Illinois Permit Study Guide

Taking the permit test in Illinois can be intimidating.  Using this study guide and taking the permit practice test will help to ease the process.

When studying for the permit test in Illinois, the best source for information is the official Illinois driver’s manual, known as Illinois Rules of the Road. Every question on the permit test is based on information found directly in the handbook.  Read it thoroughly and periodically test your knowledge as you go.

Being familiar with the structure of the test and how it is arranged will help you feel prepared when you go to take the test.  The Illinois written exam for a permit is a computer-based test with 35 questions, of which you must miss no more than 7 to receive a passing score of 80%.  Most of the questions are multiple choice, however you may also see true/false questions as well.

At least 15 of the questions will ask you to identify road signs.  Consequently studying chapter 9 of the manual, by knowing the color, shape and meaning of all the road signs is important.  For example orange signs indicate construction, while a triangular sign is always a yield sign.

The permit test may cover information from the entire Rules of the Road handbook.  However there may be some sections that you should study more thoroughly.  For example, chapters 1 and 2 are mostly administrative and are not likely to be covered on the test.  Most of the test content focuses on knowledge of actual traffic laws and driving situations.  Therefore you should spend most of your time studying chapters 3-12.  Particularly you may want to give special emphasis to Chapter 4 Traffic Laws, Chapter 10 Traffic signals and Pavement Markings and Chapter 11 Safe driving tips.  However be aware that permit test questions may be taken from any part of the manual.

The permit test is quite similar to the tests that are given to adult drivers, but also includes questions about permit restrictions and requirements for new drivers.  Therefore you should have a basic understanding of any entry in the manual that relates directly to teen drivers, such as the Graduated Driver Licensing program information found in chapter 3.

Also, take advantage of the sample questions at the end of each chapter.  They will give you a good idea of the topics that will be covered on the test.  Answers are found on page 92 of the manual.  Additionally, the number of questions listed for each chapter may provide a clue as to how heavily that information is emphasized on the permit test. 

You can also take the Illinois online permit practice test.  Practicing will help you feel more comfortable with both the content of the questions and the format of the test.