Anyone who wants to drive a motor vehicle needs to pass an actual driving test. Many states also have a theoretical test that will gauge the person’s knowledge of driving as well as relevant traffic laws and rules. While the theory test will not cause jitters, it is the practical test that most applicants are worried about. These 10 driving test tips will help you pass your road test the first time.
Get Plenty of Practice Before Getting a Schedule for a Road Test
One of the most important factors that can spell success for your driving test is your confidence. If you feel comfortable and confident behind the wheel, then everything should pan out right. Unfortunately, you cannot gain confidence overnight or in a span of a few days.
Think of it as riding your bicycle. It took you many falls and bruises before you gained that confidence to start freewheeling. This holds true when learning how to pass driving test. You will need to progress one step at a time. The only way you can do it is by practicing at least several weeks before you schedule a practical driving test.
Bring along a friend who has already passed driving test. He or she can give you pointers on what you can expect during the test. You can also ask your parents to help you out. Do not announce your intended driving test to everyone else, however. Letting the whole neighborhood know that you will be taking a driving test can put pressure on you to succeed. You will feel more anxious, not confident.
Perform your practice drives in an area where there are no other motorists. A deserted office parking lot during weekends is a great place to build confidence behind the wheel. Start learning the different controls of the vehicle. For example, you should know how to turn the headlights on or switch the turning lights to indicate your change of direction. If it rains, you should also know how to operate the windshield wipers as well as to turn them off once the rain has subsided.
Learn how to adjust the mirrors, including the rear view mirror and the side view mirrors. It is also important to practice placing your hands on the steering wheel in the correct way. Most drivers place their hands in the 9 and 3 o’clock positions. There are also those who prefer the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. Driving test examiners recognize both as accepted. However, the 9 and 3 o’clock positions are generally considered safer. In the event of an airbag deployment, your arms will not be in the way. You will also need to learn how to perform hand movements when turning the steering wheel.
Part of how to pass road test is learning how to maneuver your vehicle. These include backing up, turning, stopping, and parking. You may have to practice making a 3-point turn or a U-turn.
Practice looking over your shoulders and looking both left and right whenever backing up. Don’t forget to use the mirrors. The examiner will want to see how you use these aids in backing up the vehicle.
Learn when to activate the turn signals. You don’t want to switch it on too early as this can confuse other motorists. Avoid switching the blinker, too, if you are not going to make any turns. If you are going to turn at a junction, always come to a complete stop. Do not perform a rolling stop. Turn your wheels only when you are going to make the turn. Also keep to the side where you are going to turn. Always slow down when turning.
One of the most important road test tips you can have is knowing when to yield. There are markers on the road that resemble an inverted red triangle. You are supposed to slow down and allow other vehicles and pedestrians who may have the right of way. Only when it is safe can you proceed to turn or cross. Be mindful of traffic whenever turning. If it is not safe for you to turn because of an oncoming traffic, then do not make the turn.
Learning how to pass driving test also means practicing how to check the blind spot whenever you change lanes. Look over your shoulder as you switch on the blinker. Switch the blinker off only when you are already in the new lane.
Some examiners would like to see how the examinee performs a 3-point turn. It would be wise to practice making this maneuver, too. What is important here is to always indicate the direction of each vehicle movement. When it comes to making a U-turn, it is imperative that you have more than enough time to complete the turn before the first of oncoming traffic arrives.
One of the driving test tips that will help you ensure your success in the road test is learning how to park. Learn how to park your vehicle on a hill, either uphill or downhill. Parallel parking is also a must-learn. It is also critical to park your car in a slow and deliberate manner. Always use the parking brake. Examiners would like to see this, too.
Hone Your Observation Skills
An important part of learning how to pass road test is honing your observation skills. There are many traffic signs on the road that are very easy to miss. Different road conditions also require you to be alert at all times.
Having said that, it would be best to have an eye exam first. You need excellent vision to increase your awareness of your surroundings. Also, there are examiners who may want you to read the plate number of the vehicle in front of you. Make sure you assess this, too. If you cannot read the plate number of another vehicle in front, then you should see an optometrist to make you a pair of glasses.
Watch out for speed limits. There are zones where you are supposed to reduce your speed. Examples of these are parks and school zones. Always observe the speed limit. A good rule of thumb to follow is to drive a little slower than the limit. For example, if it reads 40 MPH, then you might want to go easy on the gas pedal to run at 35 to 38 MPH.
Be mindful of solid lines. Do not cross these road markings. Doing so will not result in a passed driving test. It is an automatic and instant fail. On a 4-way stop, it is important to let the vehicle that arrived at the intersection to cross first. Always drive in the right lane.
Observe other motorists and pedestrians as well. Your driving test will take you to real-world situations. Watch out for motorcyclists, bikers, children, and animals. Pay attention to school buses. A school bus parked on a roadside with flashing lights often indicates that children are alighting from the bus. Do not attempt to pass the school bus.
Your observation skills require you to make use of features in your car. The examiner will be looking at these, too. It is okay to exaggerate adjusting or glancing at your rear view mirror. It goes to show that you are being mindful of driving conditions and traffic situations. It is okay to glance into the mirrors every 5 to 10 seconds.
Hire the Right Driving Instructor
It is okay to practice driving on your own or with a trusted friend. However, if you want to ensure the success of your taking the practical driving test, then it is best to get the right driving instructor.
A driving instructor can help you gain more confidence. You can use the lessons you have learned in your practice sessions. This will give you the confidence you need when driving during the actual test.
Get ready to ask questions. The instructor is here to help you become a better driver. He is not here to judge your driving skills. Instead, he is here to guide you to pass your driving test. Listen to the instructor. Get at least two hours of driving lessons every week. This should help prepare you for the test.
Practice Driving in the Instructor’s Car
During the actual driving test, you can use your own car. If you don’t have your own vehicle yet, it is best to practice driving in your instructor’s car. During the off-lesson practice drives, it will also help if you practice using the same model of car.
This will help you familiarize yourself with the vehicle, including its operation and the different accessories. Make sure you know how to operate the different controls in the vehicle. This is very important because many examiners will employ the Show Me, Tell Me series of driving skill questions.
Practicing in the same car that you will be driving during the test also helps build your confidence. The more confident you are in driving the vehicle, the better are your chances of acing the road test. Be careful not to become overconfident, though. Do not assume that you already know everything.
Practice on the Most Likely Road Test Routes
Another trick you may want to observe in how to pass driving test is to learn the different routes that the examiner may want you to drive on. You can ask friends who have passed driving test about the routes they took during the exam.
There are also apps that can help you determine the possible road test routes within a particular location. Expect these routes to have highly varied driving conditions. There are routes that come without any traffic signs or markers. You should practice in these routes, too. You can never be too prepared for the driving test.
Know where your testing center is. Study the area within several miles of the testing center. Take note of the different roads and thoroughfares in this area. Check for schools, parks, and other public places where you would want to slow down and be very vigilant of your surroundings.
Check, too, if there are structures that you have to pass through or over. Bridges, tunnels, and overpasses are all possible structures that you have to drive through or over. Practice on various roads. If there are dual carriageways and country lanes, then you should also practice driving in these areas as well.
Brush Up on Your Answers for “Show Me, Tell Me” Questions
In the UK, applicants are required to answer a couple of Show Me Tell Me driving safety questions. While this is not mandatory in the US, it would still be wise to brush up on your answers. The goal of these questions is to make sure that you understand the ramifications of driving in an unsafe car.
Examples of Show Me questions can be related to how you would clean the windshield of your car or how you can check for the working condition of your blinkers. They can also ask you about how you will check the function of your brakes before you start your engine.
Answers to Tell Me questions are often in the form of an explanation of what you should do. The Show Me questions focus more on the actual performance of what you need to do.
Take a Simulated Driving Test
It is often recommended to take a mock or simulated driving test one or two days before the actual test. This is one of those road test tips that you cannot ignore. The driving instructor can stand in as the examiner. He will run you through a particular route while observing and evaluating your every move. He may also employ a series of Show Me Tell Me driving safety questions.
This will help you prepare for the actual test. It will also help you determine areas that you may have overlooked. Your driving instructor can review with you the results of the mock test. You can then polish your driving skills, while also taking note of errors.
Review Your Notes a Day Before the Test
You may have aced the written part of the driving test. However, this should not make you overly confident about how to pass road test. Go over your notes again the day before you take the road test. Some people review the night before. However, it would be best to go to bed earlier than usual the night before the test. This will help you have a clearer mind on the big day.
Get a copy of your city’s or state’s Highway Code. Review the different road signs and symbols. It would also help if you reacquaint yourself with the different parts of your car again. Some people can overlook the simplest of things.
It would also make sense to check your car the evening before the exam. Make sure that everything is in working order. While this is not an evaluation of the road-worthiness of the vehicle, it would matter to ensure that everything is in working condition.
One of the best driving tips you can hear from seasoned drivers is to stay calm no matter what. Do not focus on the test. Your focus should always be on your driving. One way you can do this is by thinking that you are driving alone. Do not think that you have the examiner sitting in the front passenger seat beside you. Pretend that you are going through one last round of practice drive.
Keep in mind that becoming nervous can make you do the wrong things. Your mind will also be preoccupied with the need to pass the test. Try to think of happy thoughts. Fill your mind with the images of celebrations once you get your driver’s license.
It often helps to go to the testing center a lot earlier. This will help you collect your thoughts and try to calm yourself for the test.
Listen to the Examiner
Always listen to the examiner. Pay attention to his instructions, if any. If he tells you to turn right at the next intersection, then you should start maneuvering your car in the rightmost lane of the road. Make sure to watch over your shoulder and signal your intent to change lane. The examiner will look for this.
It is also important to listen to what the examiner has to say right after the road test. If you failed your practical driving test, the examiner can tell you why. Take this as a learning opportunity so that you will not have to make the same mistake during your retake.
If you pass your road test, you should still listen to the examiner. You may still have some things that he might want you to improve on. Remember, the driving test helps make sure that you are capable of operating a motor vehicle in a real-world setting.
These 10 road test tips should help you obtain your driver’s license the first time. What is important is for you to never rush into getting that license. If you are not confident about your driving abilities, then you should postpone it for a later time