One of the first steps in getting your driver’s license is passing the behind-the-wheel test if you’re new to driving. California has strict requirements for learner’s permits and tests that determine who can operate a motor vehicle on public roads. To help make sure you pass, we’ve compiled 12 tips to make your behind-the-wheel exam go smoothly.

1 Practice! Practice! Practice!

Practice your driving skills before the exam and read over California’s driver handbook to get familiar with the rules of the road. To access California’s driver handbook, just the click links below.

2 Practice During Daylight

Drive during daylight hours on a day when there is little or no traffic to see how you can react in conditions that might be difficult for other drivers (such as weather).

3 Don’t Afraid of Mistakes

Don’t worry about making mistakes, this will help you become more aware of what not to do while behind the wheel.

4 Take Breaks!

Take breaks! If it feels like you need one, stop and stretch out your arms or take some deep breaths. You’ll feel less stressed if you know it’s okay to slow down every once in a while.

Take breaks during your behind-the-wheel lessons: stretch after 15 minutes of sitting still; drink water often enough without feeling like there’s no end to your thirst, and take a break to stretch every hour.

5 Practice Parallel Parking

Use parking lots near where you live instead of general parking lots if you’re not used to parallel parking. Because you have to practice a lot. Practice parallel parking over and over again. You might not think that this is necessary, but it’s one of the most common things drivers are asked to do on their test–and you don’t want to fail because you didn’t learn how or had difficulty doing so.

6 Use Both Hands While Driving

Practice with both hands when turning the wheel. You never know what might happen and it’s always better to be prepared!

7 Don’t Get Frustrated Easily!

Don’t get frustrated if you can’t figure something out right away since this is all new for you. The more time that passes before your test date, the less anxious and stressed out you’ll feel about everything because driving will become second nature to you as long as you keep practicing every day or so (or even once a week) for at least an hour each session.

8 Practice Using The Turn Signals

Practice using the turn signals for more than just changing lanes: use them when you’re turning at an intersection or even if you want to merge on the freeway, too. Don’t turn right without signaling first; it’s illegal unless there is no other option than turning at an intersection with two or more lanes. This way drivers are aware of your intent before they move into your lane from their/your side (or vice versa).

9 Open Your Eyes For Blind Spots

Learn about things like blind spots before going out in public so that you can be aware of what’s around your car while driving. For instance, know where people might stand or walk near a parking lot exit (especially children) and avoid those areas because they could easily get hit by someone exiting their vehicle from behind.

10 Control Your Anger

Know how to handle being cut off or blocked on the road without getting angry. You never know who this person is–it might not have been intentional–so keeping your tensin in control is very important.

11 Stop Signs Are Very Important

If there is a stop sign in front of an intersection and traffic isn’t coming from the other direction, make sure your foot remains on the brake pedal while stopped at the red light (don’t just remove your foot). This way if someone does come from behind they’ll know you’re stopping and will be able to safely follow suit without running into your vehicle.

12 Always Be Cautious

Never assume what kind of driver is approaching you; always signal early enough before making your move. If you see a pedestrian in the street, slow down and be as cautious as possible to not hit them. When making a left-hand turn don’t just put on your blinker–signal all around so that pedestrians know what you’re doing. It’s important for everyone’s safety! If you get stuck waiting for someone who doesn’t seem like they’ll go ahead any time soon, then make sure to signal one last time to let them know you’re waiting.

13 Never Use Your Phone While Driving

Behind-the-wheel test

Don’t use your phone while driving, even if it is hands-free. It is illegal and too distracting. In California, there are a lot of laws about using a cell phone while driving. One law says drivers under 18 years old cannot use their hands-free phones. Another law bans texting and other wireless devices use while driving. You can read more about these laws in this article.

14 Beware Of Emergency Situations

If there is a line and someone has left their car in front of the space so that no one else can park there–don’t do anything to them! It could be an emergency situation or they may have forgotten something inside. Just wait patiently for them to come back out. If possible, pull up behind the driver who is already parked with his/her blinker on to signal others not to take this spot as well. This will ensure everyone gets home safely every day without any trouble at all. If there isn’t another parking spot available nearby–just hang tight until somebody leaves the spot for you.