I am sure that for many people, before they know how to drive, they often wish that they will be able to drive as soon as possible. Therefore, learning driving is something very exciting for them. However, this was not the case for me. I did not find it exciting to learn driving, mainly because I felt that it is quite challenging. There are news of road accidents every day, and I heard that the trainers in driving schools are often quite fierce. Consequently, I went through a long, although not difficult, process of learning how to drive.
The minimum age to learn driving in Malaysia is 17. When I was 17 years old, I was in Form 5 and I took the SPM examination on that year. I did not learn driving before the SPM because I was busy studying for my SPM. I planned to start learning driving after finishing my SPM. The last day of my SPM was on 27 November 2012. For a week after my SPM ended, I stayed in Kulim. Because my SPM had just ended, I felt quite lazy. Therefore, I did not learn driving during that week.
On 5 December 2012, I went to Subang Jaya for holidays. I did not learn driving when I was in Subang Jaya because I preferred to learn in Kulim. I felt that learning driving in Kulim would be easier since there are less cars in Kulim compared to Subang Jaya. On 23 December 2012, I returned to Kulim. I stayed in Kulim for 3 weeks, then I would start studying at Taylor's College Subang Jaya.
On 24 December 2012, I wanted to enrol at Boon Liang Driving School. However, the staff at the driving school told me that the entire driving course would take at least 5 weeks, so there was insufficient time for me to complete it in Kulim. They suggested that I take only Part 1 (highway code test) of the JPJ test in Kulim, then continue the rest of my driving course in Subang Jaya.
On 26 December 2012, I attended the Kursus Kurikulum Pendidikan Pemandu (KPP). I had to go to Institut Memandu Jimat Canggih for that, since Boon Liang Driving School is just an agent. I met one of my secondary school friend there. During the Kursus KPP, we were taught about the theories of driving, safe driving techniques and highway code. It was quite interesting as the trainers often joked with us. Every one of us was given a book to prepare for the JPJ test.
I took Part 1 of the JPJ test on 2 January 2013. The test was held at mySPEED Kulim and it done using computer. There were 50 questions in the test and all of them were objective questions. I chose the Malay version of the test because the book I got earlier was in Malay. The questions were quite easy and I could answer all of them. After submitting it, the results was known immediately and I got 50/50 for the test.
I went back to Subang Jaya on 13 January 2013 and started studying at Taylor's College on 14 January. I attended college for 3 weeks, then I would be returning to Kulim for Chinese New Year. During the 3 weeks, I did not continue with my driving course because 3 weeks was insufficient to complete the driving course. I decided to continue with it only after Chinese New Year.
I returned to Kulim on 2 February 2013 and stayed there for 2 weeks to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I definitely could not learn driving at that time because the driving schools were closed for Chinese New Year. On 17 February 2013, I went back to Subang Jaya. I wanted to enrol at Metro Driving Academy on 24 February 2013, but it was closed as that day was Sunday.
Then, I managed to enrol at Metro Driving Academy on 28 February 2013. On 5 March 2013, I attended the Kursus Pra-L. It was held at Metro Driving Academy and it lasted for 6 hours. For the first 3 hours, there was a talk about the theories of driving, similar to the Kursus KPP earlier. However, it was less interesting compared to the Kursus KPP because the trainers were quite fierce.
For the remaining 3 hours, we were taught how to drive. That was the first time in my life where I drove a car with manual transmission. Out of my expectation, my trainer was quite friendly and he never scolded me when I made mistakes. However, because I had no experience in driving manual transmission cars, I drove quite poorly and the car's engine kept going dead. At the end of the 3 hours, I had little improvement.
After the Kursus Pra-L, I had to wait for quite a long time to get my L license. The L license was required for me to continue with my driving course. On 29 March 2013, Metro Driving Academy finally informed me that my L license was ready. At that time, my college had 2 weeks of holiday so I went back to Kulim on 30 March 2013 and stayed there for 2 weeks. As a result, I had to delay my driving course again. On 14 April 2013, I returned to Subang Jaya. Because I had to attend college, I could only go for driving lessons on weekends.
However, Metro Driving Academy told me that on every weekend, driving lessons were only available either on Saturday or Sunday but not both. I attended my 1st driving lesson on 21 April 2013. This time, I got a different trainer than the one I got during the Kursus Pra-L earlier. This trainer was a bit fierce. At that time, I had forgotten most of what I had learnt during the Kursus Pra-L. However, under my trainer's guidance I was able to drive satisfactorily so I was not scolded by her.
On 28 April 2013, I attended my 2nd driving lesson. My trainer this time was different than the one I got during my 1st driving lesson. This trainer was not fierce. My driving had improved this time compared to the 1st driving lesson. My trainer said that I was good at hill climbing and parking but not so good at three-point turn. On 5 May 2013, there was no driving lesson because of the Malaysia General Election 2013. There was again no driving lesson on 12 May 2013, probably because it was Mother's Day and many of the trainers at Metro Driving Academy are female.
I attended my 3rd driving lesson on 18 May 2013. This time, my trainer was the same as during my 1st driving lesson previously. I further improved and was able to drive quite well. There was no driving lesson on 26 May 2013 due to Wesak Day. On 2 June 2013, I attended my 4th driving lesson. I got the same trainer as during my 2nd driving lesson previously. Because I could drive quite well, my trainer let me drove alone and she even asked me to teach someone who was attending her Kursus Pra-L on that day. My trainer was confident that I could pass the JPJ test.
After attending 4 driving lessons, it was time for me to take the QTI (qualifying test at institute). I had to pass the QTI before I could take the JPJ test. I did not want to take it on 9 June 2013 because the Semester 1 examination of my college was on the following week so I was busy revising for it. Then, I took the QTI test on 15 June 2013. During the QTI, I was tested the hill climbing, parking and three-point turn. My tester was fierce, but I managed to pass all 3 parts.
At that time, there was 2 weeks of holiday for my college. On 16 June 2013, I went back to Kulim and I stayed there for 2 weeks. Therefore, I could not take Parts 2 and 3 of the JPJ test during the 2 weeks. I returned to Subang Jaya on 30 June 2013. My L license had expired on 28 June 2013. Consequently, Metro Driving Academy could not book the JPJ test for me on 4 July 2013. On 1 July 2013, I renewed my L license at a post office.
Metro Driving Academy then booked another date for my JPJ test which was 11 July 2013. It was a Thursday, but they told me that the JPJ test is only available on every Thursday. As it had been quite some time since my last driving lesson, I was asked to attend a refreshment class on 7 July 2013. During the refreshment class, I got the same trainer as during my Kursus Pra-L previously. This time, unlike my previous driving lessons, for the first time the engine of the car I drove did not go dead even for once.
On 11 July 2013, I took Parts 2 and 3 of the JPJ test at Metro Driving Academy. There was college on that day so I had to skip it. Part 2 started first, followed by Part 3. Part 2 tested on hill climbing, parking and three-point turn. During the hill climbing, I stopped the car too soon before the tyre reached the yellow line, so I was told to go back down and try again. Luckily, this time I managed to stop the car at the right position. Then, I was successful for the parking and three-point turn. I passed Part 2 successfully.
Part 3 tested on driving on the road. I did not face difficulties with Part 3. The tester gave me a score of 18/20, while the minimum score to pass Part 3 was 16/20. So, I managed to pass Part 3. I was happy that I managed to pass both Parts 2 and 3 of the JPJ test on my first attempt. That marked the end of my driving course at Metro Driving Academy. Like the L license previously, I had to wait for quite some time to get my P license.
On 28 July 2013, Metro Driving Academy informed me that my P license was ready and I went to collect it on that day. I finally got my P license, about 7 months after I first attended the Kursus KPP in the beginning of my driving course. If I tell others that it took 7 months for me to complete my driving course, they would think that I failed the JPJ test and retook it many times, but if you have read this post, you will know why I took so long even though I passed the JPJ test on my first attempt.