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Supporting your child if they fail their driving test

We Are Marmalade profile

We Are Marmalade

December 19, 2017

Parent advice 3 min read

If your son or daughter has taken their driving test, but failed, it’s likely that they won’t be feeling too great at first. This could be the first time they’ve failed a big test in their life, so it’s bound to have a knock on their confidence! As a parent, there are lots of things you can do to try and pick them back up!

Think of it as a practice

Learning to drive is hard – there are no two ways about it. If your child fails their first test, try and get them to see it as a practice. No matter how many mock tests they take on their driving lessons, nothing will compare to the real thing. The nerves kick in, all logic tends to go out of the window and things can go wrong – but the biggest thing to remind them of is to not worry about it. The first time pass rate is only 21%!

“I’m so embarrassed”

It’s not uncommon for a young person to be embarrassed if they’ve failed their driving test – especially if a lot of their friends and family knew it was coming up. The horror that sets in when someone asks how it went, and they have to reveal they didn’t make the cut can be awful. Try and encourage your child to keep who they tell about the upcoming test to a minimum. That way, if it doesn’t go to plan, they don’t have to explain it if they don’t want to.

Book the next go

As disappointing as it is when you fail a test, be it a driving test or something else, the best thing to do is have another go as soon as possible. Your child was ready to take the test the first time, and more than likely didn’t fail because of their lack of skill. Try and encourage them to book their test again quickly – you might even want to do it for them if you’re feeling nice!

Supporting your child if they fail their driving test | Marmalade


No one is calm on the day of a test, but helping your child keep as calm as possible beforehand can be crucial. Try and take their mind off of it the morning or day before. Praise them for getting as far as they have, and remind them that they’ve got what it takes!

Nerves get the better of us all from time to time, especially when it comes to something we’ve been working so hard towards. Taking the driving test is no exception to this. Try and ask your child where their nerves were the worst on the test, and if there were particular manoeuvres where their nerves started to affect their performance. If they can pinpoint these, then they know what to work on the most.

Don’t worry

When you work hard for something and it doesn’t work out, it can be hard! Remind your child to try and not worry too much about what made them fail, but focus on how much they’ve learned!

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By We Are Marmalade

'We champion young drivers with award-winning low cost insurance for learner and new drivers and a great young drivers' car scheme.'  See more posts by We Are

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