Once you have passed your Texas drivers license written exam, it’s time to move on to the actual driving test so that you may finally obtain your drivers license. This guide is intended to help you prepare for the Texas drivers license driving exam and help you to know what to expect. While the fail rate is fairly high and the Texas driving test is not the easiest exam in the world to pass, being prepared will vastly increase your chances of success.
First Of All – RELAX!
As a certified driving instructor I know first-hand that the number one reason most new drivers fail their driving exam is simply due to them being nervous. When you are nervous, it causes your critical thinking skills, reaction time, and motor skills to become less effective. These, of course, are all the skills necessary for you to pass your driving exam in Texas. As a new driver, one of the first things that you will need to learn is how to control your emotions behind the wheel. There will be times when you will have to drive in poor weather conditions and other situations where you will be very nervous. You will also need to deal with aggressive drivers and other unforeseen situations that will cause your emotions to rise. Even if you are nervous, being able to control your nerves and still pass your driving exam is a huge step to becoming a very safe driver.
You also need to understand that the examiner does not want you to fail. Whether your examiner is a nice talkative person or very quiet and reserved, the ultimate goal is almost always the same – they want to see you pass. So don’t think that the examiner is there to “get you” or is out to try and make you fail. However, they also have a job to do and they are the first line of defense for keeping both yourself and our shared roadways safe. If you do happen to fail your Texas drivers license driving exam, just calm down and relax, because it is not the end of the world. Everyone is excited to get their drivers license but you will be able to take the test again after a little bit of practice. You’ve waited this long, what’s a few more weeks?
Practice Ahead Of Time
While it seems obvious, you need to practice ahead of time. It is shocking how many potential drivers show up for their driving exam and they clearly have not practiced any of the maneuvers they will need to perform in order to obtain their drivers license. You can just drive around for hours on end without practicing the maneuvers that you will have to show your examiner. So, let’s go over some of the things that you can expect during your driving test in Texas so that you can be as prepared as possible.
Test #1: Vehicle Inspection & Paperwork
When you first to go out to your vehicle with the driving test examiner you will need to perform a very brief safety check and also show that you have the required paperwork to operate the vehicle. Here are some of the things that you should show the examiner before you actually begin driving…
Inspection & Registration – Every vehicle in the state of Texas must be registered. You will need to show your examiner the vehicle registration, inspection, and an updated sticker on the license plate. Without this paperwork, the exam will be terminated until you are able to show the legal paperwork which you are required to have with you at all times while driving your motor vehicle on public roadways.
Current Insurance Card – You will also need to show an updated and current auto insurance card to the examiner. All vehicles driving on public roadways in the state of Texas must be insured. If you have any questions about how to properly insure your vehicle contact your parents auto insurance agent to find out how to make sure you are properly insured for the vehicle you will be driving during the exam.
Turn Signal / Light Checks – The examiner will likely have you perform a basic check of the left and right turn signals. Nearly all driving exams are performed during daylight hours, however, there are some conditions which may require you to use your headlights which will also need to be checked. And finally, you will need to depress the brakes so that you can ensure that the rear brake lamps are working.
Horn Test – All motor vehicles in the state of Texas need to have a working horn. Before beginning your exam you will need to make sure that the horn is properly functioning.
Before scheduling a time to take your driving exam it is crucial that you perform all of these checks before you show up in order to avoid failure before you can even begin your driving exam.
Test #2 – Parallel Parking
In almost all cases your driving exam will begin in the parking lot of the testing facility. There will likely be a section of the parking lot that is used exclusively for testing your ability to parallel park. One of the reasons they perform this test first is because it is the test that is most frequently failed. Make sure you do a lot of testing on your own and learn how to parallel park efficiently on both the left and right side before you show up for your driving exam.
Test #3 – The Road Test
Next up is your road test. This test can consist of a wide array of different driving environments and will greatly depend on the roadways that are around your local driving facility. You should be prepared for just about anything including expressway driving, merging, light traffic, and heavy traffic. Basically, any situation you might find yourself in during day to day driving situations you will be expected to navigate appropriately during the driving exam.
There are certain things that you can almost depend they will be checking. For starters, they will want to see you adjust your seat, seatbelt, and mirrors before you begin your exam. They will also watch for things such as speeding, inability to hold your lane, not using or misuse of turn signals, and not coming to a complete stop before the white line at stop signs and traffic lights.
By the time you show up for your driving exam you should have many hours worth of driving with your parents. It is basically the same thing and there is nothing to be nervous about. Just make sure that you read your signs, know the speed limits, and perform all actions as smoothly as you can. Again, your examiner does not want you to fail. So just drive as if your mom or dad is in the right seat just like you’ve done so many times before.
After the road test your Texas driving exam is pretty much over. When you arrive you will need to safely park and secure your vehicle at which point to the driving examiner will go over any points that were accrued during your tests and whether you have passed the driving exam or not. If you have not passed the examiner will go over your options for passing the next time. If you did pass, the examiner will bring you back into the driving test facility or you will wait to have a temporary drivers license printed for you.
So good luck and remember to just stay calm and if you do happen to fail it’s okay. However, by following the tips above you should be better prepared and more relaxed which vastly increases your chances of passing your Texas driving exam on the first try.