Nova Scotia Road Tests and Routes

On this page we will look at road tests and routes. The routes themselves will always change depending on the day and examiner, but these are the common areas. Note that these areas are around Halifax, Nova Scotia. The most important thing on test day is to have your vehicle permit, insurance card, driving school certificate, and beginner’s permit, but most of all you need to be chill. It’s completely normal to be nervous but remember that you have put in the work and practiced for months. Now it’s time to show the examiner that you know how to drive.

A little bit of music at a low volume is excellent for practicing driving. You have to be relaxed when learning to drive.

Note: The examiners don’t always take you on the highway. They mix the routes up a bit here and there, but the key to passing these tests is to have practiced a solid amount and just to be generally familiar with the area you are testing in. If you don’t want to wait 6 months (current wait time) for a road test, then call Access NS at 1-902-424-5200 option 1-2-1 as often as possible to check for cancelations. They pick up right away most of the time, it’s quite impressive compared to many other call centers. One example: I needed to book a road test and the earliest I could find when I called was Dec 21 2022. I called back ten minutes later and now have a road test next week.

Dartmouth Road test (will update this video soon)

Some tips from other student’s mistakes

  • Stop gradually – If you approach a stop sign or red light too fast the examiner could think that you are not going to stop and they could automatically fail you.
  • Examiner hitting the brake pedal – If you test in your driving school’s vehicle, then remember that if the examiner hits the brake pedal the test is over and is an automatic fail. You want that examiner to feel relaxed.
  • You are a limo driver – You should think of the driving examiner as a V.I.P. that is holding an overfull cup of water and you don’t want him or her to spill any of it. So you accelerate gradually and brake gradually.
  • Always, always, always, stay in the right lane – Many students get so use to the examiner telling them which way to go and what to do that they forget to go back into the right lane after making a left turn onto a two lane boulevard. If you are driving on a one lane road which then splits into two lanes, you always, always go into the right lane unless the examiner says you are turning left. The examiner won’t tell you this because they are trying to see what you do. You are always in the right lane unless the examiner says you are turning left.

Hand Over Hand Steering

The Critical Parts Of Your Test

Pretty much anything that is critical on the test is going to start with the letter S.

  • Shoulder Checks – anytime you signal, turn, or change lanes but don’t over do it.
  • Speed Control – is essential, aim for 3 km/hr under every speed limit (47 in a 50)
  • Signal Lights – use them when turning but don’t use them when it’s not required.
  • Stops – make sure to stop gradually and completely before the line or sign if no line. If you are at an all way stop and you are there first, don’t stare at the other cars approaching the intersection as they will stop. Many students will sit at all way stops and stare at the approaching cars as though they aren’t going to stop.
  • Scanning Intersections – before entering any intersection be sure to check for hazards by looking left and right. I see people run red lights all the time so this is a lot like shoulder checks in the sense that checking what’s around you will save your life, or someone else’s at some point.
  • Steering – hand over hand steering is what you have to do on the test. Note that H.O.H. steering will make your turns have better flow.

Just like in contact sports, SHOULDER CHECKS ARE EVERYTHING!

Access Nova Scotia’s Lower Sackville road test route

Stellarton Route

From Access N.S.

  • Turn right on Lawrence Street
  • Continue on Lawrence Street to the roundabout
  • Exit the roundabout to N Foord Street (trunk 374)
  • Continue to the first set of lights that are at Bridge Ave. They could turn you right here into a school zone and curb park you.
  • They could also NOT turn you on Bridge Ave and instead continue to the stop sign after the first set of lights at Bridge Ave. This stop sign is at Jubilee Ave and they would turn you right and curb park you here.
  • After any of these scenarios (which are all the same) they will take you back to Bridge Ave.They could turn you left at N Foord Street and go back to Access NS.
  • Or you could continue on Bridge Ave passing the Esso station then onto Highway 104.
  • You don’t merge onto Highway 104. Instead they take you up to the next exit in the acceleration lane and then back through the roundabouts to Access NS.

Access Nova Scotia’s Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 1

Access Nova Scotia Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 2

What to do on test day

  • You need your insurance card, vehicle permit, beginner’s licence, road test receipt and RightLane certificate.
  • Ensure that your lights are working and you have plenty of windshield washer fluid.
  • Don’t lose your licence or certificate in the car
  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Road Tests are usually 15-20 minutes max
  • It’s okay to be nervous, that’s normal. You are getting your drivers licence. This is one of the most significant days of your life, so yeah, it’s a big deal. But don’t let the nervousness affect your confidence.

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Truro Route

From Access N.S.

  • Exit Access NS right to McClures Mills Rd
  • Down to lights at Willow and left
  • straight to Arthur and right
  • Left at one of next two stop signs to Victoria St
  • Left on Victoria
  • Curb park Victoria St
  • Straight to Willow and right
  • Left at light to Prince by U-Haul
  • Hook right at Fletchers Restaurant

Access Nova Scotia’s Bayers Lake Road Test Route

Reverse Parking

Reverse parking makes every new driver nervous, but like with everything else in driving, there is a secret that will make it super easy. The secret tip is the same as every other secret tip I give in any challenging situation related to driving: slow down and take your time.

Access Nova Scotia in Lower Sackville.

It is going to be 10 times easier to reverse park at the Access location you test at compared to any other parking lot. The reason is because you have to look back the entire time that you are reversing on your test. If you were to practice looking back the whole time in a normal parking lot, it would be impossible to know where you are in relation to the parking spot. You would have no choice but to stop and check your side mirrors to reference the painted lines.

Reverse camera

However, at all Access N.S. locations, there will be a sign in the very center of your spot as a reference point. All you do is line up the middle of your car with that sign. Access N.S. does not allow parking in these spots during regular business hours, but you can practice there after hours. You will likely notice many other new drivers doing the same.

Sackville Access N.S. Parking – Line up the middle of your car with the sign.

You won’t be allowed to use the reverse camera on your car so it’s good to get use to looking back the whole time. Also note, when students actually do look back the whole time, they always do a better parking job than if they are looking around or mixing looking around with the camera. Just look back the entire time.

RightLane car

Reverse Parking

Reverse Parking

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