Top Tips for Preparing for Your Driving Test
This year has had its ups and downs for those preparing for your driving test, as plenty have seen postponed lessons and canceled tests, with the likes of Birmingham currently having a wait time of 12-15 weeks for a driving test. However, there are plenty beginner drivers can do with more time on their hands to prepare for that well-awaited driving test.
1. Know the Routes of The Test
It’s always a bit nerve-wracking trying to get to grips with a busy road network when learning to drive. But once you know where the test center is for your driving test, you can practice and navigate the expected routes in that area. For example, Birmingham is famous for the original ‘Spaghetti Junction’ interchange, whereas Milton Keynes is known for its roundabouts (130 and counting). So, if you think these types of roads or areas are likely to come up in your test, ask your instructor to take you out on some of these routes, so you can prepare yourself even more for the main test.
If you’re waiting for your test date, why not look up your test center and their approved routes to understanding factors such as traffic levels and speed controls on those roads. You cannot guarantee exactly where you’ll be taken on your test, but if you’ve practiced the variety of roads in that area, you can make sure all bases are covered.
2. Make Sure to Learn in Different Driving Conditions
On the day of your test, you can hope for the perfect, dry, and sunny driving conditions, but if you’ve been learning to drive in Birmingham, you’ll probably know that is not guaranteed. Beforehand, try to book lessons when you expect different weather conditions, come rain, shine, fog, or snow. It is also good to get out on the road when it is dark to improve your confidence in driving both at night and during the day. There are some top tips you can follow when driving in winter conditions, in particular, to make sure you are feeling safe and confident:
- Make sure to remember to turn on your dipped headlights when it’s dark or there is poor visibility, and learn when and how to turn on the fog lights, too, in case this is needed.
- Know how to use the air systems in the car to clear and de-mist the windows – the driving examiner will not do this for you and expect you to know when to use it effectively.
- Learn the stopping distance for different conditions, especially when it comes to rain or ice, and the factors that can affect your thinking time and braking distance, such as distractions or tiredness, the road conditions, or the weather.
3. Book A Lesson Beforehand
If you live in the West Midlands region, try and fit in a driving lesson on the day of your test, as it may have been a while since your last one, and as it is also a great way to go over any of those last-minute questions or tricky maneuvers with your instructor.
This will also involve choosing the right time for you to take your test, as you should allow yourself enough time to fit in a lesson beforehand and booking a time that you are likely to feel less tired or affected by other worries, such as schoolwork or exams.
4. Practice Reflexes and Reaction Times
With some time between your driving lessons and the actual test, especially if you live in Birmingham, you can sometimes lose those quick lightening reactions you definitely need for driving. You want to ace that emergency stop if it comes up in the test! Not forgetting that your theory would have taken you through reacting to all sorts of obstacles when on the road. So, at this time, why not refresh your memory with an online hazard perception test. And keeping with the virtual theme, playing video games is also a great way to improve your reaction speed. Yes, that’s right – you can have fun passing the time and preparing for your driving test, as video games can train you to make the right decision quickly in a tense situation and heighten your sensitivity to your surroundings.