You’ve passed your theory test and your driving instructor has informed you that you’re ready to take a practical test, but what should you do the morning of your practical exam? The practical test may only last 40 minutes, but it’s important like any exam that you’re well prepared to pass and avoid getting any major faults. To pass you need to avoid any major faults and only have 0-15 minor faults. We’ve put together a checklist for learners to ensure they’re set for their driving test and to help them pass first time. Check you have everything you need Thousands of driving tests a year don’t go ahead because the candidate fails to turn up with everything needed on the day. Make sure you have all the required documents and that your car is properly equipped and up to the test standard. Use your instructor’s car Make the most of taking your test in a car you know well and feel comfortable in. Not only will it definitely be up to the examiners’ standard (there are certain requirements like having additional mirrors that test cars have to meet) but you’ll also have an advantage when it comes to the newly-changed ‘Show Me Tell Me’ section of the test – knowing precisely where and how to activate controls such as the air-con or fog lights, for example. Ask your instructor to talk you through the mechanics of the car as many times as you need. This will help you to sail through the beginning part of your test, so you can start it off feeling confident before you’ve even got out on the road. Get to know your test routes It’s impossible to know where you will be directed on the day or what traffic or hazards you’ll face along the way. However, once you’ve selected your test centre, you can always get to know the area and test routes beforehand. Make sure you’ve practiced on a variety of roads. A mixture of major and minor roads, country lanes and dual carriageways are important if you want to avoid any nasty surprises on test day. Have a lesson beforehand We’d also recommend fitting in a driving lesson on the day of your test if possible – that way you can go over any manoeuvres or ask for clarification on last-minute questions you may have. A lesson beforehand will help calm your nerves and put you in the right frame of mind for driving, especially if you have been receiving two-hour lessons in the weeks building up to your test, which we’d also recommend. Take a mock driving test Do at least one mock test, under test conditions and using a test route. This will help you prepare for the big day and help to settle your nerves as you will know what to expect. An important point is to keep the date of your real practical test quiet – the more people you tell the more pressure you will feel on the day. Get a good night’s sleep Make sure that you don’t have a late night before the day of the test. If you have time, have a lesson beforehand to settle the nerves and get you thinking in the right way about your driving. Keep calm Any time you feel tense or feel you’ve lost your focus, or if you feel you’ve made a mistake on your test, remember to concentrate on your breathing and take a few deep breaths. This will calm your mind, stop you dwelling in the past and help you focus on the next instruction. Remember, any mistake you feel you’ve made may only be minor, in which case you can still pass your test. And don’t feel shy if you didn’t understand something. Ask your examiner to repeat any instructions you’re not sure of. When is the best time to book a driving test? There’s plenty of discussion about when you should book a test to give yourself the best chance of success depending on the season, the day of the week and even the time of day. But what’s the truth? In terms of season, taking your test in winter obviously means more chance of icy roads or snowfall, so you might want to wait until the weather warms up a little. Taking your test on a weekday may mean navigating rush-hour and school-run traffic, but remember that Saturday tests are more expensive. Generally speaking, you have more chances of passing a test outside of rush hour as there are fewer cars on the road and less congestion – meaning less likelihood of being distracted by those around you. If this sounds like you, try and book a slot in the middle of the morning or afternoon, or in summer after the evening rush hour. Get learner driver insurance from 75p per day Cheap learner driver insurance can be hard to find. So we work with many insurance providers to offer value-for-money policies without compromising on the level of cover. Also give us a ring back once you’ve passed your test as we also offer young driver car insurance.