Test Tips Before the Real DMV Test
The DMV test in every state has multiple choice questions, often with just three choices. They are offered as computerized tests, even if paper tests and oral tests also may be available, if you ask for them.
Any multiple-choice test is based on your ability to recognize the right answer from a range of alternatives. There are several reasons why you should feel good about the multiple-choice test.
Unfortunately, such tests encourage superficial recall of phrases instead of real knowledge. Research shows that taking many practice tests reinforce this superficial recall. Users tend to memorize questions and answers, instead of relying on their real knowledge.
Memorizing instead of understanding is one of the top 5 mistakes applicants make.
Because of this, some people argue that online practice tests for DMV exams are evil and that the explosion of such tests have created a new generation of young people who master the DMV examination, but have no a clue about rules of the road.
How to Avoid Tricking Yourself on the DMV Test
But you can easily get the best of both worlds, by following some simple test tips.
In any test situation, it is vital to read and thoroughly understand each question and the various choices. Hopefully, the following test tips and hints will help you pass the practice tests at driversprep and a real DMV test.
Read the Question
First, read the question. Make sure you don’t add your own information or scenarios. Everything you need to answer the question is already there. Reading too much into a question usually results in a wrong answer.
Consider All Choices
Secondly, consider all options before choosing your answer. The text in one option can seem familiar from the driver’s manual, but it doesn’t mean that it is the correct one.
Wording of the question and potential answers can be tricky. The ambition on this website is to create variety, not always copy the exact wording from the driver’s manual. Variety will trigger real learning.
Try to add your own answer before reading the choices provided. This may help you pick out the correct one right away, or at least help understand why one of the provided choices is correct.
Look for Specific Words
Other test tips include to take special note of negative phrasing. This is probably one of the biggest pitfalls on any multiple-choice test. If the question contains the word not or false, it changes everything. Staying in the left lane when you are driving slower than other traffic can be a correct answer, if you are asked what you should not do!
Be alert for absolute and exact words, like always and never. They often make a statement false. But not always!
The Difference Between Should and Must
You should also look out for the words should and must.
Questions about seat belts are typically based on what law says and you will see the word must.
What you should do, however, might be a totally different matter. Almost half of the comments we get on our tests claim that seat belt must be used by all passengers, which is not true in many states. At the same time, all passengers should wear their safety belt in those states – even if it isn’t required by law!
The same is true for the use of cell phones in many states. It may be restricted in many ways, but isn’t prohibited in all situations.
Don’t trick yourself by answering a question based on what you think should be the law.
More Than One Correct Answer?
When you think that more than one alternative is correct, the “all of the above” alternative could be a good choice. If no alternative makes sense, maybe there is a “none of above” available?
If you see this type of question on the practice test, make sure you understand why all choices are correct (or incorrect). Learn them. On the real DMV test, you are more likely to see only one of these choices. In other words, all of the above is a common choice on a practice test, but rarely appears on the real DMV test.
Judgment and Safe Driving Techniques
When it comes to best driving practices, there are some judgment questions, where you must choose the most correct or suitable answer. Focus on general situations without being too specific.
Best driving practices seldom cover all driving situations that can occur. A very common answer is to slow down and drive cautiously to avoid an accident. Do not assume that your speed is already 10 mph and that you do not need to slow down.
Finally, no tests are fool-proof. We all interpret written communication differently. Try not to get stuck on difficult questions or wording you do not understand. You will waste time and feel anxious. Move forward to the next question. On a real test, you can usually go back to that question later.
Feel free to let us know when you find our questions difficult to understand. There is a constant review ongoing on this site. Tests are updated and modified, often based on your input. Your help is appreciated and will help make this site better.
Woman Taking a Test – Copyright: Andres Rodriguez
This article was originally posted on Jun 12, 2012 and updated Dec 30, 2016
You will find more tips here: How to Ace the DMV Test