The big day has come! You've finally completed all your driver's ed, driving hours, and driving with your anxious parents. You've scheduled your road exam online on the RMV website or by telephone, and your license awaits. The night before and morning of, you're Googling tips for passing the road exam, so here are a few!
PRACTICE! If you're not good at parallel parking, get some cones and practice with someone outside the car to help. Even if you think you're the best driver ever, you should practice parallel parking and three point turns. There are no magic hints other than the ones you learned in your driving hours, so practice often. It takes a long time to get used to driving, and your road exam isn't the type of test you can cram for.
Know what to expect! First will be the pre-trip inspection; the examiner will stand outside the car and tell you to test your brakes, blinkers, windshield wipers, etc. So know the car you're using well! Then the exam will begin.
The examiner sits in the passenger seat and directs you as you go, similar to a driving hour. On my exam (I tested at the Plymouth RMV), parallel parking was first. Don't forget your SIGNALS and HEAD CHECKS! Then I drove out of the RMV, going very slowly over speed bumps. I turned onto a main road, then a side road for the other maneuvers. For parking on a hill with curbs or shoulders, the trick is that you always park (with the emergency brake) and turn the wheel to the right, unless there is an uphill curb (remember this by thinking UCLA - uphill curb left always). There's also the three point turn to complete, and then driving back to the RMV. Be very careful of stop signs! Come to a complete stop for 3 seconds to ensure that you don't fail for not stopping.
Here's an extra hint; if you back into the parking space at the RMV (there are designated parking spots for road tests) when you arrive, you may not have to back into a space during the road test.
Other than practicing a lot, the best tip I can give is to stay calm. Even if you make a tiny mistake, if you stay calm and correct your mistake, you'll be fine. I kept looking over both my shoulders while parallel parking, but the examiner told me I only needed to bother with looking over the right shoulder. Despite her correction, I still passed and got my license on my first try.
Remember that you need test in a car with an emergency brake and bring a sponsor (a licensed adult age 21 or over who sits in the back seat during your exam). You can pay to test with a sponsor and car from your driving school, or just go with a parent or other adult. Also keep in mind that you need to get auto insurance before driving, and you should continue to practice driving on highways or other tricky areas with an adult in the car.
Once you have your license, don't forget the Junior Operator Laws! The big ones are that you can't drive your friends under age 18 until you've been licensed for six months (see blog), and you can't operate a vehicle from 12:30-5:00 in the morning (see blog).