As a student pilot, one could feel that the world is his oyster when he’s up there flying in the skies... but only because there’s a CFI sitting right beside him. If he does something wrong, the instructor is there to back him up or even to cover his back. Your instructor will correct whatever mistakes you might make and give direction to avoid doing the same thing again. It’s like having a supportive parent in your childhood: there’s always someone to take care of the worrying for you.
However, life as well as being a pilot is not like that. Now, the question is: how do you prove to your instructor that you are good enough for him to let go of you? This is something I personally struggled with when pursuing my private pilot certificate.
However when it came down to it. I was ready for my private pilot checkride and passed with ease. It may have been years ago but the ideology hasn't changed a bit.
I Was Prepared
I knew what needed to be done, I had studied like crazy, and knew the cross country route he gave me inside and out. You need to be overly prepared for your checkride. Any question is fair game and you should be ready to answer. The main focus is your cross country flight plan. Know everything you can about it. Have backup plans, study the airspace along the route etc...
I Was Professional
Your private pilot checkride is somewhat like a job interview. You're not only trying to impress with your knowledge and flying skills but also with your professionalism. Lets leave our barnstormer connotations behind and be professional.
I Had Humility
This part was actually inspired by a gentleman who commented on my last AOPA post. Have some humility. The checkride examiner knows that you're not going to know everything. Be willing to learn. When you think of humility think of humbleness. Don't be a know it all big shot.