Getting your driver’s license is a rite of passage – a symbol of your independence. That’s why failing it can be emotionally draining and traumatic. Don’t let this setback discourage you. Be motivated by the fact that you’re not alone – many others have failed (and then made it) before you. Here are six practical tips from driving instructors to help you increase your chances of passing next time:
1. Don’t book your test just yet
Haniss Mohammed of Drive Co driving school says booking your test date first causes unnecessary pressure.”You need to be fully prepared for the test.” You should focus on practicing. Book when your instructor advises you. Haniss also said there’s a misconception people have, that booking first costs less. Booking when you’re not ready will cost you more if you fail.
2. Practice makes perfect
Rezah Jogee from Learn-A-Driver driving school says you need to be proactive about your driving. “Don’t only depend on lessons alone.” If you have a family member or friend with a car ask them if you can use it to practice. Make sure that you follow the law, though, and have someone with a license in the car with you at all times.
3. Familiarise yourself with the test route
It’s vital that your driving instructor goes over the potential test route or routes with you, says Haniss. The route will depend on where you’re booked and each traffic department will have a different route learner drivers will be tested on. Your instructor will be familiar with this.
4. Get to know the yard before the test
A week before the test your instructor should take you to the yard of the traffic department where you’ll be tested. Your instructor should show you the order you will be tested in, as well as anything you should look out for, says Haniss. “Is the ground in the yard flat or slightly curved? This will affect how you do your parking.” Knowing this will give you extra confidence on the day of the test.
5. Do a mock test before the actual test
“Do a mock test with your instructor a week before your test”. Do it till you “pass” it. An important thing to note is that the instructor shouldn’t help you in the mock test. “He should only tell you where to go and what to do next.”
6. Warm-up on test day
Brush-up on what you learnt or know as a reminder and confidence boost. “Have a warm-up,” says Rezah. It allows you to iron out anything, and you can ask any questions while you still have the time.
Illustrations by: Bizani Meyiwa