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Driving Test: Top tips


Driving Test: Top tips

To all of you, who are thinking of taking a driving test, to all of you who are taking the test for the first time or the nth time and all of you who appreciate the emotion. Please read on…here are my top tips to pass the driving test. 

I started my quest to take the driving test way back in 2008. In between then and now 2014, I took three theory tests, changed one instructor, got a MSc degree, a couple of jobs, two babies, and there, six years later I passed my driving test!!

Driving Test

My first theory test in the year 2008 got expired even without getting my hands on the steering wheel. I retook the theory test in 2010. My stint with the car began, the first ever in the UK. By then, I had a two-year-old boy; on the top of it I was trying to get a degree. Hence on the days I did not have any lectures, I started taking my driving lessons. Frankly speaking, I did not understand the concept of roundabouts and lanes at all.

I took quite a few lessons and booked the test on 23rd August 2011. I took a day off from work. So I was all set to take the test. My driving instructor suggested taking a mock test. I failed my mock test and my instructor was so disappointed with me that he told me to cancel my test. I could exactly remember his words, ‘If I let you take the test, my driving instructor certificate will be rebuked’. He pointed out hundreds of mistakes, which were not mentioned in any of my lessons. I was crushed but controlled my emotions. I thanked him and ran to my home. I gave up the thought of taking driving lessons.

With my five-year-old boy and one year old daughter, driving was soon becoming a necessity. I had to start learning again. Here comes my number one suggestion for people who were told they couldn’t drive:

Driving Test


1) Don’t let others perception of you become your reality.

 I started taking lessons again in 2013 after the birth of my daughter. However, the very thought of taking a driving test would make me sick. The word ‘sick’ is an understatement as the way I felt was something indescribable. We all have those butterflies, but it was something different. I started reading various forums where people get united and talk about how many times it took them to pass their test, how the nerves took the better of them, horrible examiner, tough test centre, someone talking about passing it first time, other than driving, what else to do to calm the nerves. If you type in google as ‘How to pass your driving test’, hundreds of forums and posts would appear on your computer screen. I have read most of them and given numerous suggestions to calm the nerves to a number of people. I had many doubts but I tried. I told myself that in the larger context of life, driving is a small thing and there are so many people in the world who are doing fine without driving. I also told myself that other than a dent in the pocket, there are no golden stickers or an award of a special licence to pass first time or pass the nth time! I took a ‘it’s not a big deal attitude’. If you are a mum, you have to arrange childcare; sometimes you might have to take the kid along with you. I have taken my daughter in the driving lessons and know a few friends who have done the same.

Driving Test


 2) Don’t tell anyone about your driving test date

You are in pressure anyways; hence there is no need to add to the pressure by telling everyone. This is one of my friend’s suggestions and worked out perfectly for me. I arranged for childcare. However, my husband came from work early on that day. I told my husband that I was going for a lesson.

Second Opinion
Second Opinion

 3) Get an assessment from another instructor

 If you are not happy with the way your lessons are shaping, it’s advisable to take a second opinion. It’s important to have an instructor who never gives up on you. Mine was great!



4) On the test day

On the day of the test, read things aloud. If you are religious, read out any religious text or if you are spiritual, read out anything spiritual. The key is to read it aloud so that your mind is not fixated on the test. Eat a banana. Bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ – which will keep you cheerful. If your test is in the afternoon, eat something light such as porridge.

Driving Test


 5) Just be Safe

 Tell yourself, you don’t have to be perfect in driving, just be safe. I read it somewhere and it changed the way I looked at the test. As I said I was nervous about the driving test but I did not know the reason of my nervousness. My instructor kept on asking me the reason for my anxiousness. I did not know the answer. I thought it was reversing around the corner. We practiced that several times till we got it right. However, even after getting my skills right, I could not stop getting nervous and anxious. I told myself that I would not worry about any of the manoeuvres and react to what comes my way. I used to panic on taking too much time while coming off a roundabout. My strategy was to tell myself that safety comes first and it doesn’t matter as long as I am safe. I am the driver, I am in charge of the examiner’s safety. I make the decision.

Driving Test


6) Breathing exercise

Practice the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. Try it from a week before the test. Don’t worry, if your test is tomorrow and you don’t have a week to practice. If you practice even before the test, it works wonders. It goes like this: 4 counts to breathe in, 7 counts to hold the breath and 8 counts to release through your mouth. You may increase the counts. In the test, don’t forget to breathe. No counts, just breathe.

Driving Test


 8) It must be just a minor

Lastly, my golden rule, if you make a mistake, tell yourself, it’s a minor! You are allowed as many as fifteen minors. Just take the pressure off you and don’t give up until you are back at the test centre and parked up.



Carry on, you will get there. 

Much love



Suranjita Bhagawati on Email
Suranjita Bhagawati
Hello and welcome to 'Mumways'. I am Suranjita and I live in London with my three lovely kids and husband. Mumways is for inspiration - Writing about parenting, well being and lifestyle. I hope you enjoy going through it and thank you for visiting!

About Author

Suranjita Bhagawati

Hello and welcome to 'Mumways'. I am Suranjita and I live in London with my three lovely kids and husband. Mumways is for inspiration - Writing about parenting, well being and lifestyle. I hope you enjoy going through it and thank you for visiting!


  1. Archana

    Congrats for passing the test! Your perseverance paid off. Excellent tips. Can be applied to almost any problem. Thanks for sharing. Loved the pics!

    1. admin

      Thank you very much Achu xx

  2. Sanj

    Very well versed experience. Beautiful pictures

    1. admin

      Thank you very much Munmi xx

  3. Monisha

    Very encouraging and many many congratulations !!

  4. Pranav Dave

    Great thoughts put on Web, Nice articulation with inspiration for those who think its all over. Take it to a different level and you will make me Proud… Bagwati Meet Laila….

  5. admin

    Thank you Monisha and Pranav!!

  6. […] I am Suranjita and I work as Quality Assurance Analyst with a major investment management firm in London, married and a mum of two (a seven year old boy and a two year old girl).  I am the founder of mumways.com and I developed Mumways with the thought of creating possibilities and hope. Even if you don’t have anything concrete, you can still be hopeful for a better future. What is ‘first time’ for you may be ‘everyday’ for some. I wanted to write posts on my experiences, interview people who are pursuing their dreams and make people feel good about themselves. They have been there, done that and the fact that it wasn’t that easy for them as well. It’s only when you pursue something that you realise that there are loads of people who just like you, took their time to get things sorted. For me, driving was one of the things that I needed to sort out. Hence I wrote a piece on driving and now my driving school is using that article to boost confidence of the pupils. Here’s a link to my article if you want to have a look https://www.mumways.com/the-drive/ […]

  7. Lottie

    I read this last night as my test was this morning. I had postponed it twice already, the first time I had a mock test and decided myself I wasn’t ready, the second time I nearly had a complete breakdown over the whole thing and my instructor ended up just driving me around for an hour to try to calm me down! I felt so embarrassed she had to do that. Then the third time I thought I’ll just go and do it, I’ll fail it and that will be OK because whatever happens, by the end of the 40 minutes i will have actually sat the damn thing and even if I crash the car driving out of the test centre the achievement is the fact I tried the test. So when the examiner said “you’ve passed” I didn’t believe him and my poor driving instructor got in the car to hear my feedback and asked me why on earth I looked so glum. I think I couldn’t believe I had passed.

    I found all the tips on here really useful, just be at the stage where you are a driver, make your own decisions when you drive and be safe not perfect. The errors I got I know were because I did my test in morning rush hour traffic and other people were making big mistakes that I didn’t know how to deal with purely because I was so worried about getting a serious fault, if I had been on my own I’d just have got on with it.

    I also found yoga for anxiety was really helpful in calming me down beforehand.

    I just need a follow up article on what to do now you’ve passed and getting into the car on your own!!

    1. admin

      Hi Lottie!

      First of all many congratulations!! Well done! I know the feeling:-)
      And thank you so much for finding the post useful. Do share it with your friends. Will work on a follow up article. Thanks for that 🙂

  8. […] How are you? Hope you are well. The drive – I wrote a post just after passing my driving test. It’s been a while…   It’s been a long day without you my friend And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again We’ve come a long way from where we began Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again   Ed Sheeran’s ‘See you again’ for you. I thought before I write the post with complete facts, I better put something lyrical to drive me to write this post. I have been meaning to write this post for a long time but too much information and facts is not my style. Hence kept on procrastinating it. However, it wouldn’t be fair because I promised someone that I would write something about it. It might be a bit late, but I want to keep my promise.   I had this beautiful comment on my post on the ‘Drive’. The post on ‘Passing my driving test’. It’s a follow up on that post. https://www.mumways.com/the-drive-driving-test/   This was her comment:   Lottie says: November 9, 2015 at 10:16 pm  (Edit) […]

  9. Congratulations!
    I was lucky to pass both the theory test and practical test first time. I do believe it was because I didn’t have any children at the time.
    It’s a great advice post.


    1. admin

      Hi Charlotte

      Thank you!! It’s been a while now but I wrote it straight after I passed my test. Happy memories with the post. Thank you for stopping by:-)

  10. I am reading this with my 6 year old son who loves reading those driving theory book! He is asking me now if he can get a driving test and if not now where can he get it haha.

    I dont know how to drive yet and I dont think I can afford lessons soon but I am hoping one day I can even if I am 90!


    1. admin


      Thank you for your cute message! Ha ha, of course you would do it one day!! Thank you for visiting:-)


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