top of page
  • Bedford Driver

Nova Scotia Road Tests and Routes

Updated: 2 hours ago



On this page we will look at Nova Scotia road tests and routes. The routes themselves will always change depending on the day and the 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'll 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.



Student Driver stickers now available




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




Driving Examiners Fail A Student Driver Who Tested In A Tesla




Note: The examiners don’t always take you on the highway. They mix the routes up here and there, but the key to passing these tests is to have practiced a solid amount and 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 cancellations. They pick up right away most of the time, it’s quite impressive compared to most call centers. You will get a cancellation. 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 got a road test the next week.



You have to yield to funeral processions and hearses with blue lights. This actually happened to a student on a test and they failed for not yielding.





Hand Over Hand Steering


On the test you will have to do hand over hand steering. It can be confusing at first, but once you master it you will never steer any other way. It will add so much more flow to your driving.



Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hand Over Hand Steering




For the best steering control you should hold the wheel from the outside with your thumbs resting on the outside of the wheel. This is how you have to hold the steering wheel on the test.




SHOULDER CHECKS!


Students often get confused about when to shoulder check at stops. Don't shoulder check before you stop. What could happen is you may end up sitting at the intersection looking at cars for 30 seconds and a pedestrian could walk up in your blind spot. The shoulder check is the very last thing you do when you are ready to make your turn and go. I find it helps to break it down into a step by step procedure. See below.



Check Yourself Before You Make Your Move




School Zones


Don't slow down to the school zone speed limit if there are no children actually OUTSIDE in the area. Make sure to check for children in the area. Some students will talk outloud saying "not seeing any children" so that the examiner knows that they are checking. Many people will tell you that you have to slow down during school hours or when the children are in the school. That is completely false. So, if you are 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 are in a 60 km/hr zone or faster then you slow down to 50 km/hr. If you do 30 km/hr by default you will lose points.




The school zone law confuses so many drivers that a lawyer wrote a blog to clarify the law.




The Critical Parts Of Your Test


Everything that is 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 neighborhood just do the safest speed for the 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.

  • Signal Lights – use them when required but don’t signal if there’s no reason to.

  • Stops – make sure to stop gradually and completely before the line, or at the sign if no there’s 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 stop. Many students will sit at all way stops and stare at the approaching cars as though they aren’t going to stop, but once it’s your turn just go. Those other cars have to stop first.

  • 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.



Access Nova Scotia's Lower Sackville Test Route (2023 newest edition)




To reverse park at Access in Lower Sackville line up your passenger side door lock with the 3rd line. Like right up on the line for an average size car like a Honda Civic.




Literally all you have to do is line up the middle headrest of your car with the sign. Stop everytime that you need to steer then move cautiously back while looking back.




Reverse Parking at Access NS Sackville




If you are taken down to the Highway 101 interchange and then exit right to Sackville Drive instead of going on the highway, note that the speed limit is 50 km/hr and the right lane exits only. There is no sign here to indicate this.

Remember that the speed limit in this interchange is 70 km/hr.





If you go down Glendale Drive and are exiting onto Highway 102, make sure you slow gradually into the ramp. You may have to yield to traffic turning left from the intersection.




When exiting the highway be sure to maintain speed until all four wheels are in the exit lane.




Exploring Other Sackville Road Test Areas




Drivers ed convention in sackville






Dartmouth Road Test


Access Nova Scotia’s Dartmouth Road Test Route Part 1




Access Nova Scotia’s Dartmouth Road Test Route Part 2




Dartmouth has the loopy style parking lines which give you extra room. Drive 1 and 1/2 spots ahead of the spot you want to line it up.





Bridgewater


Access Nova Scotia Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 1




Access Nova Scotia Bridgewater Road Test Route – Part 2




Bridgewater Access Parking Lot






Stellarton Route

  • From Access N.S. turn right on Lawrence Street from Access

  • Continue on Lawrence Street to the roundabout

  • Exit the roundabout (signal to exit not while entering) to N Foord Street (trunk 374)

  • Continue to the first set of lights at Bridge Ave. They may turn you right here into a school zone and curb park you.

  • Also, they may 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 sort of 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.




Tips


  • The examiners are friendly so don’t be intimidated.

  • Check your headlights, high beams, signal lights, and brake lights to ensure they are working.

  • After you get your fulls you will go inside at Access NS and it’s optional whether you get a new photo taken for your license.

  • Shoulder checks, scanning intersections, speed control, and hand over hand steering are what you should focus on. Whichever direction you turn your signal light onto is the direction you will shoulder check, every time.

  • When reverse parking you have to be looking back if the vehicle is moving backwards. You can look around if the vehicle is stopped. I recommend that you practice stopping a couple of times because it is so easy to look around while the car is moving back and every new driver does this naturally. This will cost you points so just get used to stopping and looking around.

  • Lane flow is just as much of a priority as speed control. The left lane should always be going faster than you in order to avoid lane conflicts and so that you are never in their blind spots and they can safely pass you if needed.


A trick to remember your hand signals is:

  • Left if left – Straight out horizontal

  • Slow down or stop is down – They will say "stop or slow down" so remember, it's down

  • Right is up – Straight up





Truro Route


If you have time to kill while waiting for your test, I totally recommend that you visit Victoria Park in Truro. It’s the nicest park in Nova Scotia.



Victoria Park in Truro Nova Scotia




The Truro Route

  • Exit Access NS, turning right to McClures Mills Rd

  • Down to lights at Willow Street and turn left

  • Continue straight to Arthur and turn right

  • Left at one of next two stop signs to Victoria Street

  • Left on Victoria Street

  • Then Curb park Victoria St

  • Continue straight to Willow Street and turn right

  • Continue on Willow Street then turn left at the lights onto Prince Street

  • Then turn right at at Juniper Street by Fletcher’s Restaurant

  • Then left on Robie Street (inside lane then move right – ALWAYS stay in the right lane unless turning left) all the way to Rotary

  • Continue straight through underpass

  • Left onto Highway 102 southbound (second entrance NOT the first)

  • Leave the highway at Exit 13 and go back up McClures Mills Road to Access


Access Nova Scotia’s Truro Road Test Route






Bayers Lake


I don't recommend testing here


Access Nova Scotia’s Bayers Lake Road Test Route




When reverse parking at Access in Bayers Lake line up your passenger side door lock slightly behind the third line.






When they repainted the parking lot here they didn't remove the old lines so it can be hard to see where the parking spaces are.





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




If they take you to Timberlea on the Saint Margarets Bay Road be aware that as you are driving back to Access the speed limit as you approach the curve (just before the lights) is 70 km/hr. The sign is completely blocked by a bush.




The area of Washmill Lake Dr at Bentley Dr drops from 60 km/hr to 50 km/hr. The sign that shows the speed limit 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. The right lane is blocked in this area 24/7. Some students have found that if they change lanes before the hill that the examiner will then say that they are going to turn right instead of over the hill. Again, don't test here.




This is the hill that you will go down after you drive through The Dunbrack Street - Washmill 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 if they didn't go over the limit while practicing.





Make sure that you have your speed up close to 80 km/hr as you merge. This a a very short acceleration lane at Dunbrack Street and Highway 102.






Parking


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. Superstore in Bedford is a good place to practice and it even has a reference point in the center of the space. Keep this spot on the DL. It's going to be 10 times easier to reverse park at the Access location you test at compared to any other parking lot as they will have a sign as a point of reference in the parking space.





Reverse Camera View


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 that when students actually do look back the whole time, they always do a better job parking than if they were looking around or mixing looking around with the camera. Just look back the entire time.




Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Parking






More Tips










Road Tests Playlist



38 views

Cool Student Driver stickers now available

One of my students recently experienced a road rage incident while practicing. These stickers keep other drivers behind you chill while you're trying to learn. You would be amazed at how many drivers respond positively to these stickers and sometimes will follow even further back.

sds-orange-premium_edited_edited.jpg
bottom of page