Obtaining a driving license is one of the milestones of our lives, which enhances our independence and in the longer run saves us long commute times. The minimum age prescribed in Qatar for learning how to drive and subsequently apply for a licence has been set at 18 by authorities.
In order to learn how to drive, people in Qatar must register to do so only at ‘Authorised Driving Schools’ and to become eligible for the actual driving test, a learner must have had at least 15 hours of theoretical classes and a minimum of 35 hours of driving lessons.
The driving test itself is comprised of three components:
• Theoretical test – an oral test on road signs and traffic regulations
• Parking test (Reverse and Straight)
• Road test
Parts of the test are to be taken in a chronological manner, with the theoretical part being the first and the road test being the final part of the driving test. Passing each component of the driving test is compulsory for getting a driving license. Additionally, learners are also required to produce a satisfactory eye test.
People who do not pass the driving test can retake the test without any additional costs within a specified time frame and in general learners are not required to retake the parts of the test that they have previously cleared.
According to figures, only 44% of the test takers passed the driving test in the year 2015 in Qatar, which is a bit surprising given the hefty amount driving schools charge for courses in the country. What role do the driving school instructors play in this shoddy record is hard to discern but there are many other factors as well that contribute to the abysmally poor pass percentages in driving tests. Today, we bring you a list of handy tips that can go a long way in ensuring that you succeed in your driving test, if followed religiously:
1. Practice: You take your lessons with your Driving Instructor, this is great as it is what you need as a learner driver to teach you essentially how to operate the vehicle. But it won’t hurt if you also get extra tuition from parents or relatives who will allow you to drive their vehicle, under supervision obviously. Log those extra hours on a car or a simulator, this will give you confidence on the actual test day.
2. Parking: It may seem odd, but many people taking the driving test fail to make it beyond the parking test, they never get to the ‘road test’ part of the driving test. In order to avoid that happening to you, practice parking as much as you practice driving on a straight road.
3. Get your basics right: Don’t cram your theory! Learn it by heart, you never know when the examiner may ask you a theory question during the test. And also by being on firm ground vis-à-vis your theory ensures that you are up to date with standards of driving in the country and knowing all the road signs will help you with confidence on the test day.
4. Relax: Remember this ‘Golden Rule’ on the test day, DO NOT PANIC! Don’t feel overwhelmed by a small mistake, these things can happen to anybody anywhere and at any time! This does not mean you cannot drive, it means you have experienced an overload of pressure or nerves, and what you do next will account for your driving skill – how you deal with it is what matters. Remain calm, assess your mistake or emotion/s, and take the appropriate action to correct any mistakes or settle any emotion/s. This is noted by your examiner and correctly & calmly addressing any issues is a forte for any driver, provisional or passed!
5. Under the hood: Part of being a good driver is knowing what lies under the hood of your car. Ask your instructor, your friends, your parents and your relatives to give you a quick tour of what is what. When you know your car, you would exactly know when to shift the gears, how much to turn, how much brakes to apply all by the sound of your car.
6. Conditions: Road conditions are not always ideal and there is no guarantee that they will be on the day of your test either. Conditions may be rainy, dusty or foggy. In order to prepare yourself for such an eventuality, ask your driving instructor to give you lessons in as diverse conditions as possible. Even if the conditions on the test day are ideal, taking lessons in diverse conditions will prepare you for real world driving.