Lots of teenagers fail their driving test first time. No matter how good they are, often the stress of the test gets the better of them and they end up making silly mistakes because of nerves. Luckily there are ways you can help your child prepare for his driving test. You can’t guarantee they will pass first time, but with some advance preparation, you can minimise their chances of failing.
Passing the Driving Theory Test
You can’t book a practical driving test without having successfully passed the theory test first. Passing the theory test is not rocket science, but you do need to put in some study time before taking the test.
It is helpful to suggest that your teenager practice’s with a free driving theory test before they attempt the real thing. This will give them a good idea of what to expect. Out of the 50 multiple choice questions on offer, you have to answer 43 of them correctly, so the margin for error is narrow. However, as long as your child spends sufficient time reading the Highway Code and doing some practice tests, he should be able to pass first time.
There will come a point when your teenager is feeling super confident and announces that they are ready to take their test, but if they have not had enough practice in all types of driving conditions, they might not pass first time. Practice makes perfect and it is a great confidence builder, especially for slightly nervous drivers.
The more your teenager practices away from their driving lessons, the easier it will be for them on the day. It is stressful seeing your child in the driving seat and knowing there is very little you can do if they make a terrible mistake, but taking your child out somewhere quiet will help you to assess whether they are indeed ready to book a practical test. And if you do have any concerns, be diplomatic and suggest they practice for a bit longer before booking their test.
On the Day
There is little you can do to help your teenager conquer their nerves on the big day other than remind them of a few salient points.
Mirror, signal, manoeuvre is a mantra that is all too easy to forget when under pressure. Failing to check mirrors is one the main reasons why people fail their practical driving test. Always make it obvious when you check your mirrors, or the examiner might not notice and mark you down. Check mirrors before you do anything, but in particular you must check your mirrors before stopping, starting, or doing any type of manoeuvre.
Hesitating will also cost your child a pass on test day. Stopping unnecessarily is a big no-no, although you must stop if there is a STOP sign.
Try not to get too worked up about a first time pass. It isn’t the end of the world if your child fails first time, so be sure to remind them of this fact before they head off with the examiner.