How to Pass the Permit Test

You have probably heard the saying about driving being a privilege and not a right time and time again. This saying is a favorite among parents who want to exercise their authority so that their teens obey the rules and become responsible adults and drivers. If you have finally proven yourself to your parents by raising your grades or by making curfew consistently, it is time to start studying for your permit test so that you can learn the rules of the road and legally get behind-the-wheel. Here is a valuable guide on acing the permit test that approximately 50% of first time applicants fail so that you can get past test-taking anxiety and feel confident in yourself on test day.

Step #1: Study the Driver’s Handbook the Right Way

You cannot expect to ace your permit test if you do not take the time to read the driver’s handbook and study the information. Sure, you have learned the meaning of common street signs as a child, and some of the laws of the road are common sense, but the permit test is a knowledge-based test and the driver’s handbook contains all of the information you are tested on. You have probably been told that the best way to pass your permit test is to read through the driver’s handbook, but if you are not absorbing the pages of information you are reading you are wasting your time.

The key to acing your permit knowledge test is focusing on the right details. As you are studying your driver’s handbook, you should jot down the specific so that you can engrave the specifics in your memory. Go through your handbook with a highlighter and highlight speed limits in certain areas, distances for stopping, legal alcohol limits, fines, and anything that is difficult to remember. If you find that it is easier for you to remember details you have written out by hand, write out the details in your own notebook and study this. If you have a photographic memory, reading the pages that contain the details multiple times can help you picture the answers during test time. The way that you study is all dependent on the way that you learn.

Step #2: Making Memory Cards for the Road Signs

Virtually anyone interested in getting a driver’s license knows what a stop sign means and looks like, but can you identify all of the traffic signs that you may encounter on public roadways? Believe it or not, missing a few of the road signs on the permit test is one of the most common reasons for failing. If you find it difficult to remember the meaning of all of the road signs, creating picture flash cards is a great trick. There are now Driver’s Education applications that you can use on your mobile device so that you do not have to make flash cards by hand. Once you have the meanings down, it is also a good idea to test your skills while you are in the passenger seat in the car with your parents.

Step #3: Visualize the Rules with Sketches

It can be very difficult to get the answers right if you are a visual learner. When you are reading a test question and you find it difficult to analyze the situation, consider making a very basic sketch on a piece of scratch paper. This especially works great for the right-of-way rules, lane changes and turning. Who says you cannot put your artistic talent to work to ace your permit test?

Step #4: Take a Batch of Practice Permit Tests

A single practice test may help you get a feel for how the permit test is structured, but if you take the time to take a batch of practice permit tests you improve your chances of acing your real test tenfold. A DMV permit test is about knowing the rules, laws and regulations, but testing anxiety should not be the reason you do not pass. By taking dozens of practice tests, you will get a feeling for the combination of different questions and answers that can be asked. Choose tests that are specific to your state, study the questions you get wrong, and you will not have to worry about being surprised with tricky questions on test day.

In most states, a permit test is only comprised of 20 questions. If you want to get all 20 questions right, follow these tips and get prepared before test day. By reading the handbook, studying the right details, visualizing the rules, and taking free practice tests, you are sure to ace your test and earn your restricted driving privilege.

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About the Author:

James Hunt is a contributing writer for and is heavily involved in the automotive industry. You can always connect with James on Google+