I Failed My Practical Thai Driving Test Again Today!

Yes, full of confidence that I would surly pass today I failed – again!

Before we go into why I failed, just look at the results I was getting on my own Thai driving license test track.

Results From Driving Tests On My Own Private Thai Driving License Test Track

Here are the results of four days of practicing the Thai driving test manoeuvres:-

Scanned Image of Thai Driving License Test Track Results 130904

Thai Driving License Test Track Results 130904

Let me summaries these results:-

Parking (Reversing into the box) 29 out of 30 attempts

Stopping (Stopping on the white and yellow lines) 37 out of 46 attempts.

How could I possibly fail on the day of the re-test?

Reasons Why I Failed The Thai Driving License Practical Test Again

Depends on what type of person you are.

As an engineer I do a logical assessment as follows below, but other people (like my wife, Kanyah) would blame me fro poor performance, the Gods or the day. (Wednesday when I took my test is a notoriously bad day for business she tells me)

Here is my logical assessment of why I failed my Thai driving test the first time.

1. There Must Be A Reason

If something works – or it doesn’t – there must be a reason say the engineers and scientists. And me.

So there is a logical reason why I can get the outstanding near 100% success rate on my test track and fail at the official Thai driving license test center at Pakchong (Pak Chong), Thailand.

Here are some possible reasons:-

  1. It was the wrong day
  2. The Gods were having an off day
  3. The actual track is different from my test track
  4. I don’t understnd the rules
  5. I am under psychological pressure which affects my performance
  6. I rush instead of taking my time

3. The Actual Track Is Different From My Test Track

Dismissing the first two possible reasons let’s examine the most logical, number three “The actual track is different from my test track”.

The Parking Box

I must admit that the reversing lane seemed narrower than my own test track and the parking box seemed a bit shorter.

Whereas at home I can reverse into the box and get the nearside rear wheel in the box in one movement here it took two manouvers. And to get the front offside wheel into the box is normally one manouver at home but on the official test day it took two manouvers.

I’d say that the driving official test track was smaller than my private test track. Look doesn’t have to be by much a few centimeters is all we are talking about.

Action Plan 1: Go back at the week end and measure the real driving license test track again.

Action Plan 2: Before that move the posts closer together on the test track and more practice.

Another thing I was aware of is that one of the sticks in my rear view mirror was bending away from me instead of standing upright. Therefore I couldn’t accurately judge my distance and I may have been stopping shorter than I needed to.

4. I Don’t Understand The Rules

The 7 Gear Change Rule

I was told at the beginning by Kanyah that when reversing into the box you are only allowed to change gear seven times.

That’s not a problem because as I said I can do it three and sometimes in two only.

But getting out of the box is more difficult than getting in because the rear wheels are trailing and it’s not easy to get the rear wheels out of the box and in line with the reversing lane. Three of four gear changes are needed.

On this test day I didn’t count how many gear changes I made to get in ot to get out of the box. I just made sure I didn’t hit any posts and took my time.

I failed for going over seven gear changes.

The Seven Gear Change Rule Explained.

Well now I have learned that that the maximum of seven gear changes applies to the whole manouver ie getting both in and out of the box. Seven gear changes (which means seven changes of direction) is all you are allowed to get in and out of the box.

Why didn’t she tell me that in the beginning?

A Close Look At The Seven Gear Change Rule For The Thai Driving Test

Your only have seven gear changes. You need (on average) three to get in and since getting out is ore difficult you need the other four.

But let’s just look at that more closely and count those up:-

Getting Into The Box

1 Reverse in as far as possible on full lock to get the the rear wheels in the box.

2 Forward on full opposite lock to get the front wheels in.

3 Reverse to get the car parallel to the box and the wheels parallel to the car.

Getting Out Of The Box

4 Forward on full lock to get the front wheels out.

5 Reverse as far as possible.

6 Forward again on right and left lock to get the rear wheels as far out as possible.

7 What can you do with this. only Reverse is a gear change. And if you reverse you’ll not have No. 8 to drive down the reversing lane.

So you only have 6 gear changes available to you!

It’s quite obvious. Seven is an odd number so if you change direction seven times you will be going in the wrong direction on the last change.

So the seven gear changes is a myth. You only have six. 3 In and 3 out!

And that’s difficult because you need four to get out!!!

The Stop Line

No doubt about it here. My test track is certainly different from the real track.

My own stop line is on the drive at 90 degrees to the length of the drive. The approach is parallel to the white line. (Which in turn is parallel to the drive)

The actual test track has the approach at 90 degrees to the white  line making getting the car parallel to the white line in a short distance very difficult and something I have not practiced.

It’s Like A Roman Amphitheater – Only The Lions Are Missing

Don’t think that this just a driving test. You and the tester.

Far from it. This is entertainment.

The drivers bring their family their friends,  who bring their friends to watch this amazing spectacle. This feast of masochism where out of 50 would-be drivers only two or three win the freedom of the roads.

The rest are doomed to repeat it again in five days – but unlike the Roman Amphitheater they are not slain – merely humiliated.

In fact I was wondering why the Thais didn’t throw in a few lions just to gore up the show a bit. Probably ’cause there aren’t any lions left in Thailand.

This huge audience certainly puts the performers. I tend to be thinking more about giving them a good show rather than concentrating on getting the pass. Heh! I’m a Farang after all. Gotta show these Thai’s what a Farang can do. Never mid the test results let’s put on a damn good show for them.

Joking Aside – This Is no Longer A Joke

Failing the first time is understandable. I had no idea what the test was and what the rules were.

Failing the second time could be excused.

Failing the third time after building a replica of the the driving test center’s own test track and getting near 100% success rate on it is ridiculous.

It’s now gone beyond a joke. Now it’s serious. I need that driving license and I have to pass the test.

More than that, it’s now personal. The testers and the Thais there know me now. I’m the farang who can’t pass the test. This can’t go on much longer.

If I was Thai I could just melt into the background and exit quietly. Not so a farang. When I’m on the test track I can hear them saying “Look it’s a farang”.

Kanyah Went Ape!

Lovely as Kanyah is when she’s in a good mood, she does have a terrible temper. On this occasion (of me failing the Thai driving test the third time) she went absolutely bananas to put it mildly.

“Why didn’t you do what I said” she screamed.

(Thought to myself “well if I could do it I would have done it wouldn’t I”, but being wiser kept my mouth shut.)

I tried to explain that her blaming me would not in the least help me to pass the test on the next attempt.

No. Wrong strategy.Just wait until she cools down. Like next year.

My Fourth Test Is Tomorrow!

While the heavens open and we are getting all the rain we should have had over the last month in one day I go out to practice parking because my next re-test is tomorrow!

I can manage 2 in and 4 out butt am prone to hitting sticks.

Not a good omen and the weather isn’t helping.

Not looking forward to tomorrow at all.

 


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6 Responses to “How To Pass Your Thai Driving Test – Wish I Knew”

  • Steven Jones:

    Hi alan.keep trying mate.how did you manage to pass the theory test if its in thai.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Steven,

    The theory test was multiple choice questions and was in English.

    The DVDs you had to watch ( 4 hours of them) were in Thai with English subtitles.

    Outside the Training Room is a machine where you can try some test questions. (In English).

    It’s good and one or two that I originally got wrong came up in the real Thai driving theory test. There are only 30 test questions, though.

    Best Regards

    Alan Brown

    [Reply]

  • mel:

    malc will have a pass party for you.
    howard still thinks you need a beer or two before hand
    i agree with mrs b. why have you not done what she said. and just passed the test. have you thought about getting a smaller car that will give you more room and easier to park. 
     
    mel

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hi Mel,

    Malc knows when something not going to cost him anything!

    I compared results on my private test track with and without a beer. Results after a beer (or two) were abysmal. You CAN’T drive properly after a beer.

    Small car is an idea but not so simple since I don’t know anyone to borrow one from and I don’t know of any car hire companies in Pak Chong.

    Besides that’s kind of like giving in. “Look farang’s got a smaller car – can’t pass with the pick-up” is what the’ll be saying.

    Also when you use a small car they move the poles in to make the reversing box shorter!

    Chok Dee
    Good Luck

    Alan and Kanyah Brown
    Surfin’ the World

    [Reply]

  • mel:

    they have everything covered so you cannot pass. have you ever thought they do not want you to pass. farang shoould just hire a driver and make them all jealous, cause you can afford a chauffeur. then who is laughing

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    hi Mel,

    I’ve got a chauffeur – problem is she doesn’t want to go anywhere.

    Alan

    [Reply]

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