facebookHow to Pass Your Permit Test in 2020: 10 Actionable Tips
How to Pass Your Learners Permit Test in 2020: 10 Actionable Tips

How to Pass Your Learners Permit Test in 2020: 10 Actionable Tips


by Zutobi · Updated Nov 30, 2020

Passing the DMV permit test is the first step towards receiving full driving privileges in your state. Your exact location will determine how early you’re eligible to sit for the exam, but students generally begin studying as early as 15 years old. Successful completion of the permit test will allow you to legally practice driving behind the wheel with the presence of a parent or licensed adult. 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to pass your learners permit test on the first try. It is divided into three main parts:

  • How to study for the permit test
  • How to prepare for the day of the test
  • What to remember during the DMV exam

How to Study for the DMV Permit Test

Tip #1 – Study Your Driver’s Handbook


Every student should own a copy of their state’s driver’s handbook. It has everything you need to know about safely operating a motor vehicle in your state, such as understanding liability laws, discerning road signs, and how to share the road in special driving situations. Physical copies of the driver’s handbook are available for free at your local DMV.

Tip #2 – Try Taking a DMV Practice Test

The only way you’ll be able to gauge how well you’re studying is if you take a DMV practice test. Ideally, you should take multiple practice exams before scheduling and taking the written driving test. Practice exams will give you a realistic idea of what you can expect on the real drivers permit test.


Tip #3 – Find a Study Guide or Course to Practice Online

Study guides and courses are two additional great ways to prepare for your upcoming permit test. They provide an alternative way to grasp the subjects that can sometimes be monotonously explained in the driver’s handbook. While most allow you to review study material online, few offer mobile support.

Luckily, the Zutobi DMV practice permit test app is available on both Android and iOS devices, offering students the ability to study anytime, anywhere. With courses available for all fifty states, Zutobi is the top choice for high achieving students looking to study for their permit test online.

Preparing for the Day of Permit Test

Tip #4 – Get a Good Night’s Rest

While many students search for the key towards how to study for the permit test, one of the biggest secrets to success on the exam is simply getting a good night’s sleep the night before. Multiple studies have found that sleep deprivation has an adversely negative effect on memory and other vital cognitive abilities. 

Without proper sleep, you’ll fail to retain much of the information you’ve spent hours studying for weeks. Make sure you get to bed early and at least 7.5 hours of sleep before your exam to ensure your body is sufficiently rested before taking the learners permit test. 

Tip #5 – Eat a Healthy Breakfast

If you’re able to fall asleep a bit earlier than usual, chances are you’ll probably wake a bit early as well. Getting a healthy morning meal will help stimulate your mind muscles hours before going into your exam. Research shows that skipping breakfast lowers cognitive function and work efficiency, which could lead to less than optimal results on your written driving test. Use some of your morning free time to get a healthy breakfast in your system prior to taking the exam. 

Tip #6 – Arrive Early at the DMV with Your Paperwork 

To avoid complications on the day of your exam, plan to arrive at the DMV up to 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This way, you can calmly walk into the DMV and submit your documentation. If you happen to be missing any paperwork, arriving early may afford you the opportunity to retrieve them before the exam. Ultimately, you will be much more at ease if you have time to spare at the DMV. 

Tip #7 – Review Your Knowledge Before the Exam

Many students find that doing a light review of test material helps immensely on the exam. A driver’s handbook full of hundreds of pages can be a bit uncomfortable to carry to the DMV. Additionally, online courses and study guides are only available via desktop and are impossible to navigate on mobile. 

Luckily, Zutobi is available on all devices and provides a streamlined experience towards accessing and reviewing study material. With courses for all fifty states, all driving test students will benefit from the free Zutobi app.

During the Test

Tip #8 – Stay Positive


Your nerves will get to you on the day of your exam. However, going into your written test thinking about failure will undoubtedly hurt your score. Remind yourself that you have prepared as much as possible for this specific moment. As you’re taking the test, keep a positive attitude and you’ll give yourself the best chance at a perfect score.

Tip #9 – Read Questions Thoroughly

Students often get flustered trying to complete the drivers permit test in the quickest amount of time. This can lead to questions that are read and answered incorrectly. Although you may know every single answer on the exam, read the question two or three times to fully understand what’s being asked

From there, you’ll be able to come up with an educated answer based on what you’ve internalized. Remember, the DMV offers no extra incentives for completing your exam quicker than your peers.

Tip #10 – Review Your Answers

After completion, review your answers before submitting the exam. If time permits, retake the exam’ and reread every question to ensure you have chosen the best possible answer for each. Once you feel confident with your selections, feel free to turn in your test. 

Most states offer online examinations that will process your score immediately. Taking advantage of this tip will help ensure you pass your exam and don’t have to return to the DMV to physically retake the exam. 

After the Test

Get Your Picture Taken

If you’ve passed the exam, be sure to stick around. A staff member at your local DMV will ask you to take a picture for your learner’s permit card. You will receive a temporary copy onsite and your physical card will be mailed to you within 5-10 business days.

Don’t Stress About It

It can be easy to beat yourself up over small mistakes that could have prevented you from earning a perfect score, but that is not the healthy thing to do. Immediately following your test, be sure to take the rest of the day off my studying or reviewing driving related material. Trying to cram too much into your brain at once will only frustrate you and make it hard to retain information.

Prepare for Behind-the-Wheel Training

The road test is arguably the most important part of the driving test process and is where most students start experiencing difficulties. While driving is not a difficult concept to learn, getting comfortable behind the wheel will certainly take some time. In addition to driving time and observational requirements laid out by your specific state, be sure to take every opportunity to drive with a licensed adult. The more you’ll do it, the better you’ll get. When your road test comes around, driving a vehicle will be like second nature!

Schedule Your Road Test Early

Since a DMV staff member must proctor all student road exams, there are a limited number of available appointments each day. As such, these slots can fill up weeks in advance. Be proactive about scheduling your test to ensure there are no delays in receiving full driving privileges in your state.

Whether you pass or fail, be sure to review your study guide and driver’s handbook to get an understanding of what topics you might have missed. All of the knowledge you’ve gained from studying from your drivers permit exam will be crucial as you begin driver training. 

Zutobi is perfect for this, as you’re able to access your study material directly from your smartphone device or on the web. Use Zutobi to review your road signs, road rules, and safety tips to gauge where you might have missed points on the exam.


What Happens if You Fail the Permit Test?

In most states, you can retake the written test several times, so there’s no need to stress if your score was less than satisfactory. 

Revisit the tips outlined in this guide to help you improve your study skills and ace the exam on your next attempt. Once you’ve passed your written driving test, you’re ready to get behind the wheel and practice operating a motor vehicle.

Take our full course with tests and theory

  • 450+ exam-like questions
  • All you need to ace your test
  • Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens
How To Transfer Your Driver’s License When Moving to Another State

How To Transfer Your Driver’s License When Moving to Another State

Moving to another state is a very exciting time in one’s life. For some, this move might be the first time they’re experiencing a land other than the one they grew up knowing their entire life. There are a plethora of factors to consider when deciding to move out of state. In this guide, we’ll […]


by Zutobi · Updated Nov 30, 2020

Right-of-Way Rules at Controlled Intersections –  What to Do When Facing Stop and Yield Signs

Right-of-Way Rules at Controlled Intersections – What to Do When Facing Stop and Yield Signs

What Are the Rules When Facing a STOP Sign? When facing a STOP sign, you must come to a full stop at the stop line and yield the right-of-way to all vehicles and pedestrians in or approaching the intersection.  Follow these 6 STOP sign rules when driving to avoid pedestrian and car accidents: If there […]


by Zutobi · Updated Nov 27, 2020

One-Way Streets: What They Are, Rules, and Signs

One-Way Streets: What They Are, Rules, and Signs

If you’re studying for the knowledge exam, understanding how to identify and navigate a one-way road is vital to passing the test. Maybe you’re a veteran driver who’s looking to brush up on some core driving subjects – one-way roads can be very confusing and often cause accidents at higher rates than two-way roads. However, […]


by Zutobi · Updated Nov 23, 2020