of my test, which at first I thought would be super stressful but I actually realised it made me more cautious and gave me extra time to think about what I was doing. Rain or shine, I’d definitely recommend taking things slow; go a couple of mph below the speed limit (although not too much or you might get faulted) and make sure you slow down in plenty of time when coming to junctions or roundabouts. This way, you’ll have plenty of time to think about what you need to do next and remember what the examiner is looking for from you.

4) Don’t Assume You’ve Failed

This is 1000% the number one mistake people make on their driving tests. If you make a mistake DO NOT PANIC, it might be a minor fault and not a fail. However, if you panic after a mistake and assume that it’s caused you to fail your test you’re more likely to either make more mistakes or drive recklessly, and that could be what makes you fail.

5) Positive Mindset

The day before one of my mock tests I spent hours googling how to prepare, and came across the advice: “focus on trying to pass, rather than trying not to fail”. I took this advice with me right up until my driving test, and every time I stressed that I would fail this is what I’d think about. Keeping a positive mindset is so important, because convincing yourself that you’ll fail can only make it more likely to happen. Any time you think about you’re driving test, remember to think about all the really good lessons you’ve had or mock tests that you’ve passed to remember that you did it then, so why wouldn’t you be able to do it now?

Finally, make sure you glance over the ‘Show Me, Tell Me’ questions, because not knowing the answers to these won’t make you fail, but will give the examiner a bad first impression of you. You can find them here.

I hoped this helped anybody in a last minute driving panic. Comment below any more important tips that I might have missed!


  • Len

    Congrats on passing on the first try!! I hope to pass on my first try as well!!! This was actually really helpful because I know I can overthink it at times but I’ll definitely think about passing more than failing!!

  • Naomi (Inching Forwards)

    Congratulations on passing! From my perspective (which I’ll admit is an uninformed one, as I cannot drive and have so far not attempted to), these seem like brilliant tips. I know from cycling I get stressed on the road, and I imagine this would be increased inside a car, so I think ‘stay calm’ is a really valid piece of advice. Also, I think ‘focus on passing, not on failing’ is actually really great advice not just for driving, but for life in general. It’s oddly profound.

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