Around 1.7 million people took their driving test last year, but only 46 percent of them passed. That’s according to data from The AA Driving School. Given that a driving test costs £62, that amounts to a total of £57 million in wasted test fees.
So, what’s up with over three-quarters of a million of us? The primary problem during driving tests is nervousness. Just one in 10 drivers taking their test said they didn’t feel nerves beforehand (one in 20 for women). Almost half of these drivers said nerves had an effect on their performance in the test.
That said, only six percent said their nerves lead them to a test-critical mistake resulting in a fail. Women and younger learner drivers were most susceptible to jitters having an effect on their test – at 52 and 77 percent respectively.
The top ways that nerves affected drivers on their test:
1. Made minor mistakes (but still passed)
2. Woke up early
3. Had a bad night’s sleep beforehand
4. Serious mistake that meant I failed
5. I couldn’t eat before the test
6. Had a sudden ‘blank moment’ about something I knew how to do
7. Said something silly to the examiner
8. Couldn’t stop shaking
9. Was physically sick
10. Got lost on the way to the test centre
Interestingly, as many as six in 10 younger learners (18-24 years old) turned to special measures to calm their nerves. Special really means special, too, with seven percent saying they wore lucky pants, six percent claiming they carried a lucky charm and nine percent taking a herbal remedy before getting behind the wheel.
Perhaps more sensibly, as many as 20 percent took a long lesson or just a long drive beforehand. Of all the solutions listed, we wholeheartedly endorse a long lesson in advance, although maybe don’t refer to it as a ‘crash course’…
“Passing your driving test and getting on the road is a real milestone for many people,” said Edmund King, AA president.
“An extra lesson or two to combat pre-test nerves is probably most effective, but if wearing lucky pants or charms helps confidence on their test day then good luck to them.”
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