How Many Points Can You Miss on a Driving Test

The driving test is usually graded by awarding points to the person taking the test based on his or her performance in both the written and practical part of the driving test.

In the driving test, you lose points or scores by getting questions wrong or by making mistakes during the driving test where you have to drive with an examiner in your passenger seat. So, how many points can you miss on a driving test?

Depending on your location, you can miss between 15 to 30 points and still pass your driving test. 

What Is A Driving Test Point?

A driving test point is how people that take a driving test are graded before they are certified to have passed the test or failed the test.

It is a kind of benchmark where you have to get above a certain point and sometimes it’s not making more than a given number of mistakes.

During the practical part of the driving test, examiners sometimes have to use their discretion when awarding points to the person driving.

That is to say that, even though there are a standard set of rules that should guide them when awarding points, when something that is not in the book happens or when your reason for getting or missing a particular part of the test is understandable, the examiner can choose to overlook it or not.

How Many Points Can You Miss On A Driving Test?

Since the driving test is a procedure designed to test an individual’s ability to drive a vehicle and a requirement to obtain a driver’s license, the grading techniques vary in different states, so there is no particular score that is the “pass mark” for the driving test.

However, in most states, you have to pass all the tasks in the driving test, anywhere from 1 to 7 mistakes can make you fail the test.

The best thing to do is not try to count how many mistakes you can or have made during the test, just prepare well enough and plan not to make any mistakes during the test.

In California, drivers are allowed a chance of 15 errors as long as the errors are not safety-related, then you still have a shot at passing the test.

However, some errors like having an accident, going over the speed limit which is 25 mph, especially in areas where there are schools or churches, and not stopping completely when you get to a stop sign automatically means you have failed the test.

In New York City, every mistake takes away a score between 5, 10, or 15 points depending on the type of mistake that is made, and by the end of the test if your accumulated score is over 30, then you have failed the test and if you have below 30, that’s a pass.

In Minnesota, you have 100 points at the beginning of the test, and several points are taken off by the examiner for every mistake. The passing grade is 70 so if you have less than that at the end of the test, that’s a fail.

Therefore, it’s important to know your location and what works there before concluding.

Dangers of Missing Too Many Points on Driving Test

The dangers of missing too many points on a driving test are:

Retaking The Test

Missing too many points in your driving test automatically means that you will be taking the test again, and if after a third trial you still don’t get it right, you’ll start the process of getting the license all over again.

Risk Of Accidents

In a driving test, crashing a car or any form of accident equals an automatic fail in the test. Accidents of any kind are not condoned in a driving test.

What are the Critical Errors on the Driving Test?

These are errors that do not put any road user or people’s property or even you as the driver in danger or at risk of getting destroyed.

These errors don’t get you to fail the test immediately but making two critical errors can cause you to fail the test.

The critical errors you can make in your driving test are:

  • Forgetting to fasten your seatbelt before moving the car
  • Driving too slowly when there are no obstacles that are stopping you from driving at the normal speed. (Driving under the speed limit when you should not)
  • Driving the car above the speed limit is also a critical error, you must stay within the bounds of the speed limit, not going too slow or too fast
  • Changing lanes without looking at the mirrors or signaling so that you would not crash into oncoming vehicles
  • Stopping unnecessarily at pedestrian crossings when there’s no one passing or blocking pedestrian crossings
  • Not stopping the car when you come to a stop sign or a red traffic light. You should always bring your car to a complete stop when you come to a stop sign or a red traffic light
  • Driving too closely to the cars ahead and not leaving enough distance. Leaving enough distance between cars helps prevent abrupt collisions. Safe distance between cars are important.
  • Applying brakes abruptly and too hard. Braking hard is only done in emergencies not normal driving or driving tests.
  • Not paying close attention to speed limit differences in zones where the speed limits change
  • Changing lanes inappropriately and driving without keeping both hands on the wheel.

Can You Fail Parallel Parking and Still Pass in NY?

Parallel parking is considered a very important part of the driving test in NY. It is a method of parking your vehicle parallel to the road, in line with other vehicles. It is a very stressful and difficult skill for new drivers to learn.

If you can not parallel park your car, you might have to take the driving test again. However, there are a few exceptions to this and it all depends on how bad or good you perform while trying to perfect the parallel parking.

If you know how to brake, reverse and indicate properly, there are chances that the examiner overlooks the fact that you missed something minor as opposed to stepping on the accelerator every time you’re supposed to brake and hitting anything that comes your way in the process of the parallel parking.

When you are preparing to take the test, you should take time to perfect parallel parking because it is a very important part of the test.


All individuals take the driving test while subjected to the same conditions to make sure the test is impartial.

Most people fail their driving test on the first try either because they are not prepared enough or they are not settled, they’re nervous about the test and what the outcome would be.

When you want to take the test, don’t think about how many mistakes you can make on the driving test, you should not be trying to figure out the examiner’s thoughts, just focus on passing the test, that’s what should be on your mind.