I just passed my test today. I passed theory first time around (I read one of the books but I also found a very reliable website that had accurate quizzes straight from the books). If I can find the link I'll post it, it really helped me.
I failed my first exam due to nerves. No result on my second exam due to a mechanical error in my instructors car (I had one mark on my paper too, was so upset)! Third time was today its high winds and rainy and I still passed with five minors
I had a new examiner so her boss sat in the car too, that was a bit nerve wracking.
I would def say lessons. I drove about the same length as you in the states as I'm 28, but cars and roads are so different here. My instructor told me to constantly mirror check as they look at you for that. If you get a good instructor they will teach you their car, then jump you right into the road. After my second test I just practiced in my husbands car (learners insurance is cheaper then lessons) so getting used to the instructors car was a bit difficult this morning. I think the biggest thing is overcoming nerves. The examiners are actually really nice, you just have to be confident.
Test is 38 -4O mins, I can give you a pic of the exam and what they test you on if you like. I was a bag of nerves this morning and I somehow pulled it off. I agree with the others to learn your area. Even when I wasn't driving I was constantly asking my husband which lane I would need to be I etc and I practiced manoeuvres in my head or around the living room (I know I'm crazy but the visualisation helped me). Also If you have tricky roundabouts in your town ( we have one) my instructor said YouTube it and there will be explanations of how to go about it.
I started lessons in Octoberish and just passed, so it wasn't easy. Doesn't help my test centre gets booked up a month out.