For good reasons, every study guide for the written test will tell you to study the driver’s manual. Many local DMVs have online or physical copies available for free, making studying for this important exam easier and more accessible to a wide range of test takers. Your state driver’s manuals will likely provide a wealth of information. In fact, most of what you need to know for your permit test will be in the manual. Below is a how-to-guide for studying your driver’s manual that will make your studying experience easier and more efficient.
REMEMBER: Studying for your permit test will require more of you than just “reading” the manual. You should complete multiple practice tests on our website and/or attend a driver’s education course as well.
READ MANUAL'S PAGES THOUGHTFULLY
Much of what you read in your local driver’s manual will be laws you already knew or facts you could use common sense to figure out. However, there are some small details that are easy to miss. You should plan to read your driver’s manual, at least twice. On your first read, make minimal notes and pay attention to which laws you don’t know and what information you will have to learn more thoroughly.
JOT DOWN SPECIFIC INFORMATION
You will want to write down or highlight specific passages in your driver’s manual that mention speed limits for specific areas, traffic fines, approved distances for parking, blood alcohol content levels and traffic punishments. Highlighting these specific passages will give you nice short excerpts to review on subsequent read-throughs. You’ll be particularly thankfully to have those excerpts when you need to refresh your memory the night before your permit test. If you have the time and note cards, write these facts and numbers on study note cards. You can use these note cards for a quick study session throughout your day.
DRAW ALL THE TRAFFIC SIGNS
Usually, the traffic signs are all listed in the same area of the driver’s manual. Figure out a way that makes sense to you to distinguish the informational signs from the warning signs from the prohibitive or regulatory signs. Bookmark the pages where the signs are located so you can easily access them on subsequent study sessions, and draw the signs on a separate piece of paper or on flash cards. Your goal with studying the traffic signs is to develop a method that will help you remember these traffic signs effectively.
USE MEMORY TRICKS TO REMEMBER THE RULES OF THE ROAD
The rules of the road are important to know for your permit test, but also for your safety. Come up with ways that make sense to you to remember these rules. Use numbers, rhymes, mnemonics and other memory tactics to help make remembering the rules of the road easier. As you read about the various rules of the road, try to visualize each road rule and imagine situations in which these rules were broken. By actively thinking about these traffic rules, you are avoiding passively learning, and you are increasing your chances of remembering this very important information.
We want to hear from you! Do you have any other tips for studying the manual? How did you study for your permit test?