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Redesign of the DMV Permit Test 2017

Redesign of the DMV Permit Test

The DMV Permit Test is Closely Monitored

Since 2015, all questions on every DMV permit test are closely monitored for errors and passing rates. Crunching the numbers gives us valuable information for improving tests, but also to focus on giving you in-depth facts for your driver examination.

In addition, we read and value user input. Yearly, 15 – 20 questions are corrected based on user reports. We need to updated questions and answers because the information in the state driver handbook change or because new state laws are passed. Even if we try to stay on top of all these changes, there is always a chance we miss something. That is why we hope that users help us to spot mistakes.

The DMV Permit Test Will be Updated in 2017

In 2017, we will focus on the “impossible questions”. The old-fashioned DMV test looked very much like school tests 20 -30 years ago. It was closely aligned to the text book – the driver’s manual – but didn’t always relate to real challenges outside the examination room. Modern DMV tests are designed to make you think through scenarios, rather than regurgitating statistics or hard facts.

State Departments sense the urge to update driver handbooks and DMV tests to modern standards. This also reflect on each DMV permit test at this website.

All Facts Are Not Equally Important

Question Example – 1

On the California practice test, 85% get the following question wrong:

Q: If you work in California and have a vehicle registered in another state, you must register your car in California within:

  1. 5 days.
  2. 10 days.
  3. 20 days.
  4. 30 days.

Question Example – 2

In comparison, only 36% get this one wrong:

Q: When you sell, or transfer a vehicle, report it to the DMV within:

  1. 5 days.
  2. 10 days.
  3. 14 days.
  4. 30 days.

There are some clear reasons why users miss the first one, but not the second.

The second question is a real question from the old California DMV tests. It appears on California DMV’s sample tests and basically every practice test site you can find online.

Even if a test-taker didn’t learn it from the driver handbook, he or she will surely learn it after taking several practice tests online.

Once you have your driver license and a car, it is also not unlikely that you one day will sell a vehicle. The knowledge is practical – even if you probably have forgotten it the day you want to sell your car.

The first question, however, describes a situation that you aren’t very likely to experience. So, it is easy to skip through it in the handbook. After all, it doesn’t apply to you. Right?

Most of us will also agree, that this is information has nothing to do with safe driving or a sound knowledge of California traffic laws.

Even if you learn that the correct answer is 20 days, you will forget it again very quickly. Over time, these kinds of numbers also tend to change.

The first question will disappear on the 2017 practice tests. The second question will not show as often as it does today.

When the Driver Handbook Lacks Clarity

Question Example – 3

More than 80% get the following question wrong on the Georgia practice test:

Lane-control signal - yellow flashing X - Copyright: driversprep.com

Q: This lane control sign (a flashing yellow X) means:

  1. The lane is only for turning.
  2. You are not allowed to drive in the lane beneath the sign.
  3. You should prepare to change lane.
  4. You must be prepared to stop ahead.

Correct answer is A.

The difference between a flashing yellow X and a steady yellow X can be hard to spot in the Georgia Driver Manual. But the information is there, on page 40 in the 2016 version of the manual.

Georgia Driver Manual - 2016

Even if most drivers don’t see lane control signs that often, they are important traffic regulation signals that you must know. To help you prepare for the real examination, we will publish more articles with in-depth knowledge about certain laws and rules like this.

Question Example – 4

1 out of 2 get this wrong on the Maryland Permit Test:

Q: You are in a roundabout when an emergency vehicle with flashing lights approaches from behind. You should:

  1. Move to the right in the roundabout and stop.
  2. Proceed through the roundabout and continue driving.
  3. Move to the left in the roundabout and stop.
  4. Proceed through the roundabout before stopping.

Correct answer is D.

When you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching that is using its signals, you must move as close as possible to the edge of the roadway, clear of any intersection, and remain stopped. The words “clear of any intersection” mean you must never stop in an intersection, including a roundabout. Could have been explained better, couldn’t it?

Maryland Driver's Manual

Question Example – 5

4 out of 5 get the following question wrong on the California DMV permit test.

Q: What does a solid white line between lanes mean?

  1. Changing lanes is discouraged.
  2. Changing lanes is prohibited.
  3. Traffic is flowing in opposite directions.
  4. Traffic must exit ahead.

Correct answer is A.

A single solid white line means you shouldn’t change lanes, unless it is necessary. A double white line means that changing lanes is prohibited. The California driver handbook doesn’t make a clear distinction between the two. It makes the question hard to answer for anyone who quickly scans through the handbook without reflecting on why both single and double lines are needed.

California driver handbook

The driver handbook doesn’t do a good job here, but you may assume that the real DMV permit test will follow the letter in the handbook, not necessarily the letter of other legal documents. This why we will update a question like this in 2017.

This article describes just how confused Californians are: www.mercurynews.com. The answer is not found in the vehicle code, but in the California MUTCD :

Where crossing the lane line markings is discouraged, the lane line markings shall consist of a normal solid white line.

About Mark
Problem solver. Entrepreneur. Music nerd. Traveler.

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