Why can't I pass my driving test?

(61 Posts)
dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 13:50:57

Failed my third driving test today. Am putting a brave face on it, but I feel a bit fed up, particularly when dh seems to think it is a big joke (he passed his third test). I am starting to lose faith and think that I may never do it. It is also costing a fortune!

First test went really well with only a few minors, up until the point near the end of the test when I pulled in, went to straighten up and hit the kerb sad

Second test, got quite a lot of faults really. 12 minor (all for different things) and 2 serious - 1 for making a car slow down when I changed lanes and for not seeing a car which had to wait when I was doing a three point turn.

Third test, had hynotherapy to help with my nerves on the day. Don't know if helped really, I was still horribly nervous. Got 8 faults in total, two serious - again for changing lanes and one for being in the wrong lane. I had changed to a different test centre to get an earlier test date and I really didn't know the routes very well. No excuse, I know - I should have been better guided by the road markings.

Just feel so rubbish - got test number 4 booked at the test centre I'm most familiar with, but I'm really starting to wonder if I'll ever do it. My instructor thinks I'm a good driver and I don't seem to make those mistakes on my lessons, but the thought of the test makes me feel sick. Ironically, I think it's actually getting harder the more attempts I take, as there is more internal pressure to pass - as I don't want to have yet another failure!

Please give me hope that it will happen one day sad I didn't tell anyone apart from dh about this test, which is good in one way, but I neeed sympathy sad

FruitShootsAndHeaves Tue 03-Apr-12 13:58:13

I'm sorry you failed.

My DD went through this last year, only minors on her first test, then on her second it was as if she was trying to hard. Her first minors were for mirrors and she actually looked in her mirrors too much on her second attempt.

I don't think it matters when you pass or how many tests you take. In fact people who take more tests before they pass are probably better drivers initially as they have taken the time to concentrate on all the faults they have made.

I also understand the expense worries but if it makes you feel better the increase in insurance when you pass is much the same as driving lessons, so not much saving

Being under pressure to pass doesn't help. When I took my test over 25 years ago, I didn't need to be able to drive, if I'd waited a few years it would have been a necessity.

Cheer up, have a brew. You'll get there in the end.

dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 14:03:20

Thanks FruitShoots, a brew sounds like a good idea. I was (strangely) quite proud of myself today for doing a perfect emergency stop and reverse round a corner. I need to take off the pressure I am putting on myself.

CurlsRUs Tue 03-Apr-12 14:09:38

Don't be too hard on yourself! Driving tests are so stressful, but it sounds like you are a good driver so you will get there sooner rather than later! Plenty of people I know took a few goes to pass, but I don't know anyone who didn't manage it eventually.

What worked for me was deciding not to tell anyone the date of my retest (not even DH) - somehow, keeping it a secret made me feel much calmer. Good luck!

dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 14:12:48

Thanks Curls - might see if I can keep this next test a secret from dh. Was considering going to the doctor for Beta Blockers next time - but I think I just need to keep going. My driving instructor has had one pupil take her test 7 times (she passed on the 7th attempt), so I'm not quite there yet, but I'm catching up.

mercibucket Tue 03-Apr-12 14:16:25

You'll get there! My first test was like yours! Are you a nurse or teacher? My instructor said they are the worst professions for passing because so conscientious - but all my nurse and teacher friends passed eventually. It's confidence not ability! I passed when I got stuck behind a bus and waited so long (only safe option) I'd forgotten about being nervous by the time I had to set off again

mercibucket Tue 03-Apr-12 14:16:25

You'll get there! My first test was like yours! Are you a nurse or teacher? My instructor said they are the worst professions for passing because so conscientious - but all my nurse and teacher friends passed eventually. It's confidence not ability! I passed when I got stuck behind a bus and waited so long (only safe option) I'd forgotten about being nervous by the time I had to set off again

dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 14:18:43

I am a teacher!

Flightty Tue 03-Apr-12 14:19:29

Oh it is all a matter of luck if I'm honest. It really is all about luck, and confidence. If you're not feeling confident or lucky on the day it can just stuff up because you're expecting it to.

What I found helped was just driving as much as possible....with anyone who will take you out...even every day if you can manage it. Because the more you do it the more automatic it becomes.

I passed second time (2/3 minor faults on first I think) but my instructor was relentlessly positive, she was like, RIGHT we're going to do this next time, and she shouted orders at me for the next few weeks so it was drummed into me like a formula.

I felt like I knew all the rules by heart. You can let it slide afterwards, that's normal, as long as you get through the test.

on the day I went into autopilot, I just concentrated on being absolutely textbook about it, driving perfectly, knowing the routine. That's all you need. And now I drive like a hooligan, well, it's been what, 17 years blush but sometimes I switch on my 'test mode' and practise doing it like there's an examiner in the car and it's quite fun. Treat it like a bit of a game, and you might find you can do it as that way it's got a limit - there are a LOT of things you WON'T need to know or do right on the day. So just focus on the things you need to know.
And practise, practise, practise.

I failed a few times too OP and it was awful and I was so embarrassed. The last time I took it I told NO ONE apart from my DP's and it really felt like the pressure was off. Hopefully that will work for you as well.
DH to this day has no idea how many times I had to try (closely guarded secret)

Good luck!

Flightty Tue 03-Apr-12 14:20:49

Oh and make sure you have something to eat before it. That keeps your blood sugar steady, far more helpful - no caffeine that day, or for a few days before, nothing too sugary, just carbs. Steady Eddie. smile You'll be alright.

shineypenny Tue 03-Apr-12 14:23:56

You'll get there - it took me five attempts due to nerves. Get on the phone and book your next test, relax and enjoy the afternoon

dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 14:28:07

Thanks all - I will keep at it. I will not let this beat me!

notcitrus Tue 03-Apr-12 14:52:16

I'd get a different instructor - yours may be fine but getting used to someone different in the car may well help. Also they may see different areas where you could improve. After failing my third test (second I had one mark on the sheet, but it was an X, third my instructor had his car written off the day before the test so I was driving a different one he'd managed to borrow, and it was a disaster), and finally getting an income for regular lessons, I phoned BSM and said I can drive, I just need to get through the test - can you provide an instructor who can do that?

The lovely chap took me round every route and most other roads anywhere near my local test centre until I could do them in my sleep.

I didn't tell anyone when my 4th test was, and I passed - and returned to work to find my colleagues panicking as I'd been away for so long and got stuck in rush-hour traffic!

5inthebed Tue 03-Apr-12 15:20:00

I passed 4th time, I didn't tell anyone that I was having my test.

I also ate two bananas an hour before my test, which my instructor said would help.

Good luck and try not to be so harsh on yourself.

RecursiveMoon Tue 03-Apr-12 15:24:03

I passed on my 4th attempt IIRC. You'll get there OP!

DH passed after far fewer lessons than me, but as a result had a lot less driving experience and admitted that I was a much better driver than him grin.

bronze Tue 03-Apr-12 15:24:11

Remember that the tests have got a lot lot harder over the last few years so most people you know will have taken a much easier test. It changed again fairly recently so when you do pass (WHEN) you will in fact have done better than they will have

btw I havent taken mine yet am shitting myself. I need to pass the theory first and I'm going to find that hard enough I'm so crap under exam pressure

sairygamp Tue 03-Apr-12 15:24:51

I also passed on my fourth - my main problem was reversing around the corner. Luckily on my fourth I didn't have to do it! It's is disheartening when you keep failing, but it will just come - honest. No point in saying 'relax' I know, but just try to do everything you've been taught and concentrate. good luck smile

dontcallme It took me 7 times to pass my test!! My nereves got the better of me each time; on test day I would feel sick with worry as I placed myself under so much pressure to pass!

Have you thought about asking your instructor to sit in the back of the car for the test? I did this for no's 4, 5 & 6 and it really helped with my nerves although not my reversing

After test 6 I gave up trying until my ds came along two years later. Having two children & a bus pass was all the incentive I needed to try again and so I practiced every single day for months, so that I already felt like a 'driver' in my head iyswim? I drove my ex-p everywhere for months so when it came to test 7 my nerves were much less of an issue.

Good luck grin you will get there in the end.

speculationisrife Tue 03-Apr-12 15:51:55

I passed on my 7th attempt, aged 26. People kept asking how I could keep at it after all those failures, but I just thought after all the time and money I'd spent I couldn't give up! Keep going, and you WILL pass in the end. I nearly hugged the examiner when he said I'd passed, and then I pointed out all the things I thought I'd done wrong and he said he wasn't going to take it back so I should just enjoy it. It was 13 years ago and I still feel thrilled that I passed.You'll appreciate it so much more than some ungrateful 18-year-old who passes first time and takes it for granted!

Agree with notcitrus about getting a different instructor - I went through 3!

JuliaScurr Tue 03-Apr-12 16:13:39

My aunt passed on number <cough> nine

Astr0naut Tue 03-Apr-12 16:19:28

Ok, you have just found the expert.

I failed more times than 10 and less than 15.

I used to get so stressed that I'd cry even booking the damn thing.

I had 4 instructors and went through 2 boyfriends.

I took rescue remedy, positive thinking and even propanol (beta blockers).

I swear hypnotherapy worked in the end. I had 2 sessions and passed. It was incredible.

JuliaScurr Tue 03-Apr-12 16:23:17

astro that's great!
Hypnotherapy is massively underrated imo

crustyonion Tue 03-Apr-12 16:35:55

I passed on my 3rd attempt. I was robbed on the 1st one - I got a serious fault for "potentially holding up traffic" when there was none behind me to hold up, my instructor was in the car with me and disagreed with him too, but once the examiner makes up their mind there is no going back. Test 2 was 2 weeks after giving birth and I was frankly shit. I definitely didn't deserve to pass that time. Test 3 was the good one. I had been practising deep breathing techniques for a while beforehand, and I had started talking out loud when driving "mirror check, clutch down, change gear, new road, full mirror check" etc. and that really drummed it in. I passed that time with two minor faults.

One thing I will say, don't put a P plate on your car after you pass. Some evil people see it as a brilliant way of blaming you for a dodgy insurance claim "inexperienced driver". back-fired on the old cow when a witness came forward and backed me up

dontcallmehon Tue 03-Apr-12 17:20:03

Thanks all - glad to see I am not alone. I really like my instructor and would feel bad changing. She is good, I'm just a bit rubbish at tests. One problem is that I can't practise outside of my lessons, as dh has a company car that I can't get insured on as a learner. My instructor doesn't like sitting in the car on tests - she's said in the past - 'you don't want me there with you.'

I'm a bit odd in that my manoevres are generally very good - it's probably the stuff most people find quite easy that I stuff up on!

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