Study Effectively for Your Permit Test
Even if there no one-size-fits-all approach when learning how to effectively study for your permit test, there are some tips that work for many students.
Set a Goal and Get Organized
Know what you want to achieve and when. The quicker you want to achieve your goal, get your permit that is, the more planning is needed.
Scan your state’s driver’s manual. Get an idea of how much you need to learn. Divide the content into smaller chunks and plan when to dig deeper into them.
An organized study plan and study habits that steer clear of distractions not only makes it easier to learn but will also help you manage your time better.
But most importantly, make sure you give yourself enough time. With not enough time, you will build up stress. When you are stressed, things don’t work quite right. Your learning will suffer.
Study and Rest
Remember, trying to digest everything in a marathon-long study session isn’t effective. After an hour, you’re just draining yourself mentally. Your brain needs rest to get the work done. The right mix between work and rest makes you smarter, more creative, and more effective.
Never study for more than 90 minutes. 45 minutes is probably a more ideal study session. Mix in both the driver handbook and practice tests during that session. Then, take a break.
Go for a walk or run, listen to music, watch your favorite TV show, or just manage stress your way. They are all important parts of optimizing learning.
Understand Why You Need to Learn
Having a driver’s license is part of the American Freedom, as we know it today. Depending on where you live, a driver’s license can be necessary for you to get back and forth to work or school, to do your shopping, and to socialize with friends and family.
This is often enough to get you motivated to do well on the driver license test.
But are you studying just to pass the exam?
If your brain is set to just retain information for a test, it is likely to hamper your learning.
Try to embrace the bigger picture. You are learning for life. Traffic rules aren’t there for the sake of a driver’s test. They are there for safety of you and everybody else on the road.
DMV has an agenda. They want to make sure you don’t just memorize questions and answers, they want you to truly understand why you need to follow certain rules.
Put yourself in their shoes. How would you check that an applicant has truly understood not only the meaning of certain rules and road signs, but also the whys.
Understand Active Learning
Simply put, active learning is the process of learning when you engage with the content. You are doing something more than just reading the manual.
Answering review questions or taking online practice tests are examples of active learning.
Discussing tricky questions with friends and family is another example.
Active learning promotes higher-order thinking, such as critical thinking and analysis. It makes facts stick in your brain.
Know When You Aren’t Ready
How do you know when you are ready for the real permit test? Well, it’s a tricky question to answer.
It’s easier to say when you aren’t ready.
If there are passages in the driver’s manual that you skip each time, because you aren’t sure what they mean or because you think they are unimportant – you aren’t ready. Even if some things are more important than others, everything in the driver’s manual is there for a reason.
If you still miss a few questions on each permit practice test – you aren’t ready. Pay close attention to wordings, don’t answer too soon because you think the answer is obvious. This pitfall is just too common on the real exam. Focus on each question on the practice test as well as the real test.
If you don’t know the answer on your practice test, go back to the driver’s manual.
Even if 80% is the passing score in your state, 80% on a practice test isn’t enough. You are missing 1 out of 5 questions.
Don’t attempt the real permit test too soon.
You’ll find more study tips here: Can You Learn How to Pass the DMV Permit Test?