Can You Still Pass The DMV Permit Test? Advice For Taking the Drivers Test

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in Driving and Safety Tips, Everyday Driver, Rules of the Road: Driving Tips


According to a study done in 2010, 1 in 5 drivers currently on the road could not pass a written driving test. The DMV permit test has acquired a mythical status among those who have not yet passed it. It is possible to take the exam more than once if you fail it, but nobody ever wants to go through the whole study process multiple times. On the other hand, a poor driver record could land you back in the DMV, re-taking the test. While every state does things a little differently, you can study and learn the most important concepts and the best test-taking strategies if you look in the right places. Online driving courses are great because it gives you lots and lots of practice tests so that you can get used to the exam and how it feels.

The most important source for all information related to DMV tests is called the Handbook. Every state issues a new Handbook each year. It consists of multiple sections of content, like signs, regulations, penalties, and so on. Every single question on your DMV exam will be based on one or more facts from this year’s local Handbook. That is why it matters so much that you read your entire Handbook. It is the Bible of DMV exam questions. Every question will be related to the Handbook and no questions will use material from outside the book. It is your master source for all DMV knowledge.

That said, just reading all the material is not the best way to study. You need to immerse yourself in the same environment as the test itself and see how the questions are laid out to really be prepared. Even if you memorized the entire book, you wouldn’t necessarily pass the exam. That’s because the questions are often worded in confusing ways. The exam creators want to discourage people from simply learning the book by heart, which means they produce some strange questions. For example, you will often be asked to decide between multiple choices when there is no obvious best answer at first. Each choice has a potential justification, and it is up to you to decide the best one.

Of course, there is plenty that you do need to memorize. The more obscure road signs and the various penalties for DUI and moving violations are among the more difficult items to learn simply because you do not use them in everyday life. Many concepts are closely connected to real-world driving, but those that aren’t are not intuitive. There are good ways to learn these systems. For example, you might be able to find mnemonics that help you learn the Smith system for defensive driving or the sequence of actions in parallel parking. Such tricks make it much easier to learn otherwise complex lists and groups of concepts. Additionally, find study buddies or seek out those that have recently taken the test so that way you know what to expect. But make  sure you’re using your time wisely when studying with a friend, if you find yourself off track, it might be smart to go back to online practice tests.

The night before the test, prepare by getting a good night’s rest and maybe running through your flashcards a couple of times or take one last practice test. As for the morning of, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast and if possible, take a quick jog or brisk walk to get your oxygen and blood moving to the brain.

Additionally, when taking the test, make sure you read and re-read the questions carefully and thoroughly. You would hate to throw away all that time studying and miss a question just because you misread it. And most importantly, remember to stay positive during the test! If you don’t know the answer to the question, don’t panic, just move on to the next one and circle back later.

Studying for the exam a second time is disheartening, but it’s important to stay positive. No matter how hard you study, you will not be able to memorize everything perfectly. On top of that, there is some luck involved. Every exam consists of a selection of questions from a huge potential set of questions. That means you might get unlucky and have to answer a lot of questions about your weakest area. It’s unfortunate when this happens, but you need to bounce back.

In any case, the bottom line is that you do best when you can immerse yourself in the test environment. Take as many practice tests as you possibly can to understand the style of questions and you’ll be in good shape to succeed. Just stay relaxed and focused. If you are prepared, you can pass the exam the first time.


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