Previous studies have shown that type of driver education seems to affect the performance on the theoretical and practical driving-license test in Sweden (Wolming, 2000; Sundström, 2003). However, the categorisation of the test-takers driver education is
unreliable, since the test-takers are categorised as private learners or students from traffic school on basis of their notification to the test. The first aim of this study was to create an unambiguous categorisation of the test-takers driver education and to use this categorisation to investigate differences in test performance between the categories. The second aim was to examine the arrangement of the theoretical and practical driver education
for the different categories. The third aim was to study the test-takers opinions of the theoretical and practical test. In order to categorise the test-takers and investigate the content and arrangement of the education a questionnaire was designed. The questionnaire was administered to 245 persons that took the practical driving-license test in April 2003. The administration of the questionnaire resulted in answers from 142 respondents.
The result indicated that the previous categorisation did not fit the reality since only 20 percent was categorised in the same way in the new model as in the old model. The result also showed that there is a need for professional support in the private driver training, since private learners tended to practice some exercises earlier than students from traffic school. The results also suggested that private training is important for practising basic manoeuvres like “manoeuvring” and “shifting gear” since these exercises were ranked high by the private learners. In addition, private training is important to practise more advanced driving since “roundabouts” also was ranked high by the respondents. The respondents’ opinions of the tests were also examined. Students from traffic school were more satisfied with the content of the theoretical and practical test than the private learners. Unlike the private learners, the majority of the students from traffic school thought that the content of the education corresponded well to the content of the tests. One explanation to these results might be that the content of the professional education makes the students better prepared for the tests, than private training alone.
Finally, the categories were compared regarding their test performance and the result showed that traffic school students and the students who had combined lessons at traffic school with private training had somewhat higher pass-rates on the practical tests than students with private training only. Due to the sample size and response-rates, the number of respondents in each category was few, which made it difficult to make a more detailed comparison of the categories test performance. In order to compare the categories performance on the theoretical and practical test the questionnaire could be revised to include only information necessary for the categorisation of the test takers. With a less extensive questionnaire the sample size could be increased and the responserates would probably get better, which would facilitate a comparison of the categories.
Umeå: Institutionen för beteendevetenskapliga mätningar, Umeå universitet , 2004. , 97 p.