How to Pass Your Driving Test the First Time

It is not difficult to pass the driving test. It can be a nerve-wreaking, anxiety-provoking horrible experience, or it can be a breeze. Whether you have spent six months or six weeks behind the wheel practicing with a teacher, your success has more to do with your state of mind on test day than most anything else. Here are some tips to help you calm those nerves and be prepared for your driving test.

Know Your Stuff
You have to pass the written test before you can take the driving test. Study and know those rules using the study booklet that the DMV will give you. They are all going to apply directly to driving, so be sure to learn them. As you study, visualize the situations and how to handle them, whether they pertain to who goes first after a four-way stop, or how to determine when it's safe to pass another vehicle. Knowing the rules will help you feel capable of dealing with driving situations as they come up. Take a class and have plenty of practice time behind the wheel with an experienced driver who can give you good advice. Knowledge and practice give you confidence.

Never assume that something is unimportant, or you'll fall victim to one of the "trick" questions you'll be asked. Learn the hand signals for turns; you may be asked to demonstrate them before you can start the car. Insist that everybody is buckled up before you put the car in gear, including the police officer who may be riding with you. Get plenty of practice parallel parking and making three-point turns, just in case you need to execute them. 

Tips on Passing a Driving Test

  • Be rested and ready. Get enough sleep the night before, have a good breakfast and wear comfortable clothing. This will help you be able to focus on what you need to do rather than how you feel. Take some slow, deep breaths and have some water if you're feeling nervous.
  • Be focused. No matter what happened at home, what you need to do afterwards or what else is going on in your head, you need to be completely focused on the task of passing the driving test. Put all other thoughts aside. A mental distraction can cause you to lose focus on an important thing like stopping completely at a stop sign, or watching your speed. The examiner is going to be noting how well you are responding to traffic conditions, and you want to show him or her that you are very focused and confident.
  • Be observant. Part of showing you are a good driver is being able to react to other drivers and respond to their actions. Don't drive too close to other cars, and if someone is trying to pass, let them. You are showing the examiner that you are capable of making decisions while driving, and that you can stay safe regardless of what other drivers are doing.
  • Be courteous. Always use your turn signal and know when to yield. Don't honk your horn or make rude gestures at other drivers. If they do this to you, don't return it. Show your test examiner that you are collected and confident.
  • Don't feel threatened by your examiner. He or she is impartial, and wants to see you do well. Have a positive attitude, and be respectful and follow the directions she gives you. Remember, too, that the examiner is a passenger in your vehicle. If your state has a seat belt law, ask the examiner to buckle up. If you don't do this, you could be failed on the spot.

Knowing the rules of the road and driving safely and courteously will almost always allow you to pass your driving test. If you should fail, don't despair; it only means that you need a little more practice and study before you're ready to hit the road.

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