Some people consider being able to drive on their own as a sign of independence. Most people are eager to get their license but dread the process of getting it. The days leading up to your first road test (or second, or third) can be full of nervousness. The driving test portion of getting your license is the most difficult part of the process. It requires a lot of extra preparation, practice and a dose of confidence in order to be behind the wheel. However, it’s always easier going in when you know what to generally expect. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your road test.
Leading Up to the Testing Day
- Practice, practice, practice: you know the phrase “practice makes perfect”? This really does apply in this situation. The more you practice driving, the more comfortable and at ease you will feel behind the wheel. If you are nervous at the prospect of being tested, at least you will have confidence in your driving skills. Another key piece of advice is to practice in the car that you will be driving in during the road test. Each car moves a little differently, so knowing the ins and outs of the car that you’re driving in will help.
- Parking: actual driving aside, one of the parts of the test people warn about is the parking. Find an empty parking lot and practice as much parking as possible. All the parking techniques are forward parking, reverse parking, parallel parking, parking uphill and parking downhill. Practice these techniques until you can do it without even thinking.
- 2 and 3 point turns: familiarize yourself with doing 2 and 3 point turns and make sure that you know the proper signaling forms.
- Get to know the testing area: once you have scheduled your test, take a drive around the testing area and familiarize yourself with the roads. Keep an eye out for what the speed limit is and when it changes, any hazard signs etc. Doing this will at least help you expect what type of environment you will be driving in.
The Night Before the Test
- Vehicle Inspection: before the beginning of any road test, the tester will do a preliminary inspection of your vehicle to make sure that everything is in working order. Beforehand, conduct your own inspection:
- Check if the headlights, brake lights and blinkers work.
- Make sure that you can turn on the AC, the wipers and the hazard lights.
- Make sure the horn and emergency brake are in working order.
- Mirror Check: make sure that the side mirrors and the rear-view mirror are all adjusted so that you can see any road hazards with ease. Ensure that you develop a habit of checking your mirrors while driving – this is something testers keep an eye out for.
- Know your Controls: make sure you know how each aspect of the vehicle that you are driving in works. Do you know how to:
- Turn the headlights on and off?
- How to use the wiper in case of inclement weather?
The Day of the Test
The day has arrived to take your test. It is best to arrive early to mentally prepare yourself for the test. Double check the mirrors and make sure that you have your seatbelt on the moment you get in the car. Here are some additional tips to know what to watch out for.
- Steering Wheel: make sure to keep your hands ON the wheel at all times in the appropriate position (10 and 2/9 and 3). It is best not to let the wheels slide through your hands, even when turning.
- Speed: keep an eye out for speed limit signs and make sure you are going the limit. Going too slow or too fast will look unfavourable to the tester and may hinder your chances of passing.
What to Do If You Fail
If you do fail your driving test, do not worry, just call up your driving instructor and go over the aspects of the test. Go over the incorrect moves and practice them until you feel comfortable. Do not get discouraged and keep on practicing. Before you know it, you’ll get your license and be driving on your own soon enough.
All credit goes to Merge Driving School