Pennsylvania Written Test Practice – 2021 – 500 Questions

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#1. What should you do at the first sign of rain or snow?

Slow down at the first sign of rain, drizzle, or snow on the road. Turn on your windshield wipers, headlights, and defroster.

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#2. When you park on a hill headed downhill and there is no curb, you should turn your front wheels:

Headed downhill with no curb, turn the wheels to the right or side of the road, so the car will roll away from the center of the road if the brakes fail.

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#3. You are driving in the right-hand lane and approach this sign. What should you do?

Reduction of Lanes. There will be fewer lanes ahead. Traffic must merge left. Drivers in the left lane should allow others to merge smoothly. Right lane ends.

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#4. Which is one factor that greatly affects your stopping distance?

The process of stopping your car has three main components: perception, reaction, and braking. This is usually referred to as stopping distance. The first two components can be affected by human factors such as tiredness, alcohol, fatigue, and concentration levels. The last component depends on factors such as: tires, brakes, road, and weather conditions.

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#5. When you are following another vehicle at night, you should:

When driving at night, use low beams as soon as you see another vehicle approaching in the oncoming lane, as high beams can blind the other driver. Pennsylvania law requires you use low beams whenever you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and when you are following a vehicle within 300 feet.

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#6. Which road signs have a round shape?

A circular sign is used to warn that there is a railroad crossing ahead.

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#7. If you are convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude police, it will result in a suspension of your driving privilege for:

If a driver is convicted of fleeing or attempting to elude police, the penalty is a one-year suspension of the driving privilege, a fine of $500, plus court costs and other fees, and could include time in jail.

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#8. What does this sign mean?

The Left Turn Only sign tells you that you can only turn left from this lane.

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#9. Why can it be dangerous to drive with a leak in the exhaust system?

Regular inspection and maintenance of your vehicle’s exhaust system and mufflers are essential in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your vehicle. If you are aware of holes or other deficiencies in your exhaust system have it checked out by an automotive professional right away.

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#10. If there is an oncoming vehicle in your lane, you should:

First, honk your horn to attract attention. If the other driver does not move over, try to escape to the right, if possible. If you swerve left and the other driver corrects at the last instant, you will still crash. If a collision is unavoidable, brake firmly and steadily.

Remember, it is better to swerve right instead of toward oncoming traffic to prevent a crash.

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#11. All of the following is true about motorcyclists, except:

Motorcycles are small and, therefore, more difficult to see. The smaller profile can make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance as they approach. Before turning left, be alert for motorcycles by looking carefully to the front and sides of your vehicle. Their size also allows them to duck easily into your blind spot. Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots by turning your head and looking before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.

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#12. A traffic signal with a flashing yellow arrow means:

A flashing yellow arrow means you may turn in the direction of the arrow with caution, however, you must first yield to oncoming traffic and pedestrians. When you turn during the flashing yellow arrow phase, your turn is NOT protected, oncoming traffic will have a green light.

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#13. If red lights are flashing and gates are closing at a railroad crossing, you should:

You are required to stop at all railroad crossings when there is a signal of an approaching train.

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#14. When may you drive at the maximum speed indicated by a speed limit sign?

Posted speed limits indicate what the maximum safe driving speed is under ideal road, traffic, and weather conditions.

When the road is wet or slippery, when you cannot see well or when anything else makes conditions less than perfect, drive below the posted speed limit. Even if you are driving within the posted speed limit, you can still be ticketed for driving too fast for conditions.

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#15. What does this sign mean?

Hospital is a word message sign or an H symbol sign.

This is an example of a service sign. Service signs are square or rectangular and are blue with white letters or symbols. They show the location of various services.

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#16. Which is true about large trucks?

Generally speaking, the bigger trucks are the more room they need to maneuver.

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#17. This sign tells you that the center lane must be used for:

This sign indicates where a lane is reserved for the exclusive use of left-turning vehicles in either direction and is not to be used for through traffic or passing.

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#18. When is it important to allow a longer following distance than usual?

Allow a longer following distance than usual when you are following a driver who is carrying a heavy load or pulling a trailer. The extra weight will make it more difficult to stop.

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Pennsylvania (PA) Written Knowledge Test

Key numbers for the official permit and driver license test in Pennsylvania:

Test Questions: 18
Correct answers needed: 15
Passing score: 84 percent
Time limit: No
Earliest retest if you fail: Next day

Pennsylvania PA Written Test Practice - Photo by William Fortunato

What You Should Know about This Written Test Practice

This written test practice has 18 random questions, just like the real Pennsylvania DMV written test.

Questions are drawn from a pool of more than 500 test questions, which should be enough to help you pass your knowledge exam the first time.

All questions relate to the information in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual and official test questions, which means that you don’t study anything that cannot turn up on your real examination.

Remember to always start by getting a copy of the manual. You can get a hard copy from any Driver Licensing office or your driving school. You can also download a PDF-version from the DMV website .

Read the manual to get an overview of everything you need to learn. Somethings you already know, like some of the most common road signs, other things are new.

With this practice test, you can check what you already master and what you should study some more.

You can take the practice test over and over again. It will look different every time you take it.

Feedback plays an important role when you learn through practicing. With this sample test, you will get instant feedback after each question. It will tell you if your answer is correct or not. When you miss a question, there is also a short text to help you understand the correct answer.

The Real Pennsylvania Written Test

The knowledge exam in Pennsylvania has 18 questions. You need 15 correct answers to pass the examination, which means that the passing score is higher than in many other states .

In general, you will be asked to take test on a computer with a touch screen. The test has no time limit. Most test takers finish in less than 10 minutes.

It is a closed book test. You cannot use the manual, books, notes, or any electronic devices during the test.

The test is available in the following languages (including audio support):

  Arabic
  Burmese
  Chinese (Mandarin)
  English
  French
  Greek
  Hindi
  Italian
  Japanese
  Korean
  Nepali
  Polish
  Russian
  Somali
  Spanish
  Ukrainian
  Urdu
  Vietnamese



If you need any special accommodation to take your exam, please contact your local DMV office in advance.

If you are hearing-impaired and communicate by sign language, the Driver Licensing office will help you to provide an interpreter.

Should you fail the test, you can normally take it again the next business day. The testing fee for your first three attempts is included in your original permit or license fee.

What is on the PA DMV Test?

This is what the law says about the traffic laws exam:

“…a test of the applicant’s ability to read and understand official traffic-control devices, knowledge of safe driving practices and the traffic laws of this Commonwealth.”

There is also at least one question about alcohol or drug use on the test:

“…The traffic laws examination shall contain at least one question relating to the driver’s ability to understand the effects of alcohol and drug use on highway safety or the provisions of section 1547 (relating to chemical testing to determine amount of alcohol or controlled substance)….”

Expect 2-3 questions about common road signs, including their shapes and colors. All signs you need to learn are described in the PA Driver’s Manual.

Is the Pennsylvania Written Test Hard?

Hard - DMV Test difficulty grading by licenseroute

18 questions and a passing score of more than 83% give very little room for mistakes. This also shows in the unofficial failure rate on the PA DMV permit test. Among first-time test takers almost 1 out 2 fail the exam.

Surveys also show that the younger a test taker is, the higher the risk of failing the first time. Failure rate is also a result of how much time a test taker spent on preparing for the exam.

Perhaps more interesting is that the use of practice test is important for the chances of passing the exam the first time. Among those who successfully passed, more than 90% had used practice tests while they studied. Among those who failed, only 20% had used online practice tests.



Who Must Pass the Knowledge Examination?

  First-time applicants.

As a first-time applicant, you must always pass a full examination including a written knowledge test, a vision screening, and a road skills test. If you are under 18 years, you must follow the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program.

  Drivers with a license that is expired more than 6 months.

If you forget to renew a non-commercial license and let it expire for more than six months, you must apply for a new license and take all tests.

  Drivers with a foreign license.

Drivers who move to Pennsylvania and hold a license from a country other than United States, Canada, France, or Germany must pass all tests.

If you hold a valid license from another state or territory, Canada, France, or Germany all tests are normally waived.

  Drivers with a revoked license.

The restoration of a suspended or revoked license may include new tests. Refer to your restoration requirements letter.


Pennsylvania FAQ – Summary

There are questions about traffic-control devices (such as common road signs), safe driving practices, and the traffic laws of Pennsylvania. There is at least one question about effects of alcohol and drug use on highway safety.

It is important that you get a copy of the latest Driver's Manual, either as a hard copy or as a PDF-file on your phone, computer, or tablet. Read it to get an overview of what you need to learn and study all parts that are new to you. You must learn all road signs, traffic signals, and pavement markings. You must also know how to handle emergencies and the effects of alcohol and drugs on your driving.

Take several practice tests to check your knowledge and find things that you have missed in the manual.

Quiz yourself about rules or have someone else ask you questions. By putting your own words to questions, you will learn even faster.

Before taking your Knowledge Test, you must complete the Non-Commercial Learner's Permit Application (DL-180). If you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian must complete the Parent or Guardian Consent Form (DL-180TD). Both forms can be found on our website at www.dmv.pa.gov under the Forms and Publications link at the top of the page.

You should complete both forms before you visit a Driver License Center.

No, Pennsylvania DMV does not allow online testing from home. You must take the test at a Driver Licensing office or through a third-party driving school.

A knowledge test is required for all first-time license applicants, drivers with a license that is expired more than 6 months, drivers with a foreign license from a country other than Canada, France, or Germany. A test may also be required for drivers who wants to restore a revoked license.


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