South Carolina Written Practice Test – FREE DMV Permit Test



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#1. You need to drive more slowly at night because:

Your driving speed needs to be lower at night than it is in the daytime because the distance you can see is limited by your headlight beams.


#2. The road edge on the right side is marked by a:

Solid white lines divide lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction. Solid white lines are also used to mark the right edge of the road.


#3. What does this sign mean?

This sign tells you that there is a flag-person ahead to control traffic. Slow down and be prepared to stop.


#4. If a school bus with flashing red lights has stopped on your side of a divided highway, you must:

You must stop for a stopped school bus with flashing lights that is loading or unloading passengers. This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it on any two-lane highway.

On any other highway you must always stop when you are behind the bus.

When you have stopped, you must not proceed until the bus moves or the driver signals to you that the way is clear, or the red lights are no longer flashing.

You do not need to stop when traveling in the opposite direction on a multilane highway or multi-lane private road. A multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road is defined as a highway or private road that consists of four lanes, having at least two traffic lanes in each direction.


#5. Which is the proper way to enter a multi-lane highway from the entrance ramp?

When entering an expressway watch for an opening, activate your turn signal, and merge smoothly with the other traffic. Do not forget to check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder.


#6. Passing another vehicle to the right on an unpaved shoulder is:

Never pass on the shoulder, whether it is paved or not. The shoulder is a hard surface on the right side of the roadway that is to be used as an emergency stopping lane and not for through traffic.


#7. To prevent skidding on slippery surfaces, you should:

Skids are caused when you are traveling too fast for the road conditions, when you stop suddenly, or when the tires can no longer grip the roadway. When you begin to skid, you have little control of your vehicle. If your vehicle begins to skid:

  • Release pressure from the brake or accelerator.
  • Look where you want to go and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.

#8. A pedestrian is crossing your lane at an intersection, but there is no marked crosswalk. You should:

Pedestrians are difficult to see, and it is difficult to determine their intentions. As a driver:

  • Always be prepared to yield to pedestrians even if they are not in a crosswalk.
  • You must yield when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even if it is unmarked, including mid-block crosswalks marked by warning signs and pavement markings.
  • You must yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians in the intersection even if the traffic light is green.

#9. Road signs that give directions and information are usually:

Horizontal rectangles are generally used to give directions or information.

When vertical, signs are generally used to give instructions or tell you the law.


#10. 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.

Remember, when you park on a hill, the general rule is to turn your wheels sharply towards the side of the road or curb. This way, if your vehicle starts to roll downhill, it will roll away from traffic. However, when headed uphill at a curb, you should turn the front wheels in the opposite direction, away from the curb and towards the road. Then, let your vehicle roll backwards until the back of your front wheel touches the curb. The curb will stop your car from rolling into traffic.

Study the diagram provided in your driver’s handbook.


#11. What does this sign mean?

Side Road Ahead.

The sign tells you it is a branch intersection with traffic entering from one side. Be prepared to slow down, and observe any special speed limit instructions, in the event a car enters or crosses the highway from the side road.


#12. A vehicle carrying this sign is designed to operate at a speed of:

A fluorescent or reflective orange and red triangle displayed on the rear of a vehicle means the vehicle is traveling less than 25 mph. Use caution when approaching a slow-moving vehicle, and be sure it is safe before you pass.


#13. Which of the following is a likely effect of drinking alcohol?

Alcohol and other impairing drugs reduces things like your judgment, vision, color distinction, and reaction time. Judgment is a brain-centered activity that stores all of your experiences and knowledge so it can be used quickly when you face a new problem.


#14. When making a left turn, you should:

Give a turn signal for at least the last 100 feet before you make your turn.


#15. Traffic in this lane:

Lane use control signs tell you where you can go or where you can turn. This sign means you may turn right or go straight.

See result

South Carolina DMV Written Test

Key numbers for the official South Carolina DMV knowledge test:

Number of Questions: 30
Correct answers needed: 24
Passing score: 80 percent
Time limit: n/a
Earliest retest upon failure: Next business day

South Carolina DMV Test Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Test Your Knowledge before the SCDMV Test

This practice test is designed to help you test your knowledge before you take the South Carolina written test for a beginner’s permit or a full unrestricted driver’s license.

There are 15 questions on this practice test, covering important parts of the Driver’s Manual published by South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) and showing you what kind of questions that will show up on your real examination.

We strongly recommend that you get a copy of the Driver’s Manual an read it before you take the practice test, it will improve your result on the practice test as well as the real written knowledge exam.

The SCDMV Practice Test is Easy to Use

There are no strings attached to our practice test and it is easy to use.

After each question there is an instant feedback that tells you if your answer is correct or not. If your answer is marked as incorrect, there is also a brief comment to help you understand the correct answer.

All answers are based on the information in the Driver’s Manual, which is why it is so important for you to start your learning process by reading the manual.

At the end of the practice test, you will see your final score.

The passing score in South Carolina is 80%. Since the real test has 30 questions, you can only miss 6 of these exam questions.

On the practice exam, you should aim higher than 80%. Try to reach a score of 100% and make sure that you are comfortable with all answers.

Is the SCDMV Knowledge Test Hard?

South Carolina DMV does not release failure rates on the knowledge test.

It is, however, estimated that less than one out of three first-time applicants fail the exam, making the test among the easier in United States.

Easy - DMV Test difficulty grading by licenseroute

We still recommend you to carefully read the manual. Everything in the manual is there for a reason.

Exam questions will mainly focus on traffic control devices, such as road signs, signals and pavement markings, and safe driving practices. You must also know how to use vehicle equipment, like your headlights and your horn. Sharing the road with pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, and school buses is also something you should pay special attention to.

Who Must Take the SCDMV Knowledge Test?

All new drivers who haven’t been licensed before must take the SCDMV knowledge exam. The exam is also required for drivers who let their license expire more than nine months or who had their license revoked.

New residents with a foreign license must, in general, also pass the exam. It does not apply to drivers with a valid license from Canada, Germany, or France. Drivers with a valid license from another state or territory are also exempt.

You are, in general, not required to pass a written test when you renew your license.

What Happens if You Fail the Test?

Under normal circumstances, you can take the test again the next day.

Note that there is a new testing fee each time you take the test.

If you get more than 7 questions wrong, you should probably consider waiting more than one day before you try again.

Young woman using her tablet computer

How Should You Study for the Beginner’s Permit Test?

Effective Strategies
Reading and taking notes
Reciting and reviewing
Study with others
Think of examples and create own quizzes
Less Effective Strategies
Rereading several times
Underlining text
Study late at night
Last-minute cramming

There are several reasons why people fail the written test.

Poor test preparation is, obviously, one of them. As a first-time applicant, it is a mistake to start studying a Wednesday night if your examination is on Friday morning. Start early and avoid last-minute cramming if you want to pass.

Your study behaviors play an important role for your test performance. Simply reading the manual over and over again, may seem to be a good strategy, but it isn’t.

Try to focus on quality. Read a small section, then close the manual and recite (speak with your own word) everything you can remember about what you have just read. Finally, review the section by reading it again. This is known as the three-R strategy (Read, Recite, and Review).

After you have worked your way through the manual, you should move on to quiz yourself about the content. Take the practice test here at licenseroute and/or predict test questions by yourself.

Every time you aren’t sure about the answer, go back and review the item in the manual.

This way, you will be much better prepared.

Retest for the Experienced Driver

If you have had a license before, you will most likely be better positioned than a first-time test taker, but you should not ignore the importance of reading the manual.

Road rules and recommendations change over time, so does specific traffic laws. In later years laws have been introduced that restrict the use of cell phones while driving, require seat belt use in all seats, improve safety for child passengers, and crack down harder on impaired driving – just to mention a few. Signs and signals have also changed over time. Today, word messages on road signs are often replaced by symbols. You may see the new yellow flashing arrow on a traffic signal.

You have probably also forgotten some important rules if you don’t encounter them regularly. And perhaps, more importantly, some of your old driving habits may no longer be best practice.

So, take some time and read the manual before the test, and check out the study strategies above.

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