Driving test nerves

Driving test nerves aren’t all bad, being nervous could keep you focused! But if you are a nervous you may need help and medication to do your best

Driving test nerves aren’t all bad, being nervous could keep you focused! But if you are a nervous  wreck, you may need help and medication to do your best


Good nerves

At times, everyone will suffer from nerves even top sports stars and pop singers get nervous before performing.

Having some driving test nerves on the day of your theory or practical test can help you to perform better because when your adrenaline kicks in, you become highly focused.

Bad Nerves

If you suffer badly with your nerves you could find you have a have fight-or-flight response, also called acute response.

Being nervous can lead to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and breathing and loss of concentration. None of these conditions are helpful when trying to pass your driving test.

Dealing with driving test nerves


Common signs of driving test nerves are:

  • Feeling anxious during the period leading up to the test.
  • Butterflies in the stomach, a feeling of sickness and a dry mouth.
  • Hands are shaking causing difficulty writing.
  • A blank mind during the written test.
  • Listening to unlikely stories about people taking only 10 lessons but passing at first attempt.


To pass your test, you need to be confident

Remember who recommended you apply for the test, yes your driving instructor if they think you are ready to pass then you should be confident as well.

Having confidence is essential, you must believe you can pass.

Practice everything your driving instructor teaches you

If you can then practice between driving lessons with family or friends you should feel more confident and help to destroy those fears.

The more you practice, the more your confidence will grow, and this will reduce your driving test nerves.

You should go into the test, not hope, but knowing you have the ability to execute all the driving movements and routines that could occur.

Don’t leave any doubts

Be thorough, it would be a pity if you are struggling with a particular movement and you haven’t nailed it before your test. You could be worrying throughout the test that you might be asked to perform it.

How to reduce the stress for the driving test

  • Avoid peer pressure and don’t tell your friends the test date.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes (girls no heels), look smart but above all be comfortable.
  • Try and get good night’s sleep, easier said than done, just think of the benefits of you passing the test.
  • Avoid self-doubt, remember if you have passed a mock driving test with your driving instructor, you CAN pass on the day with the examiner.



If you are a really competent driver but unable to pass your driving test due to anxiety, then consider visiting your doctor for help.

Your GP may be able to prescribe a “beta blocker” for anxiety, this form of medication would control your symptoms for the duration of the test, and allow you to demonstrate your driving ability and not be hampered by anxiety.


Hypnotherapy is a well-tested treatment for reducing driving test nerves; it can help you focus and experience real clarity and feel alert.

The deep relaxation techniques used in hypnosis will restore your feeling of confidence and self-belief to pass your driving test.

Ten ways to fight your fears

Check out this NHS article on the best ways to cope with your driving test fears.

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