In Ontario we have a graduated license system. There are three different stages: G1, G2 and G. All potential drivers are required to pass a test at each stage before moving onto the next. Once you reach the “G” classification, you will be finished with your tests and will be allowed unrestricted driving throughout the province of Ontario.
A G2 allows a license holder to drive at any time of the day without another experienced driver in the car. It also allows the license holder to drive a car, truck or van as long as the vehicle weight is below 11,000 kilograms. In order to obtain your G2, you will need to pass a road test. This test will assess you on multiple aspects of driving such as parking, stopping, turning and signaling.
If you are able to pass that test on your first try, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and gain confidence in your driving abilities. Passing the G2 road test on your first try will also save you money because you will not have to pay additional fees to retake the test. To help you in that regard, here are some tips that should make it easier for you to pass your G2 road test:
Take a certified driver training course
One of the best and most effective ways to prepare for your G2 road test is to take a certified driver training course. Most of the courses combine classroom instruction with one-on-one in-vehicle training. Upon completion of the course, you will be awarded with a Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) certification. In addition to teaching you vital strategies to help you pass your G2 road test on the first try, the MTO certification will make it possible for you to get some of the lowest insurance rates on your car insurance.
Practice actual driving routes
On your local test center’s website, you should be able to download a set of routes that examiners typically use for testing. Practice driving those routes in order to become familiar with them. This will help you to spot any potential problem areas, such as crossroads or roundabouts, and make sure that you are prepared for them.
Since you will not know in advance what route the examiner will choose, you should practice all of the routes until you are completely comfortable driving each one. That way, your confidence level will be much higher on test day. You will also be in a better position to deal with any unexpected challenges that arise that day, such as unusually high traffic or a driver pulling out in front of you. If possible, it is best to practice in the vehicle that you will be taking your road test in.
Prepare yourself for the test
On the day of your G2 road test, make sure that you and your car are prepared. Everything you do while you are in your vehicle on the day of the test will be judged. Before you even head toward the testing center, make sure your seat position and your mirrors are adjusted properly. Turn off your sound system, and put away your phone. Be sure to buckle up. Make sure that all your lights and signals are working. Don’t forget about your brake lights and wipers.
Practice specific driving skills
The G2 road test examiners will be looking for specific driving skills. You will be more likely to pass your road test if you practice these skills ahead of time. Here is a list of some of the more common skills you will be asked to demonstrate while driving:
Stopping and Parking
Your examiner will want to make sure you can safely come to a stop, whether that be at a light or beside a curb. In addition to being able to perform this manoeuvre smoothly, you should be able to get close enough to the curb so that your car is not sticking out in traffic. However, be careful not to scrape your tires against the curb.
If you are asked to park on a hill, be sure to put the vehicle in park, and apply the emergency brake. Remember to point your wheels to the left if your car is facing uphill and to the right if it is facing downhill.
Moving Away From a Curb
When moving away from a curb, be sure to check your mirrors for pedestrians and for other cars. Don’t forget to check your blind spot and release the emergency brake before pulling away.
When you approach a junction, make sure you slow down enough to negotiate the turn smoothly. If necessary, you may have to stop and let oncoming traffic pass. If traffic is slight, try to move through the junction without stopping. This will show the examiner that you have the skills and confidence to negotiate junctions without impeding traffic.
Performing an Emergency Stop
It is likely that your examiner will ask you to perform an emergency stop at some point during your test. Be prepared for this because this is where many new drivers fail. When you hear the words “emergency stop,” you may be tempted to slam on the brakes. However, try not to brake too hard or too soft, and don’t forget to check your blind spot before starting on your route again.
Making a Turn
You will most likely be asked to make either a right or left turn during the test. If so, be sure to signal your intentions, and watch for oncoming traffic. Although you will need to slow down enough to make the turn, don’t drive so slowly that you are blocking traffic.
Obeying All Speed Limits
This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you obey all speed limits. If your mind is too busy anticipating your next move, you may forget to observe the posted speed limits. This is extremely important because if you speed, you will most likely fail your road test. A general rule of thumb is to keep within five kilometers of the speed limit. For example, if the speed limit is 50 kilometers, it is safe for you to drive between 45 and 55 kilometers.
This skill was saved for last because of the fear it evokes in so many drivers. However, learning to parallel park is much like learning any other skill. It requires a basic understanding of the techniques involved and plenty of practice. You can train on your driveway, a residential street or an empty parking lot that permits it. Once you get the technique down, you can begin to practice parking between two cars. However, it would be better to not try this in a heavily congested area.
Good luck and drive safe!