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The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust

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Theory Test
Autumn - sunlitdays
Passed my driving theory test yesterday! What a relief. Now all I have to do is pass the practical and I'm free and don't have to listen to my driving instructor. Also went to London to see Wreck-It Ralph (which FINALLY opened here last month) and really enjoyed it. Have to say that all the "duty" jokes will fly over the head of anyone who isn't American, though. I'm glad I went with my friend from California, who was able to explain the pun to me!

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(Deleted comment)
Ooh! Congrats! :D

I'm American (albeit semi-transplanted even after fourteen years or something) and the suggestion of "duty" jokes goes over my head. O_o Maybe I'd have to see it to know what you mean.

"Duty" sounds like "Doody" which is what many a small child will call poo. If that helps.

Good luck!

I am going to be completely honest with you, I have no idea how this whole process is working for you. Like, in the US, you have to take Driver's Ed when you're fifteen/sixteen or else you can't graduate, so hearing what you've been doing has been rather educational! (Also, slightly befuddling in a clash of cultures sort of way.)

Well, that makes two of us. I had no idea that driving lessons were MANDATORY for you guys to graduate, which seems... a little draconian to me? I did attend a class that talked about driving when I was seventeen but there was no pressure to actually have lessons. Most people do learn much earlier than me (one of my oldest friends and my sister, for example, both passed when they were 17). Basically you are advised to have at least 44 hours of official lesson time before booking your practical. The theory test has changed a lot, because it used to be only 30 questions, and I believe that when my friend and my sister took it (only a few years' apart), it was written and you had to wait a week to find out the results. Now you do it by computer and they give you your result when you leave, so I benefit from the advance in technology. :)

Well, to be fair, like most things in the US, it varies by state. In PA, Driver's Ed is mandatory, yes, but its all bookwork. They hand you the state driving manual and you dissect every damn page of it. Which prepares you for the written exam. On your 16th birthday, you head to the licensing center where you take your written and eye exams and if you pass both of those, you get your learner's permit. After you have that for a minimum of SIX months, you take your driving test, get your Junior License which is like a real license except you have a midnight curfew. That's the mandatory bit. After you have your actual license, you go back to the high school and tell them you'd like your optional behind-the-wheel training. Which is a grand total of 10 hours. After you finish that, they give you a certificate which you can use for a discount on your car insurance and to apply for an amended license that lets you drive AFTER midnight, provided you have a clean driving record and you're 17 years old.

I think, in the rare but not unheard of event that an adult goes for their license for the first time, it's the basic same premise excepting the part about the Junior license.

That's PA. I know a lot of states let you get your permit when you're 15 and/or don't have a waiting restriction between permit and license and in some states behind-the-wheel is also mandatory school curriculum. And, this is all done at the teenager level, because, well, the US is not known for its public transport and its a spacey place so unless you live in NYC or Chicago, you are going nowhere if you're not driving yourself. Which explains why it's all part of required learning.

Edited at 2013-03-05 05:05 am (UTC)

I can understand why kids are allowed to drive earlier there, it's a big country and you're pretty stuck if you don't have your own vehicle. Thanks for the explanation, it's fascinating!

Congrats! I did a theory test 12 or more years ago when I passed and I *think* it was online, but can remember back when the theory test was pretty much a formality of one or two questions at the end of the practical (I didn't pass until my 4th test).

Is your driving instructor a git or just annoying? Some of the teachers I had terrified me, I have to say. 44 recommended hours of lessons sounds like a very good idea - the old system was that you could take it whenever you wanted after only a few "lessons" with your mum or dad. It was somewhat skewed in favour of over-confident teens (mostly blokes, unsurprisingly). If I'd been clued-in enough to wait before booking the test until I'd found a decent teacher I'd have wasted much less heartache and money!

She's one of those people who is never happy. She always has to complain about something. At first I thought it was because she was going through a protracted divorce and having problems with her ex-husband over selling their house, but even after that was wrapped up, she still complains. The final straw was when my grandfather died last year. I had a driving lesson the day I found out and I didn't want to cancel because I'd still have to pay, so I did the driving lesson. She tried to be sympathetic but commented that she didn't like it when I was sad, which I found infuriating because how else was I supposed to be when I'd just got the news that my grandfather had died? I told her that it was going to be like this for a while. She also tried to turn the conversation around to her by saying she'd lost her grandfather when she was thirteen, but I wasn't interested in hearing about that. I think because I'm one of the older students, she feels like she can talk about anything with me, but I don't think it's very professional, and I also have to endure her casual racism and prejudice against anyone who isn't 100% straight. I have learned from her that someone can be much older than me yet more immature than me, so that's something. She is actually a good teacher when she focuses on the driving, though. And at least I'm not terrified of her.

The old system does sound lackadaisical! The theory's been toughened up a lot recently, I think. On top of doing 50 multiple choice questions, you can only get seven wrong; any more and you fail and you have to do it again. I'm sorry you had such a difficult time with some of your teachers. I've heard some horror stories about driving instructors (my driving instructor told me that one of her younger female students had been stalked by her previous male driving instructor) and I don't have anything like that to share, so I am lucky in that sense.

I graduated from high school *cough* twenty years ago and driver's ed wasn't mandatory then. I'm curious how widespread such a rule is. Does it vary by state, I wonder? It does seem draconian...

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