You just turned 18 and legal to get a driving license in Singapore. Theory Tests are not a problem for you and the last obstacle that’s standing between you and your card is the practical driving test, more commonly known as “TP”!
TP Testers are mostly ex-traffic police officers who have had a great deal of experience in driving rules and techniques, but search online and you will be able to find a great amount of people who were failed by these testers for stupid mistakes, with some mistakes they weren’t aware of committing! So in this article we should look at some tips and good habits to inculcate into yourself in order to pass this expensive test (for private candidates, renting your instructors car to take the test is easily $200).
Sounds familiar? But it’s not just forgetting to check blind spot, or that the tester did not notice you checking your blind spot and penalized you for it. The key to this is checking your blind spot at the right time and in the right way. The proper way firstly is to turn your head enough to shoulder level, meaning your face should be in line with your shoulder. Secondly, check your blind spot before you turn your steering wheel, and you might want to check again while you turn your steering wheel, but most importantly, it’s to check at these two timings, not too early and not too late, if not you should be penalized.
On top of this, if you still feel insecure on whether the tester will spot you checking blind spot, you can announce it while you do it (e.g. saying, “Checking blind spot now!”), and no faults will be given.
Wrong turning radius
As new drivers, more often than not do they tend to turn into the wrong lane, or not turn enough to fit the turning angle correctly. Remember that the steering wheel can still be adjusted while doing the turn, so don’t panic if you find yourself making the turn too wide or too narrow. You can adjust while you turn, just don’t jerk the steering wheel. Try not to turn to quickly either or you may tend to hit the kerb especially in the circuit.
For manual learners, it is important to have good clutch control, which is why you practice! It’s best to practice with the same car as much as possible because every clutch has different biting points, during the test, use the vehicle with the clutch you’re most confident with as it makes a difference whether you’re telling your tester that you’re ready for a license, or a headbanging session in the middle of the road.
Poor Judgement on the Road
If you ask me, by the time you’re going for your test and you have no good judgment on the road (e,g. you’re not confident of whether to move off or whether the car approaching is far enough for you to make the turn safely), you shouldn’t get your license yet because you’ll just be a road hazard. Testers do look out for that and especially for how you react to unforeseen circumstances. Key point is to keep your courtesy on the road and in the circuit, and although you know you’re the king in the circuit, be polite and give a thank you hand signal to the other cars that let you pass. It leaves a good impression. For making a turn at a big junction, as mentioned above that you’re not confident of doing so, don’t take the test, it’ll save lives in case somehow you escape the eyes of your tester.
You can drive really well and feel confident that you can pass the test, and high speeds aren’t a problem for you and you want to prove it to your tester. The best way is to drive between 40-45km/h steadily, for it’s not about the speed. Overconfidence often leads to speeding, something which you may not be conscious about since you’re already used to that speed. Also, remember that there’s no speedometer in front of the tester, so it’s really up to how fast he feels you’re going. No use trying to argue you’re going 48km/h instead of being accused going over 50km/h
Wayang? No need!
I’ve read some people say in forums to “wayang” your way through. Including how you dress and what you wear. Honestly I don’t think it makes much of a difference if you really cannot make it in terms of driving. Leave a good impression by being polite and show you’re there to pass. You don’t have to act your way through the test, or comment that he’s handsome or wear the shortest skirt you have for ladies.
Hopefully this article helps calm the nerves of those who are going for the test. Remember, drive safely and you’ll pass. Keep the good habits and get rid of bad ones and the roads will be better. Soon I might write about some good/bad habits noticed in Singaporean Drivers. Do look out for it!
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