A Driving Instructor's Blog

…then no knowledge whatsoever must be lethal!

L PlateThis is Plymouth reports on a press release concerning test centre pass rates. Basically, 152 out of 340 test centres have pass rates of 50% or more. No one seems to have bothered to calculate that this is 45% of test centres – so you could say that about half of all test centres have pass rates of 50% or more, and half have pass rate of less.

It’s a bit like saying that when you toss a coin there is a 50% chance of getting heads, and then getting all upset by it as if it’s a problem or something!

This is Plymouth is worried that the Plymouth test centre has a failure rate of 60%, whereas other Devon centres have failure rates of 49%, 45%, and 42%. Why assume that the 60% one is wrong? What about the one at 42%?

The highest failure rate was as Hermon Hill, Wanstead – 72% out of 4,826 first time tests.

The lowest failure rates are in remote Scottish communities – with tiny populations:

Examiners in places such as Mallaig, Inveraray, Islay and the Isle of Skye test barely 200 candidates between them a year.

Mallaig saw 14 first-time candidates last year and failed only 21% – or three – of them. Again, no one seems to have bothered to calculate that if they’d have failed a fourth then the failure rate would have leapt up to 29%. Fail a fifth and it’s a humongous 36%.

In Wanstead, you’d have to fail another 50 to increase the failure rate by just 1%!

It’s pretty obvious that driving around Mallaig is not the same as driving around Wanstead – except to the media. And Wanstead hardly has the same sort of clientele as Mallaig. So why the big deal?

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