Tips to deal with driving test nerves and panic attacks

Driving test nerves causes so many people to struggle during their driving test, postpone or even cancel it. The pressure that people takinging their test put on themselves under results in reduced performance, anxiety, panic and another retest.

These tips and tools here can help you to reduce your anxiety on the day of your test and can also be used for a wide range of events including exam nerves, interview anxiety and any event where you want to perform at your best. Being organised and choosing not to leave things to chance helps you remain in control. So use these tips to stay in control, beat driving test nerves and enjoy making the most of your potential.

How to reduce the test nerves on your driving test?

Before the test:

1: Practise and practise each thing until it feel natural.

The more you practise any task the more you can do it without thinking; and the more you do it without thinking, the less space there is for test nerves to develop.

2: Use visualisations of you doing each task from the very start to the end of the test where you stop the engine safely:

By visualising any task from start to end this helps to make the act more natural and reduce the opportunity for any test nerves to occur.

3: Use hypnosis to learn and practise your test,  manage your anxiety and practise feeling confident:

Hypnosis is very effective at speeding up tips 1 and 2. I use it for a wide range of treatments, not only exam and driving test nerves but also addictions, anxiety, self harm, and any compulsive behaviour because it is so effective. Use hypnosis to help you grow. A hypnotherapist can help you also to learn self hypnosis, so you can also auto-hypnostise whenever you need to in the future.

4: Enjoying knowing that you have lived this long without your driving license and that you will be fine whether you pass or fail today.

By being realistic that this is only one more day in your life and there will be many, many more opportunities to get this done, then you will reduce the significance of this particular event to a simple task that you will resolve even if you do not do it today.

5: Plan for the worst hope for the best:

As part of tip 4, think beyond this event and  even plan when you will rebook the next test. By doing this it will remind you that there will be other times to solve this, if it does not happen today.

6: Focus on the day as just another day instead of building it up:

Keep the test to yourself. The more people you tell the more pressure you will feel as you know others will ask if you have passed or failed.


On the morning of the test:

1: Do a muscle relaxation to absorb all the extra energy in your body: 

By doing a muscle relaxation your body will feel all calm and relaxed and you will perform at a much better level just because your body is rested and soothed, leaving you feeling fully in control.

2: Walk Tall:

By keeping your posture upright and tall before entering the test centre, you will feel more confident and calm. This will overshadow any driving test nerves and instead leave you feeling calm and confident during the actual driving test.

3: Plan your arrival time:

Turn up at the centre in good time, but not so early that you are waiting an uncomfortably long time. This may mean arriving at the test centre early if you are on public transport and then taking a walk round the block. Waiting around too long can magnify anxiety.

At the Test Centre:

1: Adopt an open posture:

Change your posture whilst you are waiting to open posture, as a closed posture creates feelings of weakness and a sense of powerlessness. Whilst an open posture gives the feeling of power and a sense of being capable and successful. 

2: Manage your breathing:

Do a breathing exercise to soothe you. Take slow deep breaths where your out-breath is slower than your in. Breathing slowly will lower your heart rate and sooth you, making you feeling calmer and focused

3: Burn off any tension by taking a short walk:

Take a walk instead of pacing up and down. This will help clear you head and reduce the tension in your body.

4: Listen to soothing music:

Plan some soothing music that you can listen to on the way to the test centre and also that you can listen to as you wait for your turn. 

5: Distract yourself away from unhelpful thoughts:

Take some distractions like a magazine, send a text or play an absorbing game on your phone so that you  are not focused on the test and prevent any test nerves from growing as you wait to take your test.

During the test:

1: Express yourself to take back control:

Express how you feel if you feel anxious. By communicating this you will feel more incontol and less anxious. So before you start tell the examiner "I am nervous today and I am sure you have see that before as it is normal".

By using all these tools you will find it easier and easier to manage any test nerves until you are barely aware of them happening. Managing anxiety is successfully is about accepting it will happen and then viewing it positively whilst adopting strategies which allow you to reduce its physical and psychological effects.

Need Help with Driving Test Nerves?

Book a free 30 min appointment to find out how therapy can help you to pass your test. Save money by getting your anxiety and test nerves under control. Clinic and Skype appointment available. I have helped people take control of their nerves and pass their tests all over the world. Contact me here today and I will send you an  appointment.


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