Last Updated on April 5, 2023

There are many situations in life that induce that feeling of anxiety that is hard to overcome. Your heart races, your hands feel clammy, and your mind is racing. This often happens when you are nervous about something or concerned about how something is going to go.
The feeling of being anxious can come from any situation, from presentation at school, a deadline, or a practical driving test! It is completely normal to feel anxious. Especially before your practical driving test, but don’t let the nerves and anxiety impact your performance on the day!
We want to give you some tips and tricks about how you might be able to overcome anxiety before your test to make sure you do the best that you can!


1) Sleep 
2) Ditch the caffeine 
3) Exercise 
4) Get up earlier
5) Understand it doesn’t matter if you fail 
6) Try to be positive 
7) Motivation 
8) Acknowledge your mistakes, the ignore them 
9) Don’t tell people about your test 
10) Prepare 

1) Sleep

First and foremost, make sure you get a good night’s sleep! 
There are many studies that show a lack of sleep can result in an increase in anxiety. When trying to overcome anxiety before your driving test, try to get a good amount of sleep before the big day.
This is especially true if you have an early morning slot, as you want to be well rested and not sleepy. Driving while overly tired is not safe, as you are not as alert or aware of your surroundings. This could cause you to get more driving faults on as you are not as alert.
In order to deal with the anxiety, make sure you settle down for bed earlier and set yourself up for the best sleep possible! You can do this by avoiding caffeine 8 hours before you sleep, limiting blue light in your room, which can affect sleep (T.V. and phones off), and staying active throughout the day.
This will set you up better for your driving test and let you be the best version of yourself on the day and hopefully deal with the nerves.

2) Ditch the Caffeine  

Coffee is often the starting point for a lot of people’s morning routine. However, on the day of your test, you may want to skip the coffee. If you are well rested, you shouldn’t need the coffee for energy, and caffeine is a common trigger for panic and anxiety attacks.

Caffeine is a stimulant that is known to trigger the flight or fight response; this isn’t ideal when you’re on the way to your driving test. So, it might be best to skip the morning coffee to help overcome the anxiety.

3) Exercise  

Exercise can be helpful in reducing anxiety as it releases endorphins that can help you relax. This can help clear your brain and give you something else to focus on rather than your nerves.
A 10 to 30-minute light workout can help to overcome anxiety. This doesn’t need to be an intensive workout; even just a walk, jog, or yoga could help you. You can do this before your test to get you in the right frame of mind and reduce anxious thoughts to deal with the driving test anxiety.

4) Get up earlier  

Getting up earlier isn’t necessarily going to reduce anxiety, but being late is going to increase it.
You want to make sure you have enough time to prepare, eat some breakfast, and drink some water. This will set you up better, as you will not be as stressed and rushing to get there on time.

Make sure you can have a chill morning, so you can stay calmer and enjoy the morning of your test. Take your time and make sure you know how long it will take you to get to the test centre, so you are not rushing. This will help you to stay relaxed and manage anxiety on test day.

5) Understand it doesn’t matter if you fail  

In an ideal world, everyone would pass their test the first time with no issues. That is not always the reality.
I know we all want to pass the first time, but sometimes the pressure of passing the first time increases anxiety before your driving test. The last thing you need to do is add to your worries. Sit back and relax. Focus on the test and don’t add pressure to do everything perfectly and pass first time.

If you don’t pass first time it is not the end of the world and just means you probably need some extra practice to be a safe driver and grow your driving confidence.

Learner driver with driving Instructor

6) Try to be positive  

We know that when anxiety takes over, it can be hard to have a positive mindset. Especially when you are in a tense situation with a test on the horizon.
However, filling your head with negative thoughts may make it more likely that you will fail, as you may start to believe what your brain is telling you. Focusing on the fact that you could fail could prevent you from passing!
It might be hard to make that little voice questioning if you are going to fail to be quiet. Just know that you are in the best position you can be; your driving instructor believes you are ready for your practical driving test, and you have all the knowledge you need.
Try to find your confidence before your test and reassure yourself that you know everything you need to know and that it is not the worst thing in the world if you do fail. This will help you to deal with the anxiety before your driving test.

7) Motivation  

Motivation is a good way to change your mindset, although it can be hard to get motivated about taking a driving test.

The test is daunting, and all you want is to pass it. But to overcome your anxiety you need to look at why you want to be able to drive.

It might be so that you can road trip with friends, travel to work easier, or stop waiting for buses. Whatever your motivation is, think about what you want to do when you pass to help you get through it!

8) Acknowledge your mistakes and then ignore them  

You will make small mistakes. If only 47% of people pass the first time, think of how many people pass with no minors!

If you brake a little too hard, stall, or take a couple of attempts at a manoeuvre, just acknowledge the mistake, breathe, stay relaxed, and keep trying.

There is no point in letting one minor turn into three because you dwell on mistakes. Especially when it may not have been a big deal and you could just be overthinking it! Move past the nerves and keep going with the driving!

9) Don’t tell people about your test  

Taking your driving test often puts a lot of pressure on you. The added pressure of all your friends and family knowing that you’re taking your driving test isn’t going to help with your anxious thoughts.
Overcoming the anxiety might be a struggle, and not telling all your friends might seem difficult, but in the exam, you will thank yourself. Worrying about what people will say to you if you don’t pass the first time is an unneeded distraction.

If you restrict the number of people who know your test time and date, then you’ll feel less pressure. Only tell the people who need to know; you can then surprise others if you pass, or they never have to know if you fail!

10) Prepare  

The more practice you get, the better you feel.
Before your test, you might be able to squeeze in some extra practice with a driving instructor or private practice with a friend or family member. This may help you feel more prepared and lets you pick up any questions you might have.
It will be even better if you can get extra practice in the car that you will be taking your test in. This makes sure you are familiar with the vehicle and allows you to go into your test feeling a little more comfortable.

With Learner Driver Insurance, you can get insured to drive in your own, a friend’s, or a family member’s car to help you be prepared for the big day.

Get a Learner Insurance Quote with Collingwood


The day of the practical driving test can be daunting, and you may feel a lot of pressure to do well. But, don’t let it get in the way of doing your best! Follow the advice in this article to try and overcome the anxiety before your test and keep you focused on the big day.

Stay calm and do your best! Good Luck!
If you need some extra practice to be test-ready, consider Learner Driver Insurance to get in some private practice.