Hey everyone, I’m Brogan and I recently took my driving test for the second time and passed! Yes, that means unfortunately I did fail it the first time. Whilst I would have liked to have got my test done and passed on the first try, I didn’t so I had to dust myself down and try again – thankfully this meant that because I’d already done it once, I knew what to expect. At the moment during Covid-19, all learner drivers will know that booking a driving test is almost impossible. With such a backlog from lockdown, it may take a while before they’re easily booked in. I was very fortunate that my instructor managed to find me a test so soon after my first one – it was only two weeks between my first test and my second! I made a decision not to have another lesson between tests, mainly because of the finances around learning to drive. I’d already spend a lot of money on lessons, and paid for two tests as this point. I spoke to my instructor and we both knew I was test ready, it was just the one silly mistake that lead me to fail. I was worried if I had more lessons I might have started to overthink everything, so we agreed to just jump back in the car on test day and give it another go.
Driving test take two
On the morning of my test I was feeling really nervous. My test was at 09:19 on a Saturday morning and it was freezing cold which didn’t help with my nerves. I drove to the test centre with my instructor and to be honest, I was driving quite well which gave me some confidence before my test. When we got there I parked up, an examiner came out the test centre, called my name and I made my way over to him. I didn’t feel as nervous this time around when this was happening – it definitely helped that I had done this before – the fear of the unknown was gone! We got into the car and my examiner asked me to tell him how I would adjust the head restraint on my seat (this was my ‘show me’ question). I knew the answer so explained it to him. All was good and we drove off to really begin the test.
I was just trying my best to remain calm and really focus on my driving. It started really well and I didn’t see my examiner tap on his iPad for quite a long time which I though was a pretty good sign! At one point I thought I may have failed as I thought I was in the wrong lane for a roundabout – very similar to how I failed the first test, remember! This time, instead of panicking and shooting out into the next lane, I stayed where I was and carried on driving. Not long after he said ‘when it’s safe to do so, show me how you would de-mist the rear windscreen’. This was a massive relief as, due to Covid-19 – if you fail, you head straight back to the test centre which is what happened in my first test. The fact he was asking me to do something else meant I hadn’t failed – right?!. I then had to do my manoeuvre which was to pull up on the right side of the road and reverse back two car lengths. I did this with no problem, and then we started to make our way back to the test centre, The whole way back I kept thinking to myself ‘just don’t fail it now’. I didn’t want to make it this far and fail at the last hurdle! We got to the test centre, I parked the car, opened the door so my instructor could listen and then the examiner said ‘Brogan I’m pleased to say you have passed your test today!’ Yay! When I heard those words it was a massive relief, I can’t believe I’ve done it – second time lucky, aye!
To be honest, before the test actually began I wasn’t expecting to pass. The reality of not having a driving lesson in-between tests set in and I was so nervous that I’d forgotten everything but thankfully I didn’t so whilst this worked for me, it may not work for everyone. I would suggest speaking to your instructor and seeing what they think should you end up in a similar situation.
What happens next?
After the test, my instructor then drove me home and as soon as I got through the door I rang my mum to tell her, she was overjoyed as were all my family! The next step for me is looking at getting a car, however there are a few things I’m considering which are making this a tough decision. – for example, we all know buying, running, insuring and maintaining a car isn’t the cheapest thing to do. I would like a car obviously, but I need to decide for me if it’s worth it for me. For instance, I bike to and from work which is located in the city centre (not the best place for parking a car) and other than that I don’t really go anywhere else right now (thanks Covid!) so I don’t really see the need for me to have a car straight away. We considered getting insurance for myself on my Dads car, but he uses it a lot and always drives to and from work which means I wouldn’t have a lot of opportunity to get behind the wheel. For now, I’m going to stick to my bike getting me to and from work. Perhaps when things are back to normal, or if I find myself wanting to go further afield more often, I’ll look into getting my own set of wheels – 4 of them this time!
Top tips to help you pass second time
- Don’t let your first test failure knock your confidence – when I failed my first test, I was extremely disappointed and felt like I had let everyone down but it’s so important that you don’t let this knock your confidence, because this could have a negative impact on your future test if you’re worrying too much!
- Learn from your mistakes – the reason I failed my first test was because I made a couple very silly mistakes, which is so easy to do but in hindsight, I knew could have been avoided. I learned from these mistakes so when I was presented with a near identical situation on test two – I kept my cool and managed to pass!
- Keep calm and concentrate – one thing I learned from my first test is how important it is to stay calm. It is a test so of course it will be nerve-racking, but keeping your cool is key. Before my first test I thought I would be fine but once I started, I panicked a lot which I definitely think was one of the reasons I failed. For my second test the fear of the unknown was gone so I was able to remain calm and concentrate and this definitely helped me pass
- Practice makes perfect – If you do fail your test, I would say that it is a good idea to have another lesson or two, particularly if your second test is quite a long time after your first. As I mentioned above, this is something to speak to your instructor about but I don’t think there’s any harm in keeping things fresh in your mind – as long as you don’t start to overthink everything, and so you can work on anything that went wrong in your first test
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