9 Tips for Passing Your Driver’s Test on the First Try
It’s an intimidating challenge yet rewarding accomplishment that every (legal) driver must face: passing the driving exam. Without making the grade, that highly-desirable driver’s license won’t make it into your wallet.
Undoubtedly, everyone you know has stories of how and why they didn’t pass the driver’s test on their first try. But you don’t have to let that happen to you! Before the exam proctor sets foot in your car, give yourself the best chance of passing by following these tips for acing your driving exam.
Follow These Guidelines for Acing Your Driving Exam
Practice Makes Perfect
Your parents have told you it. Your driver’s ed teacher told you it. That policeman told you it. The pizza delivery boy told you it. And they’re all correct: to pass the driver’s exam, you have to practice driving.
Spend all the spare time you have behind the wheel, driving your siblings to school, driving your parents to the grocery store, and driving your grandma to the podiatrist. The more time you spend driving, the more that all the minutiae will feel second-nature. Practice in a variety of locations and conditions, just to be sure.
Know the Route
Do your research and find out the route–or at least the neighborhood–where your driver’s exam will take place. Go during off-hours and familiarize yourself with the area–the speed limits, the intersections, the traffic, etc. Minimize the chance of any surprises.
Pick the Right Car
Passing both the street driving and maneuverability tests have a lot to do with selecting the best car. Select a vehicle that
- has good visibility on the road and small blind spots.
- is small so you have more wiggle room between the orange cones.
- has an automatic transmission.
- is one you’ve practiced on and are familiar with.
Prepare the Vehicle
Do a quick check on the vehicle to ensure it’s not gonna poop out on you during the exam. Check the fuel and fluid levels, window/windshield transparency, headlights, brakes, etc. If the vehicle’s not blowing smoke or making atrocious noises, give its interior a cleaning; that way, you won’t give the examiner a bad impression when he sits down.
You never know what might happen on the road. Leave from your house early and arrive at the office early to ensure you’re not frantically sprinting in. A calm, collected mind is an asset during your exam.
Don’t Allow Distractions
It should go without saying, but you need to minimize distractions during the exam–particularly those within the vehicle. You need to be focusing on the road–and showing the examiner that you are–so turn off the radio, trash the coffee cup, shut off the phone, and for goodness’ sake, don’t GoPro or Facebook Live your driver’s test.
Stay in the Right Lane
There’s no reason for you to be weaving through traffic or remaining in the left (passing) lane. Remain in the far right lane while you’re driving until the proctor directs you to change lanes. And don’t worry, if you’re instructed to make a left turn, he or she should tell you to change lanes beforehand to ensure you know how to properly signal.
Hold the Steering Wheel
Experienced drivers like your parents probably drive with only one hand on the steering wheel. Heck, you might be comfortable driving enough that you can maneuver with only one hand. But, your examiner only cares about making sure you know how to properly drive–and that involves keeping both hands firmly on the wheel. Many people fail the test by driving or turning with only one hand. Remember: hand-over-hand is the way it should be done.
Don’t Overdo It
It’s important to drive safely and be aware of your surroundings while taking your driving exam, but don’t overdo it. Don’t drive significantly below the speed limit, don’t turn on your blinkers too early, don’t turn too wide, don’t come to a complete stop while turning, don’t stop when maneuvering through the cones, and and don’t slam on your brakes if your light turns yellow while you’re in the intersection.
It’s crucial that you prove to the evaluator that you are confident behind the wheel, not a terrified old person.