Mother teaching teen daughter to drive in a car

What Is On the Driver Test?

Depending on what state you live in, you may be tested on different driving skills. For example, in some states, you are required to show proficiency in parallel parking.

How to Pass the Driver’s License Test

In the majority of states, you will be tested on the following:

  • Turning left while appropriately using your turn signal
  • Turning right while appropriately using your turn signal
  • Driving according to posted speed limits
  • Correctly following all traffic signals and signs

Running a red light is an automatic fail! If the light is yellow as you are approaching the intersection, you should stop.

  • Using your mirrors
  • Reversing

Even though most vehicles are now equipped with a backup camera, don’t forget to look over your shoulder before reversing!

  • Driving through an intersection
  • Changing lanes
  • Smooth and gentle braking and accelerating
  • Basic driving in a residential area
  • Making a three-point turn

You may also be tested on other skills such as highway driving, so be sure to practice driving in many different scenarios. To find out what’s on the test in your specific state, do an online search for your state’s driver’s license department, sometimes referred to as the DMV.

Is it hard to pass a driving test?

Generally speaking, a driving test is not hard if you are prepared. Practice makes perfect. The more time you spend behind the wheel before you take your driving test, the better prepared you will be to take your test. Here are some common mistakes people make during their driving test so you can be sure to avoid them when you take yours.

  • Driving too fast or too slow. Always stay within 5 mph of the posted speed limit.
  • Changing lanes in the middle of an intersection. This is never allowed.
  • Changing lanes without first checking behind their shoulder.
  • Not completely stopping at a stop sign
  • Braking too hard
  • Following too closely to the car in front of them
  • Failure to yield at a yield sign

Several infractions are automatic fails, including not stopping for an emergency vehicle, speeding in a school zone, causing another driver to take an evasive action, failing to yield to pedestrians, and running a red light.

What happens if I fail the driving test?

So you failed your driving test. It’s ok. It happens. The first thing you need to do is find out whether you failed the written or driving portion of the test. If you failed the written portion, find out which questions you got wrong so you can study those specific questions for next time. Review your handbook and take some practice tests. 

If you failed the driving portion of the test, find out what errors you made from your test administrator. Get back behind the wheel and practice those scenarios over and over again. The more you practice, the less nervous you will be, and the less likely you are to make those mistakes again.