What to Expect on the Written Driving Test

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by Joshua on July 24, 2013

Anyone wishing to operate a motor vehicle on state public roads must first obtain a driver’s license from their state’s DMV. There are additional steps for minors under the age of 18 that are applying for their first license, usually in the form of a graduated license program. In addition, special licenses such as the CDL and motorcycle licenses have their own specific programs the driver must follow in order to be licensed. In every case, there will be some form of a written test applied in the application process that drivers must pass in order to continue. Each state’s testing policies and procedures differ, but in every case you will find the test questions are taken directly from the states drivers manuals.

The Number of Test Questions

Written tests will be in the form of multiple-choice questions, and are administered by the state’s DMV branch only. Tests can come in the form of paper exams or some states have begun implementing a computerized testing program that will randomly generate test questions and supply an immediate score. The number of test questions varies by state but must be between 25 and 50 according to federal regulations. This is to assure that enough material is covered to certify you are aware of all common traffic rules and regulations in your state. Scores are based on a percentage and each state has a minimum passing percentage in order to proceed to the next step of the application process. The state average is 80% but some states are as low as 70%. To find out the exact number of test questions and what percentage is required to pass, it is best to visit your local state DMV branch.

The Testing Process

Most states have begun to uniform their application process for receiving a driver’s license at the DMV. In general you will be required to provide proof of citizenship, identity and residency in order to take the written test. The recently enacted REAL ID program, prompted by the 9/11 tragedy, is setting forth a uniformed ID program that provides uniform guidelines for expected documents. You will need to provide your social security card and birth certificate showing your full legal name in order to begin the written test portion of your application. In most states, minors will also need to show proof that they have successfully completed an approved driver’s education program. Some states will allow parent-taught drivers education as approved documentation.

Once you have presented the proper documentation, you will be given a vision test. You must pass the vision test to continue so be sure to bring glasses or contacts if you are required to wear them. The testing process is completed in a designated area of the DMV only accessible by DMV clerks and those taking the written test. You will be advised to turn off all electronic devices, except translation if applicable before you are administered the test.

How to Assure a Passing Score on the Written Test

Many people fail the written driving test the first time and this is mainly due to lack of preparation. You can assure you don’t have to retake the test by studying hard and using the information available to you online. Each multiple choice test question found on the written test is generated randomly based on information found in the states driver’s manuals so your primary source of studying should be your manual. Test questions will cover some of the following information:

  • Traffic laws and regulations for your particular state.
  • Commonly found traffic signs such as stop signs, yields and speed limits
  • How to handle special situations. Emergency vehicles, school zones and buses require special maneuvers you must understand to be a safe driver.

You will find detailed cheat sheets available for a small purchase price at www.dmvcheatsheets.com. These sheets include all of the information found on each state written tests take directly from DMV manuals. In addition, comprehensive practice tests provide you will over 100 of the most commonly found questions on the test, complete with the correct test answers. Take each test and check your answers to determine your areas of weakness.

Develop a Study Game Plan

All multiple-choice questions have the same strategy. You will find three or four possible test answers for each question, with one correct answer to choose. In each test question, one or two questions will be completely wrong, one will be close to correct and the other a right answers. You must be able to determine which of the choices the answer is found in your driver’s manual in order to pass. Developing and sticking to a study plan will assure you achieve a passing score on the first try. A general plan should consist of the following steps:

  • Obtain a copy of your states driver’s manual form your local DMV or online at the DMV website.
  • Read through the manual at least twice to assure you properly covered all aspects of safe and proper driving.
  • Use cheat sheets available online for more information and a study guide
  • Take several practice tests and double check your test answers to assure you understands the information before proceeding.
  • Read helpful articles full of times for passing your driving tests.
  • Do not take the written test until you are fully confident you understand the material in order to pass on the first try.

You can also take your Online DMV Practice at: www.dmvcheatsheets.com

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