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Is the DMV Knowledge Test Hard?

Waiting Room - Copyright : Andriy Popov

How to Master the DMV Knowledge Test

You have been studying for weeks. Maybe months. The day is here. You are waiting at the DMV office for your turn. You are a bit nervous. You know that others have failed the first time. Is the DMV knowledge test hard? Can you do this?

You are not sure…

Relax. We will show you how to master the DMV knowledge test and you will pass with ease.

Attitude and Confidence

Keep a good attitude. It is normal to have jitters and being stressed before any kind of important test. Don’t add to the subconscious idea of this exam as a threat or that it is hard. Remind yourself that you did well on our free practice tests. Our practice test questions are actually harder than the real thing! Tell yourself that you will do your best and that your best is good enough. If you find yourself panicking and feeling sick, take a few deep breaths, but keep the good thoughts!

Your Turn!

One of the biggest mistakes is to not manage your time. In most states there is no time limit. Use this to your advantage.

Make sure you understand the instructions. If anything is just the slightest unclear, don’t be afraid to ask before you start your test. Read everything on the screen twice. Yes, it might sound like overkill. But better safe than sorry.

First Question

When you get the first question, you feel that you have seen it before. After all, you been taking the permit practice tests on this site for weeks, right? No wonder, you recognize it.

Don’t go with your first impulse to immediately answer the question. Read the entire question and alternatives again. Questions can be put in many different ways, just because it looks familiar, it might not ask what you think it is asking. Choose an answer only on the basis of the information provided within the question. Don’t read anything into the question that isn’t there!

Read all choices or alternatives. Perhaps you can eliminate some of them before choosing the best answer? After all, tests are constructed in a way that only one answer can be correct. The others are irrelevant or totally wrong.

Be Careful with Qualifiers

Qualifiers are words that qualify or intensify a question being asked. They are often very helpful when picking the correct answer. Words that strengthen the statement in a question, such as “never” or “always”, should raise a red flag! Why? Well, because statements with words like this are rarely true.

Look at this question: True or false? It is always safe and legal to drive at the posted speed limit. The first instinct may tell you that it is true. Words like safe and legal tend to stick in your mind more than the word always. And, why else would they have speed limits? Right?

Or like Bethany wrote to us a while back:

You have the right to go that speed on that particular road if you are whiling to risk your life. It means it is up to me to go at that speed under all condition if I can get through and or keep control of my car.

Which, of course, isn’t true. All states have a basic speed rule. This law overrides a posted speed limit. The basic speed law basically says that you must never drive faster than is safe for present conditions, regardless of the posted speed limit. In other words, the qualifier here ignores the fact that there are situations when the posted speed limit does not apply (icy roads for example). Look at the question again. The word “always” requires posted speed limit to be safe at all time. Which it isn’t. Pretty obvious, if you take your time and think critically.

Don’t Know the Answer?

Even if you are well prepared, it is not unlikely that you will get one or two questions that are difficult and that you don’t really know the answer to. Read the question again and make sure you don’t misunderstand or have missed something. Then stick with you first thought. It is usually the correct one.

Don’t Read Too Much into Questions

There is a difference between reading things carefully and reading too much into the questions on your DMV knowledge test. Once you have picked your answer, do not continue to change it based on “what if”.

Using your own experience or imagination can help you sometimes, but it can also trick you into seeing something in the question that isn’t there. Don’t add your own information.

Stay Relaxed

Stay relaxed and focused throughout the written knowledge test. Missing a question isn’t the end of everything, not even if it is the first exam question! Plenty of easy questions will follow. You will recognize several of them. Keep the good attitude and remind yourself that you are well prepared. You can do this.

About Mark
Problem solver. Entrepreneur. Music nerd. Traveler. Twitter: @markheart0 Facebook: Mark Heart


  1. Actually, when a speed limit is indeed posted the rules of driving change. At this point driving at the speed limit is more dangerous and you can be pulled over and given a reckless driving charge. For instance, if there is an extreme winter storm causing whiteout conditions than you cannot go let’s say 55 mph on a highway. This is simply unsafe. Speed limits are set for a clear day with little to no weather conditions. Another thing, if your car is at risk for hydroplaning you are going too fast and can loose traction control.

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