Why DMV Practice Tests are the Best Way to Study

A recent survey revealed that first-time applicants using online DMV practice tests to prepare for their DMV written test had a real exam pass rate of 93.2%.

This means that less than one out 10 failed their first attempt at the DMV written knowledge test. This should compared with numbers released by different state departments that show an average pass rate of 50% or less for first-time applicants.

Old-school Study Habits are Less Effective

Old methods don’t always work for new challenges. Most students still use highlighting (or underlining) text and rereading the driver’s manual several times. Researchers behind a study called “Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Technique” (2013), showed that these two techniques are ineffective.

Summarization, imagery use for text-based learning, and keyword mnemonics were also found less effective.

Old-school study habits could be the main reason why so many students fail their first attempt at the DMV written knowledge exam.

Two Better Techniques for the DMV Test

Students using critical reading and self-explanation do better on any type of exam.

Critical reading is when you recognize not only what a text says, but also why statements or facts are true (or false). You ask questions and look up other sources.

Self-explanation is when you provide your own explanation and use your own words.

These two methods promote a deeper understanding and is often recommended by driving school experts, as well as this website.

DMV Practice Tests More Efficient than All Other Techniques

The most efficient study techniques, researchers say, is distributed practice and practice testing.

It is easier to learn, if you spread your studies over time. Split a larger subject, like the DMV driver’s manual, into smaller chunks. Do not cram everything in just a day or two. Then, take a practice test at the end of each a study session. If there are study questions, at the end of each chapter in the driver’s manual, use them.

When you use our practice tests for your final DMV test you will find comments after each DMV question. These comments will let you know what you have learned and what you still need to study. In most cases, it will also boost your confidence. With confidence, it will be easier to take on the next session.

The Best Way to Study for Your DMV Test

This what we suggest to be by far the best method to pass you DMV written knowledge test if you are a first-time applicant:

  • Start early (give yourself at least a month)
  • Divide the manual into several small study sessions
  • Use critical reading and ask yourself questions.
  • Take a daily practice test
  • Aim for a 95% passing score before taking the real DMV written test

Photo copyright: Francesco Mou (original modified with added tablet).