Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Illinois Driving Test

Have you ever wondered why most people fail the driving test? This is because they make silly mistakes that can be easily avoided. Unfortunately, the Illinois driving test is no different, and the examiner won’t let you off the hook.

Nevertheless, you don’t have to worry. In this article, we will cover some of the common mistakes to avoid during the Illinois driving test.

Let’s jump right into it.

Mistakes on Illinois Driving Test

Making rolling stops

Most candidates make the mistake of slowing down when encountering a stop sign. A rolling stop is a critical error that amounts to an automatic fail.

Whether or not there are pedestrians or oncoming cars, you should always come to a complete stop behind the demarcation line. Likewise, you should always stop if you spot an orange or red light at an intersection.

Failing to check for blind spots

Most new drivers fail to check for blind spots by not doing shoulder and mirror checks. They find it confusing and don’t know when to do it.  Also, new drivers fear doing shoulder and mirror checks, which means taking their eyes off the road.

However, some drivers might do shoulder and mirror checks, yet the examiner fails to notice them because they weren’t exaggerated. Always keep in mind that even if you have a backup camera during the driving test, you still have to check for blind spots when you:

  • pull out of the curb.
  • parallel park.
  • before and during the three-point turn or a U-turn.
  • before merging with traffic.
  • when changing lanes.
  • when overtaking.
  • when reversing or backing up.
  • when you’re unsure what is around your car.

Forgetting to use signals or using the wrong signal

Believe it or not, most people fail the Illinois driving test for failing to signal. The trick is to signal at precisely the right time, not too early or too late. Don’t forget always to signal even if there are no oncoming cars or pedestrians.

During the driving test, make sure that you signal before:

  • Exiting the roundabout.
  • Changing lanes or turning a corner, even if no one is in sight.
  • Merging with traffic
  • Overtaking another vehicle, the signal should be on until you’re done passing the vehicle.
  • Pulling over
  • Moving out of the parking lot or driveway.

Slamming on the brakes too hard

Most new drivers have a habit of slamming on the brakes too hard whenever they want to slow down, especially when they come across a speed hump in residential areas. The examiner will notice that you could lose a few points if you do that.

Make sure you scan ahead for roadway markings, speed bumps, signs, and potential hazards so that you can brake on time. Of course, don’t forget to follow the 3-second rule so that it is easier to anticipate other drivers’ movements and respond swiftly.

If you must brake smoothly, avoid stomping or putting too much weight on the pedal. However, you can only slam on the brakes hard during an emergency.  

Driving too slow or too fast

As much as driving too fast is a common mistake, driving too slowly could also make you fail the driving test because you would be snarling up the traffic. For instance, if the speed limit on the urban interstate highway is 55 mph, don’t make the mistake of moving to the fast lane and speeding at 20 mph; that would be dangerous. Similarly, don’t go above the posted speed limit, or you will fail the road test.

Even if the examiner seems lenient, driving slightly above the posted speed limit, even by one mph, could cause you to fail the road test.

Also, always remember to adjust the speed depending on the weather conditions. If it’s raining, snowing, or foggy, drive at a reasonable speed.


Nervousness is one of the most common reasons why the best and most prepared students fail the Illinois driving test. Most candidates get too nervous, lose control of themselves, and make many silly mistakes.  

For example, you could be too nervous to drive slowly on the freeway. Some new drivers step on the brake or gas pedal too hard when they get too nervous.

Fortunately, you can avoid getting nervous by practicing for the road test as much as possible until you’re ready. Besides that, doing a mock test with an instructor before the road test could also help you.

Not paying attention to the examiner’s instructions

Some drivers don’t fail the driving test because they are bad drivers but because they ignored the examiner’s instructions. It is important for you always to clarify from the examiner what you don’t understand. Furthermore, apart from assessing you, the examiner is there to help you.

The best way to confirm and keep up with the examiner is by responding affirmatively. For instance, if the examiner says “take a turn at the roundabout”, you can respond by saying “a turn at the roundabout coming right up”.