Retaking the DPS Written Knowledge Exam

So you didn’t pass your DPS written knowledge exam on the first try. That’s disappointing! But don’t take it to heart. That’s not a reflection of what kind of driver you will be! There are a ton of people out there on the road with excellent driving skills who just happen not to be great test-takers.

Let’s talk about some strategies for passing your knowledge test on your next attempt, so you can move on to the fun stuff (driving!).

How the Knowledge Exam Works

First, let’s review where you encounter that knowledge exam. Whether you’re taking Parent-Taught Driver’s Ed, Instructor-Taught Driver’s Ed, or Adult Driver’s Ed, you’ll take the knowledge exam as part of your course (and get to skip it at the DPS, nice!).

Step one to acing your exam is knowing exactly what you’ll see on it. Let’s talk details!

Parent-Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE)

In PTDE, the DPS learner’s permit knowledge test happens at the end of Level 1. Passing this test means you're exempt from having to take the written test when you go to the DPS.

  • The test contains 30 multiple-choice questions.

  • You need to get a 70% on this exam, so you have to get 21 out of 30 right to receive your DE-964 Learner’s Permit Certificate from Aceable.

  • If you don’t pass the first time, there is no limit on the amount of times you can take the course assessment. However, you will have to wait 24 hours before you take retake it.

  • No matter how many times you need to take it, you’ll never have to re-pay.

Instructor-Taught Drivers Ed (AMI)

In AMI, you’ll take the written knowledge assessment when you reach the end of Level 3. If you pass this, you’re exempt from taking the permit test at the DPS.

  • The test contains 30 multiple-choice questions. 

  • You’ll need to score a 70% or better, meaning you’ll have to get at least 21 correct in order to move on.

  • You have one hour to complete the test.

  • If you don’t pass the first time, you have to wait 24 hours before your next attempt.

  • You will never have to re-pay to take the test.

Adult Drivers Ed (ADE)

In ADE, the assessment you take at the end of the course (after Level 8) will act as your DPS written knowledge exam. If you pass this test, you won’t be required to take the test at the DPS. 

  • For this exam, you need to get 21 out of 30 (70%) multiple-choice questions correct in order to receive your Certificate of Completion from Aceable.

  • If you do not pass the written knowledge assessment, you can retake the test 24 hours later.

  • There is no limit on the number of times you can take the assessment.

  • You will not need to pay again, no matter how many times you take the test.

Study Tips

To pass the knowledge exam, you need to go in prepared. An important part of acing any exam is bringing your best self to the test. That means getting a good night of sleep the night before, making sure you’re hydrated and fed, and taking the test in a quiet place with no distractions.

The second important thing is to go into the exam confident in your knowledge of the material. Here are some ways you can make sure you’re ready:

  • Take the free practice test that comes with your course until you’re regularly scoring 90 and above.

  • Review the material in the course. If there are concepts you struggle with, make flashcards and focus your study time on those. You’ll get the most bang for your study buck if you spend time reviewing things that are difficult for you.

Sample Questions

Want to take a look at a few sample questions? These come directly from the PTDE Level 1 practice exam. Let’s try it!

Question A: Which kind of vehicle is marked with a fluorescent orange triangle with reflective borders?

  1. vehicles operated by drivers with disabilities

  2. vehicles that travel at 25 mph or less

  3. police cars

  4. pizza delivery cars

Question B: What should you do at a yellow traffic light?

  1. stop if it's safe to do so

  2. speed up to cross before the light turns red

  3. slam on the brakes

  4. drive through the intersection, but slowly

Question C: What does this sign convey?

  1. road curves ahead

  2. detour ahead

  3. right turn only

  4. keep to the right, a median is coming up

Question D: Texas driver licenses expire after how long?

  1. six years

  2. eight years

  3. three years

  4. one year

Question E: When parking uphill with a curb, turn the front wheels away from the:

  1. street

  2. car behind you

  3. curb

  4. car in front of you

Answers: Quesation A:2, Question B:1, Question C:4, Question D:1, Question E:3

So, how’d you do? If you answered all five correctly, you might be ready to take another crack at that knowledge test. If not, maybe go back and review the course or take another practice test. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make during the driving exam. Either way, you’ll eventually pass the exam and get that license. Another Aceable driver on the road, yay!

Experiencing some driving anxiety when you step behing the wheel? Here are some tips on how to overcome driving anxiety

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Updated 5/11/23