Is Your Teen Ready for a Road Test?

An image of a driving instructor showing a teen how to use turn signals when changing lanes at the Teen Behind The Wheel Program.

At Joyce’s Driving School, we are getting asked the question many times by concerned parents, “Is my teen ready for a road test, and what is on the behind-the-wheel test?” This is not a simple question to respond to since to determine if a teen is ready for a road test, they have to show satisfactory responses to many situations and fulfill many tests of their own. One of our favorite ways to gauge whether you are comfortable letting your teen advance into a road test is if you would feel comfortable reading a book in the passenger seat and letting your teen drive. If the answer is no, then the teen is not ready for a road test and may need more driving lessons. Our driving classes for teens and road tests are some of the most vital skills they will learn in their lifetime. Teens also have to be ready to earn a driver’s license before taking the road test with Joyce’s Driving School.

Signs that Your Teen is Not Ready for a Road Test

Some of the obvious cues that your teen is not ready for a driving skills test are discovered by watching and communicating with them while in the driver’s seat. If you are sitting in the passenger seat and still correcting and giving cues, the teen is not ready and will need additional practice to move forward with more advanced testing. We have a natural tendency to want to do many things to help our kids succeed, which is very important at the beginning stages of their driving lessons, but the teen must be confident and proficient in their own abilities before they can be truly independent and drive on their own.

Another sign that your teen is not ready for a DMV road skills test is making simple, critical, and highly dangerous choices. If a teen EVER rolls through a red light, it is clear that they need more teen driving lessons and are not ready to take a road test. We see teens making left turns on green lights at our teen driving school without paying attention to oncoming traffic. These are clear signs that the teen needs to take more driving lessons, and the parent also needs to emphasize the importance of avoiding this behavior at home. We understand that the students are often nervous about taking the road test, but through the collective efforts of Joyce’s Driving School and their guardians, they should have the confidence to abide by the rules of the road and keep these scary mistakes from happening.

How To Prepare Your Teen for a Road Test

The process of preparing your teen for a road test includes teaching them the rules of the road through driving lessons and preparing them for real-life situations. For example, when the teen is first beginning to practice with you, it can be helpful to let them fiddle with the radio – or even start a conversation with them about something other than driving. This behavior benefits your teen as they begin their driving lessons because they will undoubtedly have conversations with their friends or play with the radio as they drive on their own. If the parent can teach them to drive responsibly amid these distractions, they will be better prepared for the road test and our teen driving school when you are not there to guide them.

Another valuable tool that teens can use as preparation for a driving test is giving them a destination and figuring out how to get there. A problem many young drivers face as they begin driving independently is finding themselves in unfamiliar places. They must maintain the skills learned on previous roads, including knowing where unprotected left turns are, crowded streets, pedestrian crossings, or the many other scenarios that teens need to be prepared for. Using a GPS can be helpful so the teen can plug in the data before they start driving and use this device to practice navigating, but it is also important that they learn to navigate with you, so they become adjusted to using a GPS while maintaining control of their vehicle and giving their full attention to the road.


Our Teen Driving School at Joyce’s Driving School

Joyce’s Driving School believes that preparing your teen to drive independently is a mutual responsibility between our teen driving school and the parent. We have Illinois driving schools in several cities near you. These locations offer an Illinois road test along with other teen programs. We are happy to provide 6 or 8 drives with our instructors depending on the package purchased, along with classroom instruction to make sure your teen is comfortable with the Illinois rules of the road and feels prepared for the Illinois road test. Once the parent and driving school feels comfortable that your teen is ready, they can go to the SOS office and get their license.

Questions and other concerns can be answered by reviewing your teen’s student portal on our website. The student portal allows us to communicate with you through email, but we are always happy to talk about your teen’s progress over the phone or in person. We do not rely on repeated emails: Every student is important to us, and we want to provide valuable information so they know what steps need to be taken after the teen driving school is complete. The classroom and in-car lessons are not a stand-alone form of driver’s education – they are to be used in conjunction with getting a permit and practicing on the road. For example, driving is remarkably similar to swimming: Would you put your teen into a swimming class that never enters the water? You need a pool to learn how to swim, and you need a permit and time in the driver’s seat to learn how to drive.

Our classes have no time limit other than completing them in 9 months. In these 9 months, the driving and classroom lessons should be completed hand in hand. Teens should only get permits when they feel ready for the written test. Drive with them and let them drive with us to practice safe driving skills. The process of preparing for a road test is a collective effort between you and our school, and having your teen drive on their own is a life skill that needs to be formed through many hours of instruction to ensure they are responsible and safe drivers. If you have any questions, please write to us at, or contact us here, and we will be happy to help you.

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