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How to Pass a Driving Test: Essential Tips for New Drivers

The roads are yours for the taking! 228.2 million Americans are licensed drivers.

This statistic may make you think that passing a driving test is easy. In reality, many drivers fail their first tests. You must learn how to pass a driving test before you step behind the wheel.

What is a driving test like, and how should you prepare for one? What are some essential study tips for a driving test? How can you practice safe driving skills?

Answer these questions and you can master how to study for a driving test in no time. Here is your quick guide.


You need to prepare for your driving test several months in advance. You should practice multiple times a week, if not every day. Even 20 minutes of practice can help.

You can start by driving around a parking lot. Get familiar with making turns, using the accelerator, and stopping before objects. Once you’re comfortable behind the wheel, you can go on back roads without traffic.

Slowly work your way up to highways and fast-moving roads. You do not have to drive at rush hour until you are confident in your abilities.

Before you sign up for a driving test, you should take a DMV practice test. This test can be a written test or a physical test on the road. You can order a test online or go to a driving school for one.

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Study Traffic Laws

You should familiarize yourself with traffic laws extensively. Download the driving manual for your state and take notes on the major laws that affect you. If you live close to the border, you may want to familiarize yourself with the laws in neighboring states as well.

You should make flashcards so you memorize the critical laws. Focus on concepts like the right-of-way and speeding regulations. You probably won’t be tested on how much a new license or title for a vehicle costs.

Be Careful With Your Speed

Passing a driving test means staying below the speed limit. You may automatically fail if you exceed the speed limit by five miles per hour or more.

Keep your eye out for the speed limit and remain below it. If you are driving on a rainy or snowy day, you need to go even further below the speed limit. Driving fast on a wet road can cause hydroplaning or skidding.

However, you should not go too slow. On a fast road, you should maintain a good speed so drivers don’t become upset with you. Staying within five miles per hour of the speed limit can help.

Ease Into Your Turn

You should use your turn signals whenever you are turning, including when you turn into spots. Activate the signal a few seconds before your turn and switch it off after you have completed your turn.

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Adjust your speed before you perform a turn. Don’t put your foot on the brake during your turn, but keep your foot near it in case your car is going too fast.

Before you start to turn, check your blind spots. Look to the sides and behind your car using your mirrors and then by turning your head.

You can change lanes by activating your signal and then turning your car into the correct lane. Check your mirrors and blind spots before you make the change.

If you are turning right, you should position your car so you go into the right lane. If you are turning left, you should go into the left lane. Wait until after you are done turning to change lanes.

Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

You should check your mirrors every few seconds so you know what’s behind and around your car. But you should keep your eyes forward and look for road signs and changing conditions on the road.

Use your peripheral vision to detect objects alongside the side of the road. If you see something concerning, you can look over, but do not turn your head. You may miss something directly in front of you.

Be very careful when you approach intersections and walkways. You should look for children and pedestrians on the sidewalk, and you should keep an eye out for vehicles crossing in front of you.

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Come to a Stop

As soon as you see a stop sign, you should be prepared to stop. Put your foot on the brake and take your other foot off the gas.

Slowly apply pressure until your car comes to a stop before the white line on the road. Wait a few seconds before you hit the gas. Take the opportunity to look around for any vehicles or people you can hit.

You should always come to a stop before you exit a driveway or drive onto a highway. A yield sign means you should slow down if necessary. You may need to stop to let other drivers pass you, or you may need to adjust your speed.

Figure Out How to Pass a Driving Test

Learning how to pass a driving test means learning a lot of things. You need to study well in advance of your test, hitting the road several times a week. You should memorize driving laws and safe driving practices.

Prioritize driving at a safe speed and executing smooth turns. Look in your mirrors on a regular basis and check your blind spots for obstacles. Ease into your stops and yield for other cars at intersections.

These tips are just the essentials for good driving. Read advanced driving guides by following our coverage.

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