The G2 Road Test: How to Pass on Your First Try
Getting your G2 license is no walk in the park. Thousands of aspiring drivers prepare all year to ace this road test, and at some DriveTest centres, over half of them fail the first time. Although luck plays a significant role (because you’re not on the road alone), you can still improve your chances of success by following a few key guidelines. Proper driving advice can go a long way to your success; here’s everything you need to pass your G2 road test!
1. When should I take road test?
The G2 test is the first of two road tests you need to pass as a new driver. After getting a G1 license, new drivers need to wait 12 months before taking the G2 road test; however, they could reduce this to 8 months if they complete a Beginner Driver Education (BDE) course.
With that said, just because your mandatory wait period is over doesn’t mean that you’re ready to take the G2 road test. You should only take it when you feel confident behind the wheel and when your G-licensed passenger does not have to constantly correct your driving errors. A few other considerations you should keep in mind:
- Time of year: Try to target late spring and summer for your road test to take advantage of great weather conditions. You don’t want the forces of nature standing between you and a G2 license, especially not heavy snow or rain.
- Time of day: It’s no surprise that the behaviours of other drivers around you may impact your performance during the road test. As a result, it’s best to avoid rush hours when booking your road test; 10am – 3pm is the sweet spot.
2. What does the road test include?
The G2 road test is meant to evaluate basic driving abilities on city streets and will last for roughly 20-30 minutes. During the test, the driving examiner will provide instructions on where you need to go and what maneuvers you need to complete (e.g., parallel parking), but they will not provide any directions on how to execute a driving maneuver.
The driving examiner may assess your ability to perform the following skills:
- Turns: Making left and right turns at controlled (i.e., with lights / signs) and uncontrolled (e.g., no lights or signs) intersections. They are looking to see if you can handle the vehicle and can take the corresponding lane around the corner.
- Right of way: Ensuring you understand how to give and get the right of way (i.e., who gets to go through the intersection first) at controlled and uncontrolled intersections.
- Parallel parking: Parking beside a curb and potentially between two vehicles, however, the examiner may ask you to park behind just one vehicle.
- Stopping: Coming to a complete stop at a stop line, crosswalk, sidewalk, or the edge of the road if the aforementioned stop points aren’t visible.
- Lane changes: Ensuring you are following the proper steps of merging into lanes such as checking the inside mirror to look for a gap in traffic, signal, and side mirror on the way to the blind spot and moving over when it is safe to do so.
- 3-point turns: Ensuring you signal each step, check 360 degrees around you before moving, slowly moving the vehicle, and steering smoothly during each step of the maneuver.
- Driving in residential areas: Ensuring you are driving at a safe speed and watching for pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users.
- Hill parking: Ensuring the front wheels are correctly angled with a gentle touch to the curb and the parking brake is secured.
3. What causes a failure?
DriveTest examiners assess student drivers across multiple dimensions while on the road. You may not notice it, but they’re tracking how often you check your mirrors, whether you scan your blind spot before a turn, how you’re holding the steering wheel, and even how quickly you accelerate. Let’s be clear – you will make mistakes on the road test (everyone does!). Many new drivers (including myself) have made a few mistakes during the G2 road test and still passed. A failed test is dependent on both the type and quantity of mistakes made.
The four dimensions that may cause a test failure include 1) being involved in a collision, 2) violating the law, 3) performing a dangerous action, and 4) amassing too many minor errors of similar nature.
Being involved in a collision
If your vehicle gets hit or you hit another vehicle or object, you automatically fail the test. If you were at-fault in the collision, it’s obvious why. Even if you’re not at-fault, because you’re unable to complete the test, the examiner cannot grant you a pass.
Violating the law
Speeding, swerving, incomplete stops, checking your phone while you drive, or failing to give or take the right of way at intersections all constitute violations of Ontario’s traffic laws. If you’re caught performing any action that is against the law, it’s likely that you’ve failed the test.
Performing a dangerous action
Committing a dangerous action in the eyes of the driving examiner is also an automatic failure. If the driving examiner must help you avoid a collision verbally or physically or a close call (reach for the steering wheel or using the parking / dual brake), you’ve likely failed the test. However, just because they verbalize an instruction you feel was to help you avoid a dangerous action, they still have the option of allowing you to pass the road test, depending on how severe it was.
Amassing too many minor errors
A few small errors are probably fine, but too many of them will result in failure. For example, failing to check your blind spot before a lane change is an observation error. That one error would not necessarily be a test failure if it didn’t create a dangerous situation but making 2 or 3 more observation errors could fail you.
According to the driving Ministry of Transportation, a minor error means “some improvement necessary” and a major error is “lack of skill, knowledge or judgment.” For example, a late signal is a minor error but no signal, or a wrong signal would be considered a major error because it sent the wrong information to other road users, which could be very dangerous.
Learn with an expert
If you would like professional help to prepare for the road test, try taking a few driving lessons with an expert. At Kruzee, driving instructors are trained in the most advanced defensive driving techniques and can make sure you’re fully prepared for your G2 road test!
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