I had my theory part of my driving test today – as I already announced to the whole world a couple of days ago – and then had panic attacks of, what would I do, if I flunked it!! Then, thought of the bright side – I could always make a post of it 🙂
The theory tests here in the UK, have 2 parts – a multiple choice test, and a hazard perception test. Now, the multiple choice is pretty straighforward and simple and easy to clear.. Hazard perception, was a different ball game altogether.. Now, the way it works is, that they will show you 14 clips, each of which contains atleast one ‘developing hazard'(One of them will contain 2) and you have to identify it correctly – within the scoring window.. The earlier you spot it – the more points you get and if you click before the window starts or after it ends – no points.. The first time I tried, the concept of developing hazard itself was vague to me.. So had to practise a fair bit until yesterday afternoon, when I realised that I knew all the 72 clips so well, that I was aceing all tests – simply out of too much practise!! I knew by heart, where every hazard in the clips were! And it would have helped if I actually got one of those clips, but knowing my luck…
After I had given up practsing, decided to chill out and re-read Midnight’s Children, instead 🙂
This morning, I woke up promptly at 5:00 – without even an alarm, and reached the exam centre nice and early 🙂 Only to realise that quite a few of my fellow exam takers were equally prompt.. And the exam centre had a huge notice saying – Centre will Open at 7:45 ONLY’ And there were still people pressing the bell a bunch of times! Reminded me of drivers in India, honking when the signal is red!!!
A man came down on the dot at 7:45, opened the door and handed instruction leaflets to everybody who had not been there before.. There was a bunch of people who had been there earlier – would that mean that they were here for second or third attempts? The thought just did not cheer me up 😦
We all stood in a file, like children in school and all of us were asked to show our provisional license, which was scanned and our details just ‘popped up’, I presume..and were asked just one question – Could I give you the exam in English – Can you read English’? Wow!!! How many languages do they offer the test in??? Well, I checked it when I got back – and apparently they offer it in 20 languages(Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Mirpuri, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushto, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh.)!!! Now I know why I come across so many cab drivers who don’t understand English!!!
Well anyways, we were told to lock away our valuables in a locker, with the centre taking ‘no responsibility’ for any losses… and I was finally given a terminal to take the test,.. The multiple choice seemed alright. I needed to get 86% – 43 out of 50 questions right.. And then started my nightmare – the hazard perception… They had a tutorial – and I took it just to get a little oriented.. And in the very first question, managed to click ‘in an unacceptable manner’ and was give ‘zero marks for this clip’. So the next 13 clips, I was extra, extra careful, so I definitely did not invalidate any more clips but was not sure if I missed the window in being ‘extra careful’. After the exam was over, I was told to ‘wait ‘ till they finished ‘evaluation’ and in a second, a lady came over and told me that the results were waiting for me at the reception..
I almost raced over, only to be told that I needed to clear my locker before they gave me the results. Why? Have I failed it? Are they scared that if I got the results I would not clear my locker? Anyways, I did as bid and got back to the reception in record time! Finally, I was out of misery – I had cleared it!!!!
Yippee!!! I do have the practical test – which would be a couple of months from now – but one step down!!!!