As some of you will know if you follow me on twitter, back in November I finally passed my driving test!! I won't bore you with the finer details about how I only passed at aged 23 but in short, I did a couple of lessons back in my second year of uni when I went home for the Easter break and really enjoyed them. I liked my instructor so wanted to wait to continue my lessons at home however I never spent enough time back in Liverpool to keep at the lessons so it came to a stop. I was lucky enough to be given a bonus at work so I was able to pay for some driving lessons in Leeds and it went from there; 6 months later I've finally passed!

I have always found learning to drive a nerve racking however I didn't think I'd be as nervous as I was to learn in a city centre. I really struggled at first and I'm pretty sure the only time I didn't stall was on my second test!

I really liked my driving instructor and she made me feel really at ease even though I found the city centre traffic hard to deal with and looking back I'm actually really happy that I learnt in a city centre environment as it's given me more confidence on the road.

I had two attempts at passing my theory (lol I know, I'm shit but in my defence I only missed by 1 mark!) and two attempts at passing my driving test; the first in Leeds and the second back home. In terms of advice for passing your theory test I would say it's SO important to revise! I know this is obvious but I thought the the fact that part of the test was multiple choice would mean that the answers would all be obvious but it is so important to keep practicing in the weeks leading up to the test. I found that the best way of learning for me was by using the test practice app and also learning whilst driving on the roads too (my instructor used to question me about the pelican crossings and road signs whilst we had our lessons). I tried reading the book but that method was just not for me! 

When it came to the actual test, I did the first in Leeds and it was a horrendous experience!! I had never driven on the test route before, or done a mock test (I was pissed off at my instructor for that) but I also let my nerves get the best of me. In the weeks leading up to my test I was having a hard time at work and didn't feel like I was in the right frame of mind to take the test as I had a lot on my mind. I was way too nervous, panicky and stressed myself out. After my test I was so overwhelmed I burst into tears! I knew I was a good driver but I got too nervous. I actually failed with 7 minors (but three in the same area meaning a major) so I didn't actually have tonnes of work to do which was good and my driving instructor said that the route I got was the hardest one so I soon got over it and was determined to get practicing again. When it came to booking my second test I looked at booking it again in Leeds but the test centre was booked up until after the new test rules came into effect and I badly wanted to get it done before December so I made the decision to do the test back home in my Dad's car. I was slightly nervous about the prospect but it definitely paid off. I felt so much more comfortable doing it in surroundings I knew and I felt so much calmer in my Dad's car as I had been practicing a lot in it running up to the test. I actually had a busy weekend prior to my test as I had a job interview on the Friday before so most of my attention was focused on that. Although I was constantly thinking about my test it was definitely a good thing that the interview took place as I was offered the job that same day so I had received some amazing news! It instantly took my mind away from the test and my nerves passed. On the day of the test I felt calm (with some nerves - I did have a breakdown doing a bay park in the test centre car park ahead of the test - sorry Mum!) and I ended up chatting to my examiner during the whole test so I knew I felt comfortable. I passed with 6 minors and nearly cried with happiness afterwards. It was such a memorable evening and I'm so thankful to my driving instructor for all her help in teaching me the basics, my parents for taking me out on drives in the lead up to the test and practicing whenever I could and my friends and boyfriend who supported me (special thanks to Stedawg, Nat, Demi and Jay - Love ya!) 

The biggest tip I can give you when it comes to the actual test is to do it in an environment you feel comfortable in; whether that's your own car (or a family members), the town you grew up in or your driving instructors car in a city centre. I know it's easier said than done to be calm but try your best to thing about the situation your in and take each step as it comes. Don't be stressing yourself out thinking about what manoeuvres you might get, think about the next 10 seconds and check your mirrors whilst you're driving along!

I'm by no means a professional but I have experienced the test in both a small town and a busy city centre so I've seen it from both sides. If you've got your test coming up or are learning then good luck. Enjoy the experience and don't worry if you don't pass first time, you'll smash it in no time. 

Have you passed your test? What are your thoughts on learning to drive?


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