After so many months of contemplating, I have finally decided to move my lazy ass up to Bukit Batok Driving Centre and start preparing myself for the driving license.
I tried looking for more information online, from websites to blog, to help me understand and make better decisions (and get more understanding about the process), but couldn’t find anything useful except for a few blogs.
As such, I would be sharing my experiences throughout this process and hope it really helps you understand better!
Disclaimer: This information provided here (and the subsequent posts) are not of 100% accuracy. If you want more accurate information, you can always call the driving schools for more details.
One fine day, you decided to sign up for classes for a driving license and you have absolutely no idea what to do…
So, now what?
Firstly, you can look for schools which you can go to (Regardless of you taking private or public lessons because whatever administrative stuffs needed will and can only be settled by public schools!) and drop by their places and register.
Among all the schools, I’ve picked BBDC because CDC (the one in ubi) is closing down soon (and will be relocated to Kovan) and the other one in Woodlands is too far for me. I would rather go to BBDC. Based on the stats their staff showed me, majority (80-95%) of students passed the theory and practical test within one try. Time, being one important factor, made me decided to opt for school instead.
Anyway, to go to BBDC, head over to Bukit Gombak MRT station, walk towards the left (when you tap out) and you’ll see a long queue (or maybe not, but there’s a small A4 size sign) for the shuttle bus. The shuttle bus comes every 20 minutes and it starts at 0650 each day. If you happened to miss the shuttle bus, I would suggest taking public transport (187,188, 945, 985) there.
Once you’re there
Go over to the informational counter, tell them you want to register for a driving license and they’ll give you a queue number. I would suggest going during the weekdays before lunch (i.e. 12pm) or after dinner (prob 7-8pm?) because there would be lesser waiting time.
Stage 1: Consultation phase
Once your number flashes on the screen, you’ll proceed to the first counter. This is the counter where the staff will talk to you about their school and how their school is actually better and cheaper. They also cover important aspects which I think it would be good to find out from them.
This is also the time where you need to decide between manual (takes an average about 25 practical lessons before sitting for practical) or automatic (About 20 lessons).
Oh yah, the license I’m taking is class 3A (meaning a license that allows me to drive automatic motorcars [or cars]). Most of the information I share thereafter refers to license 3/3A only. So if you’re interested in other licenses, you can pop by the counter and ask.
*One more difference between manual and auto is that there will be an extra auto lesson for those taking manual*
At the same time, here’s some important information which I should share with you as well.
Image courtesy from BBDC
Above is the training structure of the course for license 3/3A. I think for different licenses, there will be different structures (and they might change over time), so keep a look out on their website!
Throughout the entire course, you can choose to take private theory and practical or both by the school or you can mix (i.e. private theory, school practical and vice versa). However, fees are applicable (check with school!)
If you choose to take theory in school…
You would need to attend BTL (basic training lesson) 1.01 and 1.02 (~$17 each module) and FTL (final training lesson) 2.01 and 2.02 before you can apply for the FTT (final theory test).
On top of that, in order to sit for the BTT (basic theory test), which will allow you to apply for PDL (provisional driving license – license that allows you to practice driving), you would need to pass (90% grade) the school’s very own evaluation (~$5 per paper).
BTT practice (optional) > BTT evaluation (compulsory for school students) >BTT (actual)
BTT (Actual) + BTL (1.01 and 1.02) + FTL (2.01 and 2.02) + FTT practice (optional)> FTT evaluation (for school students) > FTT (actual)
Once you’re done with FTT + practical driving evaluation by the school = Traffic police practical test.
Passing the practical test = Driving license! (woohoo! Meh, looks like I’m still far from it)
If you’re worried about passing the evaluation test, fret not, you can book practice sessions and attend them (~$3 each session, 4 sets of paper for practice).
- Each paper comes with 70 questions (Except for one set with 50+)
- Each paper can be done up to 3 times (I think)
- Personally, I booked 2 sessions (1 session do 2 sets and redid once per set to familiarize)
- Prior that, I spent1-hourr scanning through the BTT book (free from the school if you decided to take theory under them) before I went ahead with the sessions.
- And you can take them on the day you register and open account!
- I cramped 2 sessions (Each about 45 mins, with 10 min break in between session) of practice together before squeezing the evaluation immediately after!
- Most questions were repeated so it was easy to get 50/50
Once you clear BTT, you can apply for PDL.
If you decided to take private BTT…
Then you would need to find your own study materials and practice. One of my friends signed up under private and had to borrow materials from my other friends to study. Also, she would not need to take the other lessons for BTT and FTT.
All she have to do, is to self-study, apply for BTT and FTT, pass them and apply for the license.
BTT booking > Self-study at home >BTT (actual)
Once you clear BTT, you can apply for PDL.
I think this is a lot cheaper (and saves time from the other lessons), but because of some miscommunication, I booked the school instead. Oh well.
Stage 2: Registration phase
Over at this stage, the staff will bring you to a computer for you to input your information and tadahhh! You’re done, you have an account set up. Now, for stage 3.
Stage 3: Other administrative work
Once your number has been called, this is where you’ll sign the forms for insurance (for yourself in case you kena accident or something) and also understanding some terms and conditions.
*Good thing about learning driving from school is that not only you are insured, but if you accidentally langa (hit) the car, you won’t have to pay for it!
Other than that, you also make a payment of $200 with $96++ going to opening an account and the other $100++ for you to book classes and practical lessons.
Stage 4: Theory lessons
When the administrative work has been settled, it’s time to book your theory slots! You can either use computer they provide at their own centers (or go back home and log in from BBDC website) and start booking your time slots.
Since I was free today, I decided to cramp 2 practice session and clear my evaluation! Now it’s time to sit for my BTT and then apply for PDL
Nonetheless, if you’re interested, you can always drop by this page for more information about driving! I will be adding new posts about this process and hope it can help more people.
That’s all for part I! Stay tune for part II!