70 year old Lim Keng Boon, in an article for Today Online, pointed out the difficulty of getting a Private Hire Car Driver Vocational Licence (PDVL). Applicants have to take a course that lasts 10 hours, with two examinations of 50 multiple choice questions following.
The first exam is about service quality, health and safety, and the second is on private-hire car rules and regulations.
Examinees need to get high scores to get their license—for the first exam they need to answer 40 questions correctly, or 80 percent, and 43 questions correctly for the second one, or 86 percent. Even getting an 84 for the second test will mean a failing grade.
Mr. Lim asks, “Could some higher authority explain why the passing grade is set so high? Are candidates expected to be extremely smart before they can get the vocational license?”
The material for studying has 36 chapters, with 289 pages in all, with four booklets additionally. Applicants have been known to take the exams several times, especially the second one.
Mr. Lim himself has had to take the second exam two times, getting a score of 72 percent on the first try, and 74 percent on this second one, and wonders how many more times he needs to repeat the exam until he gets a passing mark.
As a senior citizen, Mr. Lim feels that the exams are difficult, “unfair and inappropriate,” not just because of the nature of the questions needing knowledge and understanding, but also because of the extensive memorization required.
He also gave an example of the questions on the exam, and mentioned that examinees must memorize 100+ offenses, as well as the corresponding penalties for such.
“One question, for example, tests you on the penalty you will face for violating a rule and the choices given are:
A. a fine
B. a fine and demerit points
C. a fine and demerit points plus immediate suspension
D. a fine and demerit points plus licence revoked.”
Mr. Lim ended his piece with an appeal to the authorities, “I can only provide a tiny voice to highlight the plight of drivers who are exasperated from repeating the tests, and I hope the authorities will look into this issue.”