Driving test day
It’s finally here!
Driving Test – You have been building up to this for at least 1 year, and you have completed the 100 hours driving practice for the log book (unless you are over 25 or are an overseas licence holder). Now you need to know what is required.
For the driving test, you must either use your own car, or a driving school vehicle. Queensland Transport does not supply cars for the driving test.
If you are using you own car for the test, you must ensure first of all, that you have the permission of the vehicles registered owner to use the car for the test. Then you must make sure the vehicle is roadworthy – all lights must be working, all tyres have the legal amount of tread, the demisters and wipers must be in working order, and there cannot be any warning lights (eg oil, check engine etc) on the dashboard.
If you are using a driving school vehicle, all of these thing should have been checked by you instructor prior to test day.
In both cases, you will be asked to identify basic driving controls – indicators, horn, demisters, wipers, hazard lights and mirrors.
The examiners know you are nervous, and have taken that into account, but ultimately your success in the driving test will be determined by your preparation. They are there to do a job, they have no preconceived ideas about you – only that you are there to show your skills as a driver.
They will not trick you, or ask you to do anything against the law. Remember that the testing officer understands you will be nervous. Although this won’t excuse dangerous or poor driving, it will factor into their consideration of minor errors.
If you don’t hear or don’t understand the instructions provided by the examiner, calmly ask them to repeat what they’ve said. If you don’t fully understand it’s better to clarify rather remain uncertain.
If you have prepared well, you should pass with ease. So, if the nerves creep in, remember your preparation and how far you’ve come since you first started driving. You have made significant progress, but, you should only be taking the test if you feel confident in your ability to drive safely and independently.
If you have been with an instructor since the beginning, your training is the ultimate in assurance. The driver training they provided, will be of high quality, so that no matter what situation unfolds, you will be well prepared to calmly deal with it.
Your accredited driving instructor is aware of what will be tested, if they are confident you can pass, you will likely do very well.
Whilst on the driving test, it’s important to remain calm. Focus on the task at hand. Don’t over think or force things – you’ve got the ability, and the training, so just follow the testing officer’s instructions and you’ll be fine.
Don’t worry if you think you’ve made a mistake. Whether you did or didn’t is irrelevant – as I always say to my students “either fix it or forget it!”
You only have one job on the test – driving safely. Dwelling on a mistake will only cause another, so let it go.
After you have completed the test, you will drive back to the test center, be asked to exit the vehicle, and be debriefed on your performance. If you have remained calm, and shown your excellent car control and driving skills, you should walk away with you new licence!
Wet weather test day
Many students worry about driving in the rain on the test. While it does require extra care and small changes to some procedures, the good news is, that you are less likely to speed! Most motorists slow down in the wet weather. So look up and smile at the rain – it can help you pass your test!
Test day nerves
It doesn’t matter what you are being tested on – nerves can severely impede your performance.
I am about to attempt one of the hardest tests of my life.
I will be standing in front of at least 12 Sensei’s, one of whom is an 7th Dan, and head Sensei of our Karate style here in Australia.
Am I nervous? Of course!
However, I have trained for this for the last 4 and a half years. I have practiced thousands of hours, I have committed to learning, and I have been lucky enough to have fantastic teachers.
Will I falter when Sensei is watching my moves? Possibly. But will I overcome this error, and get on with it? Absolutely!
The problem with nerves, is that they can cause you to panic when you make a mistake. That will literally stop the brain from thinking clearly. I have witnessed this thousands of times in the 21 years I have been teaching.
So, how to calm the nerves?
Again, the brain cannot work without oxygen, and unfortunately, it is often our bodies first reaction to stress – is to hold our breath. Not helpful at all! So please, remember to breathe.
Second. Make sure your body is well fueled with water and nourishing food. The brain can’t help you if it’s busy taking care of a needy body.
Third. Be well rested. Tired people make more mistakes.
Focus on your goal! I already have a picture in my head – I’m standing next to Sensei, utterly spent after 4&1/2 hours of karate, but with a smile on my face, because I got through it!
The same should be in your mind for the driving test – picture yourself with the P-Plates in your hand. “You got this” is a great motto.
It all comes down to your training. Did you do the hard work along the way? Did you train correctly? There is no use practicing something if you have been doing it wrong all along!
You will automatically fall back on whatever training you received – so make sure you have an excellent teacher!
For those of you attempting the driving test soon, I hope this has given you a bit more confidence (essential for any exam!) and I wish you all the best.
Fingers crossed for me for next week!
Happy and safe driving,
One week later………..
On the 1st May 2019, I graded in front of Sensei Ishitobi – the head of our Karate style, who came with his protegee from Japan to see us.
I didn’t think I was nervous, but my shaking hands told me otherwise!
I stayed focused on my goal, and achieved my 1st Dan black belt.
Anything is possible!
Dedication, determination and motivation + excellent training = goal achieved. Guaranteed.