Ask The Driving School Instructor: What’s The Best Way To Take A Driving Test?
February 13, 2015
Question: What is the best way to take the written driving test?
Answer: A lot of people have what educators refer to as “test anxiety.” They get so nervous about a test that, even though they may know the material, their anxiety about the test can make even an easy test hard. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips to help you be prepared for the test.
Before we go on, we first have to have to understand how the test works and learn a couple of terms. Most state tests are given by computer. The questions come from a large database of up to 1,000 questions and the computer will randomly pick the required number of questions from that database. Because the original database of questions is so large, if you should fail the test and have to take it again, you probably won’t see many of the same questions on your second test.
Each question will consist of the question, only one correct answer, and two or three wrong answers known as “distractors.“
Depending on the state, you may or may not have a time limit in which to take the test. In the case of Florida’s test, you have one hour to answer 50 questions. That means you have two full minutes for each question. That really is a long time and you won’t spend a full two minutes on each question so that gives you more time to answer the harder ones.
So here’s the best way to take the test.
1. Know the material! No matter how smart you may be, if you haven’t studied the material, you stand a good chance of failing the test. For the driving test, the best source of study is the state driver’s handbook. You can get a printed copy from the DMV or download a free copy online from your state’s DMV website. For Floridians, you can download a free copy here: Florida Driver Handbook. You can also take practice tests online that will help you prepare for the test.
2. Read the question carefully! A lot of questions are missed because the test taker didn’t read the question correctly. Take your time and read it carefully so you know exactly what kind of answer the question is looking for.
3. Read all of the answers/distractors carefully. One single word can turn an answer from a correct answer into a distractor.
4. Eliminate the wrong answers. If you aren’t completely sure of the correct answer, you can help yourself by eliminating the wrong answers first. Then you can more easily choose the correct answer.
5. “All of the above” or “none of the above” isn’t always the correct answer; don’t automatically choose those answers without reading all of the other answers first.
6. If there is more than one answer that you absolutely know is true, then “all of the above” is probably the correct answer.
7. If there is one answer that you know for sure is correct, then “none of the above” won’t be the correct answer.
8. If you aren’t sure of the correct answer and you have two answers that appear to be correct, read each one carefully and look for that possible single word that could turn it into a wrong answer. If, after eliminating the ones you know are wrong, you still aren’t sure, then go with your best guess.
9. Your first choice is probably the best choice. Don’t try to second guess yourself and go back and change an answer. The only time you should go back and try to change an answer is if a later question makes you realize that you were wrong on the previous question. Still, don’t change it unless you are absolutely positive that you were wrong the first time. If you aren’t sure, leave it alone. Remember that you’re using up time to go back and change an answer.