What You’ll Need to Know Before You Take Your Driver’s Exam

If you’re preparing to take your driver’s exam, regardless of your age, there are some things you need to know. Don’t worry- thousands of people take the exam in the US daily, and pass! In some states, you also need to take driver’s education classes. But, in general, here are a few things you need to make sure of before you begin practicing to drive to take your exam:

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Basic Car Operations

If you’ve grown up around vehicles as most have, you already have seen people do many basic car operations. Doing them yourself, though, is a new matter!  Don’t worry, practice will make those things into muscle memories which become second nature. You need to know how to turn on your car, adjust and use your mirrors, and how to use the brake and gas pedals, of course. You need to know how to put on the parking brake, in case of a high hill or emergency. Knowing where your turn signals and lights are is important, too!

Traffic Signs

Just like basic car operations, traffic signals and markings will be on your driver’s permit test. You need to know what different traffic lights mean, and what to do when you see Stop signs, of course! Yield signs don’t require you to stop, but you still need to proceed with caution. Likewise, there are different markings in the center lines of the road, and you need to understand highway signs to know. Here’s the great thing: all of these markings are standard between states, too! So you only have to learn them once.


Parking can be tricky, and you’re probably nervous about learning to parallel park. This is still on the exam, even though it’s rarely used in many communities. However, parking is like using varying pedals and practicing following the rules- it becomes easier with a lot of practice. Most DMV’s in the United States have a practice parallel parking station for test takers to use during their test, but after 5 PM it’s free to be used for practice.

You need to go get your driver’s permit in advance, and then practice for six months at least prior to testing. Make sure to do as much practice as possible, to make the motions of driving automatic. Pretty soon, you’ll be ready to do your own driving and have more independence in your home state!

Read this next: What You Should Do After Being Involved in a Car Accident

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