If you need to pass the initial California permit test for teenagers under 18 years, the real exam has 46 questions. You must correctly answer 38 questions. This means that you must reach a passing score of 83 percent or more. If you are 18 years or older, the test has 36 questions and you are allowed 6 incorrect answers (83 percent passing score). The renewal test in California has 18 questions and you are allowed 3 incorrect answers.
Read the following article to learn about passing scores in other states: Permit and License Passing Scores in United States.
Some details in your California driver manual might seem irrelevant or insignificant for improving your driving skills or driver knowledge. However, laws and California rules of the road mentioned in in the driver handbook are important parts of the driver examination.
Unexpected details on the written knowledge test can deal with speed limits, like the speed limit in school zones, proper parking distances to intersections and fire hydrants, when to dim headlights, and the length of a license suspension after certain convictions. Sometimes, it is easy to make a good guess about these numbers by trying to think like lawmakers. The best strategy, however, is to simply learn them from the handbook.
This doesn't mean that you should focus on just memorizing numbers or answers to questions. Try to ask yourself "why" and "how". There is always a good explanation why you should dim your headlights at a certain distance when meeting other vehicles. Or why certain convictions result in longer suspension periods or more points on your driving record.
It is important that you know what to do in case of an emergency, like if your vehicle starts to skid, if there is an oncoming vehicle in your lane, if you have a tire blowout, or if you drift off the pavement.
You must also know what to do in case you are involved in a crash.
You should special pay attention to some everyday driving situations that may pose a higher risk, such as driving at night, in fog, in winter weather, through work zones and school zones, when there are emergency vehicles around, and when you approach railroad crossings.
A large part of your DMV test will focus on these areas!
Regardless of the official passing score in California, you should always aim for a full score on the practice tests. If you get a question wrong, make sure you understand why. Read up on the facts in the driver handbook. Remember, everything in the driver handbook is there for a reason.