All you need to know about different license-related exams conducted by LTO

LTO EXAM

Are you excited to hit the road all on your own, and be the one sitting behind the wheel? Well, before anything else, we’d like to congratulate you on attaining the legal driving age. But before you set your foot on the accelerator, make sure your driver’s license and all the other documents (OR/CR) are in place. Because you know that not doing so will get you in trouble with the law authorities.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How to handle anxiety or nervousness before the exam?

    Practise deep breathing and visualisation techniques to stay calm.
  • Are there any exemptions for certain medical conditions?

    Certain conditions may have exemptions, but you’ll need a doctor’s clearance
  • What happens if you miss your scheduled exam date?

    You’ll need to reschedule, which may involve additional fees or a waiting period.
  • While we have already discussed the OR/CR (Original Receipt and Certificate of Registration) in detail and the step-by-step guide to procure a driver’s license in detail, it is now time to check out the different LTO exams every driver needs to pass. And we all should be thankful to the LTO for conducting these exams and making them mandatory. As these exams ensure that every driver on the road is knowledgeable, skilled, and healthy enough to drive safely.

    In this blog, we’ll break down the different types of LTO exams, give you some tips on how to prepare, and answer some of the most common questions about the process.

    So, let’s get started!

    Also Read: All you need to know about driver’s license confiscation in Metro Manila

    Exams conducted by LTO

    • Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) Exam
    • LTO Driver’s License Application Written Exam
    • Practical Exam
    • Driver Enhancement Program which includes the Comprehensive Driver
    • Education (CDE) Exam and Driver Reorientation Course (DRC) Exam

    We’ll now understand each of these exams in detail.

    LTO's Theoretical Driving Course

    Theoretical Driving Course (TDC) Exam

    The Theoretical Driving Exam is your first step towards getting your driving license. This exam tests your knowledge of traffic rules, road signs, and safe driving practices. It is conducted at the end of a 15-hour TDC seminar which covers numerous topics from LTO basics to comprehensive discussion on safe use of vehicles.

    Here’s what you need to know

    Exam centre: The TDC exam is either conducted at an LTO branch, an LTO Driver Education Centre, at any LTO-accredited centre, or online via the LTMS Portal.

    Topics covered in the exam: LTO basics (role, progress, operation, and organisation), driver’s license (requirements & process) traffic regulations (road markings, signs), road safety, vehicle operations, defensive driving, parking skills, fuel saving (tips & techniques), danger scanning, specific laws design by the LTO and basic troubleshooting.

    Exam pattern: Include multiple-choice questions.

    Scoring:

    • For a non-professional driver’s license: 30 out of 40 correct answers.
    • For a professional driver’s license: 45 out of 60 correct answers.

    Preparation tips:

    • Study the LTO driver’s manual: This book contains all the information you need.
    • Online practice tests: There are many websites where you can take practice tests.
    • Group study: Studying with friends can make the process more fun and effective.

    While giving the TDC exam, we’d advise you to carefully read each question, fully understand the scenario, imagine yourself in that situation, and then choose the best possible answer.

    Also Read: Here's how you can get an Electronic Driver's License (eDL)

    LTO's Theoretical Driving Course

    LTO Driver’s License Application Written Exam

    The LTO Driver’s License Application Written Exam is taken right before the practical driving test. This exam determines whether you can proceed to the practical test or not.

    Here’s what you need to know

    Topics covered: General driving knowledge (road safety, driving rules, license, maintenance, stress management), parking (rules and restrictions), emergencies (road emergencies, accidents, mechanical failure does & don’ts), handling and driving (rights & responsibilities of a driver, traffic signs & signals, common regulatory rules, optimal driving way), road signs and lane markings (traffic signs, signals, pavement marking), and road position (right of way, yielding).

    Exam pattern: A randomized 25-, 40-, or 60-item multiple choice exam covering the above-mentioned subjects.

    Scouring:

    • For a student driver permit: 20 out of 25 correct answers.
    • For a non-professional driver’s license: 35 out of 40 correct answers.
    • For a professional driver’s license: 50 out of 60 correct answers.

    Preparation tips:

    • LTO exam reviewers: Go through the reviewers available online on the LTMS portal or various websites
    • Check video resources: Don’t worry, if you heat reading, watch videos available at the LTMS, YouTube, and/or TikTok

    LTO exam

    Practical Driving Exam

    Once you’ve passed the theoretical exam, it’s time to show off your driving skills via the Practical Driving Exam. This part tests your ability to handle a vehicle and follow road rules in real-life scenarios.

    Here’s what you need to know


    Topics covered: Pre-driving check-up, driving skills, and observance of traffic rules

    Exam pattern: Practical, with the license applicant driving on a flat and elevated road, parking, and making tight turns. The applicant can either take the exam in his/her car, LTO vehicle, or driving school vehicle.

    Scoring: An applicant must attain 70/100 to pass the exam. The applicant usually receives instant feedback and results after the test.

    What to expect:

    • You’ll drive a designated route with an examiner from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how you drive
    • The examiner will assess your ability to perform basic maneuvers like parking, turning, and stopping.

    Preparation tips:

    • Practice regularly: The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. Make sure to practice reverse parking.
    • Know your vehicle: Familiarise yourself with the car you’ll be using for the test.
      Stay calm: Remember, the examiner is there to help you, not to trick you.

    Also Read: Importance of LTO's Theoretical Driving Course

    The Driver Enhancement Program is for those looking to renew or extend the validity of the license. It includes the Comprehensive Driver Education (CDE) Exam and the Driver Reorientation Course (DRC) Exam. While the former is for law-abiding drivers, the latter is for drivers with violations under their name.

    Here’s what you need to know about both the exams

    Driver Reorientation Course (DRC) Exam

    • It is for drivers with at least 5 to 10 demerit points or who have committed the same violation three times
    • It is a pen-and-paper test, conducted either by Driver Education Centre or Traffic Safety Division personnel
    • On passing the DRC exam, the applicant receives a Certificate of Completion (COC), an LTO prerequisite for driver’s license renewal
    • The exam includes 25 multiple-choice questions, and to pass the exam the candidate must answer 20 questions correctly
    • Topics covered in the DCR exam include - Road safety (road etiquette, engine breakdowns, roadside emergencies, driver’s duties, responsibilities, & legal rights), traffic rules & regulations (road discipline, proper use of highways & expressways, traffic signals, traffic signs, and road markings), Land Transportation-related laws, and special laws on driving (Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, Seatbelt Law, Anti-Distraction Driving Law, Child Safety in Motor Vehicle Act)

    Comprehensive Driver Education (CDE) Exam

    • The licensee needs to pass the CDE Validating Exam to procure a Comprehensive Driver’s Education certificate
    • The exam can be taken both in person (at LTO Driver’s Education Centre) or online (via the LTMS Portal)
    • The exam includes 25 multiple-choice questions, and to pass the exam the candidate must answer 20 questions correctly
    • Topics covered in the CDE exam include - Road safety (road etiquette, engine breakdowns, roadside emergencies, driver’s duties, responsibilities, & legal rights), traffic rules & regulations (road discipline, proper use of highways & expressways, traffic signals, traffic signs, and road markings), Land Transportation-related laws, and special laws on driving (Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, Seatbelt Law, Anti-Distraction Driving Law, Child Safety in Motor Vehicle Act)

    While we are on the subject of exams, it would be only fair to mention the LTO Medical Exam. Though it’s nothing like the theoretical or practical exam conducted by the authorities, it is an essential part of acquiring a driver’s license in the Philippines. So, let us know a bit about it -

    lto exam

    LTO Medical Exam

    Before you can take the theoretical and practical exams, you first need to pass a Medical Exam. This exam ensures that you’re physically and mentally fit to drive a motor vehicle. As per LTO's latest mandate, a medical exam is required by licensees who will be issued a 5-year and 10-year validity driver’s license. Note, the medical exam shall be required 60 days before or on the specified renewal date.

    Here’s what you need to know

    Inclusions

    • Vision test: To ensure you can see clearly while driving, it includes visual acuity, peripheral vision, glare sensitivity
    • Physical examination: Check your overall health; mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease
    • Hearing test: Ensures you can hear important sounds while driving.
    • Completeness
    • Mobility & range of motion of extremities

    Importance

    • Ensures the safety of all road users.
    • Identify any medical conditions that might affect your driving
    • Promotes driver wellness by addressing health concerns

    Also Read: Here’s why you should not be driving without a license in the Philippines

    LTO exam (theoretical and practical)

    Preparing for the LTO exams

    Adopt best practice: Preparing for the LTO exams doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are some tips to help you get ready

    • Start early: Give yourself plenty of time to study.
    • Set a schedule: Dedicate specific times each day to study.
    • Take breaks: Don’t overwork yourself. Take breaks to keep your mind fresh.

    Look for the best study material and guides: There are plenty of resources available to help you prepare for the LTO exams. Here are some options

    • LTO Driver’s Manual: Your primary study resource.
    • Online Practice Tests: Websites like DrivingTests101 and PinoyDriver offer free practice tests.
    • YouTube tutorials: Many driving schools have free videos to help you understand difficult concepts.

    Tips for the day of the exam: On the day of the exam, it’s essential to stay calm and focused. Here are some tips

    • Get a good night’s sleep: Being well-rested will help you stay alert.
    • Eat a healthy breakfast: Fuel your body and mind.
    • Arrive early: Give yourself plenty of time to get to the test centre.

    Bottom line

    Passing the LTO exams is an essential step to becoming a licensed driver. By understanding the types of exams, preparing thoroughly, and staying calm on the day of the test, you can achieve success and hit the road with confidence. Good luck!

    Also Read: Here's how you can pass the LTO exam (theoretical and practical)

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