Preparing for driving tests in Canada
By Aneesh Chatterjee
Posted on November 1, 2021
The three-step process to becoming fully certified to drive takes a few years, and a lot of practice. The recommendations below are some things you can do to make it easier to pass tests, learn more, and become a better driver.
G1 written test
While the testing centers don’t provide instructions for learning how to drive, there are other ways to make sure you’re prepared. Before your written test, make sure you study the MTO Driver’s Handbook. It can be found online here (use the table of contents on the left of the page to navigate).
You can also buy a paper copy of the handbook from a Service Ontario location, a DriveTest center, or online on Amazon. Studying this book will teach you the basics of what to expect on the test. Following this, make sure you do these free practice tests online until you get a passing grade or higher. Do these until you’re confident you know the material, and you should pass with flying colors!
G2 and G road tests
When practicing for your G2 and G road tests, you will need to actually drive a vehicle! There are freelance instructors available on Kijiji who can charge you per lesson and teach you what they know about driving. If you choose a freelance instructor, make sure they are certified to teach you how to drive.
Another option is to enroll in driving school. While this is generally more expensive, the prices (and instruction quality) will vary greatly depending on where you look. While it’s important to have a budget and save money where you can, it’s also equally important to get proper high-quality training that will make sure you’re fit to drive safely on the road.
Why go to driving school?
Depending on what school you look at, you can get both in-class theory lessons and practical driving courses. Instructors will provide you with their own car, which you can also take to your booked G2 and G road tests for an additional cost. Along with this, having a certificate from a driving school can reduce your monthly car insurance payment.
According to this guide to driving tests by The Humberview Group, completing a driver’s education program can reduce the wait time between G1 and G2 tests from one year to eight months. Some driving instructors will also lend you their car to use for road tests, if you’ve completed a course.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation provides this extensive list of government-approved driving schools for every city in Ontario. Navigate to your city, find what schools are around you, and see which programs you like best. Program costs will vary greatly, as will the amount of time they take to complete. It’s a good idea to sign up for driving school before you book any road tests, as the school will likely offer to book it for you by the time you’ve finished the course.
This process is long and might be challenging, but it’s a worthwhile investment in your own future. Having a valid driver’s license is one of the most basic and vital assets to living in Canada, as it becomes your go-to identification card for almost any scenario. With proper training, patience, and getting help when you need it, you’ll be behind the wheel very soon!