6 Effective Ways to Practice for a Driver’s Test
Being able to drive by yourself means a new level of freedom and independence.
Unlike the written G1 test, the G1 exit test requires you to demonstrate your capabilities behind the wheel. For this reason, it’s important to make sure you’re confident enough in your skills to complete any task the examiner may require. Here are 6 tips for road test success.
Get by-the-book prepared
Before you take your G1 exit test, make sure you’ve studied the official MTO Driver’s Handbook, which contains all the basic information you need about learning to drive in Ontario – from the rules of the road to how to get a licence.
While your road test is all about proving your aptitude in the vehicle and in traffic, the handbook offers information you’ll be expected to know – like laws regarding right of way, street signs, and more. Studying it will not only give you an idea of what your driving instructor is looking for, but it will also ensure your confidence that you and your passengers will be safe throughout your entire driving career.
Gain MTO-approved experience
The best way to prepare for your test is to gain hands-on driving experience with an instructor you can trust. Look for an MTO-approved driving school. These lessons are taught by ministry-licensed driving instructors and grant the driving experience new drivers need to be granted a four-month reduction in the 12-month minimum G1-licensing period.
Your driving school will teach you strategic driving techniques, the skills to drive in adverse conditions and at night, and more. Your instructor will also be a valuable resource you can ask questions about your road test.
When choosing a school, consider the number of years they’ve been in business, testimonials, and look for a minimum of 20 hours classroom instruction, 10 hours behind the wheel instruction, and 10 hours flexible instruction.
Take highway trips
The G1 exit test includes a component of expressway driving. You must complete a Declaration of Driving Experience to ensure you have sufficient expressway driving experience. The form will require you to indicate how many times in the past three months before the test you have driven on a highway with a speed limit of at least 80 km/hr as well as the length of these trips.
To learn best practices for entering and exiting the highway, refer to the official handbook.
Perfect your parallel park
Even some advanced drivers don’t feel confident in their parallel parking abilities. Parallel parking may seem difficult, but trying out this technique enough times will make the task come easily.
- Before slowing down, check your mirror for traffic behind you and your blind spot.
- Turn on your signal, and unless other vehicles are waiting to enter the road between you and your stopping point, steadily reduce your speed.
- Stop parallel to the parked vehicle (real or imaginary) in front of the empty parking space. Leave 60 cm between your vehicle and the parked one.
- If traffic is clear, begin reversing into the space, turning the steering wheel toward the curb. When your vehicle is about halfway in, steer to bring your vehicle in line with the curb.
- Once you’re in the space, align your vehicle by moving forward or backward.
- Put the gear selector into park and set the parking brake.
- To exit the space, turn on the engine, release the parking brake, signal, and check your mirrors and blind spots. Steer back onto the road, gradually accelerating to blend in with the traffic around you.
Practice getting into driving position
Before you drive, get into the habit of taking a moment to adjust your mirrors, buckle your seatbelt, and making sure you are seated comfortably. Adjust your seat so you can reach the pedals easily while sitting straight up. To check your position, try placing your feet flat on the floor under the brake pedal. If you can do this easily, you’re seated properly.
Make these efforts a habit, as your driving examiner will be mindful of your behavior before you even turn on the engine.
Make a habit of being observant
During your test, your examiner will be checking your observation skills – including how often you use your mirrors, check your blind spots, and how you respond to traffic, signs, pavement markings and possible hazards. Your examiner will expect to see your head moving as you constantly look around.
When you’re ready to take your road test, bring your vehicle in good working order, glasses if necessary, and arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. For a few extra pointers, brush up on these rules of the road. Good luck!