South Carolina Written Practice Test – FREE DMV Permit Test



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#1. What does this sign mean?

This is a regulatory No Right Turn sign.

Remember, anytime you see a sign bearing a red circle with a slash mark across a black arrow (or another symbol), it means do not do whatever is shown by the arrow (or other symbol).


#2. When you exit a roundabout or traffic circle, you should:

When using roundabouts or traffic circles:

  • Slow down to enter the roundabout or traffic circle.
  • Yield to the traffic in the roundabout or circle.
  • Enter a roundabout or traffic circle in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Proceed to the appropriate exit, signal intent, and exit.

#3. This road sign means:

Y Intersection. The road branches to the right and left ahead. You must bear either right or left.


#4. When taking a prescription drug, who is responsible for deciding if you can drive or not?

It is your responsibility to know when you are in shape to drive. Do not endanger your own life and the lives of others by driving when you are not up to par.

If you are taking medications, be aware of the side effects and do not drive if they interfere with your ability to drive.


#5. If you have a tire blowout, you should:

If a tire blows out or suddenly goes flat:

  1. Grip the steering wheel firmly and keep the vehicle going straight.
  2. Slow down gradually. Take your foot off the accelerator pedal.
  3. Do not brake. Allow the vehicle to slow by itself or brake gently if necessary.
  4. Do not stop on the road if at all possible. Pull off the road in a safe place and turn on emergency flashers.
  5. Have the tire changed and replaced.

#6. When approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with activated lights on a two-way two-lane roadway, you must:

When you approach a stopped authorized emergency vehicle, proceed with caution. Slow down and yield the right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane away from the authorized emergency vehicle if safety and traffic conditions permit. If a lane change is unsafe, slow down and proceed with caution while maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions.


#7. When is it allowed to drive around or under a lowered gate at a railroad crossing?

Sometimes flashing red signals and gates are present at railroad crossings. It is against the law to go around lowered railroad gates at a crossing.

Do not move forward until the gates are raised and the lights stop flashing as there may be a train approaching on an adjacent track.


#8. When driving at night in heavy traffic, you should use:

You should drive with your dim lights (low beam) when you are driving on a well-lighted street and on heavily traveled ones.

Do not use high-beam headlights within 500 feet of oncoming vehicles or when you are within 200 feet of the vehicle ahead.


#9. The most effective device for reducing the chance of injury in a crash is:

Studies have shown that if you are in a collision while using safety belts, your chances of injury or death are greatly reduced. Safety belts keep you from being thrown from the vehicle and helps the driver keep control of the vehicle.


#10. What should you do before you get in your vehicle and back out of a driveway or parking lot?

Check behind the vehicle before you get in it. Children and small objects cannot be seen from the driver’s seat.


#11. Proof of liability insurance is needed:

When driving you must have a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and valid insurance card in your possession for the class of vehicle you are operating. If you do not, you will be subject to a fine.


#12. Orange road signs give:

Orange is used for construction and maintenance warning. The signs are usually diamond shaped. They notify drivers of unusual or potentially dangerous conditions near work areas.


#13. The driver ahead signals:

Left turn – left arm extended horizontally out of open window.


#14. Using an unpaved shoulder to pass another vehicle on the right 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.


#15. On a road with lanes separated by white lines:

White lines mark traffic lanes going in the one (same) direction.

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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