Teen-agers must train and wait years to take this all-important test. If they pass, they get more than a grade: They get a driver's license.
But recent changes to the driving test, getting a trial run at some Department of Motor Vehicles offices, make getting that coveted license harder than before for some teens. The new version requires applicants to complete a three-point turn (turning the car around on a narrow two-way street), drive on the freeway and park between orange cones. Though these changes may seem elementary, they can make a big difference to the person who's taking the test.
So, are students who haven't taken the test worried? There was mixed response from Villa Park High School students who were asked about it.
"Yeah, I'm worried," said Jennifer Nguyen. "Going on the freeway worries me the most."
Said Mikey Possemato: "Now I won't be able to pass my driver's test."
Others aren't troubled about the changes. In fact, many thought the test had needed to be revised.
"Now you have to know what you're doing when you take the test," said Josh Brogdon.
"There are too many bad drivers on the road," said Colleen Tobkin. "This may weed out some of the hazards before they take lives."
Said Melissa Bailey: "I'd feel safer about the people who drive on the same street as me."
On the other hand, some feel the changes are unjust.
It's "unfair to us because the ones who took it before us had it easier," Zuni Vo said.
Brad Smead believes that "they should have left it alone."
Those students taking the test have two tries to park between the set of cones. If they can't do it without hitting a cone, they fail the test.
Changes like these can affect the test-taker in more than one way.
"It is not only going to take longer, it will also cause people to get nervous and fail," said Ryan Stamps.
The old test is still being given in some cities, such as Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Riverside. Wherever you take the test, you need to phone ahead and set up an appointment.
If you fail the test, you must wait two weeks so that you can practice before you are tested again. You have three chances to pass the driving test within the time your instructional permit is valid.