In Massachusetts, you can get your driving permit the day you turn 16. To get one's permit, a parent/guardian must take the soon-to-be driver to the RMV. You should fill out these permit test forms before you go to the RMV to make your visit quick and easy. After the forms are submitted and you are called for your turn, your permit picture is taken, there is a quick eye test, and some basic information is collected. Then you are sent to wait in line for the permit exam.
The test is composed of 25 questions about general driving safety rules. You have 25 minutes to complete the test, which is administered electronically. You can take the driver's ed classroom component when you're 15 and 9 months old, 3 months before you're eligible for your permit on your 16th birthday. However, you are not required to take driver's ed before applying for your permit (I myself got my permit first).
My biggest advice for passing the permit test is to actually read the driving manual and take lots of online practice tests. While reading the driving manual (which you can find online for free), I took screenshots of pages with important information. The permit test really does focus on small details and penalties for driving infractions. If there's a page in the driving manual with a chart on it, you should probably know that information.
Here's a practice question; how far from the driver's home do most car accidents occur?
a) 15 miles. b) 25 miles. c) 35 miles. d) 50 miles
The answer? 25 miles! See, the information can be very specific, and while a 35 mile radius includes the 25 mile radius, you should take the questions very literally and choose the most correct answers.
Some great practice test websites are practicepermittest.com, driving-tests.org, and freedmvpracticetests.com. Take a LOT of these. A lot of the questions that will be on your real permit test will be on practice exams!
Finally, relax. If you prepare and practice, you will pass. If you don't pass, it's not the end of the world; just go back to the RMV and take it again once you're better prepared. But keep in mind that each permit exam costs $30 to take (whether you pass or not), so do your best to pass it on your first try!