Friday, November 15, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Traffic Police Test

[Note: this is the post with the highest number of visits amongst my other posts as of 18 Apr 2015. All the best to those of you who are reading this and going to take your TP test soon.]

My PDL expired and I had took leave to renew it at the school a day before the test. I had only realized it on the Sunday just before my test today, otherwise I could've renewed it on Saturday. Thinking I could've renewed at Singpost, after browsing the internet, I realized only Class 3 PDL could renew at Singpost, all other class gotta go back to the school renew.

Traffic Police test.

Just like any anxious testees, I began to wonder what to bring. Here's what the school had indicated on their website:
1) NRIC / passport
2) valid PDL
3) Student booklet
4) payment reciept of test booking

In actual fact, they only asked for 1 and 2 today.

5.40am Woke up and had breakfast

5.55am Sudden downpour. I wonder whether the test would be postponed.

6.35am Left for SSDC

6.50am reached SSDC, but didn't see anyone at level 1 and 3... Feeling puzzled

6.55am Saw few students on level 5, felt relieved and began putting on my riding gear.

7am Instructor shown us a list of our names and our pre-assigned number. I was number 9 today, so we had to take our respective number tag and surrender our NRIC and PDL.

7.05am all of us were told to go down to level 1 and start our warm up. The rain was still pouring.
I rode for about 3 rounds and stopped, so that I won't over frustrate myself for fundamental mistakes!! Mental well-being is key to maintain composed without feeling unnecessary pressure.

7.55am Toilet break. And stayed in the Motorcycle Test Waiting area to wait until further instruction.

8.10am main instructor in charge (IIC) told all testees to go for break until 8.40am. So I went to the canteen and had a warm Kopi-O and plain bee hoon. 

8.45am IIC gave us a briefing on test routes (when to check back and check blind spot) and answered some testees' uncertainties, some of which confused me, so I took it with a pinch of salt.

We were rounded up to the circuit for a recap session where an instructor rode 1 round to demonstrate the needful.

9.40am Test started. There was about 7 person before me, so I waited and started my test. Throughout my test, I was aware of my mistakes and continue riding. As far as I know, I didn't have any immediate failure.

10.05am completed my test. Went up to level 5 to return my number tag and grabbed my stuff from the $1 locker.

11am last person (number tag 51) returned, and all 48 of us started to get anxious about the result. Then, the testors started to provide failure results for random numbers. Once a stream of failures in my group was called, "number 7!"... "number 8!".... "number 10!"... shit, the "10" guy I was chatting with just now is now gone...
Then I started to chat with the young chaps around me. Both of them were so scared and afraid of failure that their faces were stiffened! well, as an older "brother", I tried to lighten up the mood by telling them about my driving accidents and experience. Then the failure announcement kept streaming in randomly we just couldn't tell whether we pass or fail. For those being called, they had to go up to level 5 and get their photocopy results to understand their mistakes. And we don't see them after that.

11.40am Finally, the IIC announced "Congratulations, all of you have passed!" And the room cheered! We watched a mandatory video about road safety and accidents, and had to recite a riders pledge. 

11.50am All of us had to go Level 3 to pay for the Expressway Familiarisation Riding (EFR) that was a mandate law since 1 June 2013, cost me $36.20.

12am Lunch celebration! I had lunch with most riders at the school's canteen. Nasi Briyani not bad.

1pm All of us went to Level 5 where we were given the number tags for EFR. After grabbing raincoats and bicycle hook, we went for briefing at Level 4 Classroom 1. An instructor briefly told us about expressway safety and preempt us about the speed difference with normal roads.

1.15pm Still hanging onto our PDL, we rode for EFR. SSDC, Avenue6 and 5 then 12, SLE, Lentor Ave, AMK Ave 6 and 9, round about in NYP guard house, R&R after exiting from NYP gate. 
Since I was the last in line of the 6 person group, I couldn't ride over 70 because the 4th rider was afraid of the speed. Then, I expressed my concern to the instructor and I was placed first in riding back to school.
AMK Ave 9 and 6, Lentor Ave, SLE, Kranji Turf Club entrance U-turn, SLE, Woodlands Ave 12 and back to SSDC.
It's really mind-blowing experience to ride 80-90 km/hr. Even for me with over 15 years of driving experience, and drove over 180km/hr before in overseas... it's like a new experience! 

2.45pm We parked our training bikes for the last time, I will miss you Honda CG125. Then we received the letter of completing EFR and the receipt we paid for the EFR. 

3pm All of us went down to the Traffic Police department and I got the sticker over my existing license for FREE! 

Class 2B license completed. Next, I will start my posts on buying my first bike.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Practical Lesson 7 Session 1 and 2

Finally, the last lesson. All of us were assessed for this round like a mock up TP test, that's means combining circuit assessment like lesson 4 and road assessment like lesson 6. For this on road assessment, the assessor will be following you on a 1-to-1 basis.
As the group was bigger than 6, we were split into 2 groups. 1 group will be in the circuit, the other will be on the road.
I started off with the road, and it went well. Naturally, I started to have confidence. The assessment would not start straight away, we had a 1-to-1 riding around the housing estates for the instructor to point out our on road mistakes.
Route was Woodlands E4, u-turn after overhead bridge,  turn right to Woodlands Dr 60, turn left to Woodlands Crescent, then left to Woodlands Ave 9, all the way until the Republic Poly before continuing to Ave 5 do a u-turn, the turn left into Ave 4, then right into E5, and turn into school.
After that, your mistakes would be revealed to you, but take it with a pinch of salt, different instructor have different opinion. Generally, it's meant for your road safety.
When everyone in your group completes the road warm up, the assessment starts with the test route without stopping at point 1 (fire hydrant ) and point 2 (lamp post after the speed limit sign after u-turn along Ave 9. That went pretty well for me.
Then, the groups exchange, and I went into the circuit. Having rode so many times in the circuit, any of us will be confident. But I failed.
After the crank course, we would need to turn right where a lot of cars would be doing the reverse or parallel parking. So happened there was a car which stopped just slightly before the crank course exit and I thought the car might be waiting for his turn in front, so I went behind the car since there was no signal indication. Boy was I wrong, the reversing lights of the car started to light up and there was my immediate failure.
I tried to argue with the instructor but he was stern and said such situation is very likely to occur in the carparks. C'mon, I've been driving for 15 years and I've never seen such drivers. I didnt want to make a scene and just went to book another slot.
So came the next session, and I'm very vigilant about not to rush and plan my riding in a timely manner. I started to realised I needn't rush through and could still complete my course. Thanks to the instructor who was stern to me. I completed my lesson 7 and booked my TP which was 2 months away.

Class 2B from Class 3 (SSDC): Circuit Revisions and Road Revisions

CR and RR are cheaper than the main lessons because you are on your own.

Throughout my training, I took several CR and RR. They do help me to remember the needful skills.

Although RR was expensive than CR, but I could revise the circuit after 4 rounds of road revision.

I get to talk to many students since it's more relaxed, and some of them shared with me their mistakes which I also started to learn from them. Riding is generally more friendly because we get to speak to other fellow riders who are next to us.

Sometimes during the revisions, I get frustrated at myself for making fundamental mistakes, even when I made them previously. Each time I reproach myself to improve and never to make the mistakes.