This study had four objectives:
1) to gather knowledge by means of a literature review of research, documented good examples, and proposals concerning ways of handling problems associated with retesting;
2) to examine, through two interview studies and one survey study, the reasons for the declining passing rate among those seeking class B driving licences;
3) to determine whether any specific groups of licence applicants have exhibited lower passing rates; and
4) to propose, based on the results, remedial measures to address the preparation and training of licence applicants before testing.
The literature study was conducted with the help of the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) library, and mainly considered literature from 2006 on.
The first interview study targeted licence applicants, while the second targeted driving instructors and driving test examiners. The interview studies involved eight licence applicants, four driving instructors, and two driving test examiners and were qualitative in nature. The survey study targeted licence applicants before and after they took the driving test. The questionnaire was translated into English, Spanish, Russian, Persian, and Arabic, the foreign languages in which licence applicants most commonly choose to take their driving tests. The studies address the two test sections included in the driving test process. The survey study had a high non-response rate, so its generalizability is limited. A non-response analysis indicated that the responders achieved a higher passing rate than the averages indicated by national statistics.
In summary, the results of the interviews with licence applicants suggest various reasons for retesting:
- practiced with a private coach who provided no feedback
- practiced in too few environments with a private coach
- did not always trust the school, and consequently registered themselves too early as private students
- booked a new test immediately after their failed attempts, and quickly got a new appointment
- practiced very little or not at all for the retest
- did not understand why they had failed
- viewed the test as an “experiment” or “trial”
- experienced stress due to the combined written/driving test
- received too little information about training and testing