This is Why an Applicant May Fail the DMV Exam and How to Avoid Failure

MAR 28, 2017

Most people got the idea of traffic rules long before they would apply for a driver's license. Certainly, as a kid, you rode in a car with your parents and asked them what some road signs meant and why your daddy needed to use turn signals before performing turning a maneuver.

You Don’t Study Hard for the Driver’s License Exam

Most people got the idea of traffic rules long before they would apply for a driver's license. Certainly, as a kid, you rode in a car with your parents and asked them what some road signs meant and why your daddy needed to use turn signals before performing a turning maneuver. Therefore, even minors have some basic knowledge about the traffic rules, road lanes, car controls, tickets and points, etc. So, it may seem you are so experienced in all this traffic stuff that it is really enough to read the state driver’s manual a couple of times so you can get prepared to your driver’s license exam.

But this isn’t true. Even if you are enrolled in some driver education course and study traffic rules within it, you are hardly able to remember all the important information that will be presented in driver’s license exam questions without peeping into the driver’s manual. And yes, there are some things, which you have to learn by heart, whether you like it or not. And it is really smarter to spend some time on learning than to spend it on retaking driving exam over and over again. But does studying hard always mean monotonous cramming? No, and this leads us to the next reason of driving exam failures.

Passive Learning Doesn’t Help Much to Prepare for the Driving Exam

It will be hard to absorb the knowledge from the driver’s manual, if you choose the old-fashioned way: just to read the handbook from the beginning till the endround and round until you get it by rote. It is really boring and you don’t need this, since there are much more effective and challenging ways of studying for your driving test.

Start with an overview, which will help you understand the content structure and identify the chapters, which contain the most important and complicated information. Then move to working with each chapter with a sheet of paper and a pencil. Write down figures, terms, notions and other things, which you don’t know yet and which can be used as some kind of basis for other rules.

For example, write down the maximum speed limit in your state and then the minimum speed limits specified for school zones, blind intersections, alleys and other higher risk zones. Then try to reveal some patterns that will help you remember all other speed limit options between the maximum and the minimum.

Be creative! Make columns, lists, sheets to arrange the information in an easy-to-remember way and engage your visual memory. Namely, arrange basic dos and don’ts in two columns and read them aloud (do you know that when just reading, you learn up to 50% of information, while reading and repeating it aloud you can improve your learning efficiency up to 70%?).

Make flashcards or use those which are available on the Internet as a part of learning tools developed specifically for preparing to DMV driving test. They help focus on a certain question and the correct answer and are especially useful for difficult questions.

You Don’t Practice for Your Driving Test

As you already know, you can improve learning efficiency up to 70% by simple reviewing information aloud. Do you want to improve the efficiency even more? Researchers show that personal participation in learning activity (for example, in interactive games) can improve learning efficiency up to 90%! So, when studying for your DMV permit test, combine reading the driver’s manual with practicing DMV tests that are available online.

Why do we recommend online practice? Frankly speaking, you can find DMV knowledge test questions and answers both on official DMV website and in the driver’s handbooks. But usually only dozen of sample questions are given there, so you can get an idea of what test questions and answers look like, but there are too little of them to have a good practice. In fact, a real driving theory test covers several hundred questions, so you need to read and understand as much of them as possible. Otherwise, you face a risk to miss important topics and to stumble across some questions you don’t know how to answer.

That’s why it is very useful to take sample DMV tests, which include a lot of questions and are based on the real DMV exams. The more you train the less gaps are there in your knowledge, and so you increase your chances to pass the exam on the first try.

Besides, practicing with sample tests, you involve active learning, while checking the level of your competence. You choose an answer and then learn whether it is wrong or correct obtaining an explanation. You can check corresponding information through the driver’s manual to better understand, why exactly this answer is correct. Thus, you get reasoning instead of just cramming correct answers, and reasoning is one of the most effective methods of active learning. In addition, you can reveal your weaknesses and correct them at the appropriate times, before you make an appointment for the driver’s license test.

And, on top of everything else, sample test practice can be real fun, since it is challenging and interactive. But we shouldn’t forget about one more thing that is related to the practice in a certain way.

You Are Not Ready To Multiple-Choice Driver's License Written Exam

Quite a lot of people feel at a loss, when it comes to multiple-choice tests. They start hesitating over a choice; they suspect there are some catchy questions like“none of the above” or “all of the above”; they can’t understand the meaning of questions, especially when long sentences and complex grammatical structures are used. Are you one of them?

In fact, when taking practice with the help of DMV sample tests, you get a kind of vaccination against your fears. You can go through all the hundreds of questions and make sure that there are no curveballs and that each question has one sound answer. You can find out how the questions and answers are formulated to easily catch their meaning during your real driving exam. Finally, after taking the multiple-choice test dozen times, you will feel more confident and well-prepared – this will help you to hold your nerve on the exam.

You Don’t Have Any Strategy for Your DMV permit test

Yes, you need some smart strategy for the driving test, as many applicants failed it just because they answered in a hurry, were inattentive and thus made too many mistakes. On the other hand, some of the applicants can't score the required number of correct answers because they waffle and stall from the very start of the testing, and then they just haven’t enough time to ponder the rest of the questions and to answer correctly.So, both the excessive haste and deliberation bode no good, when it comes to taking driver’s license exam. In order to manage your time, follow the simple strategy:

  • Read each question and set of answers twice.
  • If you know the correct answer for sure, tick it.
  • If you can’t choose the correct answer and feel that it requires mature deliberation, skip it and move to the next question.
  • When all easy questions are answered, check the time and estimate approximately how many minutes you have on answering the rest of the questions.
  • Go through the difficult questions, but skip those of them, which stick.
  • If you have some time left and you haven’t got the passing score yet, go back to where you got stuck and just try to guess right.


You Can’t Get a Grip on Yourself During Driving Theory Test

Isn’t it pitiful to fail the driving theory test only because you are too nervous? But sometimes people do fail for this reason: they can’t choose the right answer though they are sure they learned it or they make stupid mistakes for no reason at all. It is really important to have psychological readiness for taking the exam, so try to do your best and to engage your positive thinking. If you feel uncomfortable because your friends or relatives will laugh at you in case you fail, don’t tell them about your DMV knowledge test. And vice versa: if you feel better with your cheer team support, ask close people to come with you. Don’t take any sedative drugs that can slow down your reaction, but don’t drink too much coffee or energy drinks either. Sleep well before the exam, eat healthy food, drink more water and breathe deeply if you need to ease the nerves. And have a good luck!