Tips to help pass your driving test

Updated April 17, 2017

Obtaining the right to drive has become synonymous with a rite of passage. Almost every teenager dreams of owning a car and enjoying the freedom that comes with a driver's license. Of course, before you can get a driver's license, you have to pass a driving test. By being adequately prepared and maintaining a calm state of mind, the following tips can help you pass your driving test.

Driver's Handbook

Studying your driver's handbook is imperative to passing your driving test. No amount of quick tips or relaxation methods can substitute for good, old-fashioned preparation. Start early and test yourself often. Focus on road signs and road rules. Identify every road sign and road marker immediately. Know driving distances like the 3-second rule which states that your vehicle should have a following distance equivalent to the distance it takes your vehicle to travel in three seconds.

Practice Often

Practice driving as often as you can. Start practicing during times and areas with low traffic. Get used to the feel of your vehicle. You should be able to apply gas to the engine and stop the vehicle smoothly, without causing whiplash to your passengers. Learn how to adjust the seat and mirrors to fit your body size. Pay special attention to your use of rear view and side mirrors. Keep practicing until you are able to check all of your mirrors smoothly without causing your eyes to wonder from the road for more than a second. You should also apply this technique to checking your blind sides. Familiarise yourself with the location of the indicators, horn, windshield wipers, headlights and hazard signal. Most examiners will want to see you drive in reverse at some point during the test, so be prepared to drive in a straight line when backing up.

Test Preparation

Go to bed early the night before your driving test. On the day of test, eat a good breakfast and review road signs and hand signals in your head. Show up at the test site at least 10 minutes early. Smile or joke when you meet your inspector as this may soothe your anxiety.

Mental Preparation

Before your test, take a moment to collect your wits. Do not get started until you are ready and in control of your emotions. Use this time to set your mirrors and adjust your seat. If you still feel nervous or shaky, move into breathing exercises. Take a deep breath, hold it in, count to 20 and let it out. Repeat this exercise until you feel ready to begin.

Ask Questions

Don't be afraid to ask questions if there is something you don't understand. Your examiner may try to give you a trick question to test your attentiveness. If your examiner says something to you that confuses you, ask for clarification.

Watch Out

Inappropriate speed is one of the most common reasons why people fail their driving test. While you are driving, go at a speed that feels safe and comfortable to you. This may not be at the speed limit. At the same time, you don't want to go too slow as this may be an indication that you are not confident behind the wheel.

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About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.