5 Tips for Acing Your Ontario Drivers Test

Guest Contributor July 21, 2016

About to take your Ontario driving test, or have a kid who is just about to take it, and not sure what to expect? We’ve got your back with the top five things you need to know.

I just passed my G1 test, by the way. This is actually a really big deal for me since I’ve made it through more than a dozen 29th annual birthdays without getting my license. I know. It’s weird for grown-ups not to be able to drive, but it was never a big deal since I’ve always lived in a big city. And, honestly, I had anxiety about driving. But then I had a kid and not driving suddenly was a big deal. It’s not easy to get around with a little one on the TTC. And I want to take road trips, and drive around other countries when we travel. So, long story short (I know, too late), I found an instructor who specializes in older drivers with anxiety, took in-car lessons for almost a full year, and finally passed my G1 test a few weeks ago.

Now it’s your turn. If you’re nervous, don’t be. I spoke with CAA-approved Abbey Lane Driving School in Mississauga for the top five things you should know before taking the test. Here’s what they said.

Come to a full stop: You see people rolling through STOP signs all the time in the real world but during your test this is an absolute don’t. Not coming to a complete stop when it is required is an automatic fail.

Obey the speed limit: Again, the rules of the test can be different from the rules of the road in real life. It might be just common practice for everyone to go 10km above the speed limit at pretty much all times in the real world, but speeding even slightly during your test will get you an auto-fail. If you’re in a school zone and the limit is 40, go 40, not 43, not even 42. And watch out for changes in speed limits, i.e. going from 80km to 60 km per hour, or 50km to 40 km per hour.

Observe, observe, observe: Observation is key and examiners watch for it. If you’re consistently only using your mirrors and not checking your blind spot, you won’t pass. It’s not necessarily an automatic fail but the demerits will add up.

Take turns: Not yielding to other traffic or not taking your own right of way is usually an automatic fail. For example: you come to a four-way stop and don’t take your turn when it comes. This confuses other drivers and will get you a fail.

Don’t take anything for granted: Just because something is usually OK doesn’t mean it’s always OK. For example, turning right on red is usually fine in Ontario. But there are places with signs that say not to do so. If you fail to notice one of these signs and make a right turn, be prepared to take the test again later.

Note also that the test is literally about 10 minutes long – far shorter than one might expect. I was shocked at how short it was.

CAA Approved Driving School Network
CAA’s Approved Driving School Network program identifies the best driver training schools in the Province. Schools undergo a rigorous approval process and instruct their novice students using the MTO-approved CAA How to Drive Curriculum.

Be prepared and be safe.

Good luck!

By Elizabeth Johnson