Looking to get fully licensed in Ontario? The first step in your driving journey is getting your G1 license. To get your G1 license, you’ll need to take a two-part written test. 

To help you ace your G1 test and start driving practice, here’s 9 essential tips you need to know to pass your G1 written test on the first try. 

What is the G1 test?

The G1 test has 40 questions total, with two different sections. You need to get at least 80% on the test to get your G1 license. The G1 tests your knowledge of things like the meaning of road signs, traffic rules, violations, and more. 

You’ll need a G1 to sign up for driver’s ed and begin driving lessons with an instructor. Find out more about taking driver’s ed and booking driving lessons with Kruzee. 

Before the test

  1. Read the Official Ministry of Transportation Driver’s Manual. Our first big tip is to give the MTO driver’s manual a thorough read. The manual contains all of the knowledge that you’ll need to pass your road test, so getting a copy is crucial. It also provides a practice test and tips for driving. You can find physical or virtual copies for $14.95 online from ServiceOntario, at your nearest DriveTest centre, or read through the online version for free. Cheaper used copies are also available on websites like Ebay and Kijiji, just make sure you’re getting the most recent edition so you know you’re getting the most up to date information. 
  2. Get to know the basics. Many G1 questions hinge on a few basics: road signs, right of way, and traffic rules. Getting to know these basics and how to work out the answer to the question based on them is a good starting point. Once you know the basics, memorization will get easier. 
  3. Use flashcards. Some of the road signs are pretty self explanatory — a picture of a bicycle probably means something related to biking — but some are less obvious. Find online repositories of flashcards for the written test to grow your knowledge. 
  4. Take practice tests. A lot of websites offer a G1 practice test for free. These are helpful for testing your knowledge and figuring out which areas you need to study more. Find the 6 best G1 practice tests.
  5. Notice test patterns. As you keep taking practice tests, you’ll notice that the test tends towards a few patterns. For example, for right of way questions, the pedestrian has the right of way the vast majority of the time. And, finally, the answer is almost never to honk your horn. While these patterns won’t hold true 100% of the time, noticing and taking them into account is helpful for answering tough questions. 

Taking the test 

  1. Read questions carefully. The G1 test sometimes uses trick questions. Since a few wrong answers can be the difference between a pass and a fail, make sure to read each question carefully to ensure that you understand the question and answers fully. 
  2. Consider the writer. Try to consider what the person writing the question was thinking when they wrote it. Maybe they wanted to emphasize the significant consequences for driving drunk or ensure pedestrian safety. Considering the question’s intent might help lead you to the answer. 
  3. Don’t overthink it. A lot of questions on the G1 are just checking that you know road basics — they aren’t always trying to trick you. If an answer seems obvious, it might be just that. 
  4. Try to stay calm. Many aspiring drivers are understandably nervous to take their G1 written test. However, try to remember that you can always retake it — failing isn’t the end of the world. 

After you pass

Congrats! When you’ve passed your G1 test, you’re ready to sign up for driver’s ed and lessons with a driving instructor near you. To find driving lessons in your part of Ontario, search here.