The Best Pre-Driving Test Rituals to Boost Your Chances of Passing

Passing your driving test; it’s a rite of passage. But the nerves are always there… the night before, the hours before, even the minutes before. For some, shutting the driver’s side door and strapping on the seat belt brings the butterflies back all over again. But it really doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of things you can do in the lead up to help alleviate these nerves and boost your mental game, so you can be sure you’re giving yourself the opportunity to perform your best for your driving test.


Study, study, study

This one seems obvious, but it really is the most foolproof way to ensure you’re ready for your driving exam. If you know the road rules back to front and inside out, and you’ve practiced enough on the road, the test will feel like second nature.


In the lead-up to the day, especially the day before, make sure you are studying the road rules, especially the tiniest ones, because these may pop up in your test. Whether it’s the written exam for your learner’s licence or your driving test for your provisional licence, the more you read and get behind the wheel, the better off you’ll be. And don’t disregard those last-minute study sessions. The night before your test (or even the morning of over breakfast) is the perfect time to review your manual and any notes you have. In fact, this can actually be the best time to determine whether you’re really ready. If you’re reading over your manual and finding you know most things, you’ll go into the test feeling ready. On the other hand, if you find you’re actually learning new things the day of the test, it can mean you’ll go into the test with a realistic expectation of the outcome, and can hopefully be better prepared for next time.


Get a good night of sleep

Nothing says you’re unprepared like yawning and glazed eyes as you arrive at your test. Driving can be a dangerous thing. In fact, fatigue is one of the three big killers on roads in NSW. If you’re actually doing a driving test for your provisional licence, then being tired could mean disastrous consequences. Not only may you forget the rules that you’ve studied so hard to memorise, but you also may find your driving becomes sloppy and even dangerous.


Fuel your body

No you’re not running a 10km marathon, but the driving test, like any exam, can be likened to a mental marathon. The provisional driving test especially can be quite mentally challenging, as not only do you have to remember all the rules on the roads, but you also have to remember how to drive. So make sure you’re fueling your mind and your body with healthy brain food. You may not think that food has a big impact on your brain, but in fact, the brain uses 20% of glucose, 35% of vitamins and minerals, 40% of water and 50% of fat in the body. Remember, the brain is the organ that is organising everything in your body, so it needs to be nourished.

The first thing to remember is to actually eat. Despite it being considered the most important meal of the day, many people skip breakfast. Never do this on the morning of an exam. Eating may feel like the last thing you want to do as nerves fill your tummy, but it’s best to quash them with a hearty meal. Fill up with protein-rich foods such as eggs, yoghurt and lean meat. Porridge, oatmeal or whole-grain cereal are other options. These will also ensure that your body stays fuller for longer so you won’t be ravenous as you’re actually taking the test. It may be a good idea to take some snacks with you just in case though. Pack some protein-rich nuts, some blueberries or some dried fruit. And remember to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, as this can make you lose concentration, cause headaches and cause you to feel faint.


Avoid brain-blocking food

While there are things that are better to eat before an exam, there are, of course, things to avoid. And these are often the most tempting.


Stay away from things that give you an instant sugar kick and foods that are made with white flour such as cookies, cakes and muffins. The reason is that these require added time to digest and don’t fuel your body and brain the way protein-rich foods do.

Additionally, while carbs can be your best friend on the day before the exam as they tend to relax the body, they tend to make you feel more calm than alert; definitely not the feeling you want on exam day.


Take the essentials

Of course, there are things you’ll need with you when you head off to your driving test. Here’s a handy list to check off as you pack your bag.


  • Your log book
  • Your ID
  • A person with a full licence (remember, if you fail your test you can’t drive home)
  • A bottle of water to ensure you’re hydrated
  • Some snacks
  • And while not essential, it’s always best to wear closed-toe shoes.


Taking steps to prepare for passing your driving test

Any exam can be nerve-wracking and confronting. Getting behind a wheel and being able to say you have your licence is a rite of passage in Australia and something most teenagers dream of for many years. But there’s no point getting to your test unprepared. The most important thing is to relax and stay calm, because the more you stress, the more you’ll forget everything you’ve worked so hard for.