Getting your driver's license is a huge milestone. Before you can drive off with that all-important piece of plastic, however, you have to pass your road test. If you get sweaty palms just thinking about it, don't worry! If you've developed the skills necessary to become a good driver, you'll be ready to pass the test with flying colors. If you need a little extra practice, these steps can help.
1. Find out what's expected when you take your road test.
Some cities vary drastically in what is expected of new drivers when they're ready for their tests. It may vary based on the road conditions you can expect: for example, if parking is at a premium in your city, you may be expected to parallel park. Make sure you know what you'll be expected to do. If this information isn't available online, ask around at school: chances are, you have friends who can fill you in.
2. Drive over the route.
If the driver's test route is the same for everyone, take the time to drive over those roads a few times with your designated teacher. Make sure you're familiar with the turns you'll need to take and the type of traffic that you'll need to navigate. Familiarity with the route will ensure that when the time comes, you'll be able to pass the test more easily. If there are several routes used for the test, practice on all of them! That way, you'll be comfortable no matter what is expected of you.
3. Practice any skills you're expected to know for your road test.
You'll need, at the very least, to be able to back your car out of its current parking space in order to begin the road test, then put it back in the space when you get back. If your parking skills aren't up to par, the examiner may not pass you! Take the time to practice those key skills regularly until you're sure that you can handle them with confidence.
4. Build your overall driving confidence.
The more time you spend behind the wheel in a variety of conditions, the more comfortable you will be when the time comes to take your road test. Confidence is one of the essential elements of that test: if you're too cautious, your examiner may not pass you on your first try. When you're comfortable behind the wheel, it will clearly show, and your examiner will appreciate it.
5. Review road rules.
As you drive, your examiner will be watching to make sure that you follow the rules of the road. From safe passing distance to how to safely execute a turn, it's important to develop and practice all the skills you need in order to be a safe driver before you take the test that will put you out on the road on your own. If you aren't familiar with the rules of the road, go back to your driver's handbook and make sure that you look over them until they become second nature.
6. Practice in the vehicle you'll use to take the test.
Do you usually practice driving in your mom's car, even though your dad will be the one taking you to the DMV? Put in some time in the vehicle you'll actually use to take the test. This will help make you more comfortable with the vehicle and prevent you from missing something simple--like, for example, how to turn on the windshield wipers--on test day.
Passing your road test is the best way to get yourself out on the road by yourself. By building your confidence behind the wheel and increasing your driving skills, you'll discover that you're in a better position to pass the test on your first try. Freedom is yours--you just have to put in the time and effort to earn it!