Hello everyone, and welcome aboard to another installment of advice from the last person who should be giving it. And today’s topic is driving tests, and how to do well.

Now, I understand that this is more towards the younger Opponauts who either have not gotten their license or not received their full license, or the ones who are getting so old that they need to make sure you still have the mental and motor capacities in order to drive. But hey, maybe it will be helpful to others as well. So, without further ado, let’s get on with it.

Tip #1: Know your shit

This might be the most obvious one, but seriously, know what you’re doing. Have a written test? Go through a handbook once or seven times. Go to driver’s ed once you have your license. Learn everything you can about the rules of the road so that way you don’t get tricked on a test. For example, which way should you turn the wheel when you park? But now the examiner is asking for you to pretend there is no curb. Now you might have to turn the wheel the other way (depending on where you are). Knowing the little things can get you a long way.

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Tip #2: Be able to prove that you know your shit

Remember, your knowledge only serves you so well: it’s your skills that are important. Think you know how to parallel park? Prove it and do it. Then prove it again. Prove it a hundred times. The examiner doesn’t care that you know how to do a left turn without killing both of you, you have to show that you can turn that knowledge into action. So yeah, practice as often as you can.

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Tip #3: Be calm

You’re about to be tested by some random stranger who knows quite literally nothing about you and decides whether you’re good enough to pass or if you’re going to have to pay more money and stand in line again. A lot of these people might be rude. Hell, the first guy who tested me yelled at me as we were driving. You have to know how to keep your cool.

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The first thing is, before the test, positive thoughts: blast pump up music, look in the mirror and say good things about yourself, whatever it is to help get rid of that nervousness. I’m pretty sure driving instructors are specifically bred in order to smell fear, and they will pick up on it. Plus, if you’ve been practicing and doing things right, then it’s obvious you know what you’re doing, so why worry?

The next thing is, although some people might call me crazy for doing this, is to get to know your examiner. You’re about to spend fifteen minutes or half an hour with this person in your car, ask them to say something about themselves in order to put you at ease. It catches them off guard, but it can help put you and them at ease. Hell, I found out that the guy testing me today wants to get into the same field I do, so we replaced most of the awkward silence by talking about that. It made me feel much more at ease.

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Lastly, when you fuck up, don’t let it stop you. Don’t become focused on it, since you have an entire rest of the test to do well on. I butchered my parallel parking, but since that was early on in the test, I made sure to do my best everywhere else I could. Trust me, messing up once doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail the entire test. Unless you vehicular manslaughter someone or blatantly break the law. But you’ve practiced, so there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen, right?

All in all, just give it your best. It’s alright to be nervous, but you know your stuff, you know what you need to do, and you can succeed. So, to all of the Opponauts who are still in the testing phase, I wish you the best of luck. From the guy who took three tries to get his learner’s permit, you can do it!

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And to all the other Opponauts, is there any advice that I missed? Or does anyone have any stories from their tests?

(Stock image is from Insurance Hotline)