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Pass your driving test the first time and become a safer driving by following our top tips for success.

Every learner driver would love to pass their driving test first time, but unfortunately not everyone does. Although the latest statistics from the Driving Standards Agency reveal that 50% of men and 42% of women pass on their first attempt, it still means that a high number of young would-be drivers are walking home disappointed.

It’s worth remembering that passing your test doesn’t automatically make you a great driver. Statistics show that a fifth of new drivers are involved in a crash within six months of passing.

So how can you pass your test first time, while cementing your status as a safe driver? By following these top tips, of course. Even if you didn’t pass your test first time, these tips will help you to understand where you might be going wrong: and are sure to help you to take on whatever obstacles the road ahead might pose.

Don’t be overconfident. Being cocky results in poor risk assessment, and you could end up causing an accident. Your instructor’s not likely to be happy when you bring the test car back in dire need of windscreen repair or a new paint-job.

Do be relaxed. Practicing relaxation techniques will help you to calmly take in your surroundings and react safely. It’s also a good way to stave off tense muscles during the test itself; there’s nothing worse than failing a manoeuvre because your leg just won’t stop shaking.

Don’t pick up tips from other drivers. People who already have their licenses often acquire bad habits on the road, like driving one handed or not indicating on roundabouts. These unsafe attitudes might cause accidents, and will definitely land you with a big fat fail.

Do be an active passenger. When you’re in the car with friends and family members who already have their licenses, pay attention to the road and think about what you would do in their situation. Keep your thoughts to yourself, though: nobody likes being told off by a newbie.

Don’t put pressure on yourself. It’s a wise idea to tell as few people as possible that you’re taking the test. It’s not about superstition; it’s about avoiding excess stress. On the day of your test you’re already going to be feeling nervous, and knowing that your entire social circle is waiting to hear the result can easily push you over the edge. Being panicked can also cause accidents, as it makes it difficult to think critically. The date of your test should be on a strictly “need to know” basis.

Do practice as much as possible. If you can’t schedule in extra lessons with your instructor, beg a friend or family member to take you out in a dual control car. Make sure they have a full license and are over 21. Take a lazy drive out into the countryside or practice some test routes. Even if it’s an aimless drive, you’ll still come face to face with interesting scenarios that might have flummoxed you in your test.

Don’t Take your friends advice as gospel. If they take you out driving you can ask them for help, but remember to check if they’re right by asking your instructor the next time you have a lesson. As mentioned before, seasoned drivers often have unconventional ideas about what is safe and what isn’t. Your best mate might think it’s okay to bump up on the kerb during a turn in the road, but you know better.

Good luck!