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How to Prepare for Your Alberta Class 5 Road Test

By Craig Moy

Undergoing a road test is a significant step on the road to obtaining (or upgrading) your Alberta driver’s licence. It also has a significant monetary cost; you’d probably prefer to take it only once. With that in mind, we’ve compiled some useful test-preparation tips, to help you better demonstrate solid driving skills and earn your GDL or full Class 5 licence the first time.

The Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing was your best friend when it came to studying for the knowledge test to obtain your learner’s permit. It remains a valuable resource in advance of your road test. A careful review of the guide’s contents will refresh your memory of good driving practices and the rules of the road in Alberta. In addition to the Driver’s Guide, there are other resources that will help you build confidence in advance of your test. Pick up a Learner’s Licence Prep Kit of flashcards from any AMA centre, and re-take the Learner’s Licence Practice Exam online. Reviewing the basics so that they’re second nature will mean that you can better focus on your practical driving skills during the road test.

It’s best that the vehicle you plan on using for your road test is the one you’ve been practicing on as a learner. During the test you may be asked to identify and show that you can correctly operate vehicle controls such as the windshield wipers, defroster and hazard signal. Familiarity is key.

Your vehicle must also be roadworthy—with working head, brake and signal lights, windshield wipers, mirrors, horn, speedometer, seatbelts and all other elements of a car that’s in good working condition. (If a light is out, for example, you may not be able to take your test.) On the day of the test, you should also make sure that you have sufficient fuel to complete the test route, that your car is relatively clean and free of garbage, and that air fresheners, parking passes and other potential obstructions have been removed from your rearview mirror. Note, too, that vehicles with non-factory glass tinting are not eligible to be used for road tests.

Why you should learn to drive during the winter

With your Class 7 learner’s licence, you’ve been honing your driving skills for at least a year—under the guidance of other experienced drivers. Assuming you’ve developed good safe-driving habits, there should be no reason to fret about the road test. Of course, it’s true that practice makes perfect, so continue working on the skills that you may be asked to demonstrate during your test. These could include, but are not limited to:

• Parallel parking and parking on a hill
• Merging and changing lanes
• Correctly navigating intersections and right-of-way scenarios
• Smooth steering and braking

You may also wish to refer to this document from Alberta Transportation, which outlines what you should expect when you take your road test, as well as the infractions that will result in a failure of the test. Use this to help guide your on-road practice sessions in advance of the test.

On the day of your test, it’s important to arrive early at the testing centre to pick up your test permit. You’ll also need to make certain that you bring all the required documentation with you. Naturally, this includes your existing Class 7 learner’s licence, but you’ll also need to prove that the vehicle you’re driving is registered and insured. Remind the vehicle’s owner that they’ll need to present valid insurance and registration papers before you can take the road test.

In the unfortunate event that you do not pass the road test, your examiner will give you a copy of the Driver Examination Checklist, which indicates the skills that you were unable to successfully demonstrate. Keep that form. You’ll want to refer to it so you know what to continue practicing, and you’ll also have to bring it with you to your next road test, which can be scheduled for a future date. (You must wait at least 24 hours before you can retake the road test.)

AMA’s commitment to supporting your driving journey is stronger than ever. We now offer convenient road test scheduling—book online, on the phone at 1-866-989-6370, or at AMA centres across the province

From getting your learner’s licence to booking your road test, AMA can help you get your driver’s licence.