The day of your driving test is approaching. You have been logging in all those driving hours and studying hard. Before your driving test, you might want a better idea of what to expect. Once you know what to expect, it is easier to calm the nerves and enjoy the ride. Here is what you can expect the day of your driving test.
The driving test is to make sure each driver knows how to confidently operate a vehicle with a solid knowledge of the state’s laws. The examiner will be evaluating you based on these criteria. To accurately test a driver’s abilities, each test-taking driver is taken onto real roads and asked to drive in traffic. The examiner will also ask for specific parking scenarios to test the driver’s ability to know the criteria for different types of parking and their ability to accurately maneuver the vehicle.
With each different maneuver, the examiner will be observing how you handle the car. Some of the abilities and requirements for testing include:
- Checking mirrors often
- Using traffic signals appropriately
- Checking blind spots when changing lanes
- Obeying speed limits
- Accelerating and braking smoothly
- Leaving space between your car and others
- Correctly passing through intersections
Other criteria the examiner may question students on is how to use the different controls in the car. Turning on headlights, activating the hazards, put on the parking brake, and how to turn on windshield wipers are not going to happen naturally in every test, so this information might be asked when you first get into the car or at a random time during the test.
Preparing for the Test
The most important thing you can do to prepare for a driving test is to review the driving laws. It is vital to know correct distances for parking when you can go through the different types of intersections (traffic signal, 2-way stop, 4-way stop, roundabouts, etc). This information is found in the state driver’s manual, but every teen driving education course will also provide materials to review and practice tests for the written portion. It is important you memorize this information since you will need to use that knowledge on the driving portion.
Another way to prepare is by driving a lot. Becoming comfortable in your abilities to move through traffic and operate a car is invaluable for a driving test. If you are rigid or overly stressed, the examiner will know it from your rough, jerky movements. When you are more relaxed, it is easier to focus on the road while also listening to the directions given by the examiner.
Here are some other tips for preparing and completing your driver’s test:
- If you do not understand what the examiner is asking you to do, ask for more clarification.
- Take a practice test before the big day with a friend, parent, or other licensed adult and listen to their constructive criticism.
- Be patient. Feeling rushed during a test will lead to mistakes.
What to Take with You
The day of the test, you should remember to bring your instruction permit and log of hours if required. If you are using your own vehicle for the driving test, bring along the proof of insurance and the vehicle’s registration. If you have received a certificate of completion for your driver’s education, bring that along too. Call the DMV before the day of your test for any other information required, like paperwork you should complete beforehand.
Remember that driving is a privilege and should be taken seriously. Not everyone is ready at the same time to take a test. Complete your driving lessons and wait until you are comfortable and feel like it is the right time to take your driving test. Once you complete the requirements, you will be much better prepared for driving because of your preparation.