WALTHAM (CBS) – Passing your driving test in Massachusetts is no easy accomplishment.
A new study by Siegfried & Jensen, a personal injury law firm in Utah, found Massachusetts has the second hardest exam to pass in the country. The study looked at requirements, costs, written exams and road tests in each state to determine the ranking.
Massachusetts was given a difficulty score of 77 out of 100. That’s compared to the top state on the list, Washington, which scored 80. South Dakota was last. Arkansas, which ranked near the bottom, does not have drivers education.
“The Massachusetts road test is one of the most difficult ones, just to even get to that day. They’re very strict,” Anna Sabatino, co-owner of CS Driving School in Waltham told WBZ-TV.
So what is expected of first time drivers in Massachusetts?
First, they must pass a learners’ permit exam and maintain a clean driving record for six months. They also need to successfully complete a drivers education program and have more than 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. Only then are teens are qualified to take the road test.
Students will need to master four maneuvers – parallel parking, a reverse 50-foot backup, a 3-point-turn and parking on a hill. They’ll even be graded on posture, among many other requirements.
Sabotino said sometimes it’s not the test that’s difficult, but the pressure kids put on themselves.
“They bring in these nerves and emotions that do not help them during the test. Fear, doubt, anxiety, overthinking. So when they get there with all of these emotions, they almost lose focus of everything we’ve taught them,” she said.
While there are plenty of ways to catch an automatic fail, Sabotino said staying confident and positive should help teens pass.
“It can be a lot easier if they have positive emotions. Think, ‘I’m getting this road test, I’m going to get my freedom, my independence, the privilege of driving,’ There’s so many good parts to it,” she said.