Preparing to Take Your Road Test: 5 Things You Need to Know

Taking your road test is a rite of passage, but it can also be a little bit scary. Knowing what to expect can help you relax so you can feel confident behind the wheel and improve your chances of passing on the first try. Before you schedule your test, take a look at these five important tips.

1. Schedule Your Appointment

In most states, you’ll need to make an appointment with your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to reserve a time slot for your road test. Before you do, it’s important to make sure you’ve met your state’s minimum requirements. This often includes: 

  • Reaching the minimum age (typically 16, but in some states, this can be as young as 14.5 or as old as 17)

  • Passing all required driver’s education courses

  • Having your learner’s permit for a minimum amount of time with no moving violations

  • Practicing behind-the-wheel driving for a minimum number of hours

You can confirm your state-specific requirements when you call to schedule your appointment.

2. Make Sure You’re Prepared

Your road test is designed to make sure that you’re ready to implement all the skills you learned in driver’s ed in the real world. Often, the test will be done on busier local streets to see how well you handle everyday traffic. 

Your examiner will want to see that you are confident behind the wheel and are in complete control of your vehicle, so if you’re not yet comfortable behind the wheel, take some time to practice as much as you can before your road test. 

Some of the skills you’ll want to brush up on include:

  • Properly using your turn signals and mirrors

  • Safely changing lanes

  • Driving in reverse

  • Parallel parking

  • Making U-turns and three-point turns

  • Obeying traffic signals, road signs, and speed laws

3. Get Your Vehicle Ready

Your examiner will require you to have a safe vehicle for your road test. In most states, you’ll need to provide proof that the vehicle is registered and properly insured. Make sure that your vehicle is in top shape by checking that the tires are properly inflated and in good condition, the lights are working properly, and that your speedometer, turn signals, and other important parts of the vehicle are working as they should.

Also, make sure that your seat is adjusted properly so that you are comfortable before you arrive at your test. You should be at least 10 inches from the steering wheel and your feet should reach the pedals without stretching or bunching up in your seat. Also, adjust your mirrors and turn your radio off. 

4. Stay Calm

It’s normal to feel a bit of anxiety before your exam, but there’s no need to have a real fear of driving. Remember that you have been practicing for this for a while, so there’s no reason to panic. Take a deep breath and relax!

5. Follow Best Practices

Your examiner will want to see that you’re a confident driver and will be watching to make sure that you’re doing things like checking for blind spots, staying in your lane, using your turn signals properly, and starting and stopping smoothly.

As you drive, be sure to keep a safe distance from other vehicles and obey all road signals and signs. Also make sure you avoid common road test mistakes like taking overly wide turns, speeding, or going too slow.

Get Ready to Ace Your Road Test

Now that you know what to expect, you’ll be ready to pass your road test with flying colors. If you haven’t taken your driver’s ed classes yet, now is a great time to get started! DriversEd offers convenient online courses that will help you get prepared. Check it out today!

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