For those senior students who are in the midst of attaining their BC Drivers Licence, the anxiety and emotional strains of taking the ICBC road test is palpable. But, there are some tips that can help alleviate this anxiousness.
By | Briand Leda
Nothing makes High School Seniors more anxious than their first road test. Well, maybe prom, and capstone, and applications too… As you know, ICBC is notorious for making their road tests “impossibly” difficult. A military amount of attention to detail is necessary to nail the examination.
There’s an unwritten rule that you fail at least once (they should really put that on a pamphlet). Although this is obviously frustrating, they understandably need to make sure the roads are safe from rebellious teenagers who forgot half the rules after receiving their license.
As someone relieved to put this test behind me, I can relate to your situation and believe I am qualified to give advice. I am not saying this to impress you, but to impress upon you that there are certain things you can do to swing the test in your favour.
Schedule Your Test on the Weekend
Specifically, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday – road examiners get paid double on the weekend; also, they are more likely to be in a good mood and let smaller things slide. This is a sneaky way of tipping the odds on your side.
Be Very Patient
There is no rush on this test. You are not going to lose any marks for moving carefully. On the stop sign, wait longer than you usually would. When you prepare to drive again after parking, take your time with the 6 point check, and make sure your transmission is on Drive and not Reverse. You have a lot of time to do what they ask. ICBC is stringent because they prioritize safety, not speed. For instance, you’re given 2 minutes to finish a parallel park (they would never tell you this, of course), that’s a long, long time.
Do not let your nervousness make you rush.
Get Really Good at Maintaining Speed
Maintaining speed with the pedal is a skill. You’ve been told a million times to keep the speed limit, and it’s no joke. If you’re wondering what a precise speed is, it’s a small window from 47-50 Kilometres per hour. If you drive at 52 or 53 for too long, it’s a fail. If you drive too slow, 45 and below when the traffic permits you to go faster, it’s also another potential pitfall. If your speed fluctuates beyond this range for one or two seconds, it’s okay. Just get back to a steadier range.
If there’s traffic, and the average speed is slower than 50, don’t sweat it; you’re doing fine. If the traffic flow is fast, say 60, never catch up to the other cars, stay at the speed limit.
If you’re told to drive in neighbourhoods or residential areas, don’t worry about driving 50. They don’t expect you to zoom past your neighbours anyway. It’s better to be safe in that area and go slowly since a lot is going on.
Road Familiarity is Underrated
Knowing where the hidden stop signs and school zones beforehand are a massive reliever of potential surprises and anxiety. If you know that you’re being examined in a specific area, practice driving there. For example, suppose you’re tested in the Burnaby area. In that case, you may be asked to go to the Moscrop, Brentwood, or Burnaby Heights area.
Shoulder Check, Shoulder Check, and Shoulder Check Again
I cannot stress this enough. If there’s one piece of advice you take from this article, it’s SHOULDER CHECK. Always keep this on your mind; otherwise, you’re bound to eventually miss a shoulder check because it’s so easy to skip this one step.
Of course, there are a million other things to know for this test, but these are some things I wish I knew beforehand for a more successful test. Always practice, and stay safe. Good luck, see you on the road!