Getting a Driver's License in China

Frank Langfitt tells us his experience of taking the written driver's test in China. Despite having years of U.S. driving experience, studying the rules, and taking practice tests, he flunked it three times!

Why is the Chinese driver's test so hard? For one thing, it requires a ton of memorization. Consider this yes or no question, taken verbatim from a test:

"If a motorized vehicle driver has caused a major traffic accident in violation of the traffic regulations which has caused human death due to his escaping, the driver is subject to a prison term of 3 years to 7 years."

The answer, it turns out, is "no." I eventually answered this correctly, but still have no idea what the actual prison term is.

The other reason the test is difficult for foreigners is some of the translations are, well, challenging. Take this question:

"When theres [sic] a diversion traffic control on the expressway, a driver can stop by the side to wait instead of leaving out of the expressway, for continually running after the traffic control."

I don't know what that means, but apparently under Chinese law, you can't do it.

He's not the only foreigner to have problems with the test. But there was one guy he talked to who had no problem -because he paid a professional to take it for him. How hard could it be, really? You get a chance to find out, because NPR has an interactive test you can try, with questions taken from actual tests in China. Yes, I flunked. -via Digg


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