Taking and passing the exam given by the Land Transportation Office (LTO) are the first steps to getting a driver’s license and becoming a responsible driver in the Philippines. It may seem like a hassle, but it really is given with good intentions: To ensure that you know what it means and how to be a good driver who values safety on the road.
Before you get yourself a license, you need to pass the LTO’s driving exam. This exam has two parts: a written examination and an actual driving test.
If you’re ready to secure your Non-professional Driver’s License, here’s a quick guide that we’ve put together to help you prepare and teach you how to pass the LTO exam.
Understanding the LTO Exam
Owning a car isn’t enough to be able to drive on public roads. In fact, you still have tons of stuff you need to do, including:
- Enrolling in a proper driving school
- Getting a student driver’s permit;
- Getting a non-professional driver’s license—the proper license you need if you’ll be driving a private vehicle.
Quite an adventure, you say? It’s not quite as simple. You will also need to secure a medical certificate, enroll in a Theoretical Driving Course (TDC), get a TDC certificate, get your student driver’s permit, enroll in a Practical Driving Course (PDC), get a PDC certificate, and pass the LTO exams before you can get ahold of that precious steering wheel on your own.
While you won’t need to take the LTO exams to secure a student driver’s permit, graduating from this to secure your Non-Professional driver’s license will require passing the LTO exam. After all, you have to make sure you are totally ready to drive by passing a ‘final’ exam, just like every other student out there.
How to Pass the LTO exam
To help you get through the exam, here are some of the things you’ll need:
Pre-Examination: Preparing for the LTO exam
Step 1: Review for the written exams.
As mentioned earlier, there are two exams that you will need to go through and pass—the written exam and the driving exam.
To prepare for the written exam, it’s best to check the LTO exam reviewers you received after getting your student driver’s permit as well as the other available resources online. This is so you will have an idea about the type of questions included in the written exam.
- Use the online resources from LTO.
You may check the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS) website’s E-Learning section. Even if you’re not logged in to the portal, you can still access some, if not all, of the online learning modules available there.
- Use Third-Party Materials
Aside from the LTMS e-learning modules, there are other third-party resources that exist online or otherwise. You may either get some from your driving school (if you attended one) or online, by running a quick search for LTO reviewers or mock exams.
- Check the video resources online.
Hated reading? You can simply go through the videos, via the LTMS or by looking at bite-sized videos posted online, either on Youtube or Tiktok.
- Do your own research, especially on LTO driving licenses.
If you are as keen as you claim to be, it won’t hurt to take it a step further by doing more than just reading through the LTO reviewers. You could also brush up on the essentials that you have previously learned from the driving school or from whoever you learned driving from.
Step 2. Practice driving.
As mentioned, the LTO exam comes with a practical driving exam where you would need to show off your actual driving skills in a simulated public road environment. Now that you’ve already reviewed for the written exam, you need to make sure that you are also comfortable in driving alone in traffic while following the street signs and symbols. You must also learn how to park properly in order to pass the driving test.
Step 1: Taking the LTO written exam.
If you prepare well, then you’ll have no problems taking the written exams. Just make sure you read every word, understand all the questions, and take your time answering them. Some questions may be tricky too, so make sure you always pick the best answer.
The LTO Written Exam
The LTO written exam is a randomized multiple-choice exam divided into six different subjects, including:
- General Driving Knowledge
This includes defensive driving, proper techniques, road safety, stress management, driving rules, licenses, and maintenance.
This covers everything you need to know about parking for safety as well as the rules and restrictions relating to vehicle parking in the Philippines.
- Driving Emergencies
In this part, aspiring drivers are tested for their knowledge of road emergencies, including what to do when involved in mechanical failures and accidents.
- Handling & Driving
This includes the know-hows of driving the optimal way, including the rights and responsibilities of drivers on the road, common regulatory rules, traffic signs and signals, and making sure that your vehicle’s documents are up-to-date and in order.
- Road Signs & Lane Markings
This test ensures that you know your way around traffic signs, signals, and pavement markings. This also ensures that you know enough of the regulatory signs such as no U-turn, no right turn, or left turn not only to pass the exam but also to ensure both yours and others’ safety on the road.
- Road Position
The test will definitely include information about right of way and everything else about where you should position your vehicle while driving.
Written Exam Passing Scores
The passing score requirements for the written exam vary as follows:
- For those who are seeking the Non-professional driver’s license (NPDL), you need to score at least 30 correct answers out of 40 questions (30/40).
- Those who are looking to get the Professional driver’s license (PDL) need at least 45 correct answers out of 60 questions (45/60).
Written Exam Results: Pass or Fail?
There are tell-tale signs to know for sure whether you passed or failed the LTO written exam.
- If you pass, your name will be called and you will be ushered to the venue for the practical driving test.
- If you fail, you will be asked to re-enter the exam room for more information about how to take it again after a month. This includes having to go through everything—from the application process to the photo and signature-taking and written exams—all over again.
Step 2: Taking the LTO Driving Test
After passing the written exam, then it’s time for the LTO driving test. Here’s what you need to know about it.
LTO Actual Driving Test
When it’s time to take the LTO driving test, the very first thing you need is to decide how you’re going to take the test and the vehicle you would use.
Here are your options:
- LTO vehicle
LTO has vehicles that you can rent for Php 250.00 when you take your driving test. It’s a practical choice since you don’t need to make any other arrangements. The only downside is, you might be unfamiliar with the vehicle so it may take a while to be comfortable driving it.
- Driving school
If you’ve taken either the TDC or the PDC from a driving school, you may actually take the practical driving exam from there. You have the option to use your assigned vehicle with your school coach at the back while the examiner sits in front.
- Your own car
If you had a licensed adult who drove you off to LTO on your own can, then you may simply use it for the practical driving test. This way, you can drive a vehicle you’re comfortable with and save Php 250.00 at the same time.
For the actual driving test, you will be asked to drive in a designated driving course, from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how you drive.
To pass the practical driving test, you need to at least score 70 out of 100. You should receive instant feedback and result right after the test.
Post LTO Exam: After the Practical Driving Test for an LTO driver’s license
Once you pass the LTO exams, from the written test to the practical driving test, you will only need to wait for the approval of your license application before it is released along with the official receipt.
When taking the LTO exam, here are some things you need to remember:
- Don’t rush. Whether it’s for the written or the practical driving exam, it’s very important to take your time and think to avoid mishaps.
- Bring all the documents you need to avoid going back and forth when you go for your LTO exams.
- You need to pass both the written and practical exams to get your license. If you don’t pass either or both of the tests, then you can retake them after a month.
- If you fail your LTO exams on your second try, then you will need to wait for a year.
- If you fail on your third attempt at the LTO exam, then you will need to wait for two years before you can retake the test.
- It’s best to go for an LTO exam during non-peak working days, from Tuesday to Thursday.
- Be polite to your examiner. Greet him or her, introduce yourself, and always listen to the instructions.
- Practice reverse parking. You may be asked to do this, or at the very least, you may have to do this when returning your rental car to its place.
- Don’t be overconfident. Be cautious at all times, regardless if it’s during the weitten or the driving test.
- Don’t use fixers. It’s dishonest, risky, and costly compared when you do it by yourself.
Video: How to Pass the LTO Exams
For tips on how to successfully pass your LTO exams, watch this explainer video uploaded by Wander J on Youtube:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some common questions and answers regarding the LTO exams.
1. What is the passing score in the LTO exam?
For the written exam, the passing score for non-professional driver exam is 30 out of 40; while for professional driver exam it is 45 out of 60. For the practical driving test, you need a rating of at least 70 out of 100 to pass.
2. How can I pass the LTO exam?
To pass the LTO exam, you will need to pass both the written exam and the practical driving test in one go.
3. How many questions are there in the LTO written exam?
The number of questions in the LTO written exam may vary depending on the type of license you want to secure. For those taking the test for the Non-professional Driver’s License (NPDL), there are 40 questions, whereas there are 60 questions for those who are taking the Professional Driver’s License (PDL) exam.
4. What is the written test for a driver’s license about?
The LTO written test is consists of multiple choice questions about road, signs, driving practices, parking, and traffic rules and regulations in the Philippines.
5. Is there a practical exam for those who are securing a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL)?
Yes. Aside from the written or theoretical examination, there is an actual driving test that you need to pass to be able to get a Non-Professional Driver’s License (NPDL).
6. Can I retake the LTO exams if I fail?
Yes. If it’s your first try, you may retake the LTO exam one month after failing either or both written and actual driving tests. If you fail on your second attempt, you’ll have to wait for one year to reapply. If, on your third try, you still fail to pass the written or driving test, then you’ll have to wait for two years before you can reapply.
7. What are the topics covered by the LTO written exam?
The questions are conveniently broken into six different sections, including:
- Signs and markings
- Road position
- Violations and penalties
- General knowledge
- Handing and driving
8. Should I enroll in a driving school or not?
This is a decision that the driver’s license applicants are free to make. However, many LTO examiners have observed that applicants who passed the written test initially studied in driving schools, so if you want to up your chances of passing it, then it would be a good idea to enroll in a reputable or accredited driving school first.
Getting a driver’s license, be it a Non-Professional or a Professional Driver’s License, entails a lot of things which includes taking and passing the LTO exams. With this guide, we hope you can pass the LTO exams on your first take and avoid the hassle of having to reapply all over again.