Ten Tips to Pass the Driving Test

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After two demoralizing and cruel failed attempts to pass the practice driving test, the third time’s a charm!  And I repeat what a friend told me: “driving here is like speaking English, you think you do it well until you arrive.” Therefore, you better prepare very well.

Here are my Top Ten:

1-  Watch out for School Zone

The examiner will take you through a park or school area. The maximum speed in these areas is 30 km/hour. It sounds normal, but it is one of the most common faults for these reasons:

a- You don’t know the area, then, you do not see the speed traffic signal.

b- You are nervous, and you press the accelerator “to finish the exam faster.”

c- You forget to look frequently at the speedometer.


2- Pay attention to the Yield sign

Every time you see that signal, remember that you must give way to the driver on the other lane. In my case, I gave way to only one car even though there were two cars coming on the way. My reason? “I already gave way to one, now it’s my turn” (Deferred ipso facto).


3- The “maximum speed” indicated by traffic signals, what really means is the regular speed to follow

For example, if the traffic signal indicates 100 km/h, all drivers are expected to drive at 100 km/h. Not at 80 km/h or at 60 km/h. And that is something that the examiner ALSO expects. If you go slower than the maximum speed indicated, the examiner will hurry you up, probably causing you more stress.


4- Ace Parallel Parking

This is a maxim: “if you do not know how to park in parallel, do not present the exam.” Practice until you master it. If you accidentally mount one tire even a little on the sidewalk, it is a fault. If you are very separated from the sidewalk, it is also a fault, if you do not put the tires properly, when on a hill, it is a fault.

5- Merging to the highway

You must not press the brake unless it is for safety. Incorporate to the highway with fluidity, and don’t stop in your tracks.

6- Watch your rearview mirrors frequently

The examiner wants to see that you are a defensive driver. This means that you are careful to anticipate the mistakes of other drivers.

7- Before changing lanes, remember to look through the rear-view mirrors, “left-right-left” formula

Check the blind spots, looking over your shoulders, and exaggerate, yes, exaggerate the movement of the head when you turn it.

8- If you have the right of way and the traffic light is green, keep your speed, do not lower it. You can lose points for driving with lack of confidence


9- Stop sign on the road indicate that exactly. Stop 

Wait three seconds before moving forward.

10- Familiarize yourself with the area of ​​the test. Drive around and pay attention to traffic signals, hazards, and speed limits.


Finally, even if it seems obvious, practice as much as you can, and talk to friends who have done it. Listen to what their faults were, keep them in mind, and dare yourself!

Best of luck!


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I'm Ilse Barrios.

I started this blog as a journal to document my life in Canada. My family and I came to Calgary in 2016, and I’m still figuring out life around here.In case you haven’t noticed yet, (ha!) English is my second language, so I apologize in advance if misspellings or lousy grammar get in the middle of the stories but writing in English is an everyday challenge, and I love it!

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