How to pass the texas driving test

Before you hit the open roads in Texas, you’ll need to pass the driving test to earn your new drivers license. Are you prepared? We’ll help you get behind the wheel.

Scheduling Your Appointment

Make sure you’re 100% prepared for what you’ll be facing when you schedule your drivers license appointment. All new drivers in Texas are required to pass a written exam covering road signs, driving laws, and penalties. In addition, every driver must pass a behind-the-wheel skills exam as well as a vision test before obtaining their license.

If you’re a teen and you already have your Texas drivers permit, you can schedule your behind-the-wheel test at the DPS once you pass your 16th birthday and you’ve had your license for 6 months. For drivers 18-24, you must bring proof of completion of your Texas adult drivers ed course on test day.

If you’re over the age of 25, you’ll want to prepare for the written exam before you head to the DPS. You could study the Texas drivers manual on your own, or you can increase your chances of passing by taking a Texas adult drivers ed online course. Once you pass your adult drivers education course, you’ll have fulfilled the written DPS exam requirement. All that’s left is passing your behind-the-wheel and vision exams at the DPS.

What to Expect from Your Texas Driving Test

When scheduling your Texas driving test, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you will need to arrive with a working vehicle that has both current registration and valid auto insurance. Make sure the headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals are all functioning properly. There should be no cracks in the windshield, and all your mirrors should be clean and void of damage.

A Texas driving test examiner will want to know you’re in complete control of the vehicle. You should know where everything is, from the gearshift, to the turn signal, to the emergency brake. As you move through each portion of the test, they’ll watch for signs that you are capable of handling each maneuver skillfully. This includes staying in your lane (not swerving), proper use of turn signals, checking blind spots, and smooth transitions from stop to start.

In addition, a driving instructor will be watching to ensure you obey posted speed limits, drive at a safe distance from other vehicles, and obey road signs and signals accurately.

Basic Driving Skills

In addition to presenting confidence behind the wheel, you will be tested on a few very specific driving skills, including:

  • Safe lane changes
  • Parallel parking
  • Making proper turns including a U-turn and a 3-point turn
  • Backing up
  • Obeying speed laws, road signs, and traffic signals
  • Proper use of turn signals and mirrors

Other Tips to Pass Your Test

While teen drivers are required to log a certain number of driving practice hours before they can apply for a drivers license, adults are not held to that same standard. Still, it’s invaluable to spend some time behind the wheel with a licensed driver and practice before you go in for your driving test. Staying calm and confident in your every move increases your chances of passing your test on the first try.

Keeping your eyes on the road and your hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel are extremely important first steps to show you’re a safe driver. In addition, checking your mirrors frequently indicates you’re aware of your surroundings. Watch for changes on the road such as quick speed changes, pedestrians, or increased traffic. All of these factors will play into your reactions, and the instructor will be watching your behavior in each situation.

Don’t rely solely on your mirrors — remember to turn your head and check your blind spots before changing lanes or turning. If all else fails, err on the side of caution. A driving examiner will not penalize you for making a safe choice, only for making a risky one.

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We know that taking your Texas road test can be nerve-wracking. With a little preparation and insight into the test itself, there’s nothing to be worried about. This guide will make sure you know the specific requirements in Texas, what you can expect on the road test itself, and then we recommend you practice a lot . Here we break down exactly what you need to know to pass your Texas road test.

What to know before your Texas road test

First, you need to have a road test scheduled. There are no walk-ins. Save time and book your Texas road test online . Feel free to book your test at any testing site in Texas, it doesn’t have to be in the county where you live. To book online, just make sure that either 1) if you’re a teenager: that you’re over 16 and have had your learner’s permit for at least 6 months or 2) if you’re an adult: that you’ve already applied for your driver’s license and passed the knowledge test. If you don’t meet either of these two, you’ll need to go to the DMV in person to schedule your road test.

Next, make sure you have valid registration and insurance for the vehicle you’ll be taking your test in. You’ll need these documents when you check-in at the DMV. Lastly, make sure your testing vehicle meets Texas requirements, and that you have a licensed driver to accompany you to your road test. We’ve listed out the car requirements for you in the next section, to make it easier to go through and check off each one.

What are the vehicle requirements for my Texas Road Test?

We’ve seen people show up on the day of their road test and be denied testing because their car did not meet Texas requirements. Here’s what your testing vehicle needs to have:

  1. Current registration and inspection sticker
  2. Two license plates (make sure the front plate is attached to the bumper)
  3. Key safety requirements: working speedometer, horn, rearview mirror, seatbelts, and windshield wipers.
  4. The passenger door must open from the inside and outside. And finally, all the lights need to work: brake lights, turn signal lights in front and back, headlights and taillights.

If you don’t have a vehicle that meets all of these requirements and/or a sponsor to take you to your road test, you have a few options. You can get a car through a driving school, see if a friend or family can accompany you with their car, or Skip offers a car and driver service for the Texas road test which you can reserve ahead of time online.

What to expect the day of your Texas road test

First off, get to the DMV early! We recommend arriving 15 minutes before your road test. If you’re late, you’ll have to reschedule. You’ll check-in either at the counter or computer (some locations have these). After check-in, the DMV rep will ask you and your sponsor to drive around to the side of the DMV for the test.

An examiner will meet you at your car and ask for the car insurance and registration. In Texas, your inspection and registration are on the same sticker, so most examiners will just look at your car sticker to very registration, but it’s good to have your paper copy on hand just in case. Then, the licensed driver will get out of the car (and can wait inside) while the examiner starts the test with you, which begins with the vehicle safety check. They’ll ask you to show working lights, turn signals, hand signals and horn.

Then it’s the driving portion of the test, which is 10-15 minutes. At the Houston DMV, for example, you’ll be asked to parallel park first at the DMV then drive out to the road for the rest of the test. At the McMullen testing site, the 3 blocks around the DMV is where most of the test is done. Every DMV operates slightly differently and may test the maneuvers in a different order, but you can expect to be tested on these:

  • Backing in a straight line
  • Parallel parking
  • Right and left turns (remember to always use your turn signal)
  • Stopping in regular traffic
  • Observing traffic
  • Controlling the vehicle

A few tips based on where we see people get points off the most. When turning, always make sure you start and end in the same lane. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times (except when backing up) and use your mirrors in addition to looking over your shoulder . Many people get points off for only using their mirrors, so make sure to actually turn and look! Finally, when stopping at stop signs and red lights, make sure you’re completely behind the line. This is another mistake many people make.

If you need any refreshers on signs, maneuvers, or safety, check the Texas Drivers Handbook .

What happens after my Texas road test?

Congratulations on making it this far! In the end, your examiner will give you a print out of your score sheet so you can see what, if any, points you got off. Didn’t pass? Not to worry, most people pass by their second try. The examiners are usually happy to talk through anything you missed. Each time, make sure you have a licensed driver and car for your road test. In the meantime, keep practice and reschedule when you feel ready 🙂

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How to pass the texas driving test

To obtain a driver’s license, the state of Texas requires new drivers to take two tests: a knowledge test and a driving test. The knowledge test covers the information found in the Texas DMV Driver’s Manual and includes questions on road signs, road rules, traffic laws, and safe driving practices. The driving test is a behind-the-wheel road test, administered by a driving examiner, that tests your driving skills in real-world driving situations.

It may seem like a lot, but with the right preparation, you can walk into both confidently and ready to drive. Here’s what to expect on the Texas knowledge and driving tests.

What Score Is Required to Pass the Texas Driving Test?

The Texas driving test does not include worded questions; rather, the test uses a point system that grades you as you drive. Applicants must complete the exam with fewer than 30 points deducted from their final scores.

The driving test awards points based on four categories:

  • Control: Making the vehicle do what you mean for it to do
  • Observation: Being aware of what’s going on around you
  • Positioning: Demonstrating your ability to stay in the correct lane
  • Signaling: Correctly using turn signals

How Many Questions Are on the Texas Knowledge Test?

The Texas knowledge test, or the written test, consists of 30 questions. Applicants must correctly answer at least 70%, or 21 questions, to pass their written test.

What’s the Best Way to Study for These Tests?

First, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Texas Driver’s Handbook, published by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The guide provides important information on Texas driving laws, as well as more details about the format of the test. Once you’ve passed the knowledge test, you’ll be able to practice driving for the driving test with the supervision of a licensed driver.

And don’t worry—if you need an extra try to pass the driving tests, you’re allowed to take the driving tests three times within a 90-day period. If you fail the test all three times or exceed your 90-day limit, you’ll need to pay the application fee in order to retake the tests.

VIDEO: Actual Texas Driving Test

How to pass the texas driving test

To obtain a driver’s license, the state of Texas requires new drivers to take two tests: a knowledge test and a driving test. The knowledge test covers the information found in the Texas DMV Driver’s Manual and includes questions on road signs, road rules, traffic laws, and safe driving practices. The driving test is a behind-the-wheel road test, administered by a driving examiner, that tests your driving skills in real-world driving situations.

It may seem like a lot, but with the right preparation, you can walk into both confidently and ready to drive. Here’s what to expect on the Texas knowledge and driving tests.

What Score Is Required to Pass the Texas Driving Test?

The Texas driving test does not include worded questions; rather, the test uses a point system that grades you as you drive. Applicants must complete the exam with fewer than 30 points deducted from their final scores.

The driving test awards points based on four categories:

  • Control: Making the vehicle do what you mean for it to do
  • Observation: Being aware of what’s going on around you
  • Positioning: Demonstrating your ability to stay in the correct lane
  • Signaling: Correctly using turn signals

How Many Questions Are on the Texas Knowledge Test?

The Texas knowledge test, or the written test, consists of 30 questions. Applicants must correctly answer at least 70%, or 21 questions, to pass their written test.

What’s the Best Way to Study for These Tests?

First, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Texas Driver’s Handbook, published by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The guide provides important information on Texas driving laws, as well as more details about the format of the test. Once you’ve passed the knowledge test, you’ll be able to practice driving for the driving test with the supervision of a licensed driver.

And don’t worry—if you need an extra try to pass the driving tests, you’re allowed to take the driving tests three times within a 90-day period. If you fail the test all three times or exceed your 90-day limit, you’ll need to pay the application fee in order to retake the tests.

VIDEO: Actual Texas Driving Test

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How to pass the texas driving test

Once you’ve obtained your learner’s permit and completed your state’s other requirements, you’ll be eligible to take the road test for your driver’s license. To get you ready for the big day, follow these tips to give yourself the best chance at passing the test on your first attempt.

For information about what to do prior to taking the road test, check out our sections on applying for a license for teens or adults.

How to Pass the Driving Test

Like anything else, practicing your skills ahead of time will help you calm your nerves and gain confidence for test day.

Some tips that can help you make the most of your practice time include:

  • Starting out in an empty parking lot or residential street with low traffic to gain confidence.
  • Having your parents give you constructive feedback while you’re behind the wheel.
    • Though criticism can be difficult, use the opportunity to improve your driving.
    • If real-time feedback is too distracting, ask your parent to give you an assessment at each stop sign. Alternatively, set up specific checkpoints where you will pull over (into a parking lot or onto a side street), where your parent can give you tips and feedback before moving on.
  • Taking a driver training course.
    • Though these aren’t free, signing up for this service is a good way to practice for the test.
    • Instructors will simulate the test conditions, which will improve your knowledge and help you gain comfort behind the wheel.

Remember that the more you practice, the more your skills will become second nature.

Know the Rules—and Make them Habit

You’ll need to do more than memorize the rules of the road to pass the driving test. You’ll need to have practiced those rules so many times that they are now second nature, and part of your habitual reactions on the road.

As you practice driving with an experienced adult, have them test you on your knowledge and application of:

  • Passing laws.
    • This includes passing in the correct lane and knowing when passing other vehicles is prohibited.
  • Road signs.
  • Traffic signals.
    • Including flashing yellow and flashing red lights.
  • Speed limits.
    • Including reduced speed requirements for weather conditions, construction, etc.
  • Safe following distances.
  • Signaling for lane changes and turns.

Before the test, it might be a good idea to reread your state’s driver’s manual or take an online practice test to refresh your memory of the rules and regulations of the road that could show up during your test.

Practice the DMV Road Test

Simulating the test several times with a supervising adult prior to test day is usually a good idea. If it’s possible, head to the local DMV you plan to test at, and drive around on the same roads you’ll be tested on.

A few of the things you’ll want to practice that are usually included on most driving tests include:

  • Parking.
    • Using parking spaces.
    • 2- and 3-point turns.
    • Parallel parking.
  • Stopping.
    • Checking for oncoming traffic.
    • Maintaining distance behind crosswalks or stop lines.
    • Making a complete stop at stop signs.
    • Knowing how to use your emergency brake.
  • Turns.
    • Gradual slowing leading into turns.
    • Yielding right of way in intersections.
  • Lane changes.
    • Using proper signals.
    • Checking mirrors before the attempt is made.
    • Ensuring a vehicle isn’t in your blind spot.
    • Maintaining speed.
    • Accelerating when entering freeways.
  • Defensive driving techniques.
    • Following at a safe distance.
    • Using mirrors before braking.
    • Checking signal lights and signs for safety.
    • Reacting to possible hazards.

Remember, too, that some states will put tips and scoring guidelines for their road tests on their DMV website, which can be excellent resources as you practice.

Additional Tips for Driving Test Day

If you’ve put in the time and practiced each of the required skills, you’ll have fewer reasons to be nervous.

On the day of the test, remember these tips to stay calm and be confident:

  • Focus on your driving, not the examiner.
    • Spending your energy focusing on the actual test, and the person testing you, can lead to mistakes. Instead focus on your driving and make good, sound decisions just as you’ve done during practice.
  • Don’t worry about mistakes.
    • If you do happen to make a mistake during the road test, move on. Worrying about what’s just happened can have a compounding effect and lead to even more mistakes.
    • Remember that if you make a mistake and don’t pass the test, most states allow multiple retests.
  • Be comfortable with your vehicle.
    • It’s generally a good idea to test in the same vehicle you’ve been practicing with.
    • The night before, make sure you adjust your mirrors and check that your vehicle’s turn signals, lights, and brakes are working properly to avoid any headaches the morning of the test.
    • Know how to turn on your windshield wipers, heating/cooling system, radio, etc., should your test administrator ask you to demonstrate these elements.

The road test is organized to check an individual’s ability to drive well maintaining all of the traffic rules. To get your road test done, you have to visit either Texas DPS Driver License Office or a Private testing provider. Grades are given based on your ability to drive safely and responsibly. You must be confident enough during driving. You have to give tests on multiple driving maneuvers. Before going for the road test you must practice certain skills. Otherwise, you may not be able to get permission to drive on the roads of Texas.

The professional driving schools in Texas provide teen and adult driving lessons. The lessons include the necessary skills that you need to know for passing the road test successfully. Let’s know about the skills you should learn. These skills will help you to pass the teen and adult road test Irving, Texas. Firstly, you should practice parallel parking, approaching intersections, and reversing in a straight line. You must also learn to observe the traffic; use the signals properly and controlling the vehicles well.

To get good grades in the road test you must know to perform the pre-driving tasks well. The tasks include adjusting the mirrors, fastening the seat belts properly, etc. Before learning the driving skills you must know the proper positions of the vehicle controls. These control systems are necessary for safe and comfortable driving. Teen and adult driving courses Irving, Texas includes the practice sessions for these pre-driving tasks.

So, get proficient teen and adult driving lessons under the driving courses Irving, Texas, and pass the road test with good grades.

Driving license test Texas

Texas, the second largest state in the Union, has millions of licensed drivers and registered vehicles. At any one time, there are hundreds and thousands of vehicles on the state’s roads. Due to this huge volume of traffic, Texas, unfortunately, also has one of the highest numbers of motor vehicle accidents in the country. Driver, passenger and pedestrian safety, therefore, is of great concern to the state’s government. Therefore, only those drivers can legally drive in the state who possess a valid driver license. Not everyone will qualify for a Texas driver license though. Only those who satisfactorily pass the state’s knowledge, vision and driving tests, may be issued the Texas driver license. An applicant has three chances to pass the knowledge and driving tests. If he/she fails then another application will have to be filed with the DMV.

The Knowledge/Written Test
In Texas, those who are under 25 years of age are required to take a driver education course. Upon successful completion of the course, the applicant will be exempted from taking the knowledge test. A grade of 70% or better is required to pass the test.

The Driving Test
Once the written and vision tests are satisfactorily passed, the applicant may be allowed to take the Texas driving test. All driving test applicants are tested on four basic skills:

  • Control
  • Observation
  • Positioning
  • Signaling

An applicant may fail the test if he/she:

  • Violate the laws
  • Does not follow instructions
  • Has a crash or drives dangerously
  • Has more than 30 points deducted on the driving test

Helpful Tips for Passing the Driving License Test, Texas
There are no “tricks” to learn if you want to pass the Texas driving test. The customer service representative assigned to you for information on the test will not try to trick you into doing something which is illegal. The state wants you to pass the test.

Therefore follow all the instructions of the customer service representative. Do not try to start a conversation with the customer service representative. You will pass the test by following rules and not by being friendly. Focus on the directions you get instead.

Can you give me some information about point deductions on Texas driving test?

To get a drivers license in Texas, you need to make sure you don’t get points deducted for failing to perform the following functions: unable to start vehicle, failure to fasten seat belt, failure to use proper signal, driving in wrong lane, failure to observe traffic, passed a stop sign, failure to control gear, climbed or jumped the curb, and more. You can take a look at our page for more detail.

When I took my driving test many, many years ago, I was confident I’d ace it. I got a 96. The test examiner said I accelerated DURING the climb of the hill instead of BEFORE the climb. That one minor error was worth a 4-point deduction on my driving exam score.

Not every infraction will equate to a 4-point drop in the score, and not every examiner is that much of a stickler. But it is a good example of how small mistakes can add up on the driving test.

Luckily for the youngest generation of drivers, some advanced maneuvers like parallel parking aren’t usually a requirement on today’s behind-the-wheel exam. But if parallel parking and 3-point turns aren’t required, what is? And why is it so hard for many people to pass the driving exam on their first try?

Skills That Are Tested on the Driving Exam

The top priority of behind-the-wheel exams is to determine whether a person understands the rules of the road and can operate a vehicle safely. Proving this requires a demonstration of essential driving skills.

You must demonstrate the following maneuvers during your behind-the-wheel examination:

Pre-Drive Checklist: Demonstrate emergency parking brake, arm signals, windshield wipers, defroster, emergency flashers, headlights, turn signals, headlights, foot brake and horn,

Parking Lot Driving: Leaving and returning to the DMV.

Intersections: Up to eight total including speed, yields, traffic checks, braking and limit lines.

Business/Residential/Rural Driving: Traffic checks, speed, spacing, lane position, etc.

Entering/Backing Along Curb

Turns: Up to four lefts and rights, including signals, full stops, limit lines, steering control, speed, turning into the correct lane, etc.

Since advanced driving maneuvers are no longer required in most cases, the techniques and skills you do have to perform should be on point. Give yourself enough time to practice all of these basic skills until you’ve got a firm grasp on each one.

Why Students Don’t Pass Their Driving Test on the First Try

It’s hard to estimate an average pass/fail rate for driving exams because every city is different. For instance, according to research from YoGov the driving test pass rate ranges in California from 89 to 27%.

Why do so many people fail the first time they take the driving test? Examiners that administer the test say the most common reasons students fail the first time are:

Nerves: There are few tests in life that drum up more anxiety than the behind-the-wheel driving exam. Try to relax, be confident and just let all the skills and techniques you’ve learned shine through. No matter what type of test you’re taking, nerves and anxiety can cause mental blocks that trip people up on easy stuff. Remember, if you don’t pass on your first try it isn’t the end of the world. You can try to test again, sometimes the very next day.

Wide Turns: On a right turn on a 2-lane road, you should end up in the right lane, not the left lane. Same goes for left turns. Students oftentimes make wide turns, then try and correct themselves by getting in the correct lane without signaling or looking over their shoulder, which results in an automatic fail.

Bike Lanes: Whether the bike lane is dashed or solid, signal 200 ft. in advance and put your tires into the bike lane before making a right turn.

Not Obeying a Traffic Sign or Signal: Approximately 11% of people fail the driving test because they failed to follow a traffic sign or signal. Going through a yield sign is one of the most common infractions.

Speeding or Going Too Slow: About 1 in 10 people that fail the driving test do so because they are going too slow or too fast. Try to keep it within 5 miles of the posted speed limit.

If the examiner has to intervene at any point, it’s an automatic failure. The examiner will only do this if they feel you are in danger of getting into an accident. For example, not yielding to oncoming traffic or turning the wrong way down a one-way street. Even if the examiner doesn’t intervene, any dangerous maneuver will result in a test failure.

MAKE SURE TO SMOG!

Driving instructors often use the acronym SMOG to help new drivers remember important skills that promote safety. SMOG stands for:

Always make sure to clear your blind spots for turns and lane changes. We can’t stress enough how important and critical it is to look over your shoulder for turns. Yes, even for left turns. There could be a bicyclist/motorcyclist right behind you and you might not know it.

Avoid These Bad Habits to Pass Your Driving Test the First Time

Sometimes the issue is that students pick up bad habits, especially if there has been a huge gap from the date of the last driving lesson and the driving test. These bad habits range from driving with one hand on the wheel to braking hard. These are the small, minor problems that can add up to a failure.

A Note to Parent Instructors: Bad habits are often learned. It’s crucial for parent instructors to follow all of the best practices so that your student driver learns by example.

If you want to pass the driving test the first time, remember – it’s all in the details. These tips should help you improve your odds of passing:

Keep hands at 9-3, drive with palms down and demonstrate hand-over-hand turns.

Stop ahead of limit lines.

Look shoulder to shoulder and use your mirrors at each traffic check.

Stay committed to your lane and follow it through for turns.

Watch your speed and be on the lookout for speed limit signs.

Keep adequate space cushions between yourself and other vehicles.

Make complete stops – no California rolls.

Real Talk From Real Drivers: More Tips for Passing the Driving Exam

Here are a few insightful tips and feedback from former students on how to pass your driving test the first time:

“My friend failed for running a yellow light because it turned red while crossing the intersection.”

“Over-exaggerate your head turns for lane changes so they know you looked.”

“I failed because I didn’t get into the bike lane and didn’t look over my shoulder.”

“If you’re female, wear your hair in a ponytail.”

“Just make sure to look over your shoulders even if you feel it’s not necessary and when driving on side streets keep scanning the road shoulder to shoulder.”

“Look on YouTube for DMV drive test routes.”

At DriversEd.com we always advise students to check out their state DMV YouTube Channel for helpful tips and information on preparing for the driving test. You can also find us on YouTube for more resources and tips on how to become a safe defensive driver.

-This article was written by driving instructor and car captain Eva Flores.

This article was updated on 7/14/2020