Nervous before your road test? This breathing technique can help.

Are you taking your road test soon but feeling nervous about it? Or even if you're not feeling nervous now, chances are when you show up at the test site and meet your examiner, nervous energy may kick in.

In fact, virtually everyone we talk to is nervous before their road test - and for good reason. It's a test. And getting your license is a big deal. And there are things you don't have control over, like traffic conditions, other drivers, and the examiners attitude.


The 4-7-8 breathing technique helps reduce pre-test anxiety and nervousness

The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as "relaxing breath", involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds.

This breathing patterns purpose is to reduce anxiety. For example, people who have trouble sleeping also try this exercise.

Before starting this breathing pattern, find a comfortable place to sit. So, if you're waiting for your road test, the driver's seat of the car is a good place to try it.

To use the 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:

  • Empty the lungs of air
  • Breath in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
  • Hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound, for 8 seconds
  • Repeat the cycle up to 4 times


Staying calm and clear-headed for your road test is key to passing

We have countless data from our post road test surveys that shows just how common being nervous before a test is. Plus, those that did best said they felt relaxed and confident. And remember, pass or fail, it's not the end of the world. Keeping the test itself in perspective allows you to take off some of the burden you might feel.


And of course, practice and be prepared.

Of course, what's also critical to passing your road test is being prepared. That means you should understand what the examiner is looking for, what errors you need to avoid or pay attention to. We've written ultimate road test guides for every single US state. We highly recommend taking a look. Plus many of these guides have videos with our actual road test concierges sharing their tips!

Remember: It's common to be nervous before your road test. Expect to be nervous and you're already ahead of most people.

As always, if you need a car or driver to help pass your test - or have friends who should get their driver's license so you can split the driving with them - send them to our road test concierge page!


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