As you get ready to leave high school, one of the best feelings is being old enough to apply for a learner’s licence and, hopefully, a driver’s licence shortly afterwards. Just a few steps closer to freedom.
Whether you’re applying for the first time or you’ve failed several times, people have to understand that writing a learner’s test is not as easy as you think it is. It takes practice, time and dedication. It’s not just about studying or writing as many tests as possible, you also need to become familiar with a vehicle.
To apply for your learner’s test is a big responsibility. Road safety authorities in South Africa are particular about not allowing people on the roads if they aren’t legal and licensed to be there. And rightly so: you are responsible for your driving actions and those around you. But, before you can cross that bridge, here some important tips you need to consider when preparing for your big test:
Find your location
To apply for your learner’s licence, you need to be 17 years or older. There are a variety of different locations where you can write your test, however, you need to book in advance to get the closest possible date. The application process requires you to fill in some forms and do an eye test, so bring along a proof of residence, money to pay for your booking as well as your South African ID. If you wear glasses, remember to bring them along with you, otherwise a note from your optometrist. (You won’t need to wear them for your learner’s licence picture.) After this process, you’ll need to start studying.
Get your hands on a K53 Learner Book, as well as some past papers to help guide your learning. The first step to passing is understanding the information and exactly what the road rules are. Often people get taught how to drive by their parents or friends who have already formed bad habits on the road, so once you’ve wrapped your head around these rules, you will be far more cautious of their habits. Once you’ve learned about the different road rules, you need to study the internal and external vehicle components.
Practice makes perfect
The mock exams change every year, so get your hands on a few and start learning the different questions, and how to differentiate the answers. Usually, it is just one small word that could change the meaning of the answer, and only if you’ve gotten into a vehicle (without going anywhere) to practice these rules, will you understand the difference between answers. Try your best to study in advance, because cram learning will just confuse you. The quicker you pass your learner’s exam, the faster you’ll be able to apply for your driver’s.
Parents can sometimes be nervous wrecks in a vehicle while their children are trying to drive. If yours do not have the patience to assist you, don’t just forget about practising in a vehicle. Get in touch with a driving school or a professional instructor. They will also give you tips for your test.
Pass your exam
When the day arrives, try your best to remember everything you’ve learned. Remember to focus and read the questions carefully. Make sure you are writing the test for the correct vehicle you’re applying for, as all tests appear on the same document which could confuse you. Some of the past paper questions may appear on the paper which will be a bonus, but for others, try to apply the knowledge you’ve learned from the K53 learner’s guide as best you can. If you pass, you’re free to roam the roads with supervision. You’ll be able to drive a vehicle, as long as you have someone with a valid licence next to you. The more you get to experience the roads, the easier and more confident you will be during your driver’s exam.
Although driving lessons can sometimes be pricey, they are an integral part of passing your driver’s licence. So, consult with a professional school to kick off some lessons before any driver’s exam gets done. There are a lot of beginner driving tips and safety processes to learn when driving with an instructor, so make sure you get time with someone who is patient, qualified and reasonably priced.
If you’d rather prefer to learn how to drive in your own vehicle, there are many cars for sale in Potchefstroom and throughout South Africa which are affordable for any student who is looking to purchase their first vehicle.
Tips to remember before writing your test:
Do not have an over-confident attitude
There are many road signs, and some of them have meanings you would not know unless you had studied them thoroughly. These are not necessarily signs you would have picked up as you’ve grown up, so let go of your ego and take the time to study. Putting the time in will ensure that you pass the first time.
Not understanding the information means you haven’t studied
This is one of the main reasons why people fail. If you have studied, the chances are of you misunderstanding the information is minimal. Make sure you study from a learner’s manual that suits your own learning style best, or draw up some spider diagrams to assist you if need be. Take this opportunity to use anything that will give you a better understanding of what the information is about.
Study properly and practice to avoid test anxiety
Remember that it is not the end of the world if you fail your first learner’s exam. It’s something completely new and it’s not something you can expect. If you are a nervous or anxious person, the best advice would be to make sure that you are well-prepared before entering the exam room. If you understand the book, and have gone over a few mock exams, you’ll be a driver in no time!