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Knowledge Test to improve pass rate and road safety

Shafaat Ahmed / 13 January 2011

The newly introduced Knowledge Test that replaced the Signal Test, a first step towards obtaining driving licence in Dubai, would create better traffic awareness and improve the pass rate, feel experts.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) launched the Knowledge Test on Tuesday while announcing the online booking services for scheduling driving licence test.

Unlike the previous version of the theory test, which basically focused only on road signs, the new 35-question Knowledge Test is a comprehensive quiz on traffic hazards, emergencies, signals as well as other real-life road situations.

“Rather than just focusing on road signs, the new programme covers a lot of other aspects of safe driving. We have provided study materials to institutes. The students can obtain the handbooks or take a few classes based on the study material before appearing for the test. It will definitely prepare them better to face different road situations,” Ahmed Hashem Bahrozyan, CEO of the RTA’s Licensing Agency, said, commenting on the theory test.

Khaleej Times had reported in October the imminent launch of the quiz, which is divided into two segments.

The first segment, which focuses on general traffic situations and is common for all types of licences, will have 17 questions and a minimum of 11 have to be answered to pass.

The second segment, which would have questions about the specific licence a candidate is obtaining, will have 18 questions and a minimum of 12 have to be answered to pass.

The duration of the touchscreen test is 35 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes to read the instructions.

The test, which went live on Tuesday, is applicable for getting licences for driving motorbikes, light vehicles as well as heavy trucks and buses.

Initially, the RTA is offering the programme in three languages — Arabic, English and Urdu — with an additional voiceover facility in Pashtu language as well.

However, the authority is planning to add more languages in the future.

Bahrozyan reiterated that the process to obtain a driving licence and the fees will remain the same.

“There is no change in the overall process; only the test has changed,” said Bahrozyan, noting that though the RTA and its partner institutes have invested a lot in the new system, the fees for both the theory as well as the practical tests will remain the same.

Both the tests are charged by the RTA at Dh200 each, in addition to the institute’s charges.

Experts believe the new theory test would likely improve traffic awareness as well as the pass rate.

“The new programme will give greater idea to the candidate about different traffic situations and how to handle emergencies and, with a better interface, will definitely help improve pass rate,” said a senior official of the Galadari Motor Driving Centre (GMDC).

He said the test, which was officially launched on Tuesday at the GMDC head office, offered glimpses of what is to come in the future.

“Most of the candidates who appeared the test on Tuesday passed quite easily, because the voiceover and the touchscreen facilities help people understand and go through the process very smoothly.”

The current pass rate for the theory test is at a healthy 75 per cent, while the pass rate for practical road test is not as impressive but has improved from 15 per cent two years ago to 26 per cent now.

The RTA launched the Knowledge Test jointly with Pearson VUE, which designed the tests and will be operating it.

Sample Questions

1.     In good conditions you should leave at least a two-second gap between you and the car in front. When should you leave a larger gap?

a.     When the driving conditions are poor, such as sand storms or rain

b.     When there is a lot of traffic

c.     At all times


2.     At a busy junction the moment the signal turns green you should

a.     Turn left and change your direction

b.     Not enter the yellow area unless the path is clear on the other side

c.     Sound your and enter the yellow area


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