Pre-test nerves

Taking a test of any kind can have an unexpected effect on our minds and bodies - it's a condition often referred to as 'pre-test nerves'. A common symptom can be the need to use a toilet more often than usual. If you need to use the toilet before your driving test, don't put it off as this can just add to the pressure.

If you suffer from driving test nerves then remember, you are not alone. Driving test nerves affect most learner drivers, these learners will eventually go on to pass their driving test. Nerves tell the body to produce adrenalin that helps you to think clearly when under stress.

Dont book your test for a morning if you hate getting up or you are an afternoon person

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation in which the mind is able to accept suggestions as it bypasses the conscious, analytical mind. www.TrueColoursHypnotherapy.com this is a local company based in the Castle arcade , Cardiff and is run by Richard Harris Dip.Hyp, Dip.LCH, GQHP, CRSST, GHR reg., MIRP CertRP and can help you achieve a relaxed state helping you to think clearly and make the right decisions when attending your driving test.

Many of us will be able to recall how nerve-racking it can be to take an exam. Butterflies in our stomach, sweaty palms, a racing heart and panicking that we won’t be able to remember anything we’ve learnt are all common feelings before an exam. Feeling nervous is a natural emotion and for lots of people these feelings actually help to motivate them and focus their minds. However if these feelings become intense they can threaten an individual’s performance and even cause them to achieve below their true potential.

The hypnotherapy-directory.org.uk has links to registered hypnotherapists in all areas that deal with exam nerves

1.confidence

Remind yourself that instructor wouldn't be putting you in for your test if he didn't think you were good enough. During your lessons you're already driving at a standard where they consider you're safe and responsible enough to be on your own. Now all you've got to do is to show the examiner what you're capable of and that driving licence is all yours!

2: visualise

Tap into the power of visualisation and positive thinking - sports stars use it regularly to help them attain their peak performance. Spend time imagining yourself successfully carrying out difficult manoeuvres and dealing confidently with heavy traffic. This will reinforce the message to your subconscious mind that you can do these things and lessen the likelihood of you falling apart on your test.

3: support

Get support. Talking through any anxieties with friends, family and your instructor will help you feel more positive, and many of them will be able to give you useful advice and encouragement. Herbal remedies for nerves such as Kalms can be helpful - but you do have to start taking them a couple of weeks in advance to reap the full benefits.

4: breathe

Breathing exercises can be very useful - practicing them doesn't have to involve sitting cross-legged in a room surrounded by burning incense. Just focusing on your in and out breaths will have a soothing effect - you might like to try counting the breaths, or focusing on a mantra such as 'I feel calm'.

5: flower power

Many ex-learners put their success down to Bach Rescue Remedy. This is a new-age concoction of 'flower essences' developed by Dr Edward Bach, a Harley Street doctor and homeopath. It's available from most health food shops and has a reputation for being very effective in stressful situations.

6: eat a banana

Shortly before your test, eat a banana. It's well-known among instructors as the driving test superfood, for the following reasons - bananas are full of B vitamins, which help calm the nerves. They contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into seratonin, the 'happy hormone' - which will keep your mood upbeat. And they're also high in potassium. When we are stressed our metabolic rate rises and potassium levels decrease. Eating a high-potassium snack like a banana will help rebalance the levels of this important mineral, normalise your heartbeat and send extra oxygen to the brain.

7: distract yourself

Sitting in the waiting room before your test is often the situation where people feel the most anxious. It's a good idea to bring a book or magazine to distract yourself. If you've been practicing breathing exercises, this is an excellent time to get them going. And remind yourself that this is the worst bit - once you're actually on your test you'll be so busy concentrating on the road that your nerves will ease off.

8: pretend to be a taxi

If the thought of being tested freaks you out, stop thinking of it as a test - instead imagine that you're taking someone home and as you don't know where they live they have to give you directions. If you've failed your test through nerves several times, then the answer is to ask your instructor to get your driving above the standard required by the test. That way you can underperform due to anxiety on the day, but still be of a high enough standard to get that vital pass.

From The Girls' Guide to Losing Your L Plates - how to pass your driving test published by Simon and Schuster at £7.99

Please see the following websitewww.lofaway2pass.com/ for sensible advice that may help you to overcome nerves