Today is one of those days that you never forget. Driving Test Day. It’s one of those days that you know is going to be historic in your life… you’ll be sitting in rocking chair in 50 years time telling your grandchildren about your driving test ‘back in the day’.. you’ll be teaching your son/daughter how to drive and be saying ‘When i was sitting my driving test…’
So it’s a pressure situation. Made even more daunting by the fact i’ve publicly blogged about how i expect to pass and how the test is too easy– before i even sat it 😯 So i was digging a large grave for myself before today. I also had to wait, by myself, for 25 minutes in a small room until i was called. That’s when you pass or fail imo, that’s a huge amount of mental pressure and the weak will fail in that room before they even sit in a car.
BUT, as always, i’ve an ability to cope with pressure and perform when i need to. When i was called in, she asked for my license – I forgot my license in the car – big mistake. The tester was not too pleased, but i ran out for it and back in. At this stage, i had just lost some respect from the tester and delayed us, so i knew i’d have to drive flawlessly to redeem myself. She then started machine gunning me with rules of the road questions.. all of which i was ready for.
Out we went to my car.. checking indicators, brakes, lifting the bonnet, explaining where the coolant/oil etc is and how to check for it.. We then drove off, winding our way around town, through a bypass (100km/hr), two roundabouts and a set of traffic lights. I was ultra-aware of pedestrians crossing etc.. and literally bent my body around at junctions etc.. to make sure she knew i was observing all around me. Again, totally un-natural and OTT – but that’s how you pass a test – by acting like a plank for 30 minutes.
The reverse around a corner manouver was on a road i’d never driven on before, but it was a very gentle corner so i had no trouble with that, and made sure i stayed well away from the kerb. The 3 point turn was perfect and done in 3 turns, even though it’s very tight. I was very close to the kerbs, but not touching – i’m a master at getting it just right 😉
After that was a hill start. I actually forgot about the hill start, but she asked me to pull in and i was like WTF, another 3 point turn?! But she then just asked me to pull off and i made sure the car didn’t roll back. After that i knew it was plain sailing – that was all the ‘hard’ stuff over and i guessed i had passed at that point, provided i didn’t do anything stupid like run a red light or mow down pedestrians. So i kept my head and returned to the test centre.
A total of 3 blue marks (you’re allowed up to 8), so i was very comfortable indeed. One was for speeding which i would argue against as i was never doing more than 35mph, even though the limit is 30mph – that’s fairly harsh as there was a big tail back behind me and it really shouldn’t be a 30mph zone. I knew i was breaking the limit, but only by a few mph so it’s hardly ‘speeding’. The other two ticks were both for stopping/slowing down. I was probably too close to the cars in front when stopping, but again nothing majorly dangerous, i wasn’t sitting on their tailights or anything and i thought i could see their back wheels, but maybe I crept forward a bit before they had moved off so i’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.
So yeah – passed with flying colours. A total of 13 lessons ever – total drive time 13 hours 🙄 Doesn’t mean much to me to be honest, but it will save me a few hundred €€€ in lessons and knock a bit off insurance in years to come.
Advice for any learner; keep it cool, relax, and be confident. Try and take a last ditch lesson before the test – just to keep you in test mode. It worked for me. I know this won’t help you, but the test really is too easy and it’s only a matter of time before it gets tougher. Consider yourself lucky to have a relatively easy test, in any other country, things would be much tougher.
My test centre, in Monaghan, has a 49.9% pass rate which means 1 in 2 fail. It’s the same nationwide 🙄 Here i am saying the test is too easy – but it’s true. Any of my non-Irish readers, i can guarantee you you’d laugh at our test and system if you knew exactly how it worked. The fact i predicted i’d pass tells it’s own story. None the less, congratulations to me
Here’s my cert to say i passed…