Worried about your road test? Here are 5 tips to help you pass with flying colours

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Taking the road test may not be something you’re looking forward to. Someone watching you drive closely can make you anxious. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s something you have to go through to get a license. Here are a few tips to help you get over the anxiety and ensure that you’ll pass the Manitoba road test:

  1. Prepare all you can

    Getting ready is the key to success. Study the Driver’s Handbook, understand road signs, and practice regularly. Aside from checking your ability to operate the car, the examiner will test you in different scenarios so you should prepare for these. Focus on learning and practicing the following to pass the test:

    • Parallel parking
    • Start stop
    • Right & Left turn
    • U-turn
    • Driving at intersections

    A good thing to remember if you’re an experienced driver is not to be overconfident. Having prior experience driving in your home country is an advantage as well as a crutch. Being experienced gives you the skills and confidence to go on the road, but when it comes to road rules and signages, you’ll need to relearn them because they’re different here.

    But whether you’re an experienced or a new driver, logging as many hours as possible behind the wheel will you give you the best chance for success. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel on the day of the test.

  2. Use the car you’ve been practicing in

    Familiarity is your friend. Knowing your vehicle will make you more comfortable during the test. Keep your car’s performance in mind – the feel of the brakes, the responsiveness of the accelerator – so that you can maneuver confidently. This familiarity will help you get over your nervousness.

    Always make sure the car is in good condition: check the brakes, lights, and tires. A well-maintained vehicle not only ensures your safety but also shows the examiner that you take driving seriously.

  3. Keep calm

    Nervousness is normal, but it shouldn’t control you. Take deep breaths, focus on the road, and remember what you’ve practiced. Being calm helps you think more clearly and make better decisions. Trust yourself and the skills you’ve acquired. Remember, everyone started as a beginner, and mistakes are part of the learning process.

    It also helps to think that your examiner is your ally. They are not there to trick you. They want you to succeed. So, take it one step at a time, and don’t let anxiety get in the driver’s seat.

  4. Know the common mistakes

    Ask people who have taken the road test about common mistakes they’ve made. Examples could be not checking blind spots, failing to use turn signals, or forgetting to yield. Knowing these in advance will help you avoid them. Also ask about strategies that helped them get over their mistakes. Drivers love sharing tips and tricks they use every day to make driving easier.

    If there are driving rules that are not clear to you, Google it or ask a teacher. Rules are not made arbitrarily; they are imposed for good reason. Knowing the reasons behind a rule will help you remember them better. This is crucial because the road test is not just about driving, but also about demonstrating your understanding of the rules and safety measures.

  5. Drive defensively

    Safety first! Always be attentive to your surroundings and anticipate what other drivers might do. Practice defensive driving by staying a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you, using your mirrors regularly, and obeying speed limits. Being a defensive driver is not just good advice for the road test, but a skill for a lifetime. It shows that you are a safe driver – that’s exactly what examiners are looking for. A defensive driver is a smart driver.

Still nervous? Remember that it’s possible to make minor mistakes and still pass the road test. Examiners must see you commit 11 general errors before they can fail you.

In case you do not pass the first time, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, talk to the examiner about what you can improve upon. Learn from any mistakes, and use it as an opportunity to become an even better driver. You’ll ace it the next time for sure. Good luck!

Sources: How to pass your driving test (in every province), Canada Drives; Passing your Manitoba Driving Test, Icandrive.ca; Keys to success, CAA; and Top 10 tips for passing your Canadian road test, Testing CAA. Accessed January 24, 2024.

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Community Resources

Do you need help preparing for the Knowledge Test? Immigrant Centre Manitoba offers a free Driver’s Education Knowledge Test Preparation Class for newcomers. Classes may be online or in-person. Please click the link for registration information.

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