Earning your driver’s license is an important step toward personal freedom — no matter your age. You’ll have to pass the test first, though!
Are you nervous and feeling woefully unprepared? Knowing your stuff (inside out) is the best way to increase your confidence and pass your driver’s license test. Studying now also sets you up for many years of safe and responsible driving.
Don’t skip these essential tips!
1. Study the Driver’s Manual Half to Death
Your state’s driver’s manual is more than a bureaucratic hurdle. It familiarizes you with the rules of the road, safety laws and tips, and the process of getting your driver’s license.
Take the manual with you everywhere you go, and study it every time you have a short break. Then, ask your friends or relatives to quiz you on the content to make sure you know everything there is to know.
2. Take Plenty of Practice Tests
Lots of different websites offer practice driver’s license tests — simulated versions of the real written portion of your driver’s license test. Make use of these handy resources!
Remember that knowing the right answers to all the questions is not enough. You also have to be familiar and comfortable with the format, and overcoming your test anxiety is an important part of preparing! You’ll be prepared for your written test once you can take practice tests (basically) in your sleep and get them 100 percent correct each time.
3. Get Behind the Wheel As Often as Possible
There’s no substitute for real practice on the road. Having a skilled and experienced instructor who isn’t afraid to arm you with all the tips you’ll need to become a responsible driver is excellent. Once you have your learner’s permit, however, you can drive anywhere you want with a responsible adult who is already a skilled driver.
The more hours you clock behind the wheel, the higher your odds of being well-prepared for your driver’s license test. Remember to do things right from the start, though!
4. Drill the Pre-Drive Checklist Into Your Brain
Each state has slightly differing procedures during a driver’s license test, but you can never go wrong with studying the basic pre-drive checklist that will be required everywhere. Instructors will want to see you using your seatbelt correctly, adjusting your mirrors, and operating headlights, tail lights, and high beams.
5. Always Stick to the Speed Limit
Believe it or not, many people fail their driver’s license tests because they exceed the speed limit during the test. Don’t be one of them, and make staying within 5 MpH of the speed limit a habit. This tip won’t just serve you well as you prepare for your test but for the rest of your long “career” as a driver, too.
6. Keep These Practical Tips in Mind
Other common mistakes include:
- Failing to keep a good eye on the road — all of it, not just what’s right in front of you. Situational awareness is a must, and you will be tested on it! Use your rearview and side view mirrors!
- Speeding up to turn. Beginning drivers should slow down before they turn and take a very careful approach. Accelerating is always a bad idea.
- Not preparing to stop when you see a yellow light. Running a light means failing your driver’s license test. Make sure you get your timing right.
- Aggressive braking. Don’t do it. Be gentle.
7. Focus on Your Weak Points
What are you consistently doing wrong? What are you unsure about, and where do you lack confidence? Focus on those areas. Remember, your driver’s license test is a one-time event (hopefully, anyway!), but responsible driving is forever. Fix your weak points before you take the test.
8. Bring All the Necessary Documents Along
Besides showing up for the test on time, it’s also crucial to have all the right documents, like your driver’s permit, with you when you take your driver’s license test. You wouldn’t want the test to be delayed because you didn’t bring everything you needed!
9. Rest Up
Fatigue is one of the most common reasons for irresponsible driving. Go into your driver’s license test fully rested and energetic.
These tips will prepare you to pass your driver’s license test the first time — but you have to put in the hard work. Good luck!