Nina's story - How I Got My Learner Permit
Roving reporter Nina had been waiting since she was five years old to get her learner permit, and the day had finally arrived!
For any teenager it's a great ordeal waiting to finally turn sweet sixteen and be allowed to sit a test which allows you to drive! It's a real coming out into the world of the 'adults'.
I had been waiting since I was five years old to get my learner permit. It would let me drive and go where I wanted to go.
Unfortunately I'd be doing it with an aggravated and scared parent sitting next to me yelling "do a head-check, adjust your mirrors, turn on your indicator, STOP!!!!" about every three seconds.
But this is just a phase your parents go through. Sometimes I think they're more scared than me!
Do Your Homework
The first thing you have to do when deciding a date to sit your for your learner permit is to get a bit of background knowledge from the VicRoads website (new window). It has pages upon pages of information including how to go about getting 120 hours driving practise once you get your learners.
I read all the information and found out about how if you cancel your test you won't get your money back, and to take another test you have to pay another fee. The most important thing is to set a date and stick to it and study towards it! Personally I advise a week in advance but you have to study consistently.
I booked a date one week ahead and three days after my birthday. I put in around an hour of study morning and night doing the online practice test (new window), which I have to admit is almost IDENTICAL to the questions on the real learner permit test (most questions are actually just reworded). If you are getting high scores on the practise tests, you will do fine on the real test.
Another great help is the Road to Solo Driving (new window) handbook. I still refer back to it even though I've got my Ls now.
Sitting the Test
Sitting the test was quite nerve-wracking. My parents said I would have to pay for it and the re-test if I failed! I didn't want that happening!
They call you inside to this little room filled with computers and ask you to be seated at a particular number, and your name will pop up on the screen (which quite frankly scared me - I thought the computer was possessed!).
When you take the test I advise you not to do what I did which was shake through it and think the worst of the situation. It was the worst five minutes of my life!
Then they call you to the counter and tell you where you went wrong and give you your percentage score. I was quite happy when I passed with a 91% because I thought I had done terribly!
The longest (and worst) part of the test is actually waiting to get your photo taken for your permit but after this the world is at peace, and you can drive!
Tips for Learning Behind the Wheel
My best advice to you is to practise driving on quiet streets at first. Your parents are probably more stressed out than you - and imagine if you did crash their car! You'd probably never drive it again!
Don't take the car straight out onto main roads. Take it slow. Eventually you will get there. You need time to prepare, but it will also be less stressful for your supervising driver.
For more information about driving on your Ls, check out The L Site (new window). It's got quizzes, profiles, tips and information, and heaps more.
For more info on getting your Ls, getting your Ps and other things to do with driving, check out the other pages in our Learning to Drive section.