Wednesday, July 28, 2010

a driving test - a homorous tale

initially, i had wanted to do a comparison between the driving test that we oldies were subjected to in the 60s and 70s and the driving test today. then, i suddenly recall a story related to the driving test that was making its round in those days. it was so funny that i think it is worth re-telling here. i would think this hilarious incident actually took place.

in those days, the driving test was also made up of two components - the theory and the practical parts. this funny incident happened during the theory part. back then, it was not a computerised touch screen test like what it is today. when i did my theory test in the 70s, it was the pen/pencil and paper test.

however, i was told that in the 60s, they had this 'push car' test. in this oral theory test. you have to verbalise the steps and actions that you will take in a given situation.

i did the written test, so i do not really know how the push-car test was conducted. i imagine there was a scale model of roads with intersections, traffic lights, single continuous lines double white lines, broken lines, zebra crossings and buildings like schools and so on. the tester would place the small model car on the board and instruct you to manoeuvre the toy car from one position of the board to another.

so, this person was given the instruction to 'push' the car from one place on the board to another. he duly carried out the move. however, when he had finished, the tester commented: how come no sound from you at all?

the second time, the testee went through the same motion but with added sound (vocal effect): eenng, eeenng, eeeennnng...."

when the tester had stopped laughing, he told the testee: you are supposed to talk about some of the traffic rules, like slowing down when you are in a school zone, signalling when you are changing lane or making a turn and so on.


unk Dicko said...

Haha...YG, good one but it's true!
I took my "Theory test" just the way you described, in the later 60's at Maxwell Road.
No written test for me.
But it was not as dramatic. Rather straight forward using a well-organised well-laid model and questions and clarifications by the Tester and my responses.
I much prefer it this way.
For my private Power Boat open Sea Licence, I had to undergo a real Written EXAM!
But those Apeks and Ahmads who were already familiar with seacrafts but not educated, only needed to do a simple oral Q and A test. All passed easily!
In my inaugural batch of those being tested for Part 1 (Theory of Sea Navigation)there was ONE FAILURE only...and he was supposed to be the EXPERT. I remember he was an Indian lecturer in Sea Navigation!!!
We knew why he had failed too.

Yu-Kym said...

Vocal effects! LOL
I think I had to shading the ovals on an answer sheet for car and bike exams in 90s.

Betty said...

If I remember correctly, it was known as the "oon nang oon nang" test. I thought it was quite fun to move the model cars around and answer questions.

yg said...

dick, the powerboat test must have become a requirement much later in the 70s. i remember operating a boat without any licence in the early 70s.

yg said...

yu-kym, my time was still multiple-choice but we had to write the number corresponding to the answer. i failed my first theory test because i was overconfident..finishing ahead of everyone.

yg said...

betty, it is 'undang undang', the malay word for 'law'. traffic laws.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry to tell you that way back in Feb 2007, our good friend Victor has already shared the funny story with us. I was blogging about how we learnt driving in those days. He shared the story in his comments section here. Nevertheless, it nice to read it again. Thanks.

Unlike Unk Dicko, I took my Highway Code test at the Queenstown Driving Centre.