The Student Room Group

How to keep going after multiple driving test fails and long time learning?

Hi. I failed my third driving test today, and after this one I feel particularly deflated and frustrated. I would like to hear from those who also failed multiple tests about how you persevered? I started lessons in June 2019, and due to covid and other absences from learning, I didn't take my first test until April 2022. But due to covid, it has been months between tests and the cost of continuing lessons, cost of tests, and having less than a year left on my theory; it really is getting me down. Each test I have been more nervous than the last. I have discussed this with my driving instructor and she has said I am good driver and that my fails have all be understandable, that I get too much in my head. At the moment I am having trouble believing her. I would like to hear it from a similar perspective to me (especially those who have learnt during covid), does anyone have any tips to keep going and how you persevered, and believed that it would eventually happen for you?
(edited 1 year ago)
My take? Book a new test ASAP... then have a sulk about it, knowing you have that ahead.

I took 3 tries to pass

1st - It went near perfect till the last 5 min, where i failed to notice a red light on a roundabout (I didn't know that was a thing) and then in frustration cut across the roundabout exit lanes (another fail) - I basically took the fail on the chin, I knew exactly what I did wrong and was raring for another go (my instructor still thinks this was the best test I drove overall)

My 2nd I made a lot more small errors, and then by bad luck my temp and not local examiner mistakenly directed me into a v small private car park to turn after I'd missed a turn and he was trying to navigate back, essentially there was no way out of this situation without hitting kerbs and mounting pavements, so failed on that.. The guy had the decency to admit at the end that rules were rules, but he knew it was his fault for putting me in an impossible situation. After this I took a massive sulk...

..I'd went home depressed but booked the next test before I felt any more demotivated. My 3rd test was maybe 2 months later and I had no lessons or practice in between and pretty much turned up for the 3rd test in a surly tired mood wanting to fail and get it over with... that did the trick. It took away any pressure to impress and I just drove 'normally', still a good few errors and the guy did me a solid by not giving me a 3rd strike for lane positioning when I kept doing it.

Stick at it, I learned late but a few years on I'm driving some seriously fun and powerful cars while enjoying getting into fixing and modifying them. I don't regret any of the effort or fails in getting here.
Reply 2
It might help to get someone to sit with you and do a mock test. Half the battle here is with your head.

If you believe you can drive - you will .... put your I have passed my test head on before you do your test and then just drive safely and carefully

Study each of the fail certificates and identify the reasons for your fail - work on those areas

Go absolutely slow and steady in the first five minutes of your test until you settle in.

Never give in you are so nearly there
Original post by StriderHort
My take? Book a new test ASAP... then have a sulk about it, knowing you have that ahead.

I took 3 tries to pass

1st - It went near perfect till the last 5 min, where i failed to notice a red light on a roundabout (I didn't know that was a thing) and then in frustration cut across the roundabout exit lanes (another fail) - I basically took the fail on the chin, I knew exactly what I did wrong and was raring for another go (my instructor still thinks this was the best test I drove overall)

My 2nd I made a lot more small errors, and then by bad luck my temp and not local examiner mistakenly directed me into a v small private car park to turn after I'd missed a turn and he was trying to navigate back, essentially there was no way out of this situation without hitting kerbs and mounting pavements, so failed on that.. The guy had the decency to admit at the end that rules were rules, but he knew it was his fault for putting me in an impossible situation. After this I took a massive sulk...

..I'd went home depressed but booked the next test before I felt any more demotivated. My 3rd test was maybe 2 months later and I had no lessons or practice in between and pretty much turned up for the 3rd test in a surly tired mood wanting to fail and get it over with... that did the trick. It took away any pressure to impress and I just drove 'normally', still a good few errors and the guy did me a solid by not giving me a 3rd strike for lane positioning when I kept doing it.

Stick at it, I learned late but a few years on I'm driving some seriously fun and powerful cars while enjoying getting into fixing and modifying them. I don't regret any of the effort or fails in getting here.


I started learning when I was 23 and I am nearly 27 (that is due the the absences and covid), so another late starter haha. I am just waiting on confirmation on whether I can do another test in just over month, so hopefully all being well I can focus on that.

My 1st fail was instant - big roundabout approached too fast and had to slow suddenly for a car coming from the right, caused me to stall when picking up speed again. The examiner had drop the gear for me and pull on wheel due to oncoming traffic. But after pulling over and being a mess, I carried on.

Second - Several minors for hesitation and planning but not 15, but one major for impeding a driver from reversing. I thought they were at the back of a line of traffic so waited behind them, but turns out they were reversing into another street.

This time - only a couple of minors for hesitation, but a major for planning again. Mini roundabout, started to pull out but the car from the right was a little too close so had to slow. I saw it and knew I should have braked and let it pass, but pressure from the car behind got the better of me and I went.

Thank you however! I just need to believe that I will do it, however long it takes and that once I have passed it will all seem like a distant memory.
I was the same as you, I used to get so ridiculously nervous and it took me 6 tests! I later discovered I am dyspraxic so that explained why I struggled so much with reversing etc. I used to spend hours looking online to see if I was riddled with some rare condition that meant I couldn’t drive… 🤦🏼*♀️🤣
Seriously though so much of it comes down to luck on the day. The test I passed wasn’t my best drive, I was apparently speeding a couple of times but he said my overall drive was good. Had he been a different instructor I’m not sure it would have gone in my favour.
Original post by Muttly
It might help to get someone to sit with you and do a mock test. Half the battle here is with your head.

If you believe you can drive - you will .... put your I have passed my test head on before you do your test and then just drive safely and carefully

Study each of the fail certificates and identify the reasons for your fail - work on those areas

Go absolutely slow and steady in the first five minutes of your test until you settle in.

Never give in you are so nearly there


That is what my instructor said she is basically going to do with me during the time until my next tests. Each one I have improved on the one before and she said I have progressively got calmer despite feeling more anxious. Thank you!
Original post by Pinkzippy75
I was the same as you, I used to get so ridiculously nervous and it took me 6 tests! I later discovered I am dyspraxic so that explained why I struggled so much with reversing etc. I used to spend hours looking online to see if I was riddled with some rare condition that meant I couldn’t drive… 🤦🏼*♀️🤣
Seriously though so much of it comes down to luck on the day. The test I passed wasn’t my best drive, I was apparently speeding a couple of times but he said my overall drive was good. Had he been a different instructor I’m not sure it would have gone in my favour.


Haha, the amount of things I have googled since failing has been unbelievable haha! I own my mistakes and each time I have been aware as soon as they have happened, so I take that as a positive and I guess that is what I have to tune into also. Thanks for sharing
Original post by chloesweeney95
That is what my instructor said she is basically going to do with me during the time until my next tests. Each one I have improved on the one before and she said I have progressively got calmer despite feeling more anxious. Thank you!


A colleague failed 5 times and he is one of the best drivers I know. In the end his instructor sat in the back ...[I'm not sure whether covid has lifted restrictions on this?]
Reply 8
Original post by chloesweeney95
Hi. I failed my third driving test today, and after this one I feel particularly deflated and frustrated. I would like to hear from those who also failed multiple tests about how you persevered? I started lessons in June 2019, and due to covid and other absences from learning, I didn't take my first test until April 2022. But due to covid, it has been months between tests and the cost of continuing lessons, cost of tests, and having less than a year left on my theory; it really is getting me down. Each test I have been more nervous than the last. I have discussed this with my driving instructor and she has said I am good driver and that my fails have all be understandable, that I get too much in my head. At the moment I am having trouble believing her. I would like to hear it from a similar perspective to me (especially those who have learnt during covid), does anyone have any tips to keep going and how you persevered, and believed that it would eventually happen for you?

It will eventually happen for you - my neighbour got her licence at 60.
Original post by chloesweeney95
Hi. I failed my third driving test today, and after this one I feel particularly deflated and frustrated. I would like to hear from those who also failed multiple tests about how you persevered? I started lessons in June 2019, and due to covid and other absences from learning, I didn't take my first test until April 2022. But due to covid, it has been months between tests and the cost of continuing lessons, cost of tests, and having less than a year left on my theory; it really is getting me down. Each test I have been more nervous than the last. I have discussed this with my driving instructor and she has said I am good driver and that my fails have all be understandable, that I get too much in my head. At the moment I am having trouble believing her. I would like to hear it from a similar perspective to me (especially those who have learnt during covid), does anyone have any tips to keep going and how you persevered, and believed that it would eventually happen for you?


Hiya. It took me 6 times to pass my driving and due to covid I had to retake my theory test as it had expired. All I can stay is keep going! It’s easier said than done but I’ve done it now, it’s been 2 years and I’ve never had an accident or even come close to one. I look back and think if I’d passed any earlier I wouldn’t have been As safe as I am now. The best thing is to keep practising if you can with parents, family & friends whenever you can and tell yourself you will pass. I also had chewing gum during my last exam to calm me down I don’t know if that might help if you're a nervous person like me but it did me good.
Original post by chloesweeney95
Hi. I failed my third driving test today, and after this one I feel particularly deflated and frustrated. I would like to hear from those who also failed multiple tests about how you persevered? I started lessons in June 2019, and due to covid and other absences from learning, I didn't take my first test until April 2022. But due to covid, it has been months between tests and the cost of continuing lessons, cost of tests, and having less than a year left on my theory; it really is getting me down. Each test I have been more nervous than the last. I have discussed this with my driving instructor and she has said I am good driver and that my fails have all be understandable, that I get too much in my head. At the moment I am having trouble believing her. I would like to hear it from a similar perspective to me (especially those who have learnt during covid), does anyone have any tips to keep going and how you persevered, and believed that it would eventually happen for you?



To be honest it just depends on the examiner some are more lenient than others.

I remember a examiner posted on Reddit saying if they pass too many or fail too many they could get investigated so they are more harsh on some tests than others.

I remember my friend was failed because she didn’t make it obvious when check mirrors.

Second tests she did the same thing but messed up her reverse park, forgot to put a seatbelt on for 30 mins, cut someone off on a roundabout and still passed.

The tests are stupid really as everybody marks differently and nobody on the uk roads drive as the examiners want you to in test form.
I was failed on my first test for going up a tiny road that limit is 60 but I went 50 as its way too dangerous to go 60. It’s a tight 2 way road and if both cars go 60 there will be accidents.
After I passed second time - different instructor he praised me for not going the 60 speed limit as it was a tight road and could lead to accidents.
(edited 1 year ago)
My sister took 9 goes. it was just nerves. Keep going, you will get there :smile:
I failed first time, about 5 mins in. The test ended early due to Covid restrictions at the time. I hadn’t given way, and that did it for me. Really beat myself up over it.

My best friend passed 11 days later, and I will admit I felt very jealous and very stupid for failing. I don’t cope well with failure, and genuinely believed I’d passed.

I booked my second test the same day, and as it was quite far away I felt very despondent. Didn’t think about driving and contemplated not bothering. Got a cancellation for the March (I’d failed start of January), and had about 4 more hours of lessons.

I’d already had an exam at college that day, and was so focussed on that I didn’t think about my test. Started driving and I convinced myself I’d failed and stopped caring. Just drove ‘normally’ as if nothing else would matter. I passed with 8 minors (not brilliant, I know).

You will eventually pass, when it’s your time. Just don’t add any undue pressure on yourself - easier said than done, but it’s not helpful. Best of luck! :smile:
Original post by StriderHort
My take? Book a new test ASAP... then have a sulk about it, knowing you have that ahead.

I took 3 tries to pass

1st - It went near perfect till the last 5 min, where i failed to notice a red light on a roundabout (I didn't know that was a thing) and then in frustration cut across the roundabout exit lanes (another fail) - I basically took the fail on the chin, I knew exactly what I did wrong and was raring for another go (my instructor still thinks this was the best test I drove overall)

My 2nd I made a lot more small errors, and then by bad luck my temp and not local examiner mistakenly directed me into a v small private car park to turn after I'd missed a turn and he was trying to navigate back, essentially there was no way out of this situation without hitting kerbs and mounting pavements, so failed on that.. The guy had the decency to admit at the end that rules were rules, but he knew it was his fault for putting me in an impossible situation. After this I took a massive sulk...

..I'd went home depressed but booked the next test before I felt any more demotivated. My 3rd test was maybe 2 months later and I had no lessons or practice in between and pretty much turned up for the 3rd test in a surly tired mood wanting to fail and get it over with... that did the trick. It took away any pressure to impress and I just drove 'normally', still a good few errors and the guy did me a solid by not giving me a 3rd strike for lane positioning when I kept doing it.

Stick at it, I learned late but a few years on I'm driving some seriously fun and powerful cars while enjoying getting into fixing and modifying them. I don't regret any of the effort or fails in getting here.


I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!
Original post by Muttly
It might help to get someone to sit with you and do a mock test. Half the battle here is with your head.

If you believe you can drive - you will .... put your I have passed my test head on before you do your test and then just drive safely and carefully

Study each of the fail certificates and identify the reasons for your fail - work on those areas

Go absolutely slow and steady in the first five minutes of your test until you settle in.

Never give in you are so nearly there



I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!
Original post by Pinkzippy75
I was the same as you, I used to get so ridiculously nervous and it took me 6 tests! I later discovered I am dyspraxic so that explained why I struggled so much with reversing etc. I used to spend hours looking online to see if I was riddled with some rare condition that meant I couldn’t drive… 🤦🏼*♀️🤣
Seriously though so much of it comes down to luck on the day. The test I passed wasn’t my best drive, I was apparently speeding a couple of times but he said my overall drive was good. Had he been a different instructor I’m not sure it would have gone in my favour.


I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!
Original post by Carolbaka
Hiya. It took me 6 times to pass my driving and due to covid I had to retake my theory test as it had expired. All I can stay is keep going! It’s easier said than done but I’ve done it now, it’s been 2 years and I’ve never had an accident or even come close to one. I look back and think if I’d passed any earlier I wouldn’t have been As safe as I am now. The best thing is to keep practising if you can with parents, family & friends whenever you can and tell yourself you will pass. I also had chewing gum during my last exam to calm me down I don’t know if that might help if you're a nervous person like me but it did me good.


I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!
Original post by Ghostlady
My sister took 9 goes. it was just nerves. Keep going, you will get there :smile:


Original post by ReviseSleeping
I failed first time, about 5 mins in. The test ended early due to Covid restrictions at the time. I hadn’t given way, and that did it for me. Really beat myself up over it.

My best friend passed 11 days later, and I will admit I felt very jealous and very stupid for failing. I don’t cope well with failure, and genuinely believed I’d passed.

I booked my second test the same day, and as it was quite far away I felt very despondent. Didn’t think about driving and contemplated not bothering. Got a cancellation for the March (I’d failed start of January), and had about 4 more hours of lessons.

I’d already had an exam at college that day, and was so focussed on that I didn’t think about my test. Started driving and I convinced myself I’d failed and stopped caring. Just drove ‘normally’ as if nothing else would matter. I passed with 8 minors (not brilliant, I know).

You will eventually pass, when it’s your time. Just don’t add any undue pressure on yourself - easier said than done, but it’s not helpful. Best of luck! :smile:


I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!
Original post by chloesweeney95
I passed today!!!! 4th try - 3 minors. Just wanted to say thank you for all the reassurance and guidance!


Congratulations!!’
Well done @chloesweeney95 - woohoo :smile:
Drive like Grandma now for the next 12 months (at then some - the next 50 years if the powers permit)

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