Driving tests are a nerve-wracking event, and one which everyone must go through in order to become a fully-fledged driver on UK roads. No one plans to fail their driving test, but nonetheless failure happens. If you’re the one that has recently suffered failure at the hands of a practical or theory exam, you may be looking for advice – and here it is, in the form of five things you can do after a test failure.

Talk About It

There’s no getting around the fact that failing your test is a disappointing result, but its important you don’t let that disappointment become discouragement. By talking it through with someone else, you can externalise any thoughts you’ve had about your test failure and gain new perspective on the way things went. Make sure to speak with a friend who has already passed their test; their insights on the test, and on driving in general, can help you understand and come to terms with the reason for your failure.

Remember It’s Normal

Failing is a natural part of the learning process, whatever the field, and driving is no different. The average pass rate for driving and theory tests is around 45.5%, and has remained around that level for well over a decade. This means that more than half of all driving tests taken have resulted in failure – putting you in the majority. By understanding that you aren’t an outlier for failing, and that you’re in good company, you can quickly put to bed the notion that you are an inferior driver, and instead focus your efforts on becoming the 45.5% next time round.

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Keep Practicing

Practicing is the only measurable way in which you can increase your chances of passing the practical portion of your driving test. As a learner driver, you can get temporary car insurance to keep you covered while practicing between tests, whether driving your own car or using a friend’s or family member’s; this will enable you to practice legally, as well as reduce any potential anxiety from the possibility of getting involved in an accident.

Think of the First Test as a Practice Run

With your first test – and first failure – out of the way, you can re-frame your test as a dry run of the real thing. Having undergone the test itself, you know exactly what to expect from the next one, giving you the edge and improving your chances next time round. You’ll also have dispelled a lot of your ‘first test’ nerves, meaning you can approach your next attempt with a calm and level head.

Don’t Delay

Even if you feel somewhat deflated by the unfortunate result of your first attempt, book your next test straight away. Having another immediate deadline by which to have brushed up your skills and knowledge gives you no time to mope or become demoralised. Instead, you can get stuck in to preparing again, and maintain the knowledge with which you went into your first test. Momentum is key, especially with the learning of a new skill such as driving; taking an extended break between test attempts is only likely to result in forgetting key things, where striking while the iron is hot is more likely to ensure your driving test success.