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Question
Posted by: Lucia | 2011-08-07

unable to focus under pressure

My 19 yr old daughter has failed her driving test for the 3rd time. It is not because she can''t drive - according to her instructor, under normal circumstances she drives well , has good control of the car, and should have passed first time. It seems that under pressure she loses focus and concentration, drives erratically and forgets to follow simple procedures. For her last test we tried Biral (advised by Pharmacist) but it did not help. Her driving examiner suggested a sugary drink and sweets to be taken just before her test because the sugar would help to calm her nerves. I would appreciate your opinion and suggestions, or direction if you are not the right person to ask. Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

Hi Lucia,

This is unfortunate and many young people who can drive under normal circumstances fail their tests because of nerves. The sugar could have the opposite effect as too much sugar can make people quite edgy and more anxious. If possible I would suggest your daughter seeing the family doctor or a psychiatrist as there are some medications that can help calm nerves for one-off type situations. It is also about mindset going into the test and your daughter needs to be encouraged to think to herself going into it that she can drive. Telling herself this can provide self-belief - don't worry about making mistakes, but rather show the examiner what you can do rather than worrying about what you might not get right. Also lots of practice helps improve confidence, so she should drive at every opportunity within the boundaries of a learner licence.

Best wishes

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Our users say:
Posted by: Teen expert | 2011-08-17

Hi Lucia,

This is unfortunate and many young people who can drive under normal circumstances fail their tests because of nerves. The sugar could have the opposite effect as too much sugar can make people quite edgy and more anxious. If possible I would suggest your daughter seeing the family doctor or a psychiatrist as there are some medications that can help calm nerves for one-off type situations. It is also about mindset going into the test and your daughter needs to be encouraged to think to herself going into it that she can drive. Telling herself this can provide self-belief - don't worry about making mistakes, but rather show the examiner what you can do rather than worrying about what you might not get right. Also lots of practice helps improve confidence, so she should drive at every opportunity within the boundaries of a learner licence.

Best wishes

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