DriversEd.com Contributing Writer Grace Keller has kept an ongoing diary for us about her drivers ed experience. In her latest installment, she details how she feels now that she’s passed her road test.
The end of my drivers ed experience came quicker than I had anticipated — it flew right by! After sitting in a classroom every night for two weeks in order to meet the Maryland Vehicle Association’s (MVA) requirements while also working to complete my online drivers ed course, not to mention my mandatory six hours of in-car lessons with an instructor, I went to the MVA and took my Maryland road test.
The in-car lessons were a unique experience. On three separate occasions, I met an instructor outside my driving school, and proceeded to drive around main roads, surrounding neighborhoods, and I even got a lesson on parking. Though the lessons were long and tiring (not to mention a bit stressful since I was driving with a stranger each day) I learned a lot during these lessons. There’s something very different about learning how to drive by actually doing it hands-on. Even though I found drivers ed interesting and helpful, I didn’t realize how much I had learned until I passed my road test! This means I now have my provisional license.
Road test nerves
Although I wish I had started my license process much earlier (I could have had my license in March) I’m glad I waited until a time where schoolwork and extracurriculars eased up a bit so that it wasn’t as stressful. When I went to take my road test, I was so, so nervous. I was actually shaking as I sat in the building waiting for my name to be called. Luckily, I had scheduled an appointment — because of this, I didn’t have to spend the entire day waiting.
During the road test I actually messed up the one thing I thought I had mastered: reverse parking. I thought I’d be better under pressure, but I was wrong. Thankfully the car I used, my mom’s Lexus, had a back-up camera and parking sensors. If it wasn’t for both of these installations, I don’t know if I would’ve passed my test. Both the back-up camera and the sensors allowed me to tweak the angles of the car until I could successfully park.
“You’ve passed the road test!”
After I had parked, the test proctor told me to pull out of the space and continue around the course (the MVA has a closed course that you drive around first, in order to see if you’re a fit enough driver before going onto the local roads). I was able to successfully complete the closed course, allowing me to move onto the road portion of the test. It felt more natural than I had anticipated, and my nerves were mostly calmed by the time I pulled back into the MVA lot and parked. My test proctor finished marking off his papers, then turned to me and said “Congratulations, you have passed the Maryland road test,” just like I had wished many times before!
Since passing the road test and receiving my license, I’ve helped my mom with the driving on an eight-hour road trip, ran errands here and there for my grandmother, and I’ve even filled my own gas tank! Of course, this has all happened while I’m on vacation in a small beach town, so the roads are much quieter and less busy. It’ll be much different driving back home in the city, but I’m looking forward to it.
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