SAN DIEGO — There is a sense of freedom when it comes to passing your driver’s test. But for first-time drivers, the moments prior to the achievement can be very stressful and challenging.

Among 45 U.S. states, California ranks as the third toughest to pass a driving test, according to KyrosAML.

The pass rate in the Golden State is at 46.2%, researchers from the cloud-based dashboard solution found from data provided by the DMV.

The California driving test is divided into two parts: a Pre-Drive Safety Check and Driving Performance Evaluation (DPE).

“The Pre-Drive Safety Check determines whether your vehicle meets the DMV minimum safety standard and whether you are familiar with the operation of your vehicle. The DPE portion is the behind-the-wheel driving test when you drive your car with a DMV examiner who evaluates your driving skills,” the State of California DMV states on its website.

For those of any age who have a physical, mental, or vision condition, and/or a referral due to a lack of skill that may impact their ability to safely operate a vehicle, a referral test is given by the the California DMV called a Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation (SDPE). It includes test elements like multiple directions, additional lane changes, concentration, freeway or highway driving and destination trips.

Another referral test limits you to drive only in specified areas called the Area Driving Performance Evaluation (ADPE), according to California DMV. Those who pass this test will be restricted to only the specified areas where you were tested.

Arizona topped the list with a pass rate of 39.3%, followed by Maryland at 45.4%, the study shows. Kentucky was ranked as the easiest state to pass a driving test with a pass rate of 74.3%.