How To Prepare for Your Driving Test

January 21st, 2022 by

Getting your driver’s license is an important rite of passage for many people. It’s not a given, however, that you’ll pass the test the first time you take it. To achieve this milestone that allows you more freedom but comes with big responsibilities, you must prepare properly. We’ve put together some tips to help you be as prepared as possible before, during, and after your driving test.

Before Your Test

Follow these steps in the days and weeks before your driving test so you arrive confident and well-prepared:

Take Practice Tests

Practice is key, whether it’s for the written or driving portion of the test. Most states make practice tests available online, so you can review questions to make sure you have all the correct information to pass the written part of the exam. Make sure you spend plenty of time reading and studying your state driving laws. You’ll need to know these to pass the test, and you’ll need to remember them after you get your license.

Practice Driving

It’s also essential to get plenty of practice behind the wheel. Have someone you trust who can provide good feedback in the vehicle with you. Remember it takes time to become a good driver and get comfortable in various situations. The more time you spend on the road, the more confident you will feel. Offer to drive when you and a companion go somewhere, even on quick trips.

When practicing, make sure you try all types of skills, so you’re prepared for anything the examiner might ask you to do. Make sure you are comfortable performing maneuvers such as:

  • Checking your mirrors and changing lanes safely.
  • Backing up while looking over your shoulder.
  • Using your turn signals appropriately.
  • Checking your blind spot before signaling to change lanes.
  • Slowing down and coming to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights.
  • Letting a car on your right have the right of way at a yield sign.
  • Obeying all traffic laws.

Familiarize Yourself With the Area Where You’ll Take Your Road Test

If you know where you’ll take your test, drive around the area to become familiar with it. Make sure you know where the stop signs and traffic lights are located and look for places where you might have to merge into traffic. Ask friends who took their driving tests recently where they went. The DMV testing examiners usually have a few routes they use regularly.

Check Your Vehicle

In most cases, you drive your own vehicle for your on-road driving test. Make sure you use a car you’re familiar with. You’ll want to know where the controls are for functions such as turn signals and windshield wipers. Because every car reacts differently to the gas and brake pedals, make sure you test their sensitivity so you can avoid accelerating or braking too aggressively or slowly. Driving a familiar car during your test can mean the difference between passing and failing.

Also, check the car over before your test to make sure it’s in good working order. You can’t pass a driving test in a vehicle that doesn’t start or has mechanical issues. It’s also a good idea to go to your state’s DMV website to determine vehicle requirements for the test. Inspect your car to make sure it meets those requirements.

Get Some Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep the night before your test. It might not seem like it will make a big difference, but if you don’t get enough sleep, you might have a harder time focusing. The test requires you to multitask, and you’ll need to be focused to listen to instructions while also paying attention to the road. Getting a good night’s sleep can help calm your nerves on the big day, as well.

Prepare and Practice for Distractions

Not all tests take place on perfectly sunny days with little traffic. You might encounter emergency vehicles, unexpected traffic, or bad weather. Practice driving in various weather and road conditions to make sure you know what to do if those situations arise.

During the Test

Remember these important tips for success while taking your driving test:

Stay Calm But Be Confident

Show confidence behind the wheel during your test. The driving examiner wants you to drive safely without being dangerously cautious. They look for drivers who are confident in their abilities. Don’t be intimidated by the examiner taking notes while you drive; just concentrate on the road.

Ask Questions

It’s OK to ask the examiner questions if you’re unsure about their instructions. Most are clear about where they want you to go and what they want you to do, but if you’re unsure, ask for clarification. For example, if they ask you to take a left ahead, you can ask which street to make sure you take the correct left turn. If you don’t ask, the examiner might assume you understood what they wanted and deduct points for not following instructions.

Avoid Bad Habits

Some common yet bad driving habits that can cause you to fail a driving test include:

  • Taking turns too wide.
  • Not looking over your shoulder before changing lanes.
  • Going over the speed limit.
  • Not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.

After the Test

After you pass your test, you can celebrate! But once you are out on the road alone, remember the basics, so you stay safe. Pay attention to your speed, always scan the road for pedestrians and other vehicles, and stay alert. If you need practice after getting your license, bring your trusted passenger with you on drives until you build more confidence.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to passing your driver’s test. If you need a reliable and safe car for practicing and taking the test, stop by Applegate Chevrolet or contact us online. We can get you into the perfect vehicle for a new driver — something that will take you from your test to the open road.

Posted in How-to guides