Tips to Pass Your Driving Test the First Time

The road skills driving test requires you to drive on public roads, in traffic, with a test administrator present in the car grading you. Unsurprisingly, many people find this test nerve-racking. Fortunately, you can improve your chances of passing the road test by practicing all of your driving skills in advance.

Practicing to Pass the Driving Test

Each state publishes a Drivers Handbook that covers driving and roadway laws for that state. Get a copy of this handbook and study it until you have it memorized. It covers all of the information you need to earn your license. This is a great resource to guide you throughdrivers ed as well.

You must also gain adequate experience driving on the road before you take the road test. If possible, practice driving in the same car that you will use for the test. Familiarity with the vehicle will make you more comfortable and secure during the exam. 

Be sure you are comfortable with the following driving skills:

  • Hand signals for turning and stopping

  • How and when to use turn indicators

  • Making safe lane changes

  • Maintaining the correct speed limit

  • Safely executing a three-point turn

  • Appropriate checking of your blind spot

  • Keeping both hands on the steering wheel at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions

  • Stopping completely at STOP signs and red lights

  • Not stopping completely at YIELD signs, unless necessary for safety

  • Not crossing solid lines in the roadway

  • Paying attention to and obeying all posted roadway signs

  • Driving safely at all times

Many road tests no longer require drivers to parallel park, but check your local requirements and be sure to learn this skill as well if it is on the test.

Other Tips for Passing the Road Skills Driving Test

In most states you can schedule your road skills test at any state motor vehicle department field office. If you are nervous about driving in heavy traffic during the exam, consider scheduling your test at an office in a rural or suburban location with less cars on the road.

Be sure to inspect your vehicle before you arrive for the test. Make sure there are no warning lights activated on the dashboard and that the windshield does not have any cracks. Know how to adjust all the mirrors, use the hazard lights, set the parking brake, turn on the heater and air conditioning, and use all other accessories in the car.

You must bring to your test proof of insurance and current registration for the vehicle you will be tested in, as well as any eyeglasses you need while driving. Arrive early to the testing site, and then relax before taking the test.

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