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Road test tips (NYC)


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You know how people are typically incredibly nervous the first time they drive but get better and then basically do nothing wrong on their test?  It went the other way around with me.  The second time I had ever really driven a car, I was on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square and I didn't feel nervous or anything - I just drove like it was my daily commute, even with countless buses, trucks, and ricers whizzing by.  When it came to the actual test, however, I got way too nervous and racked up almost every minor thing they could count against you for (oddly enough, my parallel parking was perfect) and that was it.  The fat prick from the DMV being a giant douche about me failing was a great motivator.

 

Naturally, 17-year-old me thinking I was all but infallible, I tried again and failed harder elsewhere on the Island, and again at the same spot before finally accepting that I wasn't ready and learned firsthand what awaited you if you were somehow unfortunate enough to not be able to drive in New York.  All the while these HS seniors and people my age were complaining about parking and all this bullshit I really didn't care less about.  They had cars + the funds necessary to drive and keep their cars running, their senses were more or less intact, they could walk, they had cognitive abilities strong enough for them to make basic decisions, they could drive - I couldn't see what their problem was.  My parents, who were for whatever reason hesitant to let me drive around, kept bugging me about me going for it again when they knew how badly it went.  This was five years ago.

 

When I went to Nassau, iit wasn't too bad considering I had so many options to get home.  However, it didn't mean that the scheduling worked.  And the older half of campus was notorious for overcrowding; couple that with only one narrow entrance out of the school and the rush of students leaving and what should have been a 25 minute trip turns into a 40. Never mind the less fortunate at the Social Services building down the road.  If I went to the mall and took my home route down, it would require me to go farther north than I ever wanted to.  If I went to Freeport and then took the train, it'd cost more money.  The only thingsI had going through my mind during that time were "this is sure as hell cheaper than owning a car" and "like hell I'm dealing with the DMV again." I remember the fallout from the (MTA) leaving the island.  I remember being lucky to even find a bus that was running.  I remember the last day of class in 2011, I got off over 3 miles away from home and walked because there was literally one bus every two hours.  I graduated from Nassau in 2013 after finishing the summer before because they had only one graduation ceremony per year.  I have nothing to say about NICE except that the only differences I see are that there aren't any more (MTA) logos on the buses and that His Excellency Mango doesn't want to say anything about people who can't drive.

 

I ended up transferring to a school on the North Shore, infamous for being the richer part of the Island.  This wasn't as easy to access as Nassau was via public transit.  On the bus ride up there for the first day of class at that school, I got to see two Ferrari Californias and a convertible Lamborghini Aventador.  It contrasted with the beat up Orion V that I was on so badly; I felt embarrassed looking at two of these expensive machines while I was crammed into 20 tons of regret and shame.

After four straight years of that mentality, I renewed my permit and tried to take a five hour class last summer, planning to go for it that August.  The night I did, however,  all those bad memories from 2009 flooded my mind and I felt as bad as the day I did when I came home the first time and had to tell my dad I couldn't pass.  In the days leading up to and during the class, though, I had heard from members here and from others who were taking the class that it was far easier in Queens (and upstate).  I live not too far from GA Mall; I know that mall is almost completely patronized by Queens and Brooklyn residents, and a majority of them drive (I've taken the Q5 and 85 there; the ride length from Jamaica Center is comparable to a drive on the Belt from the Queens-Brooklyn border) and Lord knows how they got their licenses.  If they got it easily, why can't I?  But  I know better when it comes to driving.  I made it a point to never drive like they do.  I used to go there every week as a kid and my parents intentionally avoided the western access roads because said NYC drivers would bust their cars up every other week - accident, hopping a curb, you name it, there's a poorly-repaired area where it happened.  But the stream of them hasn't stopped.  People still get into accidents there, and they're all coming from the same general area.

 

Long story short, I just want my license, but at the same time, I don't want to repeat the same shit I did that made me fail.  I apologize for the rant/life story; this is normally something I'd keep to myself but I'm at the end of my wits here.  On one end, I have about five people telling me that Queens was horrible but they did it on LI; on the other, my dentist and her assistant confirm it's easier over in Queens and that I can do it.  This winter was incredibly brutal and standing by the road watching the world go by, waiting for a slow, overcrowded, and ragtag bus is not very poetic when it's been one's reality for four years.  It just isn't feasible out here.  My ultimate contingency plan is to move to some flyover state or FL and do it there.  It's better than messing it up here over and over again.

 

Is it easier in Queens?  Where should I avoid?  What do I do on my test differently?  I tore up the slip that idiot gave me (would you if you messed something that simple up?) but I remember it listed basically everything <10 points but right of way (I got lucky that there was no one there) and my parallel parking.  I don't want to just go gungho into a turn or something and have another grade-A arsehole tell me I'm done right there.  At the same time, I feel like everything I've done up until now isn't enough...

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I'm not familiar with Queens road tests so I can't commet there. Where to avoid? Almost anything Brooklyn...like literally, I took my road test in Staten Island (which I think is the easiest of them all, Fox Hills is where I took mine). I say avoid Brooklyn because there are a few areas that are ridicoulous for first time drivers/test takers. I had a friend take his at Canarsie and they had him do a 3 lane change manuever within a block during afternoon traffic. Long story short, he took it 3 times. Red Hook Brooklyn is somewhat the same because some of the streets could be deserted and be a two way without any signs indicating it.

 

My best advice is to try to take it in Staten Island where the test areas are usually low in traffic.

 

My experience in Staten Island (Fox Hills):

I didn't have to finish my parallel parking, instructor just said go after I did the initial back-in. (Thought I failed at that point.) On my K-turn, I turned my head forward while reversing and coming to a stop. (Apparently you have to keep looking back until you come to a stop before looking forward again.) Other than that, I drove between 25 and 35 mph the entire road test and I ended up passing the test with ease.

 

Best tips?

Always check your mirrors, your instructors usually keeps an eye on this the most.

Suck it up, being nervous always happens but instructors prowl on that shit, so you have to suck it up.

At the time I took the road test, speed limit was 30 mph on streets, I usually kept at that speed but nothing lower than 25. Most of the time to my memory I kept it between 25-29.

Everyone has different manuevers with parking, so I can't really help with that...especially since I didn't even have to finish the parking either.

 

Any other specifics let me know.

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Staten Island is easy. Queens test sites, some people say its "ok" to pass.

 

I took the road test in Red Hook, Brooklyn; very easy test during a light snowfall in the winter time.  There's not a lot people driving in the conditions. Road test driving should be around 20 to 25 mph in NYC right now. If its Sunny, its pack and very long lines.

 

Driving in Red Hook is not so bad, just concentrate the road area appearance, road signs and markers.

 

If you want to pass the road test. Take it during the winter time when there's not a lot of people taking the road test. Raining or snowing conditions makes you think harder and less nervous. If there is snow on the road, thats is an advantage where you drive slowly.

 

Reread the manual to freshen up the memory.

 

Watch a lot of "good" videos on driving for the first time/road test on Youtube.

 

Play a racing game on the computer or go to Chucky Cheese or a amusement park just to get a hand on the wheel.

 

If you in the driving school or have a friend or your parents help you to drive. I suggest voice record the driving instructor when you are on the wheel. They will give you "great" advice and you could review what they saying and remember their advice.

 

Which ever the road test site that YOU choose. Go visit to the site like about 2 to 3 times and familiarize the area.

 

If you fail again, keep the receipt where it list the points deducted that you did wrong and work hard to fix the mistakes.

 

Not everyone has a perfect score. I took it for the fist time and pass it with a -10 for "braking hard for the stop".

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I took my test at Cunningham Park. Like everyone else mentioned, you have to shelf the nervousness and just roll with it. I was nervous myself. When I finished my test, I got out the car without even getting my results. My advice to you: (Some of which was highlighted already)

 

-Keep your vehicle under control. Stay below the speed limit but not too slow. Execute your movements smoothly. Accelerate/Brake quickly but smoothly. Turn smoothly.

 

-When approaching a stop sign/red light, stop as close as possible but where you can still see the ped crossing. (This way, you cannot be deducted for running it)

 

-When making a lane change, pulling out or backing up, look over your shoulder. Signal, Mirror, Shoulder was what my instructor taught me. Looking over your shoulder is important when making your U-turn as peacemaker mentioned. When your instructor calls for the U-turn, pick a spot where there's room on the other side of the street to get a good chunk of the first turn done. Don't bring it up too close on a parked car, they will dock you for that.

 

-When you're at a regular stop sign, stop and then creep slowly out while checking both directions for traffic. As soon as you can confirm that it's clear, proceed. It doesn't hurt to check a few extra times to be sure but don't take too long to go. (Like 6 extra nods after you know it's clear)

 

-When you make a left onto a street with more than one lane, turn into the left lane and immediately switch over to the furthest most right lane just in case your instructor wants to trip you up. When you have to make a right turn, use the bus lane if there's one. If there's a bus currently in the stop, go behind it if you are unsure that it's going to pull off.

 

That's all I can remember in terms of the instructor trying to get you. It doesn't hurt to drop by a local driving school for a lesson to refresh.

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I'm still incredibly nervous now... what more when I actually go?  I'm hearing so many different things I'm not even sure if I want to take it... the funny thing is, I wasn't even nervous my first try and it only fell apart once I started racking things up near the end.  If I hadn't made that stop too late, I probably would have passed by the skin of my teeth.  On the other hand, one of my sister's friends told me that Laurelton was easier than LI.  I might be fine whenever I drive around with my dad, but that's for driving when all is said and done with this bullshit - when I actually have a goddamned license.  Me being naturally passive-aggressive seems to make me more nervous and easily stressed out, especially when something like a road test is concerned...

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If you keep thinking about it, the more nervous you will get. You just have to suck it up, I mean you can keep practicing before the test with someone else to keep the nervousness out of the way. Remember, the road test is a step but once you are on the real world of driving, all that basic on the books crap is thrown out the window.

 

Keep practicing whatever you need to practice on before the road test. Either suck up the nervousness or practice to the point it's natural. I mean I was nervous on my road test date but once I got behind the wheel, finished easy. (But of course I had an unorthodox method of learning how to drive -- I was put on a highway and told to get us home after a few basic lessons.)

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I agree with peacemak3r. But I didn't know they put you on the highway with road tests. I wish they did that for everyone because people clearly don't know how to drive on and/or merge onto highways. But yeah, Just get in the car, check your mirrors, drive passively , don't cut anyone off give others the right of way, and put both hands on the wheel. Once you pass, drive how you feel comfortable. Because driving like that in real life will get you no where in NYC.

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Laurelton was completely filled up so I have to go to Wantagh.  I really wish I knew how my dad managed to pass his in one try when he was fresh off of a plane from his country not even a year after arriving... my sister went to Wantagh and would have passed but she told me that she clipped a curb and failed.  The only glimmer of hope I see in this is that she isn't a great driver (at all) but almost passed and that the examiners there are (supposedly) a bit more relaxed than the average one, the latter statement coming from a driving school instructor.  If it didn't seem easier to fail than pass, then I'd have a different outlook on this.

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I agree with peacemak3r. But I didn't know they put you on the highway with road tests. I wish they did that for everyone because people clearly don't know how to drive on and/or merge onto highways. But yeah, Just get in the car, check your mirrors, drive passively , don't cut anyone off give others the right of way, and put both hands on the wheel. Once you pass, drive how you feel comfortable. Because driving like that in real life will get you no where in NYC.

 

No they don't put you on the highway on road tests. I was just fortunate enough to have lessons on the highway before taking a road test. It somewhat really boosted my confidence because I feel if you can conquer New York highways, the road test is easy.

 

You're surrounding yourself with negative energy and self-fulfilling prophecy. Think positive, you WILL pass, you will NOT fail.

 

100%

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  • 4 weeks later...

I egret necroposting, but it's still three weeks away and I already have about 25 things I can think of that they can just fail me right on the spot for that I could just do without even knowing it.  I hate talking like I'm going to even get it when the last time I did that I was shutdown so hard that I didn't want anything to do or hear from a car or anything with an internal combustion engine and tires for two months.

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I egret necroposting, but it's still three weeks away and I already have about 25 things I can think of that they can just fail me right on the spot for that I could just do without even knowing it.  I hate talking like I'm going to even get it when the last time I did that I was shutdown so hard that I didn't want anything to do or hear from a car or anything with an internal combustion engine and tires for two months.

What were the problems with the test? what did they say that you need to work on? I mean I see so much $hitty driving you're probably already better than many drivers.

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What were the problems with the test? what did they say that you need to work on? I mean I see so much $hitty driving you're probably already better than many drivers.

 

The problem is they never told me what I needed to work on.  Two of the examiners were complete a**holes and the other just said to "practice more." The "$hitty driving" I see?  Ricers, soccer moms on their smartphones, the stanced/slam community, the bimbos doing makeup on the Southern State..  I don't even know what to say, they have their licenses; I don't.  I can criticize, I can flip them off, I can call them out on the street... but they passed and I f**ked it up enough for society to consider me unworthy of any of it.  I get claustrophobic - not because I'm in a steel cage, but because I feel like there's not enough space anywhere.  It's too hard to shake these feelings off because they're quite real.

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The problem is they never told me what I needed to work on.  Two of the examiners were complete a**holes and the other just said to "practice more." The "$hitty driving" I see?  Ricers, soccer moms on their smartphones, the stanced/slam community, the bimbos doing makeup on the Southern State..  I don't even know what to say, they have their licenses; I don't.  I can criticize, I can flip them off, I can call them out on the street... but they passed and I f**ked it up enough for society to consider me unworthy of any of it.  I get claustrophobic - not because I'm in a steel cage, but because I feel like there's not enough space anywhere.  It's too hard to shake these feelings off because they're quite real.

Yep, the soccer moms in the mini vans that don't know how to control them, cruise along like they have all day, don't know how to use their signals. People in luxury vehicles that are not really concerned about road courtesy or safety, just concerned about getting scratches on their vehicle so they drive extra "carefully", then you have the illegals going slow as hell so they don't get pulled over and deported. the chicks that are on their phones and do know what a signal is. I can go on and on. 

I get claustrophobic also, I hate getting trapped and its usually the fault of people camping in the left and middle lanes. I like to drive where there is open space, when you're in a cluster that just increases the chances of chain reactions.

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I'm going to be blunt: it's two weeks away and I don't know what to think.  I keep thinking that I'll be tricked into making an illegal maneuver or that I'll make one bad move and throw it all out the window.  After everything I've had to endure over these years - the derision from the examiners, my own family wondering why I still can't drive, horrible bus service, horrible riders, horrible customer service, my MetroCard with $8 left malfunctioning and never working again, all the money I wasted on LIRR tickets just to get somewhere in less than an hour, all the time I wasted on my school's shuttle going at 15 MPH with no room to stand or breathe, all the time I had to stand in below freezing winds and temperatures... I've f**king had it.  All this talk about what will happen when if I do get it means jack until I pass this shit.  The entire time, though, the problem has been that I've been hesitant about this thing for so long as a result of not knowing what to do and that the words "road test" are enough to ruin my day.  This week is going to be a litmus test for how bad things will get - a class that lets out at 8:10 miles away from home and another taste of the hooptie shuttle that has to leave people behind with how badly overcrowded it gets.

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  • 1 month later...

You know how people are typically incredibly nervous the first time they drive but get better and then basically do nothing wrong on their test?  It went the other way around with me.  The second time I had ever really driven a car, I was on Hempstead Turnpike in Franklin Square and I didn't feel nervous or anything - I just drove like it was my daily commute, even with countless buses, trucks, and ricers whizzing by.  When it came to the actual test, however, I got way too nervous and racked up almost every minor thing they could count against you for (oddly enough, my parallel parking was perfect) and that was it.  The fat prick from the DMV being a giant douche about me failing was a great motivator.

 

Naturally, 17-year-old me thinking I was all but infallible, I tried again and failed harder elsewhere on the Island, and again at the same spot before finally accepting that I wasn't ready and learned firsthand what awaited you if you were somehow unfortunate enough to not be able to drive in New York.  All the while these HS seniors and people my age were complaining about parking and all this bullshit I really didn't care less about.  They had cars + the funds necessary to drive and keep their cars running, their senses were more or less intact, they could walk, they had cognitive abilities strong enough for them to make basic decisions, they could drive - I couldn't see what their problem was.  My parents, who were for whatever reason hesitant to let me drive around, kept bugging me about me going for it again when they knew how badly it went.  This was five years ago.

 

When I went to Nassau, iit wasn't too bad considering I had so many options to get home.  However, it didn't mean that the scheduling worked.  And the older half of campus was notorious for overcrowding; couple that with only one narrow entrance out of the school and the rush of students leaving and what should have been a 25 minute trip turns into a 40. Never mind the less fortunate at the Social Services building down the road.  If I went to the mall and took my home route down, it would require me to go farther north than I ever wanted to.  If I went to Freeport and then took the train, it'd cost more money.  The only thingsI had going through my mind during that time were "this is sure as hell cheaper than owning a car" and "like hell I'm dealing with the DMV again." I remember the fallout from the (MTA) leaving the island.  I remember being lucky to even find a bus that was running.  I remember the last day of class in 2011, I got off over 3 miles away from home and walked because there was literally one bus every two hours.  I graduated from Nassau in 2013 after finishing the summer before because they had only one graduation ceremony per year.  I have nothing to say about NICE except that the only differences I see are that there aren't any more (MTA) logos on the buses and that His Excellency Mango doesn't want to say anything about people who can't drive.

 

I ended up transferring to a school on the North Shore, infamous for being the richer part of the Island.  This wasn't as easy to access as Nassau was via public transit.  On the bus ride up there for the first day of class at that school, I got to see two Ferrari Californias and a convertible Lamborghini Aventador.  It contrasted with the beat up Orion V that I was on so badly; I felt embarrassed looking at two of these expensive machines while I was crammed into 20 tons of regret and shame.

After four straight years of that mentality, I renewed my permit and tried to take a five hour class last summer, planning to go for it that August.  The night I did, however,  all those bad memories from 2009 flooded my mind and I felt as bad as the day I did when I came home the first time and had to tell my dad I couldn't pass.  In the days leading up to and during the class, though, I had heard from members here and from others who were taking the class that it was far easier in Queens (and upstate).  I live not too far from GA Mall; I know that mall is almost completely patronized by Queens and Brooklyn residents, and a majority of them drive (I've taken the Q5 and 85 there; the ride length from Jamaica Center is comparable to a drive on the Belt from the Queens-Brooklyn border) and Lord knows how they got their licenses.  If they got it easily, why can't I?  But  I know better when it comes to driving.  I made it a point to never drive like they do.  I used to go there every week as a kid and my parents intentionally avoided the western access roads because said NYC drivers would bust their cars up every other week - accident, hopping a curb, you name it, there's a poorly-repaired area where it happened.  But the stream of them hasn't stopped.  People still get into accidents there, and they're all coming from the same general area.

 

Long story short, I just want my license, but at the same time, I don't want to repeat the same shit I did that made me fail.  I apologize for the rant/life story; this is normally something I'd keep to myself but I'm at the end of my wits here.  On one end, I have about five people telling me that Queens was horrible but they did it on LI; on the other, my dentist and her assistant confirm it's easier over in Queens and that I can do it.  This winter was incredibly brutal and standing by the road watching the world go by, waiting for a slow, overcrowded, and ragtag bus is not very poetic when it's been one's reality for four years.  It just isn't feasible out here.  My ultimate contingency plan is to move to some flyover state or FL and do it there.  It's better than messing it up here over and over again.

 

Is it easier in Queens?  Where should I avoid?  What do I do on my test differently?  I tore up the slip that idiot gave me (would you if you messed something that simple up?) but I remember it listed basically everything <10 points but right of way (I got lucky that there was no one there) and my parallel parking.  I don't want to just go gungho into a turn or something and have another grade-A arsehole tell me I'm done right there.  At the same time, I feel like everything I've done up until now isn't enough...

pretend the road test is a commute and relax didn't know you were a teen.
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I wish I could say it felt great because the charm wore off when I realized I'd still be using buses for the foreseeable future.  With a sibling in college out of state, buying another car is out of the question and the one car I can think of might still cost a few thousand to fix.  It's getting cold, too, and I've been shut out of buses in harsh weather too many times for me to count...

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I hope to never have to learn how to drive! I want to live in NYC all my life, using the subway and buses to get around!

 

Lol...You'll change your mind...Driving is a wonderful experiece...I feel you thou...Nothing like being on a train or a bus 

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