After spending countless hours learning the rules of the road, now's the time to take that final step in your driver training. Unfortunately, the one thing that could stand in the way of you getting your driver's license is your own nerves.
There's a good chance you're feeling pretty nervous or anxious about taking your driving exam, and those feelings can even keep you from passing. The following tips can help you overcome those feelings of anxiety so you can finally complete your driver training.
Don't Think About the "Test" Aspect
For many people, the mere mention of the words "test" or "exam" creates a sense of dread and foreboding. The pressure builds up and the stresses that come with it can be easily overwhelming or distracting.
The best way to handle this is to think of your driving exam as not a "test" but as an ordinary drive. This way, you won't be under so much pressure to pass your exam.
Don't Dwell on Previous Failures
Did you blow the last driving test you took? Forget about it. Dwelling on past failures can lead to increased nervousness, which in turn makes it that much more likely you'll fail your next test. Instead, put those previous failures out of sight and out of mind.
Think of it this way: you've learned from your previous mistakes and you're more experienced than before. That makes it more likely that you'll ace your driving test this time. Also, keep those "what if" scenarios out of your head. Don't think about what if you fail or make a mistake and instead focus on your impending success.
Get a Good Night's Rest Before the Day of the Test
Poor sleeping habits can easily translate into poor test-taking results. Not getting enough rest can increase your anxiety levels and make you more nervous in general. A lack of sleep can also make you less attentive to what's going on around you, which could prove disastrous during your driving exam.
The average person needs anywhere between 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep each night, give or take an hour for some people. Ideally, you should be getting a good night's rest throughout the week leading up to the test. Doing so will insure that you're mentally sharp and alert enough to pass your driving exam with flying colors.
Change Your Breathing Pattern
The words "take a deep breath" are a common refrain to those under a lot of anxiety or stress. But it's not just a bunch of idle words -- something as simple as the way you breathe can have wide-ranging effects on how you handle stress. According to the American Institute of Stress, 20 to 30 minutes of abdominal breathing can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Breathing exercises like the "4-7-8" exercise can help if you're feeling anxious just before your driving test. Here's how it can help sooth your nerves before you get behind the wheel:
- Make sure you're sitting upright in a comfortable position.
- Slowly inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4.
- Hold your breath while mentally counting to 7.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 8.
- Repeat the above steps 3 or 4 more times.
Remember That the Examiner Is Probably as Nervous as You Are
Believe it or not, your examiner may be under just as much (or even more) stress than you are. After all, he or she has the responsibility of evaluating your overall performance and practical understanding of the traffic laws. By keeping this in mind, you'll be able to relax and focus on making the grade, while also helping your examiner relax as well.
For more tips or to help prepare yourself more for your exam, talk with local driving schools in the area or visit websites like http://www.a1peckdrivingschool.com.