Independent driving is the ultimate picture of freedom in California. When you have a driver’s license, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, in whatever car you want. You open up your world of recreation and occupation.
In short, you’re living.
But first, you have to prove you belong on the road and pass your California permit test. California requires all drivers to pass a vision, written, and driving exam. If you fail the written or driving exam, you only have two more opportunities to take it within the 12 months of paying for the exam.
To ensure you pass the first time, you need to prepare. Before you schedule your exam through the California DMV website, prepare thoroughly for the written and driving exam by following these tips.
Passing the Written Exam
Begin your preparations for the written exam with the Driver’s Handbook. You can download the handbook directly from the California DMV website or pick one up for free from your local DMV. All of the exam questions come directly from the handbook.
So if you know the handbook, you should know the answers for the exams.
The handbook will explain how to safely operate a motor vehicle in California. It will explain important parts of driving like understanding liability laws, interpreting California traffic signs, and how to share the road in unique driving conditions.
Take a Practice Test
You’ll never really know if you’ve studied enough until you take the actual exam. A California permit practice test will give you the best idea of if you’ve retained the information in the book well enough for the real exam.
You can find many different practice tests online both for free and for a small fee. Many savvy test-takers have also created online quizzes and flashcards to help you study as well. A quick search of California driver’s tests and quizzes and flashcards will lead you to some helpful places that will help you study.
Eat and Sleep
If you’re especially nervous, you probably won’t sleep well the night before the DMV permit test. Focus on getting good sleep the entire week of your California DMV permit test instead of just the night before. This will make up for your one bad night’s sleep the night before the exam.
Sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on memory retention. So really focus on getting those zzz’s before you take your test.
Eat a healthy breakfast the morning of the exam. Don’t eat anything that will upset your stomach and cause you problems during the exam itself. Instead, focus on a balanced breakfast with some protein and carbohydrates.
Skipping breakfast can lower your brain function. Your stomach will be growling, and you won’t be able to focus as you take your exam. So eat something before you walk through the DMV doors.
Give yourself plenty of time to arrive on time for your exam. Plan on arriving 30 minutes before your appointment. Create a margin of time in case you need extra time to fill out unanticipated paperwork before the exam.
If you find yourself sitting and waiting before the exam, do a light review of your test materials. Go back to the flashcards and quizzes that you’ve created, and review them as you wait.
Take Your Time
Do not rush through the exam. Read every question at least twice to completely understand what the exam is asking. Often times test takers answer incorrectly because they have not read the question correctly.
If you don’t have complete confidence in your answers, make an educated guess. The DMV will not give you bonus points if you finish first, so take your time to answer these questions.
Once you’ve finished the exam, go back and review all of your answers. Re-read the questions to make sure you’ve answered them completely. If you feel good about the test, hand it in.
Passing the Driving Exam
Once you’ve passed the written permit test in California, it’s time to take the driver’s exam.
While you cannot drive alone before you have a license, you can practice your driving if you have a licensed adult in the car. Take as many opportunities as you can to practice your driving with an experienced driver who can give you tips as you drive.
Memorize all of the rules of the road before you head into the exam. The more you practice driving outside of the exam, the more you will know these rules as well. Practicing them will make them stick even more.
By the time you take your driving test, driving will feel natural to you if you’ve practiced enough.
The DMV has limited test slots for driving exams since each DMV staff member has to proctor the driving exams. Schedule your test early.
Find a Suitable Vehicle
You have to bring your own vehicle to the DMV exam. When you arrive, the DMV staff member conducting your test will examine the car. They need to ensure it is in legal operating conditions and covered by the state’s insurance.
A suitable vehicle will have good breaks, two rearview mirrors, a secure glove compartment, seat belts that work, a horn, working signal, and brake lights, and valid registration and insurance.
The DMV test examiner will not allow you to use technology alone for backing up or self-parking. Practice parallel parking and backing up without the technology in the car before you take your exam.
Pass Your California Permit Test With Ease
The California permit test will cause stress for any driver learning how to drive. However, you can pass it with ease if you prepare properly. Do not go in blindly, but rather, read your book carefully and study diligently for the exam.
Then take the time you need to practice your driving with a licensed adult. If you take the proper steps, you’ll find yourself behind the wheel of your own car, enjoying the good life of driving freedom soon.
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