Part 2 of my driving posts and this time it is all about those lessons and that all important test.
In my previous post I told you all about what you should avoid when it comes to learning to drive, specifically when picking your instructor. I also advised you of how I aimed to overcome my anxiety when driving. Something I still am working on practice definitely may not make perfect but it gets you there!
Check out Part 1 here:
In this post I want to tell you all about getting through the lessons and how to ace your driving test. I had been thinking for years about my driving test and just the thought of it would make me nervous. You could spend all that time on lessons but it all comes down to that 45 minute test. I managed to overcome my nerves and I wanted to share with you how I did it.
Finding the Instructor
It had taken me a while to find an instructor that suited me. My previous instructor (no naming names) had a lot of students and on many lessons they would get cancelled last minute which when I booked them between 08:00am and 10:00am was really frustrating. I also had been having lessons for a long time and my confidence had not grown that much and I felt no where near close to a test.
Without taking a test I ended up moving to university. I found when I was at university I didn’t need to drive so I did not carry on any lessons in Sheffield. Although towards the end of university in my final year I had this objective that I really regretted not completing earlier and that was my driving test.
I knew that when I graduated that would be my main focus. Then this year it became my New Years resolution. My mum’s old school friend Sean had his own driving school called Apollo Driving School based in York. It was more independent and his feedback was fantastic, plus having known my mum I had this sense of familiarity. Sean’s teaching is nice and relaxed which I really appreciated.
The Driving Lessons
We all learn in different ways, I find I am a very visual learner. What I really appreciated is that Sean used to draw little doodles of certain manoeuvres, they didn’t seem like much at first but really did help me to remember things step by step.
Being a visual learner also meant that I had to learn that it isn’t silly to ask if Sean could actually show the moves himself. If that’s the way you learn then just ask your instructor ‘Can you just show me again?’ or ‘Would you mind showing me?’. As I have learned through years of university and placements that there is never a stupid question to ask.
A tip that I mentioned in my last post would be that once you get your first block booking of lessons out of the way. Then ask your instructor how long roughly it should take you to get to your test and get it booked. This gives not only you but your instructor a timeline on what you need to learn and how long you have until your test.
If it means that in the couple of weeks before your test that you have double the lessons that is okay. Sean told me that he would always want more time to perfect everything with his students but that would not be fair. You’ll be even taken on the test routes on your lessons so you most likely will have driven the route you’ll do on your test so it’s not completely unfamiliar.
Preparing for the Test
Hopefully you will have done your Theory test already. I would really suggest getting that done before you do your lessons as it is one less thing to think about and you can solely focus on all the practical parts.
I found that actually watching a driving test on YouTube was amazingly helpful.
I think most of my anxiety came from the unexpectedness of the test, therefore by watching a test I knew more of what to expect.@bookitblogger
It really did help and although yes it is 45 minutes of video that may not be the most exciting but having it explained and visualising it is perfect for me. I’ve attached the actual video that I watched below, I watched the whole thing and with it being a mock test it helped me to see the feedback he gave her and what to watch out for.
Just try and relax, I know it’s daunting but you have to give yourself a bit of tough love and say that it has to be done. If you want to pass your test you have to do it so just push yourself through those nerves. Or, even discuss them with your instructor and they will be able to reassure you.
The Test itself
Now, I took my test on the 8th April at around 13:35pm. Sean picked me up about 1 hour prior and we did some driving around and ironed out any insecurities I had. We drove around a test route and then stopped just down the road from the test centre and as promised Sean gave me his motivation speech.
He told me that none of the instructors are out there to fail you, and none of them are looking for the very best drive they’ve seen that week or that year in fact. They just want a nice safe drive which you know you can do. It was so true and definitely put my mind at ease.
I waited in the test centre and then my examiner came out. He did an inspection of the car and then we did the sight test where I had to read license plates. He asked me to then get in the car and set off out of the test centre. I’m not gonna lie, I felt so shaky and nervous because this was it!
We started off by doing a manoeuvre and I was pretty lucky it was just pulling forward into a driving space. We then drove towards the route that I actually did just an hour ago so I knew where I was going. The first 20 minutes I actually followed the sat-nav which is the new feature on the test and then the instructor guided me the rest of the way through.
What you should find is that a 45 minute driving test will absolutely fly-by especially if you have been learning by doing 2 hour lessons each week. In no time we were back at the test centre, now as you get close to the test centre don’t start to relax and feel laid back because you could fail at any minute.
I felt the biggest sense of relief once I parked at the test centre as I knew I hadn’t made any big mistakes, it all just came down to the minors. Now, I don’t know how this happened but he told me I did really well and…
I passed with zero minors!
For the girl who had been thinking about this test all year and giving myself so much anxiety, that was the biggest achievement I have ever had (after my First Class Honours Degree).
Honestly, no matter how nervous you are if I managed to do that, you can do it. Just get it done and get it out of the way but make sure you find the instructor that suits you.
A Big Thank You
I just want to thank Sean for finally getting me through this. You made me feel so comfortable and honestly anyone that wants to learn to drive in York get in touch with me or head on over to:
I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it settles your nerves. They might stay with you for a while once you start to drive by yourself as it is a big responsibility but the fact that I can get in a car and drive myself somewhere is such a massive relief and practice definitely helps. Just start with little drives and gradually go out for longer.
I am currently away in Split and I am updating my Instagram as much as I can and if you want to check out my last post I became a Tourist in my own Home and visited York Minster:
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Thank you so much for reading,