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What Should I Expect from the Driving Theory Test?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The driving theory test is generally a written or computerized exam that allows new drivers and those with a revoked license to earn their learner’s permit. There are generally around twenty questions, each one having to do with the rules of the road and potential problems drivers may face while behind the wheel. Passing this test is necessary in order to practice driving a car and try for a driver’s license.

Before the actual test begins, you will likely be asked to fill out a form with your name, address, age, and other general information. Your birth certificate or other proof of identification may also be required. Once this is complete, you will also have to take a brief eye exam to make sure you are capable of seeing and reading letters at various distances. If you wear reading glasses, be sure to wear them on the day of your exam.

With increasing frequency, the driving theory test is completed using a computer screen. Oftentimes there are only two or three screens in a room, and questions on each one will likely be in a different order. This prevents test takers from sharing answers or copying. The same is true for different versions of paper tests.

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You will be given detailed instructions as you begin the test, either on screen or by someone at the department of motor vehicles. Once the exam begins, there is no talking allowed. Answer each questions to the best of your knowledge. If you don’t know an answer, take a guess and move on. Missing one or two questions on the exam is generally not enough to fail the test.

Questions on the driving theory test may include trivia about road signs, parking rules, traffic laws, and ways to react in certain serious situations. Many of these questions are common sense, but others will require special knowledge acquired beforehand. For that reason, it is important you thoroughly read and study your driver’s manual.

The number of questions you miss on your driving theory test will determine whether or not you get your learner’s permit. Each jurisdiction may have a slightly different allowable number of wrong answers. If you do not pass the test the first time, you can usually go back and take it again in one or two weeks time.

If you do pass the driving theory test on the first try, congratulations! You will be eligible to drive a motor vehicle between specific hours of the day with a licensed driver, preferably a parent or legal guardian. The amount of time you will need to practice driving before you can try for your driver’s license varies from location to location.

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