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How I Coped With Driving Test Failures: A Case Study

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 14 Jun 2013 | comments*Discuss
Driving Driving Test Failures Failing

Failing your practical driving test can be utterly demoralising, especially if you were confident that you would pass with flying colours. It can be tempting to wallow in self pity for days or even weeks afterwards, but this is almost always going to be counter productive in terms of moving on from the setback. Lucy Davies (23) is becoming something of an expert at coping with driving test failures after failing her test on several occasions. Here, she shares her tips for putting the disappointment behind you and moving on from it.

Bouncing Back

To cope with the disappointment of failing her first driving test, Lucy decided to book her next driving test as soon as possible afterwards. She says, “I felt that sorting out the next driving test and looking forward to the prospect of having another chance to pass would help with my disappointment”. It is common to feel too disillusioned to want to do this, but in putting things off, you risk losing your nerve altogether.


Lucy was understandably very nervous when it came to taking her next driving test as she was very conscious of the fact that she had failed on her last attempt. She says, “I was less confident for my second driving test as I had failed once before, and this had an inevitable impact. I tried not to let the nerves get the better of me as I had belief in my driving ability”.

Multiple Setbacks

Lucy was very upset to fail her driving test for a second time, especially as she felt that she was better prepared on that occasion. She says, “In a way, I was much more disappointed to fail for a second time as I had not really expected to pass on my first attempt. I genuinely believed that I was a better driver when I took my second test, so I was absolutely gutted to fail again”. As she did before, Lucy immediately booked her third driving test to get herself in the right frame of mind for another attempt.

Regular Driving Practice

Even when booking her next driving test straight away, Lucy usually has to wait six weeks between her test re-takes. This gap means that keeping up with her driving lessons is an essential way to make sure that her driving skills don't desert her before the date of her next test arrives. As she says, “I have to really, or I would get very rusty!”.

Staying Positive

Lucy has the following advice for others who have found themselves in a similar situation: “Keep going with it! After a few fails, you can quickly get used to failure so the most important thing is not to let it get to you as it is very easy to get into a depressive mentality about it. Once you have failed, book your next test. You can resit the test as many times as it takes, and in the end being able to drive and having that independence will be worth all of the expense and stress”.

Are you in the same position? Check out our Tips for Passing Your Driving Test.

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