Sophomores prepare for updated driving knowledge test


Photo Credit: Katherine Hikin

Maddie Brennan. sophomore, studies the driver manual in preparation for the drivers’ education state exam.

by Katherine Hikin, Staff Writer

Driving isn’t just a right, it’s a privilege. For sophomore students at Glen Rock High School, taking the new and updated driving state exam on Friday, Nov. 4 or Monday, Nov. 7, this line will be the basis of all questions on their tests.  

It is required to pass this knowledge exam (made up of 50 questions) with a score of at least 80% to be able to eventually obtain one’s driver’s license. The test focuses on fines, traffic rules, signs on the road, and driving safety.

According to Kelly Dowell, driver education teacher, this year is unique because the Motor Vehicle Commision, also known as MVC, updated the exam. They haven’t updated the test in many years, and they also released a revised version of the driver’s manual. The new test isn’t too different from previous ones, according to Dowell, it is just reorganized and focuses on particular topics more than others.

Students have been preparing for the test day in different ways.

“I have been studying the book we were given in health and using past tests to quiz myself on all the material.,” said Maddie Brennan, who will be taking the test on Friday. “Mostly, I have been studying types of turns and directions for turning because that’s a topic I don’t know very well.“ She hopes that with a little more practice, she will be confident enough to do well on the exam.

Dowell encourages her students to “practice for the big game” by listening during lectures, participating in class, reading through the driver’s manual thoroughly, and putting in time to study with someone else.

Juniors who took the knowledge test and driver’s education class last year are now continuing onto the next steps in the process of getting their license. Christine Nappi took the written test in the fall of last year and will be taking the driving test on her birthday in April. She passed the written test on her first try and has been excited to get her license since then.

Nappi has already completed the required six hours at a driving school and often practices driving with her parents on the weekends.

“During my six hours I actually hated driving because I was so nervous and my instructor wasn’t the best, so for a month or two after I got my permit I refused to drive. Then one Sunday my mom took me to the mall parking lot and I drove around there to just get a feel for it. I felt so comfortable and was way less nervous than during my six hours,” she said.

Nappi enjoys driving and finds it fun and relaxing. She believes that the knowledge test is a very big part of being able to drive because it teaches students the basics of all rules on the road and helps those who are just getting behind the wheel. She feels that if she hadn’t taken the test she would not have known who has the right of way at a four way stop sign, how far to travel behind a car, or what way tires face when parking on a hill.

“It’s just some little things we need to learn that can impact our driving as a whole if we don’t know them,” Nappi said.

Dowell agrees with this statement and teaches her students accordingly by presenting all the main ideas as best and as clearly as she can.

“For me, it is important not teaching just for the state test but getting it across that it is a privilege, not a right, and that the students will be driving around a weapon. So respecting the vehicle, the people around them, and understanding that they are doing something that needs a lot of focus, attention is key,“ said Dowell.