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Ever feel like drivers on the road today wouldn’t be able to pass a driving test? If you have, you’re not alone. A 2010 study found that 1 in 5 drivers would not be able to pass the written test if they took it today. In fact, 70 percent of first-time test takers go home with a failing grade. Don’t be one of those drivers! Here are ten tips to help you get through your written test with flying colors on the first try.

1. Get a copy of the handbook

Pick up a handbook from your local DMV, or download it online so you can familiarize yourself with your state's laws. Open the booklet and browse through casually. It can be quite long, so don't stress yourself out to read it word for word. Reading without stress the first time will give you a foundation before you fine tune your studying later. Jot down some notes on note cards, make a study document on your computer, or highlight some points that catch your eye.

2. Take an online practice test to gauge where you’re at

A practice test will give you a sense of how much more you need to study. Make sure you choose the right state because each state's laws may vary. As you work through the test, make notes of the things you’re unsure about - this will help you continue studying later!

3. Re-Read.

After you complete your practice test, go back to your handbook and re-read the sections that you struggled with when practicing.

4. Find yourself a study guide.

A study guide can help you brush up in areas you struggle with. offers a great DMV Cheat sheet that will not only save you hours of time, but includes sample questions, requirements for obtaining your license, and other helpful tips.

5. Study, Study, Study.

No athlete has ever been interviewed after a loss and said they didn't execute because they over prepared. Taking a test works the same way. Remember that sometimes memorization is the only way to go, especially when it comes to numbers such as speed limits and similar driving laws. Repetition will help the trickier facts stick.

6. Re-take the practice tests.

Take as many practice tests as you can. Practice makes perfect, as they say. Get used to the wording the tests use so you aren't stumped during the test.

7. Get plenty of sleep the night before the test, and eat a hearty breakfast.

No amount of studying will make up for being tired and hungry when you’re taking the written driving test. Rather than staying up late cramming, going to bed early and doing a final review during breakfast will help you be fresh for the big test.

8. During the test, make sure you fully read each question thoroughly.

The last thing you'd want to do after all the time you've spent studying is to miss a question because you misread the question. The test can be tricky and therefore you want to look out for all wording such as legal or illegal, right turn or left turn, crosswalk or sidewalk, etc. Don't assume you know the answer until you've read the entire question.

9. When you come to an question you don't know, relax and pick the best answer.

If you come to a question you don’t know how to answer, take a deep breath. You can’t know everything, but chances are you can make a good educated guess based on your studying. Try to narrow down the choices by process of elimination, then pick the best option based on common sense. Even if you guess between two choices you have a 50% chance of being right!

10. Be positive.

Don’t walk into the test thinking over and over about how you’re going to fail - think positive! Imagine yourself with your license, and start your test with this goal in mind.


What tips do you have for other drivers? Leave your best tips in the comments below.