"cut someone off" = pull in front of someone

"The instructor failed me because I cut someone off on the highway."

"fender bender" = very minor car accident

"The slick roads caused a number of fender benders this morning."

Driving Road Test

Want to Tell People About This Listening Activity? 1. Pre-Listening Exercises

What are some basic rules of the road you need to know when taking a road test to obtain a driver's license in your country? How about where you live now? Think about topics such as parking, speeding, passing, yielding the right of way, and obeying traffic signs and signals.

HELPFUL TIP : Learning about defensive driving is key to safe driving. If you're planning on taking a driving road test, be sure you have practiced under many different conditions including at night, in bad weather, and in snow.

Can using a credit card be a dangerous thing?

2. Listening Exercises
Listen to the conversation by pressing the "Play Audio" button.

1. Where has the man been practicing for his road test this past week?
A. at a driving school
B. on streets around town
C. at home

2. In what part of town do they begin the road test?
A. in a commercial area
B. in a residential district
C. in a school zone

3. What was the situation with the vehicle in front of them?
A. Mr. Smith is following too closely.
B. The driver of the other car is tailgating them.
C. The car ahead of them is driving below the speed limit.

4. What did Mr. Smith almost hit in the road?
A. another vehicle
B. a person
C. a street sign

5. What does the driving officer suggest Mr. Smith do at the end of the conversation?
A. He should come back on Friday to take the test.
B. He had better take more driving lessons before trying the test again.
C. He ought to take the test with another driving officer.


1. at home
2. in a commercial area
3. Mr. Smith is following too closely.
4. a person
5. He ought to take the test with another driving officer.


Driving Officer: Okay. Mr. Smith. Let's begin your road test.

Mr. Smith: Oh. I know I'm ready. I've been practicing in my driveway all week.

Driving Officer: Okay. Mr. Smith. As I'm sure you are aware, you will not only be tested on your knowledge of the rules of the road, but on your behavior toward other motorists.

Mr. Smith: Okey-dokey.

Driving Officer: Okay. Now you can start your car.

Mr. Smith: Yeah, right. Here we go!

Driving Officer: Whoa! Take it easy. The speed limit in this business district is only 25 miles an hour. [Oh]. All right. Now, turn right at the next corner . . . [This corner?] Na, not here! Wow! You forgot to signal too!

Mr. Smith: Gosh. I didn't see that one, and . . . Ah, Could you grab my cell phone under my seat. [Huh?] Nah, I'll get it.

Driving Officer: Oh, Mr. Smith. Keep your eyes on the road!

Mr. Smith: Oh yeah.

Driving Officer: Okay. Now, pull over here and show me that you can parallel park.

Mr. Smith: Sure. Wait. Hey bud. Move your car. I was here first!

Driving Officer: Ah. Forget it. Just keep driving.

Mr. Smith: So, how am I doing? Can I just take a peek at your notes?

Driving Officer: No! And, uh, watch out. Mr. Smith. Now you're tailgating the vehicle in front of us.

Mr. Smith: Oh, yeah. I'm just so excited about getting my license today. [Right.].

Driving Officer: Okay. Now carefully, CAREFULLY turn right here, and wait, wait, WAIT . . .STOP!! You almost hit that pedestrian . How in the world did you pass the written test anyway? [Well . . .]You have to give way to any pedestrians crossing the street. Jeez!

Mr. Smith: Oh. sorry about that. It won't happen again.

[Car screeching to a stop . . .]

Driving Officer: Whoa! Get out! [What?] Get out! I'm driving back to the office.

Mr. Smith: Does this mean I didn't pass the test?

Driving Officer: Look, Mr. Smith. Could you do me a favor? When you come back to take the test again, plan on coming on Friday.

Mr. Smith: Again? Why? Is it less crowded that day?

Driving Officer: No. It's my day off.

4. Post-Listening Exercises

Listen again and identify the possible mistakes or careless behavior Mr. Smith committed during his driving test. What are the possible consequences of each action? What should you know before selecting a driving school (e.g., cost, length of course, safety record, etc.)? Shop around on the Internet for the best course based on your needs.

5. Online Investigations

What are the possible advantages of taking a drivers education course online instead of attending a traditional driving school? Go online and collect information on the cost, types of classes available, and the length of time it takes to complete such courses.

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