The Driving Skills Checklist for Passing Driver’s Tests

Driving Skills Checklist

If you’re worried about your driving test, you’re not alone. More than 50% of people fail their driving test the first time. Whether you’re a teen driver or an adult one, nerves, under-preparation, or simple bad luck can cause you to fail.

Luckily, anyone can pass a driving test with study and practice, even if it takes a few tries. Consulting this driving skills checklist can help you make sure you’re prepared for the big day.

What’s Tested on the Driver Exam

Every state has slightly different requirements for the driver’s exam, so check your local DMV for a comprehensive overview of what to expect. However, no matter where you are, the test should include these things.

First, you’ll have to go through a pre-drive checklist. You’ll demonstrate hand signals for driving and locate instruments such as the emergency brake, turn signals, headlights, windshield wipers, and hazards.

Then, you’ll head out on the road. On the road, you’ll be tested on the following:

  • Lane changes
  • Left and right turns
  • Stopping at stoplights and stop signs
  • Leaving and returning to the DMV
  • Backing along a curb

Your instructor will also watch to make sure you’re not going too slow or too fast. They’ll look for whether you look before changing lanes or turning, and if you yield to other drivers when needed.

How to Practice for the Driver Exam

If you’re practicing for a written exam, review like you would for any other test. Make flashcards, have friends or loved ones quiz you, and ask drivers to narrate what they’re doing when you drive with someone else.

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Online driver’s education resources can help you review the rules, offer tips, and more. In some states, you can take the entire written portion of the exam online.

If you already have your learner’s permit, the key to getting comfortable behind the wheel is practice. Drive at times when you know traffic will be light, so you can get comfortable on the road. When driving, have your driving partner grade you on every missed turn signal or failure to check your blind spot.

You can also attend driving school with an instructor who knows the driving test inside and out. They can catch things that normal drivers sometimes miss, and take you to the best areas for learning to drive. Their cars are usually equipped with passenger brakes, so they can take over in an emergency.

Taking a course like this can even get you a discount with your insurance company!

The night before your road test, make sure your vehicle is working. Check your tires, lights, and gas and oil levels. Make sure you know where all the important buttons are. Good luck!

Driving Skills Checklist, News, and More

From steering wheel hand position to proper turn signal use, there’s a lot to learn at driving school before you get behind the wheel. But if you keep at it, you’ll certainly pass the test!

Now that you’ve mastered the driving skills checklist, browse our automotive news section for more on the world of cars and driving.