Hope everyone is well!
If you read my last blog post, you will have noticed that I had mentioned the hard work that I have been putting in to pass my driving test. It has been a long road (both literally and figuratively) and I cannot tell you how elated I am to have passed. I think I am actually more proud of it than my university degree since I never thought I would pass.
Indeed, I did not pass first time and this is something very common in the UK as the UK driving test is rated as one of the hardest in the world L So if you don’t pass first time please do not worry as it is very uncommon – yes only 45% of the population pass first time and certain test centres have even lower first-time pass rates. This is because to pass the driving test you need experience of course but also a lot of LUCK! And unfortunately not all of us are lucky, like myself, but NEVER give up. I know it may feel like the end of the world but you WILL pass. Keep going to the test centre and ignore the driving examiners- they are mean people who have to stay within the targets of the average passes of their test centres and who will probably make more money by you coming again and again.
Now I will speak about my own experience and hopefully a lot of you will be able to relate or at least be reassured. So my story starts from when I was very young. Yes not actual driving but driving in lego land when I was smaller. It is from that very moment that I hated driving and decided to avoid driving at any costs. I hated the rules of the road as I found them confusing and my seat belt got stuck at the end of my driving slot.
Unfortunately, I was not able to avoid driving due to pressure from a certain family member and the year before I joined university I finally applied for my provisional licence. However, I did not start driving classes until the end of my first year and had a horrible driving instructor that completely put me off driving. Honestly, he was the worst driving instructor I have ever met – he would make me park up so he could meet his friends, be on the phone during lessons and tell me that ‘some people are natural drivers and others are not’. I stopped after 3 lessons and instead decided to focus on doing my theory test without driving the following year.
After this I went to Paris for a year abroad so my driving lessons were put on hold until I came back. Once I did I found an excellent driving instructor from the AA who taught me everything. His lessons were great and I really grew in confidence, however I was rushed by a family member to take my first driving test due to financial costs, which really blew my confidence. Indeed, when I went to my first test I do not believe I was ready but thought I was give it a shot to not let my family member down but it was honestly the worst test ever. I had a horrible examiner who kept tutting when I was driving when I was clearly very nervous, which is totally normal by the way. It was just horrible and I was not in my normal state of mind since my dog had just passed away two days before the test.
I decided to take it on the chin and redo another test a bit later after a few more lessons but I knew it would be difficult as I would be travelling between my university in Surrey and my home in London during weekends. I have to stay it was hard to balance my university work load and driving lessons but I did it. I thought about changing to an easier driving centre, which my brother had chosen to take his test at but once I tried some lessons there I realised it would be more difficult for me as I did not know the area. Hence, a test there would require double concentration on driving and focusing on the roads.
I then did a couple more tests in my initial chosen test centre until I decided that maybe I should switch test centre as the one I had been trying to pass at had been reputed for a very low pass rate. At this point I had driven for months and I was not so worried about not knowing test routes. I simply wanted to pass. With money running low from paying for driving lessons and tests, I decided to buy my own car. It was a big decision but I cannot recommend it enough! I could drive for as many hours as I wanted and this really made me an experienced driver.
Although, I was ready to take the test with my own car by this time, I decided to delay my driving test for a few months due to final year exams, which I did not want to fail. I then did another test in June and I felt physically sick and was convinced that at the end I would be told I hadn’t passed the test due to a few minor mistakes. However, to my surprise and delight I did pass. I was in so much shock and also super happy that I cried. I did 3 minor mistakes but I still managed to pass. This just shows you that you will eventually pass and given that you get the right person who will give you a chance, anything is possible.
To conclude, the driving test is not easy unless you are either naturally gifted OR super lucky. I think the latter is the most important as I do have friends who have passed their tests first time yet are too afraid to drive. Just remember you are not defined by the times that you do your test and actually this shows perseverance. According to a recent survey those who fail their tests are more intelligent than those who pass first time hehe.
Please do share your driving test experiences below and I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Lots of love,