Is the New Driving Test Harder? Part 2 Is the New Driving Test Harder? Part 2
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Is the New Driving Test Harder? Part 2

We ended part 1 of this series highlighting that practical test pass percentages among men and women had fallen slightly, since the new test was rolled out on 4 December, 2017. Is this an indicator that the new driving test is harder or is there more to it? Let’s find out.

Following on from part 1, we start at point number 4…

4. New test, but old elements still cause problems

Despite candidates having to contend with sat-nav led driving and bay parking as new additions to the test, it’s junctions that continue to cause problems. For 10 years straight, despite a new look test, observing traffic at junctions remains the single biggest reason for driving test failure in Britain!

This suggests that the new driving test isn’t harder, but that learner motorists continue to struggle with something that’s been a part of the practical test for decades.

5. First time pass rates

The first time pass percentage rate among candidates since the test changes is roughly equal to the pass percentage from December 2016 to 2017, indicating that the new driving test isn’t necessarily any harder.

Meanwhile, the pass percentage among those taking their test for the sixth time or more has declined. 40.1% of candidates taking their test for a sixth time or more, passed from December 2016 to 2017. However, from December 2017 to 2018, this slumped to 38%, indicating that the new driving test is harder for some than the previous test.

6. More young people pass the test

Official figures indicate that the new driving test is harder for over 25s, with those under 25 having a far more superior pass percentage. Since the test changes, the pass percentage rate among 17 year-olds has exceeded 50% while the pass percentage for 25 to 34 year-olds sits at just above 40%, suggesting that the new driving test is harder for older age groups.

Overall, it appears that a number of factors determine how difficult the new driving test is perceived to be. However, it seems those factors and not the test itself, have a huge bearing on pass rates. For example, the new driving test is roughly the same for city and town test routes, but rural test centres experience a better pass percentage.

However, the new look test has only been in operation for the past year, the facts and figures are likely to change again in the next 12 months, so watch this space.

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