ICBC Canada Road Test – Endless Tips for Drivers {2020 Updated}

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ICBC Road Test Tips for all drivers.

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Do you need to Pass Your ICBC Road Test or DMV Road Test?

ICBC Road Test Class 7

ICBC Road Test Class 5

You have come to the right place for some excellent tips to help you do so. It’s an exciting, necessary, and terrifying rite of passage (or something like that).

ICBC Road Test Booking

Click here to Book your ICBC Road Test Online

Read more: Difference Between Class 5 & Class 7 ICBC Road Tests.

How to Automatically Fail Your Road Test ICBC

  • Or if you do anything unsafe. For example: a pedestrian has to jump out of the way, a driver has to do evasive action in order to avoid you, you hit the wrong pedal and accidentally drive onto the sidewalk...

Worrying About Being Perfect on Your ICBC Road Test? Worrying about Parking on the test? Don’t!

  • You don’t need to be perfect to pass your road test. No one drives perfectly all the time, not even driving instructors.. we are all human. You can make some mistakes but it shouldn’t be the same mistake over and over; the examiner will then notice a pattern that needs to be corrected.
  • Most people seem to be very worried about their parking ability (or lack of). If you’re stressing more about the parking than about other things, stop right now!
  • You should know how to park, but you don’t have to be a pro at it.
  • You’re allowed to make corrections. You can fix it/readjust it if it doesn’t work the first time, or the second time.
  • Examiners on the road test ICBC are not timing you. They’re not going to get out at the end and measure it to make sure the vehicle is exactly between the lines and perfectly straight. Although, of course, it’s a nice bonus if your passengers can actually get out of the car after you’re done parking 😉

 

Perfection on the Road Test And Safety Are Two Very Different Things

Being Safe is more important than being perfect on your iCBC road test, and in real life

  • It’s more important that you have good observation skills when parking and you’re looking in the correct direction when reversing. When you drive forwards, you look forwards, right? So, when you drive backwards, you must look backwards. And no, this does not mean looking in your mirror.
  • If your car is a bit crooked when you’re done parking, that’s not actually going to hurt anybody. 
  • Becoming good at parking can take many years of experience. Examiners do not expect new drivers to be perfect: they expect you to be safe, and legal.

 

Driving At Intersections Properly – to Pass Your ICBC Road Test

  • Turning left is generally considered dangerous and turning incorrectly or when it isn’t safe could  have very devastating consequences. 

here is a basic left turn example

We yield to

  • pedestrians
  • oncoming or conflicting traffic

Get some epic left-turning tips here

10+ Juicy Tips to Turn Left at a Traffic Light Safely


Here are some common mistakes I’ve seen people make on the ICBC Road Test & some tips:

 When You’re Stopping at Stop Signs

icbc road test
  • Not completely stopping at the stop sign (“California Stop” = “Rolling Stop”) 
  • You don’t have to stop, take out your stopwatch and count to 10 seconds or anything like that. But, do make sure that you indeed fully & completely stopped moving!
  • Many student drivers hear “you can turn right on a red light.” Some don’t realize that you must stop first! If you just slow down and turn without actually stopping, it’s illegal. 
  • This is because if your light is red, it means someone else has a green light. It’s your job to figure out who that is and to yield to them first before you turn. 
  • If you do turn without stopping, it will be an automatic fail because red means stop; so if you don’t, technically you are in violation of the law.
  • Yes, you may turn right on a red light if you stop first, and determine it is safe. But keep in mind, you do not have to turn right on a red light. It’s a red light, after all. Remember this is the reason why we have green lights and red lights in the first place! People with green lights can go. People with red lights have to let the people with the green lights go first. 

  • Keep reading to learn more about how to pass your road test in British Columbia Canada

read more about turning right on a red & green light


 

Let’s Talk About Speeding On Your Road Test ICBC

icbc knowledge test

Speeding will not help you to pass your ICBC Road Test or your alberta road test either!

  • Speeding: Technically, speeding is driving 55, even 51 in a 50 zone or 40 in a 30 zone. 
  • If the speed limit is 30, drive 30, not 35 km/hr.
  • Technically, going 31 km/hr in a 30 km zone is illegal. Examiners will mark you accordingly (some examiners are more strict than others).
  • I don’t really like how strict examiners can be sometimes. I would rather you not have to feel so paranoid. However, knowing the speed limit of course is a must.
  • If you have sufficient experience, you should be able to tell what 50 feels like without looking. You must show the examiner that you know what the speed limit is. Show that you are willing to accept and obey it regardless of the behavior of other traffic. 


 

Amount and Timing of Shoulder Checks & Unnecessary Stopping on Your ICBC Road Test

  • People sometimes fail the test because they haven’t done enough shoulder checks. Another reason is unnecessary slowing or stopping, especially on right turns. Not sure why I lumped these two topics together since they don’t seem related, but it just happened lol

 Turning Right Without Stop Signs 

  • Even if you know there’s nothing there, you must still shoulder check anyway. This gets you into an automatic habit of checking. It may one day save you from a collision.
  • These checks are to ensure there are no humans in the blind spot. Vehicles, pedestrians, motorcycles, or cyclists, or any other road user, could be ‘hiding’ in this area before you turn.
  • Even if you are 99% sure there is nothing there, you must still check. Show the examiner that you are actively looking for road users who may be in the blind spot. 
  • Do not stop for no reason! Good reasons to stop would be stop signs, pedestrians, red lights, etc. If you’re stopping, you better let me know WHY!! lol Just like anything else in life. Do you know WHY you’re doing it? *Oh man shit just got real*

 

You Must Use Your Parking Brake on the ICBC Road Test

Believe it or not, some people do not pass their road test British Columbia Canada because of this reason!

  • Use the parking brake every time you park.
  • Try not to be so nervous that you drive down the road for a while with the parking brake on! This seems to happen sometimes.
  • If you’ve used the parking brake, it will act as a backup plan.
  • Keep in mind, transmissions are meant for changing gears, not holding thousands of pounds in place on hills.
  • Parking brakes are connected to brake cables usually on the rear tires. Their whole purpose in life is to hold your vehicle in place.
  • When hill parking, you do not have to ensure the tire actually touches the curb. You should turn the wheels the appropriate direction; and do not just turn the wheel a bit; it should be turned all the way

read more about how to park on a hill safely


 

Nervous Wreck on Your ICBC Road Test?

drivers test
  • Avoid being too cautious. Some people do not pass their ICBC road test, British Columbia Canada because of this
  • Examiners want to see a confident and competent driver. They don’t want to see a bag of nerves. Driving 20 km/hr under the speed limit and slowing down for no reason at every intersection isn’t recommended. (Don’t worry. We’ve all been there). 
  • Of course, people are nervous on road tests and examiners know this.
  • Just try not to be so nervous that you stop where you’re not supposed to. Or, drive way too slowly, or do strange things that you wouldn’t otherwise do.
  • Remember to breathe; this helps a lot.

 

Adjust Your Driving For The Conditions on Your ICBC Road Test, Road Test british columbia, alberta road test, Just As You Would in Real Life

icbc road test booking
  • Drive for conditions: Slow down in the snow, for example. Or any other time conditions are not ideal. (yes you could be failed for driving too fast for conditions).
  • Show the examiner that you are an intelligent being capable of making appropriate decisions based on the conditions you encounter.
  • The same thing goes for strange situations that you were never taught about on your driving lessons.
  • If you don’t know what to do, think about it.
  • What would be the best, most safe, option? 

 

Reacting Properly To Pedestrians on Your Driving Test

parallel parking
  • Sometimes pedestrians are unpredictable and cross where they aren’t supposed to.
  • If you aren’t sure what to do, try to think of what the safest option is. Keep in mind you should be keeping track of what’s behind you. We don’t want any slamming on the brake if there’s a semi-truck following too closely.

 

Issues With Poorly-Behaved Pedestrians on Your ICBC Road Test

  • Pedestrian conflicts with jaywalking or illegally crossing pedestrians.
  • In this case, you should start to exit the intersection and honk at the pedestrian. ASK him to hurry up and get out of the way.
  • However, if the light is yellow/red by that point, that pedestrian has no right to be there. And while you can’t run him over, you should be starting to leave the intersection and alerting him. 

 

Steering Wheel, Hands On The Wheel During Your ICBC Road Test

driving school
  • Steering issues: one hand on the wheel is not OK (not considered safe) 
  • ‘Hooking’ or ‘palming‘ the wheel are not okay (not considered safe) 

Improper use of the steering wheel when turning.

How to Hold [and NOT hold] Your Steering Wheel

*Note: ICBC driver examiners do not care if you dry steer on the road test. However, if you do this habitually, your power steering components may wear prematurely. You may end up with costly repair bills.

Dry Steering – Don’t Do It

how to reverse in a straight line – video

  • I have received a lot of questions regarding if you can take your hand off for a moment to scratch something. LOL. Or, perhaps to move your hair out of your eyes. Good news –> YES, you are allowed to be human!

 

Observation Issues on Your ICBC Driving Test

drivers ed
  • If you have these issues, you may need more practice/experience.

 

Turning Problems : Turning Wide, Cutting The Corner, Sloppy, etc. Nice Turns to Pass Your Driving Test in Canada

driver education
  • Improper turning. This comes from a lack of training or insufficient practice. Cutting corners on left turns or turning wide on right turns, or both.

 

Confused About Basic Rules of the Road?

  • Right of way confusion: not understanding which cars you have to wait for in different situations.

Some people do not pass their road test British Columbia Canada because of this foundational, but very important understanding.


 

More Details to think about on Your Road Test: Leaving a Parking Lot, Lane, Or Driveway

  • This may cover the part where you leave the parking lot at the beginning of the road test.

Read more about:

Emerging from a Lane, Driveway, or Parking Lot


 

 Scanning With Your Eyes, Especially At Intersections on Your Road Test

  • Don’t just go through intersections without looking.

Don’t make the foolish assumption that stop signs can stop cars. Or that red lights can stop cars. Think about it.


 

Scanning : Make It Obvious for the Road Test Examiner

  • Make it obvious on the road test that you are doing a good scan.
  • Turn your head and take a good look in each direction.
  • Is it actually safe to go?
  • Don’t just use the corner of your eyes. From the examiner’s point of view, it might seem like you aren’t looking at all.

 

 Driving Over Train Tracks

how to drive
  • If you’re going past some train tracks, even if they don’t have any stop sign or lights, scan before proceeding.
  • There probably isn’t one coming, but if you fight with one you will lose.  

 how To Scan Intersections 


 

Is Your Lane Change in Canada Legal? Are You Sure?


 

Merging Onto The Freeway

how to drive on the freeway
  • Merging on the freeway. You’re allowed to speed up to the freeway speed limit when you are driving on the acceleration ramp. This is the ramp that leads onto the freeway.
  • When your car passes the sign that says “If your vehicle can not do 60 km/hr, stay off the freeway,” then that is considered the freeway ramp. This ramp does not actually have a speed limit. (Don’t get any ideas though)
  • Just make sure you aren’t speeding up too early while you’re still in the 50 km/hr zone.
  • Match the flow of the traffic but do not go faster than the speed limit.
  • In other words, don’t merge at 60 km/hr in a 90 zone unless you have a good reason. (This would be covered above where it says Do not drive like a Granny.)
  • Also, when you leave the freeway, generally you should not slow down while you’re still on it.
  • Wait until your vehicle is completely and positively off the freeway, and on the exit ramp, Before you slow down. This way, vehicles behind aren’t forced to slow down if they aren’t leaving. (We are Canadians… after all 😉
  • Technically, these exit ramps do not have a speed limit either. The yellow exit speed sign you see – since it’s a yellow sign – is a suggestion/recommendation. It’s a good idea to follow these. But, you don’t have to slam on the brakes. Slow down gradually.
  • ***** You do not have to merge onto the highway/freeway if you have your “L” and going for your “N.” But you may (most likely) have to merge onto the freeway/highway if you are going for your Class 5 full license.*****

 

Dealing With Emergency Vehicles

emergency vehicles
  • Know how to deal with Emergency Vehicles properly 
  • I have seen people fail road tests that would have otherwise been perfect because they panicked. They didn’t act accordingly when an emergency vehicle was approaching.
  • New drivers don’t have much experience with this and it is a strange skill to expect anyone to practice. Just be sure to read up on it as much as you can and be aware of your surroundings. Just do your best.
  • This might sound funny but an important part of it is simply noticing the emergency vehicle. If it’s obvious you’re oblivious, this is a problem.
  • the other part is acting the proper way.

Learn About It Here 


 

 Proper Left Turns at Traffic lights – Leaving the Intersection

Read this post on exiting the intersection on a left turn at traffic lights. Sure, don’t leave the intersection until it’s safe, but once it’s safe, don’t leave too slowly either:

Rant on Exiting Intersections on Yellow/Red 


 

Shoulder Check Before Opening Your Door

  • You must shoulder check (left) before you open your door.
  • You are looking for pedestrians and cyclists – and anything else – of course!

 

Driving Backwards

  • Improper reversing skills
  • Looking the wrong way while reversing, lack of 360 degree check before reversing, unsafe reversing.

Reversing/Backing Basics


 

Parking On Hills


 

Parallel Parking Skills


 

 

Reverse Stall Parking Skills

alberta road test

 

 

Basics Skills for your Road Test in Canada: Know Your Hand Signals

icbc road test
  • Make sure you know your hand signals. The examiner will check and make sure you’re aware of how to do them.

Hand Signals


 

Defensive Driving


 

Search This Website

  • There is a LOT of info on this website. Use the SEARCH Function if you’re looking for something specific! 

 

 Practice Driving

  • Practice DRIVING – (duh?) If you’re having issues, get some lessons if you can.

 

Quality and Quantity of Practice

  • Don’t just drive to work/school/dance/soccer/whatever. It won’t help much memorizing a route and then going on autopilot, it is about learning the necessary skills so that you can drive anywhere, especially unfamiliar areas, with confidence and with ease.
  • One of the worst things you can do (aside from not practicing at all) is to drive the same roads all the time.
  • Go the long way home, challenge yourself, and get lost – it may be one of the best things you can do to improve your driving.

 

Chances of Passing

*** About 50% of people who go for the Class 7 road test (“L” drivers hoping to pass the road test to get their “N”) actually pass the test.

  • Getting an assessment driving lesson from an experienced instructor at a reputable driving school before going is highly recommended.***

 

Examiners Do Not Trick You

  • Will the examiner try and trick you on the road test? 
  • NO, THEY DO NOT.
  • What I mean is they are not going to ask you to drive the wrong way down a one-way street or to do something illegal or unsafe
  • Remember: It’s a TEST after all, so they are not going to help you either, and they shouldn’t have to
  • Their job is not to trick OR to help you, but to ASSESS your skills 

 

Q: Can you fail your road test for not turning right on a red light?

NO.

Here’s some road test tips from ICBC for your driving test in British Columbia, Canada:

Happy Road Testing  :).

When you’re ready to Book your Road Test in British Columbia Canada you can hit up ICBC here.

Learn more here about Taking a British Columbia Road Test


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406 thoughts on “ICBC Canada Road Test – Endless Tips for Drivers {2020 Updated}”

  1. After having my N for 15 years I’ve worked up the courage to go for my class 5 tomorrow. Getting my N was a bit of a traumatic experience as I failed 4 times before I passed. First couple of times for missing shoulder checks. The other time was going over a solid white line and another time for slowing down to 30 km in a playground zone that did not have a 30 limit causing the driver behind me to pass me illegally which according to instructor was auto fail. So glad I found this blog! It has so much useful information.

    Reply
  2. Hi Carmen, I finally past my driving test in Toronto and thank you so much for all of your great info! Could you pass on to Toronto readers that I’ve started a free group for women to meet and practice with a rental car. It’s cheaper than an instructor and a great way to build our competence. Here’s a link to my 1st event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/female-friends-who-drive-tickets-44820004841
    You can give out my email/website etc, I hope you love that tofu license plate as much as I do!
    Cheers, 🙂 Stephanie

    Reply
      • Thank you so, so much, Carmen for your post! You are an absolute blessing!! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to reciprocate to help you at all. I don’t know what kind of work you’re currently doing. Do you think that license plate is about tofu? If it’s rude maybe it should be changed and I can send you a pic. Someone said it was rude (lol). I just also just started a facebook group here called Toronto Female Driving Friends: https://www.facebook.com/groups/162107731121732/ (not asking for additional posts but pls feel free to refer anyone.).

        Reply
        • Ok no problem! Don’t get too excited because I am not sure how many people are actually reading the web site!? But I hope some people will and you will be able to grow your group!! You must keep me updated! I did change the pic. First I thought it was so cute that someone would have a plate about Tofu. But then I thought, does anyone really LOVE Tofu that much? And then I realized It might be something else, Like I would love to “F” you? I don’t know so I just changed it anyway, hope you don’t mind that pic I threw in there. I know you ladies won’t probably go straight to the fast lane, but it’s a pretty picture and copyright free!! lol

          Reply
  3. I went for my first N test today in Burnaby, and I didn’t make it. I am a nervous freak but I turned out to be pretty calm once seated in the driver seat and everything went very well on the road, so well that near end of test I thought I have passed. I passed all the sections except the last one which was “vehicle handling”.

    After telling me “unfortunately…”, the first thing she told me was that I was way “too slow” while I was pulling over to the curb in a very quiet neighbourhood. I never knew this is going to make me fail! The morale of the story is that sometimes we do strange things when we are under stressed! I normally don’t really slowly down significantly while pulling over. Moreover, I was somewhat confused when she asked me “to pull over and park”. I was thinking is it just a simply pull over, or pull over in a way like the car is parallel park?

    Also, I was told numerous time that we can have a few attempts in doing parallel parking; however while I planned to do the second adjustment she deliberately told me that “we don’t have time for this anymore, just move on (to leave the spot). And I got nervous after that.

    One last thing was that I forgot to do left shoulder check when I reversed while parking, I think during adjustments. It was so easy to forget when one is parking:(

    Hope my experience may give some insights to people who will be taking the test! Good luck!

    Reply
  4. Thanks for this article! It’s hard to learn N driving from knowledge test but thank you for writing a not so formal way for me to understand Candian driving. I am having my test tomorrow! Thanks again!

    Reply
  5. Clearly ICBC’s Failure rates speak volumes about how the testers evaluate & the money grab this is for ICBC!! Not to mention the ridiculous reasons they fail people for?? Is beyond logic, Testers must bonus for Failing as I know 8 new drivers that drive better than most w/ a tenured license and are now going on their 3rd road test?? Just raise the rates ICBC to $110 & get it over with

    Reply
  6. My son is getting ready for his first driving lesson and he is quite nervous about the whole thing. I really appreciate how you listed out the process of a driving lesson. I’ll be sure to have him read this to calm his nerves. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Hi Carmen,
    Thank you so much for the time you take to make this resource available for new drivers. I’ve shared it with everyone I know who is looking to get their ‘L’ or finally get rid of it. 🙂
    I have waited 20 years to finally work up the courage to drive – and as it turns out, I love driving. Go figure. I took my first road test this past January when we were blanketed in snow and the roads were an ice rink. Although I didn’t pass (was taking right turns too widely, crossed a painted median and solid white lines (twice), I never once lost control of the car and I was praised for being a good driver.
    I just failed my second road test two days ago. It was literally a perfect test except towards the end I missed a park zone sign with a posted speed limit of 30 km and ended up going 50 when I saw no speed limit signs and chose to go with the flow of traffic.
    If you have a second, take a look at the Google street view of 134 st and 68 Ave in Surrey and you will see where the park sign is located.
    This intersection is a four way stop with a flashing light, so I was paying careful attention to make sure I was turning safely when it was my turn, completely missing the park zone sign as I did my shoulder-checks and turned right onto 134 st from 68 ave.
    I wish I could challenge this but I know I can’t… I should have been paying attention, I just wasn’t expecting a park zone sign to be right at the intersection, so I wasn’t looking for it there. Even the examiner seemed to feel sorry for me!
    I suppose this can be a warning for your readers to always keep their eyes open!

    Reply
  8. What’s up,I log on to your blogs named “Pass Your Driving Test Now! Endless Tips for New Drivers” daily.Your writing style is awesome, keep it up! And you can look our website about love spells.

    Reply

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