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Driving test vs. Exams - what's more stressful?

Cailyn Bendall profile

Cailyn Bendall

May 21, 2019

Driving advice Driving test 6 min read

Exam season is here and there’s no way to skip past it, but we wanted to know if you found their driving test or GCSE/A-Level exams more stressful. We asked 1363 people across Facebook and Twitter what they find more stressful: GCSE/ A level/ University exams or their driving test. 60% of people found their academic exams are more stressful*, which is to be expected. At least you can retake your driving test as many times as you need! Nevertheless, that’s still 40% of people who find their driving test more stressful too. I think it’s fair to say that both situations can leave us all feeling the pressure.

For many students, exam season it’s one of the hardest times of the year – from exam pressure to never-ending assignments and constant stress. It’s essential to be productive during this time but it’s also just as important to unwind and relax. To help you out, here are some stress-busting tips and tricks, so whether you’re worried about your GCSE, A-Level or Uni exams, or you’ve got a driving test coming up that’s stressing you out – you’ll bound to be able to find some tips here to help combat nerves.


1) Exercise

Wait, hear me out. I know this is a cliché that everyone and their dog has told you but there’s a reason for it. Not only will you be getting your biceps pumping, but you will also be relaxing your mind and releasing tension held in the body. Many sources suggest just 5 to 10 minutes of exercise a day can help reduce anxiety, tolerate stress and improve alertness and concentration. **

2) Spend time with real people

Not just the characters and imaginary people in your revision books. Disconnecting from your textbooks and reconnecting with your friends and family is a great way to reduce stress. Surrounding yourself with the people who uplift you and bring you joy will increase your mood as well as improve your relationships. So grab a coffee with a friend and talk about anything other than the exam you’ve got coming up. You’ll thank yourself later for the break.

3) Get some ‘me’ time

Although it’s important to revise, it’s also essential to take a break and have ‘me’ time. This might mean having a quiet night in pampering yourself or spending a few hours doing whatever it is you love to do. However, you decide to relax, make sure you don’t do it too much. Find a balance between ‘me’ time and procrastination- that will only cause more stress!


4) Work smarter, not harder

This one is more for GCSE/A-level/ University exams – Prioritise your work, exam or assignment to the hardest or upcoming ones. Create a timetable to guide yourself when to revise which topics, so you can be fully prepared for each exam! A personal tip I follow is to leave the least important work until the end. This way I don’t stress myself out with the smaller bits and focus more on the upcoming exams and assignments or ones that require a bit more concentration.

5) The 4 A’s

Avoid, Alter, Adapt and Accepting any stress will help you manage it.

  • Avoid unnecessary stress. – The last thing you need is more stress! This can mean cracking on with your to-do-list to avoiding people who you know make you feel more stressed.
  • Alter your behaviour and attitude towards exams to making sure you take time out of your day to relax. Although you can’t change the exam season, you can alter your situation.
  • Adapting to the exams, assignments, and tests means controlling your attitude and expectations. It’s good to be confident when going into an exam, of course, but don’t set your expectations too high or be unrealistic. For instance, it’s unlikely you’ll get through your driving test with no minors. Don’t worry about that – focus on getting through it with less than 15.
  • Accept that exams often come with stress but there are ways of managing it. You’re not the only person going through exam stress, and you’re not the only one to ever take their driving test – so confide in a friend or someone who has taken the test before you. Exam season doesn’t last forever, and your driving test will be over and done with before you know it – I promise!


To read more about the 4 A’s, check out this link here for stress management. You can also check out how to de-stress using your car and overcome driving stress.

No matter what is stressing you out, whether it’s exams or your driving test, it doesn’t last forever! Remember to keep revising for those exams and practising your skills for your driving test! It will be done before you know it!

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*Data correct as of 21st May 2019


Cailyn Bendall profile

By Cailyn Bendall

'Learning to drive is an exciting journey! My name is Cailyn and I am a new learner myself. I have been driving for a few months as of May 2019 and I want to share my experiences with you. My aim is to pass my test before I go to university in 2020.'  See more posts by Cailyn

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