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8 Tips to Help You Pass Your Driving Test

  • Cars Explained
  • Renee Martin
  • 8 minutes

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Freedom is a beautiful thing. And learning to drive can truly set you free. However, you aren’t going anywhere without passing your driving test. Here are a few tips to help you pass the test!

Ah, the dreaded driving test. The big day has arrived, and you’re anxious. All you can think of is the world of opportunities that awaits you—the freedom of going anywhere you like at any time you want. But you may want to put a lid on these thoughts, at least for now, since you’ve still got to ace that driving test. Without passing your driving test, you aren’t going anywhere.

To make matters worse, the statistics weigh against you. Nearly half of all new drivers fail the driving test in their first attempt. However, a little bit of knowledge and a lot of practice can go a long way in helping you ace that test. Here are a few tips that could help you out.

Tip 1: Keep your pre-drive checklist handy.

So you’ve passed the written test and are about to hop into the vehicle with the examiner. Before you start the motor, your examiner will observe if you have buckled up safely. Drivers who are nervous often forget to use the seatbelt, leading to instant disqualification.

Next up, make sure you adjust the position of your side and rearview mirrors so that you get a clear view of what’s behind you. Make yourself familiar with the controls for your headlamps and turn indicators, as your examiner could ask you to operate them during your test. The proper use of the car’s controls will demonstrate that you are confident on the road and ready to obtain your driver’s license.

Tip 2: Practice before your driving test

Get plenty of practice behind the wheel before your test. It seems simple enough, but many students don’t put in the time and effort to learn how to drive properly due to their hectic schedules. If you have a learner’s permit, make the most of it. The best way to prepare for your test is to feel at ease behind the wheel of your vehicle.

Spend time practicing in the car that you plan on using for your driving test. Each car handles differently, and it’s a good idea to feel at ease in the vehicle you’ll be driving. Remember this as you prepare for your driving test.

Read: How much does car insurance cost for a 16-year-old driver?

Drive around an empty parking lot with someone you trust and can assist you during your learning period. Request them to make a record of every erroneous lane change, every turn signal you failed to indicate, every blind spot check you failed to conduct, and so on. Then, use the feedback to your benefit.


Tip 3: Eyes on the road. And your mirrors

Many students make the mistake of keeping their eyes fixed on what is happening in front of them during the driving test. While this may appear to be the sensible thing to do, it is extremely risky and will result in an immediate disqualification on your driver’s test.

Your side and rearview mirrors provide crucial information about what vehicles are doing behind and around you. Learning to use your mirrors will help you learn to have a 360-degree vision of the road, which is vital if you want to avoid a collision. You must also remember to check your blind spot for any vehicles that may be adjacent to yours.

Read: Top tips for winter driving in Colorado

Tip 4: Be cautious as you approach traffic lights

One of the more clear driving rules that people of all ages understand is traffic lights. We are taught that a green light signifies “go,” and a red light means “stop” from a young age. However, there has been some confusion over what to do at a yellow light.

When approaching a yellow light, you should prepare to stop, especially during your behind-the-wheel exam. It lowers the risk of you running a red light, which is an automatic fail.

Also, before you press the gas pedal after a green light, make sure to look in both directions. When the light turns red, some drivers tend to rush through intersections, leading to an accident. If you have to take a turn, slow down before the corner and make sure to keep an eye on your surroundings to avoid colliding with pedestrians or objects on the side of the road.

Tip 5: Check your surroundings before reversing

Although most new cars and trucks include backup cameras, you aren’t allowed to use them on the DMV road test. Your administrator will instruct you to either turn off the system or cover its screen with a clipboard.

As a result, you must remember to look around before shifting into reverse and while directing your vehicle to its destination. If you neglect to check the rear when reversing and do not make your movements evident, your examiner may deduct points.

Tip 6: Be gentle on the brakes

Another cause of missed points on the driving test is aggressive braking. It’s tempting to slam on the gas pedal hard right away, but you should always start braking gradually, at least a quarter-mile before where you intend to come to a halt. This way, you will have plenty of time to come to a complete stop or make an evasive maneuver if needed.

start braking gradually

Another good technique to avoid excessive braking is to keep your eyes ahead of your vehicle. This way, you’ll be able to see any risks and respond quickly.

Tip 7: Perform a pre-test inspection on your car

Ensure your test vehicle is road legal before the road test. Before conducting the test, your examiner will check if your car’s registration is valid and your car insurance is current. Speaking of insurance, click the banner below to get the most affordable car insurance quotes in your state using our car insurance tool. Or, you could download the Way.com app on your phone and get discounts on parking, car washes, and more!

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Ensure your windshield wipers, speedometer, and horn are operational while your seat belts, airbags, and rearview mirrors are functional.

A faulty headlamp, taillight, and emergency lights could mean immediate disqualification. So get them replaced if needed. Keep an eye on your car’s warning lights, and ensure your check engine light doesn’t come on during your test.

Read: All you need to know about your car’s warning lights

Tip 8: Practice parallel parking before the driving test

For most driving students, parallel parking has always been a challenging skill to grasp. While mastering it can be difficult, it is necessary for those who live in densely packed urban regions.

If you live in one of the states where parallel parking is part of the driving exam, ensure you get enough practice. Parallel parking is regarded as one of the most challenging techniques for novice drivers.

Regardless of where you live, parallel parking is a useful driving maneuver to master. You will certainly encounter a situation where you will need to parallel park in the future, even if it is not a part of your behind-the-wheel test.driving-test-tips

Additional tips for your driving test

Concentrate on your driving rather than the examiner: Spending all of your attention on the actual test and the person administering it can lead to mistakes. Instead, concentrate on your driving and make sound decisions, just like you did in practice.

Don’t fret over your mistakes: If you make a mistake on the road test, don’t worry about it. Worrying over what just transpired can make the situation worse and lead to even more errors. Remember that most states allow numerous retests if you make a mistake and fail the test.

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What to do if you’ve failed your driving test

If you fail your driving test, contact your driving instructor, or consult your driving partner as soon as possible. They will be able to assist you in determining what went wrong and correcting the issues so that you pass the exam the next time. Consider inviting them to accompany you on the road test so you can demonstrate what you did.

Remember that instructors and examiners are meant to assist you. So, it’s ok to ask them what went wrong and seek tips on correcting your mistakes. You may have failed your test because you haven’t had enough practice. But don’t let that get you down. Get out and practice more instead. Make sure you have a qualified and experienced co-driver with you at all times.

It’s easy to become discouraged and consider quitting driving. While it may be the most convenient option, it is rarely the greatest. Instead, continue to practice. Keep in mind that your examiner did not fail you because you were a bad driver. The DMV makes it tough to obtain a license to keep the roadways as safe as possible.

Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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