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Can't pass my driving test, what should I do?

(41 Posts)
user1492515611 Tue 18-Apr-17 12:52:02

First and foremost, I'm not a mother. I'm actually an 18 year old son. I simply joined to post here because I know you can get a lot of reliable advice from this community.

With that being said I've now failed 5 driving tests and it's making life very difficult for me. I have no idea where to go from here. I'm finding it highly stressful and demotivating. It's tiresome and at first I found it funny failing a few times but now it is beyond a joke.

I have a car. I've had a car for nearly a year and yet I cannot drive it. I am the last of my group of friends from Sixth Form to pass my test, and I was the first to have lessons. I've spent nearly £2,000 on lessons and tests combined and it's been a huge investment. I've been pondering over just never learning because I simply cannot handle the test. I make mistakes in the tests that I never make in lessons. My last THREE tests have had less than 2 minors (in the case of my fourth test, I had none) and yet I'd always have one serious fault. I've taken tests at three different test centres. My (third) instructor has said I'm one of the best students he's had in the last 6 months.

Do I stop? My theory test qualification has nearly expired (I've never heard of anyone having to go through the process a second time, so I find this quite embarrassing). I'm getting very upset about this and I'm the laughing stock of friends at Uni and from School as I'm often the butt of driving jokes. It's a big distraction and detraction from exams and I feel like complete shit! I'm getting a lot of pressure from my own mum to pass now as well because I can't afford to keep this up.

I guess I'm just a bit fed up because I know I can drive and have been able to for over 18 months, but I just can't deal with nerves on the test. What should my next course of action be? Any advice is welcome smile

Seeline Tue 18-Apr-17 12:55:15

Are you actually getting any practice or is it just lessons?
If you can find someone to take you out as often as possible that would really help. Even if it's just taking your Mum to the supermarket etc - practice, practice.
Do oyu know why you failed on the majors? Were you aware of doing them at the time, or were you surprised when the examiner told you?

Sugarcoma Tue 18-Apr-17 12:57:21

It took me two theories and five practicals to pass - please don't give up. First off though you need to stop telling anybody - even your parents - when you book another test. If you fail again pretend it never happened! I went around for years pretending I passed after my second practical before finally not caring anymore.

Secondly would it be worth looking into doing a week long intensive course somewhere rural where it's easier to pass? That was always my plan B.

user1492515611 Tue 18-Apr-17 13:00:08

I've had a lot of practice in my car between lessons. I leave it at home during the semester but every holiday I'm back and driving at least 1 hour a day but often for longer.

Being confined to driving in the holidays probably doesn't help

Funnily enough my second instructor had me on a week long intensive course and that's when I failed with 1 serious and 0 minors. It feels like the world's against me and just doesn't want me to pass! Aghhh!!!

Thanks for the feedback

ninnypoo Tue 18-Apr-17 13:02:25

I passed 7th time. I started learning at 17, failed 4 tests and stopped before restarting lessons in my final year of uni aged 20 and taking 3 more tests before finally passing. As soon as I passed, all the money and time and stress became so worth it and I don't have any regret or frustration any more. Don't stop.

user1492515611 Tue 18-Apr-17 13:05:52

As for what I specifically failed for:
1st test: vaguely remember because it was so long ago but I had multiple serious faults for hesitation, rolling back on a hill start and not indicating right when pulling out
^ can't remember the marks specifically

2nd test: 4 minors for hesitation
^ 4 minors + 1 serious derived from said minor

3rd test: not looking in my left mirror and signalling off a large roundabout - it would have been a minor had I not been effecting other drivers
^ 2 minors + 1 serious

4th test: stalling in the middle of a huge junction and affecting traffic moving in two directions
^ 0 minors + 1 serious

5th test (today): I nudged the curb doing a parallel park
^ 1 minor + 1 serious

My 4th and 5th test I was aware at the time when I was erroneous

It's so frustrating to me because I can clearly drive a lot better now than before and I know where my weaknesses are and have worked on them. I thought I had perfected everything but I still just can't do the test sad

Lucked Tue 18-Apr-17 13:06:00

You can pass it because it sounds like you can drive. You do need to carry on but perhaps slow the pace. If you have taken all your tests in the one area perhaps look at neighbouring test areas and get a few lessons with a new instructor in that area.

CaulkheadNorth Tue 18-Apr-17 13:06:51

I know a few people who have taken over 5 tests. I assume you'll be back for the long summer holidays, so could you book a test for the start of September and get in lots of practice over the summer. You can also take the test in the car you're practicing in too (i.e. Your car).

A friend gave up having lessons in the end and just continually booked tests until she passed.

Lucked Tue 18-Apr-17 13:07:47

From reading the above you aren't ready when you sat your first two tests.

blueskyinmarch Tue 18-Apr-17 13:09:20

My DD1 took 7 goes to pass hers. It was a source of massive frustration for all as well as costing a lot of money. She persevered and passed just as her theory was about to expire. Just keep going - you will get there in the end!

Seeline Tue 18-Apr-17 13:09:47

Stalling and rolling back etc could be due to being unfamiliar with the car you are taking the test in. Do you get practice in that vehicle, or is it fairly new to you?
Also do you have lessons during the semesters, or do they only happen during the holidays too?

Sprink Tue 18-Apr-17 13:11:33

Don't give up. And I suggest booking tests over and over until you pass, as long as you can afford it. The longer you wait, the more time there is to psych yourself out.

user1492515611 Tue 18-Apr-17 13:12:37

It seems the consensus is to keep going. But would it be better if I stopped until I graduate and restart or not? I've only got time for 1 more test before I have to take my theory again as I'll be working two jobs over the summer in the city where my University is.

My biggest concern is the financial side of it, but it is also battering my confidence to the end of the universe and back.

Thanks for all the advice smile I'll book another test soon and keep it strictly confidential!

AndNowItIsSeven Tue 18-Apr-17 13:14:07

I took beta blockers from the GP, she prescribed me two to try a few days before to check I had no negative issues and two for the test.
Why not ask your GP for them, it's quite a usual request.

KingPrawnOkay Tue 18-Apr-17 13:15:43

I used to get so horribly nervous in my lessons, my first two instructors were awful and the second reduced me to tears many a time and then gave me a phone number for a therapist and told me to sort out my mental issues. My confidence was knocked and I'm not particularly confident anyway but the thought of selling my beautiful car was enough to keep me going. I found someone else and when it came to my tests I passed first time because my new instructor was lovely and trusted me. I think about him a lot because I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for him. Maybe that's all you need - a new instructor? Maybe in a different area with different roads and a different car so you can start afresh. Have you considered one of those week-long courses? Oh, and I know two people whose theory tests expired!

blueskyinmarch Tue 18-Apr-17 13:16:02

User- my DD was also only doing it in her uni holidays. She could drive perfectly well but that pass just eluded her. It honestly nearly broke her but she persevered and is now very glad she did. Her younger sister on the other hand rocked up to her test 6 month after starting lessons and passed with no minors. The congratulations were passed on with gritted teeth!!

TranquilityofSolitude Tue 18-Apr-17 13:24:29

I would keep going if you can. See if you can get cancellations to get it in quickly. If you stop now you risk losing all that you have put into it so far and having to start again later.

It sounds to me as if you have been quite unlucky. At least you have not made the same mistake repeatedly!

Both of my DDs have passed in the last 18 months. One thing they found helpful was remembering to remain positive until the end (I accept that that sounds much easier than it is!). What I mean by that is that you must keep going even if you think you might have failed. My DDs both thought they'd failed at one point but kept going and found that the error was minor when they got to the end and that they had passed. It would have been easy to think that they'd failed and that it wasn't worth trying to keep a clean sheet to the end.

Good luck for next time smile

Flyingprettycretonnecurtains Tue 18-Apr-17 13:25:55

Hi. My son took his test five times and passed on the sixth. The first time was a disaster, the other times were very similar to yours. After he failed the fifth time, his instructor said that it was pointless him having lessons as he was perfectly able to drive. His dad took him out in son's own car - they drove everywhere - up to Yorkshire, down to Chichester. He passed in that with hubby sitting in the back. We did look at changing centres and time of day is important - if it is in peak rush hour they take you down small back roads. This is what did him fifth time round as it was an iggly wiggly roas with parked cars and he just clipped the curb when he turned. Really unfair as he was avoiding busy traffic and there was no way round it.

The one good thing is that I know he is a much better driver now he has this experience so I don't worry so much. He only ever got a couple of minors - like you. You WILL pass but Can you go out with others rather than paying for lessons that you probs don't need. Another good thing is the older you are, the less your insurance will be too.
Good luck.

DragonNoodleCake Tue 18-Apr-17 13:29:35

I took several attempts to pass. I got my self so nervous and worked up it wasn't helping me.
I changed instructor, stopped focusing on the driving and more on passing the test, the instructor taught me to 'show my skills' to the examiner rather than see it as a test.

New Instructor came in a test with me and immediately saw it was all nerves - as he had no understanding why I hadn't passed. He came in my passing test and he said he knew 30 seconds after we pulled away I'd totally chilled that time.

Don't give up grin

GotToGetMyFingerOut Tue 18-Apr-17 13:36:17

That's really unfair you got a serious for clipping the kerb. My sister only got a minor. Was there a pedestrian?

I used kalms. Ate a banana half an hour before and just pretended I was giving the examiner a lift and they were just telling me the dirctions. I passed third time. You will get there just keep trying.

HotelEuphoria Tue 18-Apr-17 13:39:15

It took my DD three tests and 2 years - yes TWO YEARS to pass hers. She failed two then went to university so lessons/practice was limited to holidays which didn't help.

What helped her was not booking the next available test but one towards the end of the summer holidays to get maximu practice and reading lots of advice on how to pass your test on the internet. Sometimes, like all exams, the pass is down to understanding how you gain the maximum positives and minimum negatives.

Things like this:
4Work on the most common driving test faults

Observation:
•Not checking mirrors before reverse parking
•Not checking mirrors when moving off
•Lack of proper observation at junctions and roundabouts

Awareness:
•Not reacting to what’s in the mirrors
•Failure to drive to weather or traffic conditions
•Hesitation at junctions and roundabouts when it is safe to go
•Failure to drive at the appropriate speed - whether that’s not making progress after moving off, not adjusting for a bend, or driving too slowly on a main road

Signalling:
•Failure to signal
•Giving a confusing signal
•Failure to cancel a signal

Control:
•Poor hand placement on the steering wheel IF it's affecting your control
•Steering accuracy for the turn in the road, reversing around a corner and sharp turns
•Stalling due to poor clutch control and failing to recover quickly and calmly
•Keeping the clutch down (coasting) on a turn or after changing gears

Even if you think you’ve got these down, practise and then practise again. You’ll be nervous on the day, so you need your body to remember the action instinctively if your brain decides to switch off.

Good Luck! and just remember everyone passes eventually if they keep at it.

thethoughtfox Tue 18-Apr-17 13:41:02

Don't give up. I spent thousands on lessons. Took several a week for nearly 2 years. I passed second time but a large part of that success was that I had driven on almost every road before in my lessons so they felt familiar!

Whywonttheyletmeusemyusername Tue 18-Apr-17 13:45:51

I second and third the posters that said beta blockers/Kalms. I passed on my 3rd attempt after plying myself with Kalms. And I was a lot older than you ! Good luck - you can do it

MangosteenSoda Tue 18-Apr-17 13:55:40

You have just got to keep going with the tests and you will get there eventually. Probably next time!

It is somewhat luck of the draw and it's easy to fail. People who pass first time are often over confident once they get on the road and people who pass after a few goes are often careful and considered new drivers.

I had similar experiences (failed 3 times) with hardly any minors. My major mistake in the first test was fairly major though. There's a D score (for dangerous) which you can get instead of a mere X in the box. I got one for crashing (slowly) into the test centre gate.

I have not had any bumps or points since passing 20 years ago and subsequently driving in many different countries. Better to get these things over sooner rather than later!

HollyJollyDillydolly Tue 18-Apr-17 13:56:12

It would be such a shame to give up. It just sounds like were unfortunate on your most recent test, the lack of minors shoes you know how to drive. Keep it up of you can afford to.

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