Nervous About Driving Test Nerves
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How to deal with driving test nerves

Nerves are something that we all suffer with from time to time, but unfortunately they affect some people much more than others. Below you’ll find some really helpful advice on how to make sure that your driving test nerves don’t destroy your chances of achieving a first time pass!

How to combat driving test nerves

In order to combat the driving test nerves, it’s essential that you feel confident BEFORE you put in for your test. You have to believe that you can do it, and just remember your instructor wouldn’t have recommended you apply if they didn’t think you were good enough!

Practise makes perfect when dealing with driving test nerves

Make sure that you have practised all the manoeuvres and driving routines that you could be tested on in your exam plenty of times before your test. This will help you to feel much more confident and help to banish those driving test nerves.

The worst thing that can happen is that you start your driving test uncertain of a particular manoeuvre and the examiner then asking you to complete it. This will not help your nerves! If you are struggling on a particular manoeuvre ask your instructor to spend more time on it, or take a look at our practical videos.

Help and support to combat driving test nerves

Ensure that you have your instructors support. Talk to friends and family about your nerves and anxieties and see if they can offer any advice. You can also join our friendly community over on Facebook where you can interact with thousands of other learner drivers who are all in the same position.

Can herbal remedies help with driving test nerves?

Certain herbal remedies such as Kalms can be helpful for some people to help calm driving test nerves. Make sure that you read the label thoroughly and remember that you will need to start taking these a couple of weeks before your test.

Can breathing help with driving test nerves?

It may sound strange but breathing exercises can be very useful to help combat driving test nerves. Simple deep breaths whilst focusing on your in and out breaths will help to relax and sooth any nerves that may be brewing.

Can Bananas help with driving test nerves?

You may have heard instructors and learners recommending that you eat a banana before your test. They are full of vitamin B which will help to calm your test nerves. The main reason for this is that they contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into seratonin, the ‘happy hormone’.

Can distraction help with driving test nerves?

It’s recommended that you arrive at the test centre with plenty of time to spare on the day of your test. However, sitting in the waiting room before your test begins is often where most people begin to feel the real nerves kick in. Take along something to read to help distract your attention or why not try the breathing exercises to help keep you calm.

Pretend you’re on a driving lesson to help combat driving test nerves

If the idea of sitting your driving test sends you to jelly, try to think of it as an ordinary driving lesson, but you’ve simply got a replacement instructor in the car. So long as you remember everything that you have been taught and you drive to a high enough standard, you will pass!

Hints and Tips from other learner drivers to help banish those driving test nerves

Here are some hints and tips from other learner drivers about how they overcame driving test nerves:

  • Think of all the good times that you’re going to have when you pass your test
  • Imagine that you’re a taxi driver and you’re taking someone home and have to follow their directions.
  • Chill out with friends before your test to help relax
  • Chewing on chewing gum
  • Bach’s rescue remedy
  • Have a positive attitude – “I will try my best but if I fail then at least I’ve tried”
  • Don’t have a big meal before your test – it will make you feel sluggish and tired
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Ask your instructor to sit in on your test – a familiar face in the car can make you feel more at ease
  • Don’t tell everybody when your test is!
  • Eat a bowl of porridge before your test
  • Beta Blockers
  • Listen to music before your test

If you’ve found a great way to overcome driving test nerves, why not let us know in the comments below!

And if you’re nervous due to certain manoeuvres, or questions you may be asked, take a look at our practical online training.


  1. Calmettes seem to balance the stress. However, I feel that distracting yourself before your test helps more. Because when you alone you tend to think alot but when you in the company of others as well as in a new surrounding you think about it less

  2. I failed my test with nerves i tried to stay calm but as soon as i got in the test centre that was it my nerves went i couldnt focus i just kept making mistake after mistake then that was it i failed but one thing iv learned is never give up if you want something so badly keep trying and you will succeed but im going to try some of these tips for my next test

  3. I failed my 1st road test because I was nervous. My 2nd test is today and I plan on chewing gum and listening to music while I wait on line. Wish me luck!

  4. I’ve failed my driving test 10 times due to nerves, I am a confident driver with my instructor or parents but my neves go when a examiner gets in the car, anyone else had the same problem?

    • This is shit! Josh, maybe have the examiner sit with you to make you feel more comfortable as you know them. I’ve failed twice so far cos I shake and get myself worked up, think positive. But good luck in future hope you pass. Happy passing!!!

    • Same here, I’m terrified of authority figured. I failed my first test because of that. I’m fine when it’s people I know and I know I’m not being tested. Also day I took my rest, I had work right before so that didn’t help.

    • I have the exact same problem! My nerves always get the better of me and I make stupid mistakes, which I wouldn’t normally make with my instructor.

    • Josh,I have the same problem. I’ve failed 5 times already and on Monday I’ll try again.
      I will try all these tips ans hopefully I will be able to overcome my nerves.

    • I am the exact same!! Soon as that examiner is in the car, that’s it nerves kick in. I have my 6th test tomorrow but having a really good feeling about it

    • Exactly same, I failed 6 times my test due to nerves. Every time my instructor says to be calm while driving and think too, but when I find examiner beside me my all confidence goes off and start to make stupid mistakes. One of my friend suggested me to take medicine that helps to overcome from nerves, is this true??? Please any one help me. If really the medicine exists please mention it.

    • I am the same, I have my first test tomorrow and I’m almost certain I’ll fail. I have had 2 practice tests in the last 2 weeks, the first one I got 20 minors and 3 was a disaster but all the things I did wrong where things I would never normally do then on my second one I got 8 minors and one major, the major was for approaching a roundabout in the right lane to turn right but on entrance to the roundabout I somehow decided that swerving into the left lane would be a fab idea (I would never do this normally but my nerves completely took control of me). Both of these practices were with my instructor but as soon as I know I’m being tested and my instructor goes quiet like an examiner would I lose all knowledge and drive like a tit. Hope you have all managed to pass your test and good luck to those who haven’t in the future:)

      • I have just took my test thought I had failed half way through so nerves kicked in and she told me to turn right at the lights which were on red with a car stationary at them ..i decided to start to go in front of him as was a gal in front of him …what got into my head I don’t know just seemed to go blind.. if it hadn’t been for that I would have passed with only 3 minors

        • Same exact thing happened to me with a lane change my first time I go in soon for my 3rd test and I know I can do it but I just hate tests so much

    • Hi i have same problems as well 10 times fail , I drive with friend and family very normal GOod in exam stresss nerve fail me all the timeI want pass for my kids I don’t know when and how my theory will be expire in june2018

    • You are not alone. I had a long wait . I was relaxed. Well at least I thought I was. Till I started driving and I became extremely shakey.

    • I’m in that situation right now I’m such a confident driver out of the DMV but as soon as I go into the testing area my hands go clammy. Just came out of failing my 5th roadtest when I really thought today was the day I was going to pass.Its so discouraging but I’m going to keep trying.

    • Yes Rahelel I am the same I am very confident with my instructor and my friend who comes out with me but then when I have my test I go to pieces please can anyone help or give advice.

  5. I have that same bad nerves during my tests, I drive so well during my lessons, only when the examiner sat next to me then I was shaking uncotrollablly. Failed 4 times now and still trying

  6. My driving test isn’t for 7 weeks and I’m liturally dying inside already .. I’m freaking out because when I was younger my friends car I was in got rolled by another car .. and going at a high speed freaks me out feel like I’m on a roller coaster . So I have a feeling I will fail because I’m just not sure how to get over the fear of going at a high speed but I’m still going to remain postie after all I have 7 weeks .. but to anyone talking your test soon good luck

  7. my 1st driving test is 2mrw & weirdly i’m not too nervous yet! i am calming myself with postitive thinking stuff like “i can do this” and telling myself i am a good driver. i haven’t told too many people so that i haven’t got that pressure. i also find that when i get nervous thinking of it i tell myself that even if i do make a mistake, i am allowed to make up to 15 minor mistakes before i fail…so i dont have to be utterly utterly perfect!
    Deano…u don’t actually need to go at high speeds really….the fastest road you could possibly go on will be 60mph, and you could easily get away with doing 45mph if you told the examiner you didnt feel safe going faster :)) good luck with your test tho…i’m sure you’ll b great!

  8. Totally sympathise with Josh. Im in a similar boat. It’s just like a part of my brain shuts down when I’m nervous…..
    Crazy when I’m ok with my instructor or family!!! Do kalms or rescue remedy really work??

    • Hi Jane,
      Just failed my 2nd test this week due to nerves. I was shaking so much it must have been. Isabel for the examiner. He told me to pull over when safe. Breathe and calm down!! He opened the window and even chatted to me so he must have been able to see how nervous I was!! I was using rescue remedy spray for bedtime and another during the day. I used it all the time but still failed. This time I used the spray AND Kalms! Yet still I went to pieces. I felt fine right until I moved off to start the test!! Hypnotherapy is next I think. Good luck anyone else going through the same!

  9. This is totally me as well! It sucks! Failed my 3rd test today because of nerves! Even though we know it’s nerves it’s amazing the effect it can have! What’s the plan moving forward!?! I’ve had kalms and rescue remedy recommended…..

  10. I got my test Tomo already shaking inside and out failed twice before because I was rushing making mistakes due to nerves.. gonna try the breathing techniques and just think it’s a lesson with someone different also if u fail it can b retook n expensive hobby but u only have to pass it once.

  11. Got my test today absolutly bricking it. I know i can drive fine but with a examiner in the car my legs shake badly any ideas to stop this would be massivley gratefull.

    • Omg same today I failed my second and I was really confident going in and of course my examiner was the same one I took my first test with! She failed me on my parallel park 3 minutes in and my legs were so shaky! It’s so disappointing like I know how to do everything but the second I saw that examiner I wanted to die. It just sucks bc I’ve been practicing so much lately and have had soo much going on with school. I just feel so annoyed I couldn’t just take one W this week!!

  12. I have my test on Monday and I feel physically sick. Its all that is on my mind and I cant sleep. Have failed once before and was shaking so much I could barely drive

  13. I’ve been a bag of nerves all week. I’ve suffered with nerves and anxiety associated with learning to drive and hence I’m nearly 25 and have always put it off. I’ve forced myself to learn and have my first test tomorrow.
    I keep telling myself that I have nothing to loose and have beta blockers also as I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks in general. I don’t know why I’m so caught up about it.
    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    • When last time I went to have my test, I did not tell anyone. I felt so much better even of I failed. I think if you tell everyone,it puts you under even more pressure than you are already.

    • Omg same today I failed my second and I was really confident going in and of course my examiner was the same one I took my first test with! She failed me on my parallel park 3 minutes in and my legs were so shaky! It’s so disappointing like I know how to do everything but the second I saw that examiner I wanted to die. It just sucks bc I’ve been practicing so much lately and have had soo much going on with school. I just feel so annoyed I couldn’t just take one W this week!!

  14. I have my test tomorrow and this is my 2nd time. I haven’t had regular lessons for a long time… because I’ve been so skint. Full of cold I am a bag of nerves when the examiner gets in the car. My lessons I drive like a dream… Very scared. But I’m trying to say to myself it’s all ok. I don’t want to fail again…. Wish me luck everyone. I hope the ones who are talking there test soon, good luck to you all!

    • Hope you passed!! I failed with nerves but will try again soon. I actually took my first test… 20 odd years ago. Failed through nerves and then gave up as couldn’t cope. I was turning 50 this year so decided I must try again! Failed on the day of my party in Feb and then again this week. I can handle failing although disappointed… I just can’t handle those nerves anymore…. desperate for them to go away!! I had a good lesson, good test drive, he was nice, traffic ok… manoeuvres no prob but then he told me to go left I indicated left then went right!! I then went over the pavement when I realised So failed!! I was shaking so bad I thought I would be sick!! Good luck everyone!!

  15. oh I have test tomorrow 4times I failed because of nerves. today I feel poorly. but I think always good. I will got it tomorrow.

  16. Hi everyone I know how u all feel I have my 6th test Monday and I’m a bag of nerves . I’ve been taking kalms for the last week and half due to anxiety and they are helping !! Good look to everyone taking their test soon it’s very stressful , but like someone said above you only have to pass once ! Never give up think posotive ! I had to retake my theory because I stopped after the fifth time for a year I was so disheartened with failing all the time . But I am determined this time to carry on ! I know how I all feel ! Good luck c

  17. Thought I was the only one going through nerves and anxiety when it comes to my driving test maybe deep breathing may help

  18. I’ve got my 4th test tomorrow (did the first two years ago), I failed my 3rd test due to nervous; the lesson before was awful and i think my brain was exhausted when I was in my test! I only failed one thing though so hoping it’s 4th time lucky for tomorrow 🙂 Just need to keep positive.

  19. Totally agree with all of you I am a good driver and when I get in the car I’m a complete wreck ! I’ve failed 3 times now I’m going to try calms as I have my test again at the end of April and try a few of these things mentioned fingers crossed for you all xxx

  20. I’m going for my 4th test on Monday,have failed 3 times due to nerves and I’m a fifty something male ex boxer.
    So everybody gets nervous. Come to far to quit now should I have to go 4 times or 104 times.
    All I can say is, every time you get knocked down dust yourself off, get back up again and come out swinging!
    God loves a trier.
    Good luck to everyone ,Chin up.

    • on 2nd tomorrow.manouevers my bug bear.readiding your comment is anspiration to 52 and learning for 3 years.only got 4 minors but reversing around corner did me.never going to give up and hope you passed eventually. all the from another mike.

      • I’m 52 and also been learning for 3 years but with a lot of stopping and starting. Got my 2nd test next week, my down fall is multi lane roundabouts of which there are several where I live, and I’m nervous already

  21. I’m going for my 4th test on Monday,have failed 3 times due to nerves and I’m a fifty something male ex boxer.
    So everybody gets nervous. Come to far to quit now should I have to go 4 times or 104 times.
    All I can say is, every time you get knocked down dust yourself off, get back up again and come out swinging!
    God loves a trier.
    Good luck to everyone ,Chin up.

  22. I have my PCV test tomorrow and the nerves kicked in this morning!
    Shall be doing some breathing exercises tonight and tomorrow. Years ago, before my car test, my cousin passed her test straight away, so I thought, if she could pass first time, then so could I.
    My breathing exercise is as follows:
    Breath deeply in through the nose, the tongue up against the roof of the mouth (relaxed – not tightly pressed.) Then breathe out through slightly opened mouth, tongue now lower and not on roof of mouth. Each breath out is blowing the tension out and away. Each breath in for a count to 4 or 5 and same for the exhale. Don’t rush it. Shrug the shoulders several times and relax each time. Roll the shoulders back and forth and relax.

  23. Hi my first driving test tomoro really nervous but trying to keep calm and not think too much about it have suffered with confidence issue’s in past and really wish you didn’t need an examiner and your instructor could just take you out and go….ok yeh…your fine now carry on kirsty!! Want it so badly never did it in my youth now 36 and much more fearful of things….ooooh fingers crossed!! And good luck everybody else I have faith in everyone…we can do this!!!

  24. I’ve got my test in 5 days I’m a bit nervous but I’m trying not to get my self all worked up I just keep telling my self I will pass but hopefully I will fly through it

  25. I’ve also just failed my 10th test due to nerves. I’m so utterly disheartened by the whole experience.
    Like many of you i drive without fault during lessons but go to pieces in a test situation. I’ve tried kalms and rescue remedy but still fail.
    Any advice?

  26. My daughter is taking her 2nd test on the 6 of September,again 1st fail was due to nerves,so on the 6 September please say a prayer for sinead everyone .she is under that little bit more pressure as she has to start university soon and has a fair bit to travel.Goodluck to you all .

  27. Bless you all. My 22 year old really needs her licence for a fan job she has her heart set on…but she gets so nervous at the wheel. It’s phycological don’t feel intimidated by the examiner this is your time to show them what a good safe driver you are. Stay positive as much as possible ……repeat I can do this just watch me to this. Good look to you all.

  28. Hope everyone did ok. Please bring back updates! Would love to read updates too..i have my test in 3 weeks and hoping I will be able to calm my nerves and not panic. Good luck to everyone who’s yet to pass

    • Hi everyone I just been for my 3rd test and failed due to anxiety and nerves towards the end of test was speeding round bend I should of been to slow down even tho it was 60mph gutted feel like giving up as am sickof failing my test nerves always get the best of me am gonna have toget Sumet for it stone any idea what’s the best and actually works as Batchelers rescue remedy no good.

  29. I’ve failed twice first was actually okay one mistake never done before, which I think was down to nerves even though didn’t feel like it. I still felt quite good because I did better than I thought even if I failed it. My second time I felt more stressed the lesson before my test went wrong so I thin that’s why I was stressed and within the first 5 minutes of my test I failed I knew I had I wanted to cry so drove on for another 5 minutes he said pull up and I said I can no longer drive I feel too stressed. I have my 3rd one booked. Fingers crossed. I do use the rescue remedy spray doesn’t help. I can’t eat beforehand. I know I overthink it. I haven’t told anyone about this test, to see if that helps. I might ask my instructor to sit in but I don’t know if that will make me feel more nervous. It could go either way she could make me fee better or worse. Any ideas??

  30. I’m taking my test next week. The nerves have not quite hit me yet. No doubt they will but I’m just going to give it my best shot. It’s all you can do really. I’m actually having an extra lesson on the day of my test so I’m in the right frame of mind for it. I hope it works.

  31. I have my first test tomorrow… I really hope I pass as I need it for the job I do. But I’ve failed 2 mocks now. I just need to stay positive and think if I don’t do it this time I’ll always have another chance. Good luck everyone and thanks for the advise 🙂

  32. I’ve got my third driving test on Friday, failed my first two on the same manouvre (parallel park) and I’m terrified, I’ve had to have today off work as I had a huge panic attack whilst walking to the bus stop! I’m the same as most of you guys, absolutely fine with my examiner but just a pile of nerves when I have my test! I feel like I let myself down Everytime and I’m just not good enough! I’m Dreading Friday!

  33. I’ve taken my drivers test once and failed miserably. I know how to drive but I’m still nervous behind the wheel, and nervous around new people (such as driving instructor for test) so last month I paid almost $500 for 4 driving lessons, then a test. I’m so nervous and my first lesson is in a few days. Anyone have any good tips on how they passed?? My anxiety just gets really bad with driving and I’m not sure why!

  34. Oh god ,today i failed my 2 time driving test : my instructor was so angry on me which mad me even feel worse. When i failed i was upset but when she start shouting i was like i do not want to do it . I felt like i m not able .

  35. Failed my test last week on my reverse bay park. I was so nervous next time I will take something to calm me down first. I really hope all of you pass and wish all the luck in the world . You can do this!!

  36. Hi I’m due to take my driving test next week my nerves are so bad doctor had me on valium when was 8 yrs old thought I would be better now I’m older but nope any ideas what could help thanks in advance

  37. My first test is in 2 hours, I’m trying to calm down but the last couple of days I haven’t been able to eat properly because of nerves! I just keep trying to tell myself that I can’t get in an accident because the examiner wouldn’t let that and if I pass that’s great and if I fail then I’m not ready to drive and that’s fine too. Good luck everyone!!

  38. I failed my first driving test due to my nerves and confidence when out with my instructor my oh or my friend I’m fine soon as see that bright yellow jacket my nerves just shatter and fall to pieces tried kalms and breathing exercises but no joy I take my 2nd test tomoro and I’m freaking out

  39. I was on the phone with my cousin the other day and he was telling me about getting medium rigid truck training. He wants to learn for a possible career that he could make out of it. I will let him know not to eat a big meal before his test so he doesn’t feel sluggish.

  40. I was very nervous before my first test, and I thought I would fail, but I kept telling my self that I would pass. Because of this engoursgement I passed the first time. The best thing to do is go on a mock test with a family friend that is over 25 years old. I went on at least 3 different mock tests with family friends and I told them to be brutally honest with me. Their support and criticism helped me to stay calm in the real test scenario. Good luck to everyone.

  41. Had my 3rd test this morning.
    All week I thought I would fail it again.
    Nerves got into me lesson before the test.
    My instructor said Mick if I didn’t think you could do it I wouldn’t put you through it.
    So thought to myself yes I CAN do this.
    Took my time on the test.
    Only 1 fault.i ROMPED it.
    YOU can all pass believe in yourselves..

  42. I have my 3rd driving test this week. I did 2 tests a couple of years ago but I feel I wasn’t ready. I feel much more confident and positive about it now. However, I know I got very nervous as soon as I was in the car with the examiner last time. Any tips on how to control this? I’ve got rescue remedy at the ready to use beforehand as well!

  43. I did my third test yesterday after 2 years of taking a break from learning and with my third driving instructor. I only failed due to nerves on trying to move off in 3rd and then stalled at a green light and due to holding people up behind me. The examiner was really nice and at the end said it was an easy fix and chin up. I felt fine before but as soon as i sat in the test center i had flashbacks and started getting nervous . Reminded my self its a new test new center ( orginally did my test during uni ) if i didnt have that back head exsitstence of nerves i think i could have done it .instructor said to look at the postitves as im in a much better place than last time. I just imagined it was my old instructor there and not an examiner. Possibly if youve got time get your instructor to have mock tests and to practice a ‘test’ environment, prior to my test i kept my mind busy so when it came to the day before i was calm and used the time to review the show me tell me questions before i went to bed.

  44. never thought id pass, 5th attempt i finally did it, only because i told myself i could do it. nerves are the biggest downfall. stay calm make full use of mirrors and handbreak and youll ace it. trust me if i can do it anyone can!

  45. Same here! But i decided no more mistakes
    We are the in the control of our body and we can do it! Wish you all the best and happy passing!

  46. I have my test in 3 hours !! First time at doing it and am not gonna lie my stomach is in knots and im so nervous …..wish me luck lool

  47. Got my ,5th soon failed them all due to nerves as soon as I make a minor mistake I fall apart and end up making more wondering all the way if one was a serious so I’d failed anyway them I get managers wrong yet surprising I never get the bay park wrong it’s always the pull up on right and reverse that goes pearshaped the easy one oh well I’m going to do it even if I change my name to Maureen and take 20+ tests I will be a full license holder.

  48. Really feel the same way guys,just failed my test for the 9th time and i’m distraught cause I want it so bad,i’m completely fine on my lessons,just when I have test my nerves are insane and i’m I’m panic mode..I’m trying not to give up as I’ve re-taken my theory and passed twice first time for both! Hoping i’ll get some luck on practical now,because I really don’t want to give up.

  49. Got my driving test tomorrow. Been taking lessons on and off since I got my provisional when I was 17 (now I’m almost 25). I take no pleasure from driving in all honesty. Nerves and anxiety have always been an issue for me when driving and even took a sickie today from work because I couldn’t sleep. The test is all that’s on my mind. My gf constantly reassures me that I’ll be fine, and it won’t be the end of the world if I fail but the fear of failure is real with me. I really want to pass first time. I certainly know how to pick the test date, it’s on Friday 13th (lucky day!) at 8am (not really a morning person), weather’s forecast to be grey and rainy and to add the cherry on the cake… it’s my birthday the following day. I got a lesson today so will do what I can to iron out my weaknesses and do a mock test. Wish me luck, I think I’ll certainly need it!


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