Finally, the time has come. After months of practice and driver's education, you are finally in the car ready to get your driver's license. You feel confident and secure. You move the seat to give yourself more leg room. You adjust the rear-view mirror. You picture yourself in the future driving to your friend's house, taking your siblings to ice cream, and driving to Target whenever you want to. Then, suddenly, the test administrator slides into the car and slams the door. He looks nice enough, but he has a clipboard, a scary clipboard. It is full of boxes with "pass" and "fail" on it. Your head begins to spin. You begin to grow worried. What if you fail? What if you never get to drive to Target whenever you want to? What if you walk out of here without a license? The confidence fades, and you cross your fingers as the instructor says, "Let's begin."
Have you experienced this? If you haven't yet, you probably will. Instead of growing anxious during your assessment, try out these insider tips for "acing" that driver's test.
- Be prepared. You will probably feel nervous for your driver's test. Instead of "winging it," bring items that naturally calm you down in a stressful situation. Wear comfy clothes. Bring a water bottle in the car in case you get thirsty. Make sure you eat a good meal full of protein before you go. These little preparations will help you keep your nerves tempered.
- Don't small talk. Though you will meet your instructor and will need to know his or her name, there is no need for you to learn his/her whole life story as you take your test. Do not ask questions about his personal life and keep your answers short and sweet. By doing this, your brain can focus on the road, instead of the person sitting next to you. It might be a little bit awkward to sit in silence with your test administrator, but you'll never see him or her again, and you'll walk out of the office with a license in your hand.
- Fully stop at all stop signs. This isn't just a quick touch of the breaks. When you see that infamous red octagon at a crossroads, be sure to stop fully. Even let your car stop long enough to feel the slight "roll backwards." This will give you extra points on your test for completing a "full stop." It is time-consuming, but worth it!
- Take it slow. You are not Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious. You do not need to race, Tokyo drift, or go five over the speed limit, because you can. You are just taking your driver's test. Go the speed limit. Even if other people on the road think you are a grandma/grandpa, because of how slow you are going, be sure to stay within the speed limit. Slower is better. The turtle, not the hare, will get a license in the end.
- Wait on left turns. Instead of inching forward to see if you can turn left between the flow of traffic in intersections, just go ahead and wait for the green arrows to direct you. It is the safest way to go. If you pull up in an intersection, you may have to wait for the yellow light to make a quick left turn. This yellow light could quickly become a red light, and if you speed through a red light, you will certainly get a bad grade on your driver's test and may even fail. Play it safe, and wait for the green arrows to guide you through the intersection.
You've got this. It's perfectly normal to be nervous, but don't let it throw you off your game. Just remember to remain calm, stay focused, and go slow!