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Beating the nerves before your test

Holly West-Robinson profile

Holly West-Robinson

June 13, 2014

Driving advice Driving test 4 min read

As a young driver your world is bound to be filled with many stresses, be that exams, family, coursework or fixing your CV. If you’re learning to drive, the thought of taking your test is always looming on the horizon and the nerves can sometimes can the better of you.

Don’t worry this isn’t a blog full of clichés. We are not going to tell you that “it will all be ok” and “you shouldn’t worry” because whether that’s true or not, we know it’s absolutely useless to you. We get that taking your theory test and practical test can put a lot of pressure on most young people and generally it’s just another item on the pile of worries, so we have put together a useful list to help beat those nerves and succeed on your driving journey.


There really isn’t a magical way to pass your driving or theory test. It all comes down to how much practice you’ve had and how much time and effort you have put into it. Often we feel nervous because we know we have not prepared enough. Knowing that you have practiced thoroughly and done all you can settles the nerves as there is nothing left you can do.


This may sound like a cliché but there are some really good reasons why deep breathing can fight off nerves. It’s all about tricking the body. If you’re body thinks you are calm then you will actually feel calmer. Adrenalin causes your breathing to shallow, therefore taking deep, slow breaths, breathing right into your stomach, will make you feel better almost instantly.


It has been said before that smiling makes you feel happier. Just like with the breathing techniques, by smiling you send positive chemicals through the body, tricking yourself that you are happy. We know you might not feel like smiling when you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, but just try it, force a smile and you’ll be surprised at how well it works.


Now, before you completely disregard this tip, we’re not talking about any hippie mumbo jumbo. Visualising techniques are used by business professionals when giving presentations or public speaking. The theory is, if you visualise yourself succeeding, passing that theory test and breezing through the practical, you will feel much more positive about the whole thing and relax.

Get up

Sitting down, dwelling on your nerves won’t help at all. If you’re feeling anxious before your test, take a stroll, walk around, run through what you have prepared and even try the visualising technique. Just moving around will help use up your nervous energy before the test.


As you can tell we love tricking the body into thinking we’re just fine. One more way of doing this is to chew something. The idea comes from the notion that if you are eating then you can’t be in danger. Try chewing some gum or eating a piece of fruit before your test to trick your body into relaxing.

We hope these tips will prove useful in the future and help you on your way to becoming a great driver. When you’re feeling under pressure, relaxing can be hard, but don’t get nervous about appearing nervous. The truth is examiners expect nerves. They show you care and that you’re not overly arrogant. In fact, a small amount of nerves can sharpen your focus and actually help you during your theory and practical test.

If you know someone who has their test coming up, give them a helping hand with these tips, you just might help them pass and surely that deserves a cheeky lift occasionally.

If you need Insurance whether as a Learner Driver or a newly qualified driver, Marmalade can give you a quote that you can afford and set you on your way to success. Call 0845 644 4206 to find out more.

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Holly West-Robinson profile

By Holly West-Robinson

'Hi I'm Holly and I'm a young driver based in Peterborough! I love tattoos, food, drawing and anything art related, enjoy hanging out with friends and family and making a fool of myself. I'm definitely one of the adventurous types who's always up for a good old road trip!'  See more posts by Holly

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