New driving theory test proves too tough for French learners

New driving theory test proves too tough for French learners
Photo: Securité Routiere.
The introduction of the new driving theory test in France, aimed at making learner drivers better aware of the dangers around them, has seen the pass rate plunge dramatically.

The new test, which examines candidates knowledge of the code de la route or highway code was only brought in on Monday, May 2nd but it has had some fairly drastic results.

Europe1 radio revealed the usual pass rate for the theory test has plunged from 70 percent to just 16.7 percent.

In one département in France only one candidate out of 60 managed to pass.

Candidates have to get 35 questions out 40 correct to pass.

French authorities are under pressure to tackle the rising number of road deaths and with the interior ministry finding that one in five fatal road accidents involves a learner driver, the new test was aimed at raising awareness of the dangers on the roads.

The reform saw the number of questions that could potentially be asked to candidates increased to 1,000, with new subjects as “eco-driving” and first aid being covered.

Candidates were also shown videos instead of photos to make it more realistic and the method of testing also changed to try and avoid any cheating.

Each test now being individualised rather than the previous system where all candidates would sit together in a room in front of one big screen that projected the same questions.

France’s road safety tsar Emmanuel Barbe tried to put the plummeting pass rate into perspective, insisting that many candidates only fell just short of a pass.

Barbe advised driving schools to take more time to help candidates pass the test, however he also suggested they would review the questions that were leaving candidates stumped.

He believed over the next few weeks the pass rate would begin to creep up to around the normal rate.



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