by Georgia Kirkendall
Many of us in high school are reaching that age of opportunity and freedom, the ability to drive. It can be incredibly frustrating, having to think through every daily event to make sure you have a ride. And even if a driver’s license doesn’t mean you get your own car, it does provide a sense of maturity and privilege. This makes it all the worthwhile to suffer through studying for a permit, logging more than 30 hours in driving school and practice, and finally scheduling an appointment for a driver’s test.
So, how hard is the road test really? I’ve had a mixed group of friends who have either passed on their first go or have taken the test more than twice (five times for one of them). Personally, I passed my first time, and if you are prepared, you will too. The most important thing to do to prepare for the road test is to practice. Drive every day if you can. I suggest practicing, both driving and parking, up to two months before scheduling your test. The DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) has in the year 2020 been slow-moving because of the Coronavirus epidemic, and so I had an extra six months of driving practice before my DMV appointment.
The other significant piece of information for passing your test is to relax. I’m serious- being confident and level headed will get you 90 percent on your way to a license. I had trouble keeping to this advice on my testing day, and my driving examiner noticed. He told me to “Breathe, it’s like yoga, but with driving.” I was lucky to have such a kind examiner, and the test went smoothly, taking no more than ten minutes. Scott Kahn, an instructor for The Next Street commercial driving school, suggested to “Just pay attention to your inspector, listen to his/her directions, and focus.”
Another mantra I repeated to myself was that everyone eventually learns to drive, so it can’t be too difficult. Just remember to be safe. “Always keep a three second following distance and increase that behind larger vehicles and motorcycles,” instructor Kahn reminds us. “Always go the speed limit or under and commit to a three-point check when changing lanes.” When you have these rules down, you’re ready to go! Remember to smile for your driver’s license picture!