Learner’s Permit

Well, yesterday was a big day. I took the written driver’s test and passed, so now I have a learner’s permit! This is huge. I am now able to legally sit behind the wheel of a car  and drive around a bunch of other cars and people. Very nerve-wracking, to say the least. And while I’m ecstatic to be able to drive (it’s a new sense of freedom), I really think that the testing is a bit ridiculous.

Reading this, you may think I’m saying that taking a permit test is ridiculous because I just want to be able to get my permit at 16 and go. But that’s not what I’m saying at all. I’m not saying that there should be no written test. True, when I was younger, I would have definitely wanted to just get my permit without worrying about any written test. But now…

When I say the testing is ridiculous, I mean it’s pathetic. I don’t know how the other States are, but the NY state laws regarding tests are so stupid. When I went to the DMV, I had to bring my birth certificate, my Social Security card and the learner’s permit application. The lady took the paperwork, handed me the paper for the test and said ‘good luck.’

I took the test, and let me tell you, it was so easy. But that’s the problem. After I finished, I gave it to another lady who graded it in front of me, told me which I got wrong and told me I passed. Then she took the picture for my permit and that was it. Even though I studied the driver’s manual, I was expecting more instruction, more rules, more seriousness. I was expecting someone to look me in the eye and tell me seriously how dangerous cars and reckless driving can be, even though I already knew that. I wanted those ladies to explain in a firm voice the consequences and responsiblity. I thought, because they have so many laws against drunk driving, texting and driving, and driving without a license/permit, that when I went to get my permit I was going to have to sit through a lecture, and I was totally okay with that. I saw the need for a lecture, should there have been one. But there wasn’t anything like that, so I went to the DMV, handed them my paperwork, answered a few multiple choice questions and got my permit.

Easy peasy lemon squeezey. Too easy for something so life-threatening.

On the flip side of NY laws regarding tests, I can’t graduate unless I’ve passed four Regents exams. Originally, I didn’t have to take the exams, until we found out that NY State won’t accept my homeschool high school diploma, so now I’m forced to take the Regents. And while I’m halfway done with the tests, it’s still a pain in the butt because it’s so retarded. Why are the exams for graduation harder than the exam for driving? Does that even make sense? To graduate high school, I am required to study for months about relatively trivial subjects, like mitochondria or the functions of x, and then take four excruitiating exams, but to get a permit AND OPPERATE A CAR I only had to read a manual, take some practice tests and then answer 20 way-too-easy questions.

The Regents exams are way too difficult for something that only affects me and my life.

If I failed the Regents, my life “ends” because all those months seem wasted, and you have to pay to retake the test. If I failed the written test, no biggie. Just retake the test at no cost.

To pass a Regents, you need a score of 65 or higher. There are between 30 and 50 multiple choice questions (depending on the subject) and a few essays, for a total of around 85 questions. To pass the written test, you need to answer 10 out of 20 multiple choice correctly. That means on the Regents you don’t want to get ANY of the multiple choice wrong, but on the driving test you can get 10 wrong and still pass to get a permit. Hmm, seems a bit ridiculous to me.

When you’re behind the wheel of a car, you become a threat to every single person in the immediate area around you, not only to the passengers in the cars or the other drivers. Even the most cautious driver could be distracted for two seconds and in that short time, he/she can endanger the lives of so many people. Driving is a risk that people take for granted. Cars can be a weapon and NY state is more worried about me failing a test for school.

But hey, on the brightside, I can drive! 

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One thought on “Learner’s Permit

  1. I have to agree that your argument makes sense, it is crazy that it isn’t harder. BUT maybe that’s because Regents an end and your permit is a beginning. After you take Regents you will be a high school graduate but with your permit you have to be with an adult and follow lots of extra rules, as you mentioned. Before you get your license however, you take either a driving course that actually teaches you to drive or a 5 hour course that drums into you that you are operating a vehicle that has the potential to kill many people. Then you go take a test during which you are graded on your ability to drive. Then IF you pass you get your license but if you’re under 18 there are restrictions. So while you’re argument is sound for why the permit test should be harder maybe New York state considers it an beginning rather than the end and so they wait till the end, when you about to go out into the world alone, to remind you that you can be a danger to yourself and others. Or maybe there is no reason at all and they just do it that way because they can… 🤷‍♀️

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