#1. If a traffic light changes from green to yellow, you should:
A steady yellow traffic light means the traffic light is about to change to red. You must stop if it is safe to do so. If you are in the intersection when the yellow light comes on, do not stop but continue through the intersection.
#2. For an immediate right turn in a roundabout with multiple lanes, you should:
If you want to make a right turn, you should be in the right lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as right turn lanes.
#3. Which pavement marking separates traffic traveling in opposite directions?
Lines separating traffic moving in opposite directions are yellow.
#4. When you see this sign:
Merging Traffic or Merge sign. Traffic is merging from the side shown on the sign. Drivers on the through lane have the right of way, but drivers in both lanes are responsible for merging smoothly.
#5. When making a right turn, it is wrong and unsafe to:
Avoid swinging wide to the left before making the turn. If you swing wide, the driver behind you may think you are changing lanes or going to turn left and may try to pass you on the right. If you swing wide as you complete the turn, drivers who are in the far lane will not expect to see you there. Complete your turn in the right lane.
This question asked what you should NOT do.
#6. When a firefighter is directing you to do a U-turn against existing signs, you should:
Traffic control can be provided by law enforcement, highway personnel or school crossing guards. You must obey directions from these persons, even if their directions are different from what traffic lights and signs say. You must also obey instructions from firefighters.
#7. Which road signs have a three-sided pennant shape?
This three-sided sign is shaped like a pennant. The sign indicates the start of a no passing zone.
#8. If you have been drinking alcohol, what will help you to sober up?
There is no way to sober up quickly. Coffee, fresh air, exercise, vitamins, sleep, or cold showers will not help. Time is the only thing that will sober you up.
#9. If it feels like your tires have lost traction with the surface of the road you should:
If it feels like your tires have lost traction with the surface of the road, you should slow down gradually. Ease your foot off the gas pedal. Keep the wheels straight. Only try to turn if it is an emergency. Do not try to brake or turn until your tires are gripping the road again.
#10. Under ideal driving conditions, a safe following distance is:
There is an easy way to tell if you are following another vehicle too closely. It is known as the four-second rule and it works at any speed.
A minimum four second following distance is recommended under ideal driving conditions. In many situations you may need more following distance to be safe.
Remember, the four-second rule does not mean that you are able to stop within four seconds.
#11. What does a sign with this shape mean?
The upside-down triangle shape is exclusively used for yield signs. Slow down and, if necessary, stop to give the right of way to vehicles and pedestrians.
#12. A wet pavement can often double your:
Braking distance is affected by the pavement condition. A wet pavement can often double your braking distance.
#13. Your lane ends ahead and there is a large truck in the lane beside you. What is the best thing to do?
Slow down and merge behind the truck.
Cutting into the open space in front of a truck is dangerous. If you cut in front and then suddenly slow down, truck, bus and RV drivers are forced to slam on their brakes. These vehicles need nearly twice the time and room to stop.
#14. When it starts to rain or snow:
Slow down at the first sign of rain, snow, or sleet. These all make the roadway slippery. When the road is slippery, the vehicle’s tires do not grip as well as they do on a dry road. On a wet road, you should reduce your speed by about 10 mph. On packed snow, you should cut your speed in half.
It is important that you are able to see clearly through the windows and windshield. Windshield wipers keep the rain and snow off the windshield. If you turn on your wipers, turn on your headlights.
#15. What does this sign mean?
No Right Turn sign. It means that you are not allowed to turn right at the intersection.
Some regulatory signs have a red circle with a red slash over a symbol. These signs prohibit certain actions, i.e., no right turn, no left turn, no U-turn, etc.
#16. What does this road sign mean?
There is a roundabout (intersection) ahead. Slow down and prepare to yield to traffic in the roundabout.
#17. When driving at night in heavy traffic, you should use:
Use your low beams when following another vehicle or in heavy traffic with oncoming vehicles.
Remember, you must use low beams when an oncoming vehicle is within 500 feet.
Never drive with parking lights when headlights are required.
Use your high beams when there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams let you see twice as far as low beams.
#18. You should stop before railroad tracks and not cross them if:
When you cross railroad tracks, make sure you can cross without having to stop on the tracks. Never start to cross if there is not room for your vehicle on the far side and if you will have to stop on the tracks.
#19. Most crashes with deer happen:
Be especially alert for deer in October and November, the months with the highest number of car/deer crashes.
#20. If you are under Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), and are convicted of Failure to Fasten Seat Belt:
If you are under GDL, and are convicted of Failure to Fasten Seat Belt, your GDL restrictions will be extended for an additional six months.
#21. If you are convicted of 4 or more major traffic violations or 12 or more minor violations within 5 years, your license will be:
If you are convicted of 4 or more major traffic violations or 12 or more minor violations within 5 years, the DMV will declare you a habitual offender. Your license will be revoked for 5 years.
#22. Before turning left or right, you must signal during the last:
Signal 100 feet before your intended turn. Be careful that you do not signal too early, though. If there are streets, driveways, or entrances between you and where you want to turn, wait until you have passed them to signal.
#23. It is illegal to park a vehicle if a railroad crossing is within:
Do not park within 25 feet of a railroad crossing. Most states don’t allow parking within 50 feet.
#24. When are you allowed to pass a school bus?
You may pass a school bus in motion (red lights and extended stop arm is not used when in motion).
#25. To pass another vehicle safely at a speed of 55 mph, you need at least the following opening in oncoming traffic and sight-distance:
At a speed of 55 mph, you need about 10 seconds to pass. That means you need a 10-second gap in oncoming traffic and sight distance to pass. You must judge whether you will have enough space to pass safely.
At 55 mph you will travel over 800 feet in 10 seconds, so will an oncoming vehicle. That means you need over 1,600 feet or about one-third of a mile to pass safely. It is hard to judge the speed of oncoming vehicles at this distance.
The Wisconsin Written Permit Test
Key numbers for your official knowledge examination in Wisconsin:
|Correct answers needed:||40|
|Time limit:||45 minutes|
|Earliest retest if you fail:||1 day|
What You Should Know about the Written Test Practice
This sample test is random. It draws 25 items from a large bank of questions.
It allows you to practice many times until you feel confident to take the real Wisconsin written test.
Each question has instant feedback that tells if your answer is correct or not.
When you make a mistake, there is a short explanation to help you understand the correct answer.
You will see your score at the end of the practice test. Aim for a full score on each test.
What You Should Know about the Motorist’s Handbook
Everything you need to study for the Wisconsin written examination is found in the Wisconsin Motorist’s Handbook. DMV draws all questions on your knowledge examination from this information.
You can get a copy from all DMV service centers. They are also provided as part of your driver education course. If you haven’t got your hard copy yet, you can download a PDF-version from DMV’s website.
The handbook is usually updated once every year, make sure you have the latest version before you start studying.
What You Should Know about the Wisconsin DMV Written Test
The real Wisconsin knowledge test has 50 questions, and the passing score is 80%, which means that you must reach 40 correct answers to pass the test.
There is an allotted time of 45 minutes to complete the test. The examiner will not allow to start testing if there is less than 45 minutes until closing time.
Most test takers will, however, finish in much less than 45 minutes.
The purpose of the test is to verify that you understand Wisconsin traffic laws and common safe driving practices.
You should also expect questions about alcohol and the consequences of impaired driving.
Unlike other state tests, there may also be questions about the Donor program and fuel economy.
If you want to take the test in another language, DMV offers the test in: Burmese, Chinese, Croatian, Hmong, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
The test also has audio support. If you are a poor reader, ask the examiner to activate the audio support.
What Happens if You Fail the DMV Test?
If you don’t get a passing score, you cannot take the test again the same day.
You must wait at least one day before a re-test. Check with your examiner if you can book a new appointment.
Use the time until the next appointment well. Try to remember the questions you missed and look up the items in the handbook. Don’t rely on memorizing the answers from the test. Focus on true understanding of the subject.
What You Should Know about the Wisconsin GDL program
The Wisconsin Graduated Driver License (GDL) program applies to all teenagers between 15½ and 18 years.
To get a driver license when you are under 18 years, you improve your driving skills under a three-step program.
- Step I: Instruction Permit
- Step II: Probationary License
- Step III: An Unrestricted Class D License
The program places restrictions on your driving during step I and II to provide a safe environment for the development of your driving skills. The purpose of the program is to limit risk situations and reduce the number of fatal crashes among teenagers.
What You Should Know about Your First Permit
You may apply for your first permit when you are 15½ years or older.
To get a permit under the GDL program, you must:
- Have enrolled in, or completed, a driver education class.
- Be enrolled in a school program or high school equivalency program, have graduated from high school, or been granted a declaration of high school graduation equivalency, or be enrolled in a home-based private education program and cannot be identified as habitually truant.
- Have an adult sponsor approve your application.
- Pass a vision screening and the written knowledge test.
When you hold the Wisconsin instruction permit, you cannot drive alone.
You must always be accompanied by a supervising driver who occupies the seat beside you. The supervising driver must have a valid regular (non-probationary) driver license and have at least two years of driving experience.
The supervising driver must be at least:
- 19 years, if a qualified driving instructor, a parent, guardian, or spouse.
- 21 years, if a person other than a driving instructor, parent, guardian, or spouse.
- 25 years, when driving during darkness with a person other than a qualified driving instructor.
If you drive under the supervision of a person other than a parent, guardian, or spouse, you cannot carry any other passengers in your car.
When you drive together with a parent, guardian, or spouse, you may carry passengers that are your immediate family.
What You Should Know about Your Probationary License
Before you move on to the second step of the GDL program, you must hold your learner’s permit for at least six months.
During these six months you must drive without any convictions.
You must log at least 30 hours of driving practice, of which 10 hours must be during darkness. A parent, legal guardian, or another adult sponsor must certify that you have completed the driving practice.
You must have completed your driver-education training course.
If all requirements are met, DMV will let you take the road skills test. If you pass the test, DMV issues a probationary license.
This license allows you to drive alone during daytime (from 5 a.m. to midnight). You can drive at night only when driving to or from home and work/school, or when accompanied by a supervising driver.
You can carry only one passenger besides immediate family members and/or an adult supervising driver.
DMV will lift these restrictions if you drive conviction-free for nine months.
Wisconsin Permit & Driver License FAQ
The Wisconsin written knowledge test has 50 questions, and the passing score is 80%, which means that you must reach 40 correct answers to pass the test.
There is an allotted time of 45 minutes to complete the test. You will not be allowed to start if there is less than 45 minutes until closing time.
The failure rate on the Wisconsin written test is close to 25%, which is an average failure rate on DMV knowledge tests in United States.
You can take the test again the next business day.
Wisconsin DMV offers the written test in: Burmese, Chinese, Croatian, English, Hmong, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
You can take the test five times within the same year. Should you fail five times, you must get special permission before you can take the test again. To be eligible for a new test, you must explain what you have done to improve your ability to succeed on your next attempt.
DMV issues instruction permits that are valid for one year. If needed, you can renewed your permit once for another 12 months.
When you renew an instruction permit, you must provide proof of enrollment or completion of a driver education course again.
Any adult with a valid regular (non-probationary) driver license and have at least two years of driving experience can be a supervising driver when you hold a Wisconsin instruction permit. If a qualified driving instructor, a parent, guardian, or spouse, the supervising driver must be at least 19 years old, otherwise the minimum age is 21 years.
Unless you let your Wisconsin driver license expire more than eight years, a knowledge test is not required when you renew your license.
If you hold a valid license from another state, U.S. territory, Canada, or Germany, Wisconsin DMV will normally waive the written knowledge test and road skills test.
Cover photo and “Smiling Woman” by mentatdgt from Pexels.