Know What You Need Before Going for State Inspections
A state inspection is basically going through a checklist mandated by the state. For $25.50 your state inspector runs through a list of items and connects your vehicle to the state computer system in Austin. The average inspection roughly takes 15-20 minutes to perform and it is that fast because of constant repetitive practice.
So before you head out to get yours done, you can literally check all the items in your driveway and even the readiness of your vehicle's computer systems with a cheapy scanner from Amazon (This is the one I personally carry in my truck at all times.).
Here is a link to a full list provided by DPS for items checked during your annual inspection. On this site you can literally read the state language of how an item will be checked.
Here is a list based upon our experiences of what items fail the most:
3. Lug nuts missing
4. Check engine light illuminated
5. Tire tread
6. Fluid levels
7. Non functioning parking brake
Remember your state inspector isn't trying to fail your car, but rather is performing a duty to inspect your vehicle for safety for you and other drivers on the road and is going off a list of specifications to avoid any type of personal justification.
If you aren't one for surprises or if you typically have anxiety about inspections, I encourage you to check your car in your own drive way.