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Nova Scotia Road Tests 

On this page we'll take a look at Access Nova Scotia's road test areas and routes. The routes themselves will always change depending on the day and or examiner but these are the most common ones. On test day it's important to make sure that you have your vehicle permit, insurance card, driving school certificate, and beginner’s permit. Make sure that all of the lights on your vehicle are working and the M.V.I. is valid. It’s completely normal to be nervous for the test but remember that if you've put in the work and have practiced as much as possible, you'll be in a much better position to pass. Practicing will increase your confidence and help you be more chill for your test. All of the information in this post has been confirmed by the examiners at Access Nova Scotia.

How The Points System Works

The points system works like this: You start the road test with 45 points. For each mistake you make you will lose points. The amount of points you lose for each mistake will depend on the nature of the mistake. So for instance if you miss a shoulder check, then you would lose 10 points. That would mean that you then have 35 points remaining. If you lose 45 points before the end of the test then that would be a fail. If you do anything dangerous like not yielding to another vehicle or cutting another vehicle off then you will automatically fail. If you do your test in a drivers ed car and the examiner has to use the second brake pedal for any reason then that would be an automatic fail.

How To Book A Road Test In Nova Scotia



If you don’t want to wait months for a road test, call Access NS at 1-902-424-5200 option 1-2-1 as often as possible to check for cancelations.



How To Purchase A Road Test Online From Access Nova Scotia


Other Details

The Most Common Mistakes On Road Tests



  • Turning left on solid green lights and not yielding to oncoming traffic with the right of way.

  • Going over the speed limit and not making an adjustment to bring the speed back down. Remember it's not an automatic fail if you go 3 or 4 km/hr over the speed limit as long as you brake right away and bring the speed back down.

  • Looking forward while reversing. If you aren't looking through the back windshield while reversing you could run someone over.

  • Rolling stops at stop signs and on right turns at red lights.

  • Not going back to the right lane after turning into the left lane of a two lane road. The examiner doesn't tell you which lane to choose because they are waiting to see which lane you choose. Always go back to the right lane as it is your default position. The left lane of any road or highway is for faster moving traffic and those who want to pass or turn left.

  • Not shoulder checking or signalling out of a parking spot. Anytime that you turn out of a parking spot you have to signal and shoulder check.

  • Driving at the school zone speed limit when there are no children outside in the area. Always drive at a safe speed in school zone areas but if there aren't any children outside in the area then the school zone speed limit is not active.

  • Approaching yield signs too fast and or not yielding. Always take your time at any intersection or yield to ensure you'll be able to yield if required.

Shoulder Checks



Students often get confused about when to shoulder check at stops. You don't have to shoulder check before you stop at a red light or stop sign. This is because you may end up sitting there for a long time waiting for cars to clear, and in that time a pedestrian could walk up into your blind spot without you noticing. A shoulder check is always the very last thing you do before turning or making a lane change. I find that it helps to break these stopped turns down into a step by step procedure. First you stop. Then you look for cars. Once it looks safe, you shoulder and then turn. You're basically setting everything up and then double checking yourself before accelerating for the turn, that way if a pedestrian was in your blind spot you'll catch it.

School Zones


The school zone speed limit is not active if there are no children OUTSIDE in the area. Make sure to check for children while driving through school zones. Some students will actually talk out loud while driving through the zone saying something like: "not seeing any children" so that the examiner knows for sure that they're checking for them. Many experienced drivers think that they have to slow down only during school hours or when the children are in school. That's completely false. If you're in a 50 km/hr zone and there are children OUTSIDE in the area, then you slow down to 30 km/hr and if you're in a 60 km/hr zone or faster, you slow down to 50 km/hr. If you drive as if the school zone speed limit is active when there are no children outside you will lose points, unless the situation calls for it.



"When children are present" is defined as OUTSIDE anywhere in the school zone area."

The Most Critical Parts Of Your Road Test



Anything that's critical on the test is going to start with the letter S.



  • Shoulder Checks – shoulder check anytime you signal, turn, or change lanes.


  • Speed Control – Try to be at the speed limit or slightly under. When in a neighbourhood, do the safest speed for each area that you're in. If you go over the speed limit by 1 or 2 km/hr on a test it's not an automatic fail as long as you make an adjustment to your speed immediately. Every driver goes over the speed limit here and there.


  • Signal Lights – Use them when required but don’t signal if there’s no reason to. If you're unsure of whether you should signal or not, just go ahead and signal.


  • Stops – Make sure to stop gradually and completely before a stop sign. If you're at an all-way stop and you stopped first, don’t stay and stare at the other cars approaching the intersection as they also have to stop. When it's your turn to go, you go.


  • Scanning Intersections – Before entering an 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 for what’s around you will save your life or someone else’s at some point.

How To Deal With Emergency Vehicles When Driving


Road Test Videos

To reverse park at Access in Lower Sackville, line up your passenger side door lock with the 3rd line from the spot you want to park in if you're driving an average size car like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. There's a parking section further down on this page that explains this in more detail.

When leaving the driveway of Access at the beginning of your test, pull up to the left side as you exit so that you won't catch the curb when turning right.

If they take you down Glendale Drive/Ave then you'll likely be exiting into the Highway 102 interchange area. Make sure that you slow down gradually as you approach exit lane because you may have to yield to vehicles that are turning left from at the intersection. After exiting Glendale Ave into the highway area make sure that you gradually accelerate to 100 km/hr. If you go into this area at a speed slower than 85 km/hr you will lose points. One of my students was going to ace their test but lost 5 points for going 80 km/hr here.


If the examiner tells you to exit right from the interchange onto Sackville Drive, note that the speed limit changes from 70 km/hr to 50 km/hr around the corner. The right lane only exits as you approach Sackville Drive her and the traffic sign that is supposed to indicate this has been missing for years. Remember what I was saying previously about the importance of being familiar with any area that you test or drive in around Halifax.


If the examiner has you merge onto Highway 101 from the interchange, remember that the speed limit is 70km/hr until you get to the 100 km/hr zone at the overpass.


When exiting Highway 101 at the BeaverBank Connector, don't brake on the highway. Wait until you are in the exit lane then gradually slow down to 50 km/hr for the ramp. The BeaverBank Connector speed limit is 70 km/hr and you only have to yield if there is a vehicle in the left lane directly beside you trying to change to the lane that you're in.

Many new drivers are failing their road tests in Dartmouth because the lane lines are not painted at the intersection of Mount Hope Av and Baker Drive. They can't see which lane they're in and it's a double left turning lane. 

If you're driving an average size car like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, move forward one and a half spaces ahead of the parking space that you intend to park in. Then cut the steering wheel as far as it will go to the right side and hold it there. Reverse slowly and take your time.

Normally on a road test you'll always use the right lane as your default lane but the right lane rule does not apply in an interchange area. For this interchange, you'll want to use the centre lane.

Many new drivers are failing their road tests in Dartmouth because the lane lines are not painted at the intersection of Mount Hope Av and Baker Drive. They can't see which lane they're in and it's a double left turning lane. Make sure that you stay in your lane while turning through the intersection.

A common mistake on the Dartmouth test is students drifting from the right lane to the left lane at the intersection of Portland Street and Gaston Road. Stay close to the curb as you travel through here.

Prince Arthur Avenue has 2 of the strangest intersections you'll ever see. Follow the yellow line through this entire area. There's no need to signal because you're following the natural path of the road.

At the intersection of Prince Arthur Avenue and Pleasant Street it's hard to see the traffic on your right side. After you do your legal stop at the stop sign, do a second stop ahead of the sign and straighten the car up with the road. This will make it easier to see around the giant bush that blocks your line of sight on the right.

When reverse parking at Access in Bayer's Lake line up your passenger side door lock slightly behind the third line for an average size car like a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla. I don't recommend testing in Bayer's Lake. It's very common for students to fail here because driving in this area is like driving in downtown Toronto. 

If you turn left out of Access and go straight through the lights note that the right lane only exits but the sign is missing that indicates this. If the examiner tells you to go straight at the next set of lights, go into the left lane and continue straight.

The area of Washmill Lake Dr and Bentley Dr drops from 60 km/hr to 50 km/hr. The traffic sign that indicates this is hidden behind a tree. There is a chance that the examiner will tell you to turn right here on Bentley Dr. If you go straight instead of right wait until after the intersection to change lanes or do the lane change before the intersection if you're sure that they want you to continue straight down the hill. The right lane is blocked in this area 24/7 so you will have to change lanes no matter what. Don't rush this lane change because some motorists will be driving in the left lane well over the speed limit and they'll be hard to spot even when you shoulder check.

This is the hill that you will go down on DunBrack Street by the Washmill Lake Drive intersection. No matter how many times students practice this hill they all go over the speed limit of 60 km/hr on their tests, even though they didn't go over the limit while practicing.



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