3 Ways to Ace Your California Behind the Wheel Driving Test
For many people the mere thought of a behind the wheel driving test in California can be frightening. If you are well-prepared though, everything will turn out without a hitch.
The behind the wheel driving test is a test of your driving skills is a test given by the California DMV. This test will assess your driving skills and your ability on defensive driving as well as courteousness on the road. Passing this test as well as the written test is a pre-requisite to acquiring a driver’s license.
One of the major goals of the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) of California is to have drivers keep their licenses for as long as their driving competency deems it safe for them to be on the road.
The California DMV recognizes the fact that being able to drive in California allows mobility and independence which enhances the quality of life of their citizens.
The California DMV requires the following to take a driving test prior to the issuance of a driver’s license:
- Never been issued a driver’s license in California or any state.
- Physical and mental conditions wherein a driver’s license has a limited term
- A Junior from another state with a probationary or provisional driver’s license
- Driver’s license holders from a foreign country
- Licensed by other states but is unable to surrender their driver’s license
- Person with a problem related to vision
- Person who requests to have a restriction removed from his driver’s license
Driving tests are waived for renewals of DLs issued in California, any state as well as any US territory as long as the driver’s license is surrendered.
Getting Ready to Pass your California Driving Test
Just like any test, being prepared will prevent you from getting nervous and have the confidence to face the test administrator. Here are what you need to get ready with:
- Know about the California driving rules and regulations.
The test administrator will test if you know by heart the driving rules and regulations in California including driving in the right lane and knowing when not to pass other vehicles. You will also be asked to show him how to make both arm and light signals when turning and changing lanes.
You must also be able to have full understanding of the right of way rule and how to apply it. This also includes following the four second rule to maintain a safe distance from another vehicle.
It is important to remember that you will surely fail your behind the wheel test should you go pass a red light or a stop sign without stopping. Going over the speed limit will also definitely make you fail.
Practice your skills and knowledge ahead of time. Read through again the California Driver Handbook the night before your DMV appointment CA. Refresh your memory by taking one of the California online practice tests.
- Practice Vehicle Control
Vehicle control is a major factor in smart driving. Your test administrator will focus on how successfully you are able to control your vehicle. He will ask you to perform a number of tasks and assess if you can perform them with confidence and without any hesitation.
These tasks include maintaining and switching lanes, stopping and breaking, accelerating, turning, and steering.
Your driving administrator will grade you in the required driving maneuvers which you need to have mastered:
- Getting on the road from a parked position
- Pulling over and stopping to the side
- Executing a U-turn
- Parallel parking
- Backing up
- Merging towards traffic
- Quick starting your vehicle
- Knowledge of your transmission gears
- Defensive driving
- Spotting and handling crosswalks
- Following traffic rules and regulations
Practice these required maneuvers with an expert driver and you will be on your way to racing your behind the wheel test.
- Master Your Vehicle
You need to know how to use each part of your vehicle. Your test administrator will drill you on the following parts of your vehicle.
- Tail lights
- Safety belts
- Exhaust system
- Light of license plate
- License plate in use
- Brakes as well as brake lights
- Tapping your horn
- Turning on your cooling and heating systems, headlights, defroster, radio and windshield wipers
Reminders before taking Your Driving Test
- Make sure you have a CA DMV appointment. The California DMV is a very busy place. It handles all the requirements and needs of drivers of your locality. Book your behind the wheel test appointment ahead and at you’re your preferred date and time. With this done, all you need to worry about is how to pass the test. By the way, make sure you appear at ready and prepared at the appointed date and time.
- Make sure you have your fees and documents ready. Make sure you have these when you appear for your behind the wheel test appointment:
- Driving permit
- Certificate from your driving training course
- Car registration and insurance
Refer to the California DMV website for a complete list of what you need to bring for your behind the wheel test.
- Make sure your vehicle is in perfect condition. Your DMV administration will check the condition of your vehicle prior to the start of your behind the wheel test. He will not allow you to proceed with the test if he finds your vehicle not to be in perfect working condition.
While you may think that your behind the wheel test will take forever, in actuality it will takes only about 20 minutes. During the test, make sure to carefully listen to everything your test administrator will ask. Never hesitate to ask questions if any of his instructions are unclear.
It is perfectly okay and normal to be nervous and jittery. Remember though that your test administrator is helping you make sure you are ready to be a legal and safe driver.
At the end of your behind the wheel test the test administrator will review the scores he gave. He will give you pointers on areas where you need to improve as well.
For whatever it is worth, do not worry if you do not pass your behind the wheel test. You can always take the test again. However, if you follow the guidelines above, you will definitely ace your behind the wheel test.