7 Tips to Help You Pass Your Driver's Test

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

So, you don’t have a driver’s license yet. That’s unfortunate. You’re missing out on the joys of unfettered personal mobility.

However, if you’re taking driver’s education classes, you’re well on your way to enjoying the freedom provided by the open road. You’re on the right path!

Study hard, pay attention in class and soon enough it will be time to take your road test. This can strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest, but you needn’t worry. Here are seven useful tips to help you ace the big test.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

It should go without saying, but before taking an official road test, you should get as much behind-the-wheel practice as possible. Sure, the study of rules and regulations is vital, though hands-on experience is, arguably, even more important. If you don’t get the feel for how a vehicle handles and accelerates, how will you be able to drive it properly, especially with an instructor staring you down? On road time will also expose you to how other people drive, which means you’ll be better prepared for eventualities.

6. Use Common Sense

Before taking a driver’s exam, put away your cellphone, finish that breakfast croissant you’ve been masticating and pay attention. A little common sense goes a long way while behind the wheel, especially when prying eyes are watching your every move. Avoid speeding, don’t tailgate the car in front of you, and pay attention to signage so you don’t violate any one-way streets or blow through a crosswalk. Bottom line, don’t do anything stupid.

SEE ALSO: Why You Should Buy Your Next Car at Costco

5. Keep Both Hands on the Wheel

Another useful suggestion to help you ace a driving test is to keep both of your paws on the tiller. Don’t get handsy with passengers, pick the remnants of breakfast out of your teeth or fiddle with the radio. Grab hold of the steering wheel at the 3 and 9 o’clock positions and keep your hands there. This strategy is safe, effective, and it will help put your instructor at ease.

4. Look Ahead, Far Ahead

In both racing and street driving, it’s important to look far ahead of your own vehicle. Keeping an eye on what’s happening in the distance is critical. The sooner you see something, the faster you can react to it and the safer you and your passengers will be.

3. Be Observant

With your smartphone tucked away, your hands on the wheel and eyes looking ahead, there’s another thing you should be doing. We know, driving can be so hard, but bear with us. It’s important to be observant of what’s going on all around you. Check your mirrors often, scan areas along the roadside for children playing or potential cross traffic that could cause issues. Again, the sooner you spot a potential risk the better it is for everyone.

SEE ALSO: What I Learned at Performance Driving School

2. Adjust to Driving Conditions

Inclement weather can often happen when you least expect it. If conditions change during your driver’s test, it behooves you to be on guard. This means slowing down, braking sooner, increasing the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead and negotiating corners with great care. Rain, sleet and snow can make driving a challenge for even veteran motorists; take it easy if conditions are less than ideal.

1. Don’t Crash

Like we need to tell you this, but if you’re taking a driver’s test and rear-end the vehicle ahead, sideswipe the cart corral in a Target parking lot or try to push over a telephone pole, it’s a safe bet you’re not passing the test. Just sayin’. Do your best to keep things shiny-side up.

Check out our Tips and Advice Section

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

More by Craig Cole

Join the conversation
  • Smartacus Smartacus on Sep 03, 2015

    lol i liked the snowy picture. i actually had snow during my driving test.

    • Smartacus Smartacus on Sep 03, 2015

      i feel all happy now :) Happy my brain can still remember things like that :p