Driving a vehicle is a privilege that comes with a great deal of responsibility. You need to prove that you have the skills and knowledge to operate a vehicle safely and legally on the road. That is why the Land Transportation Office (LTO) requires you to take and pass the practical driving test before you can apply for a driver’s license or add restriction codes.
In this article, we will help you prepare for the practical driving test and give you some tips on how to pass it on your first attempt. We will also explain the fees involved and the implications of failing the test. By reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of what to expect and how to succeed in the practical driving test.
What is the LTO Practical Driving Exam?
The LTO practical driving test is the final hurdle you need to overcome before you can get your driver’s license or add restriction codes. This test measures your actual driving skills and your knowledge of traffic rules. You need to pass this test after you pass the LTO Written Exam.
The practical driving test is conducted on an obstacle course that simulates various road conditions. You will be asked to drive a vehicle of your choice, either an LTO vehicle, your own car, or your driving school’s vehicle. You will have to complete one round of the course, which involves driving straight on a flat and elevated road, parking, and making tight turns.
During the test, an LTO examiner will ride along with you to evaluate your driving skills. The examiner will grade you based on three criteria: pre-driving check-up, driving skills, and observance of traffic rules. The examiner will give you feedback right after the test.
The practical driving test is usually done quickly, as it takes only about 5 minutes or longer, depending on the driver and the LTO examiner.
Passing Score of LTO Practical Driving Test
The scoring system for the practical driving test is as follows: You start with 100 points, and LTO examiner who sits next to you will deduct points for every mistake you make during the test. The test consists of three parts: pre-driving check-up, driving skills, and observance of traffic rules.
The pre-driving check-up is worth a total of 10 points. Under this criteria, drivers are expected to:
- check the tires and batteries
- adjust mirrors, lights, and windshield
- use the seatbelt or helmet
- check the hand and foot brake
- Disengage the clutch when starting the engine.
The driving skills part is worth 50 points. You have to demonstrate your ability to control the steering, use the brakes, turn, park, etc. The observance of traffic rules part is worth 40 points. You have to follow the traffic signs, signals, and regulations.
You need to score at least 70 points to pass the test. The instructor will give you feedback and a result at the end of the test. However, there are some conditions that will automatically make you fail the test, such as hitting another car, pedestrian, or fixed object, or causing a collision or near-collision with another vehicle.
How to Pass the LTO Practical Driving Exam
The exam itself is easy, as long as you follow the instructions given to you. However, it will become challenging knowing an examiner is watching you. But with enough preparation, you will succeed. Here are some tips that may help you pass the test:
As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. So, you need to practice driving as much as possible. You should try different driving situations, such as changing lanes, parking in reverse and forward parking, and driving along inclined roads. You should also practice how to make U-turns and 3-point turns properly.
Not all LTO offices have their own obstacle course for the practical driving test. In some cases, you may have to take the test on the actual road. This means that you need to be prepared for different traffic conditions and challenges. One of the skills that you should practice is merging on a busy road. This requires you to be alert, confident, and courteous.
Another way to prepare for the practical driving test is to join a driving school that is legit and accredited by the LTO. A driving school can provide you with intensive training and guidance on how to drive safely and responsibly.
Bring Your Own Vehicle
As much as possible, bring your own vehicle to use in the practical driving test. It will not just save you money, but it is much easier to drive the vehicle that you are already familiar with. This is especially true in the case of manual vehicles. If you have a practice vehicle that has a “mababaw na clutch”, you will have a hard time driving the LTO vehicle if it has a “malalim na clutch”, and you will likely fail the exam.
Lastly, you need to relax and stay calm during the test. Do not let stress and anxiety affect your performance. Just think of the evaluator as another passenger in your car. Follow the instructions given to you, and drive confidently.
What Happens If You Fail the LTO Practical Driving Exam?
Failing the test can happen to anyone, even if you practice and prepare well. If you fail the exam, you can retake it on the next working day or the earliest date available. If you fail the second attempt, you can only retake it after a year. However, if you fail the practical driving test on the third attempt, you’ll have to wait two years before applying again.
To prepare for the test, you should practice before the exam and come early to avoid the long lines. You should also listen to the briefing and guidelines given to you, as they will help you pass. Do not let the pressure get to you. It is part of the process that will train you for real-life road situations.
The most important thing to remember when taking the practical driving test is to be ready before you even go to the LTO. Do not rely on fixers or shortcuts to get your driver’s license. Instead, practice your driving skills, follow the traffic rules, and be a responsible motorist. This way, you will not only pass the test but also contribute to making the Philippine roads safer and more orderly.
We hope that this guide has been helpful to you. We wish you all the best as you take your driver’s license examination. Drive safely and confidently!