Since the day you received your practice permit, chances are you have been mentally preparing for the official driving test. The road test is done behind the wheel of a car and tests each driver’s ability to operate a vehicle confidently, with a mastery of the state’s driving laws. While there is a lot of information to remember on test day, being prepared can take a lot of the anxiety out of it for you.
What Information is Covered during the Test?
To test a driver’s abilities to drive, the test is done in parking lots and on the road in regular traffic. This helps the examiner see a driver in a real-life situation and how they handle a vehicle. Some of the requirements for passing are:
- Adjusting and using mirrors often
- Proper lane changes, including checking blind spots
- Obeying traffic laws, including speed limits, traffic signals, and signs
- Parking the vehicle correctly
- Accelerating and braking smoothly
- Correctly passing through different types of intersections
- Leaving space between your car and others
The examiner will also be sure you know how to operate the vehicle's controls, such as turning on headlights and hazard lights, operating the windshield wipers, and activating the parking brake. This can be asked at any time during the test.
How Can I Prepare?
Use the state driving manual to help study the laws. If you have already passed a written test, a lot of this will be review. Since you may have to park near a stop sign or fire hydrant, knowing the required distances will be beneficial to passing that portion of the test. In addition to the manual, each teen drivers education
class will supply additional material to study and perhaps even offer practice tests.
What if I Fail?
Don’t get discouraged, you can try again. Be sure to ask what the required number of waiting days is between tests. In the meantime, study and get more practice in so you can feel even more prepared for the next test.
Is an Appointment Required?
Each DMV has specific protocols for their needs. If you live in an area where there are a lot of test-takers or there are limited instructors on hand during certain times, an appointment may be required. Be sure to look on the state website or call ahead to make sure you follow their procedures. No one likes taking time out of their day to get a driving test done only to find out they need an appointment.
What Should I Bring?
When you call to ask about required appointments, be sure to ask about what to bring. You will need to bring your learner’s permit. If you are using your own vehicle for the test, proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration will need to be seen first. Other things that you might bring are a certificate from a completed driver’s education course and a log of the driving hours completed. Ask about completing paperwork before the day to speed up the licensing process.
Taking the Test
Now that you have done everything possible to prepare, relax and take the test. Be patient and listen to the instructions the examiner gives during the test. If you don’t understand the examiner’s instructions, ask questions for clarification. Remember that you have put in the practice and trust in your abilities. If you wait until you feel ready to take the test, you will be more confident and the results will follow.