How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

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Trnql
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How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by Trnql » Mon, 10 Jun 2019 4:30 pm

Hey all,

I've been here 4 years+ now finally at a point where driving a car in Singapore might become a possibility however I've been putting off converting my license due to this pesky BTT. I hold an active Australian license, so I'm wondering if anyone who has done the test would know if I actually need to prepare for this exam or I can just waltz in and take the test?

Cheers guys!

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by Strong Eagle » Mon, 10 Jun 2019 9:13 pm

First, you are supposed to get this conversion done within one year of arrival, so you _may_ find that you will need to take the entire driving license training, which you will be lucky to complete in six months. However, others who have delayed in their conversion have appealed and been successful, and that is the first track you should follow.

You had better prepare for the exam by reading the relatively complete and useful test guide. If you do not, you will almost certainly fail, as the test contains number specific questions (distances, speeds, etc), "trick" questions that you can only answer if you've read the "trick" in the test guide, and you can only miss a handful of questions before you fail.

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by The Ref » Wed, 12 Jun 2019 9:50 am

Do you know the Alcohol Breath limits? Or the times for the bus lanes, or who is allowed on an express way?
If you know all these things you can probably pass without study but I bet you dont :)

As to the conversion, you are not allowed to drive here if you have been on a pass for over a year - BUT you can convert at a time longert then this. I converted after about 26 months but I didnt drive. I dont know if there is a maximum time to convert, but if you do have to do the training again it takes many months to get through (conversion is the only shortcut) so hope you are lucky.

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by nigel18 » Fri, 30 Aug 2019 12:29 pm

there are plenty of free apps that help you with the multiple choice questions, I decided to just use those and passed no problem. note you will get some questions re ERP etc that you wont know without studying so you are taking a risk - but i calculated that the cost of the exam was less than the cost of the study guides. I would also recommend doing the test early in the day. once you pass you have to go to the police desk at the exam centre and they shut about 5pm so i had to come back the next day to apply to convert my licence.

I also had no problem with only converting my licence after about 3 years in Singapore - I dont think they mind as long as you havent actually been driving here during that period. But once you are PR you must do it asap, likewise if you are actually driving here as the police will not recognise your licence as valid after 12 months living in SG or as soon as you get PR.

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by Debbieyuan2003 » Fri, 29 Oct 2021 12:36 pm

Manage to passed BTT on my first attempt.

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by Lisafuller » Sat, 30 Oct 2021 3:36 am

Great job! Pretty sure majority do though.

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by bak_kwa » Tue, 01 Feb 2022 4:27 pm

Debbieyuan2003 wrote:
Fri, 29 Oct 2021 12:36 pm
Manage to passed BTT on my first attempt.
Any tips that you could give me on clearing the BTT as you did in your first attempt?

Unfortunately, the last I drove any vehicle .... 2 Wheeler or 4 wheeler....was in 2005. After I came to Singapore on work, I simply did not make an attempt since the public transport was so good that I decided not to drive....also, not to mention....the "intimidatory" traffic on the road here put me on the "back foot" #-o

Now, due to family requirements, I think I need to start driving a car. Hence now I am forced to re-think my original decision :-k

Thanking you and regards :)

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Feb 2022 1:06 am

bak_kwa wrote:
Tue, 01 Feb 2022 4:27 pm
Debbieyuan2003 wrote:
Fri, 29 Oct 2021 12:36 pm
Manage to passed BTT on my first attempt.
Any tips that you could give me on clearing the BTT as you did in your first attempt?

Unfortunately, the last I drove any vehicle .... 2 Wheeler or 4 wheeler....was in 2005. After I came to Singapore on work, I simply did not make an attempt since the public transport was so good that I decided not to drive....also, not to mention....the "intimidatory" traffic on the road here put me on the "back foot" #-o

Now, due to family requirements, I think I need to start driving a car. Hence now I am forced to re-think my original decision :-k

Thanking you and regards :)
I converted my overseas license within 1 year of my arrival, even though I had no car and had no expectations of ever owning a car here — a drivers license is something I did not want to be without in case the need arose. Back then no BTT was required, but from what I have heard from those expats who took it — if you don’t study, you will fail.

During my first 10 years here, I can only recall driving once. It was the time a Japanese friend of mine went back to Japan for a week and gave me his car to use. It was his own private car but paid for by the company.

After 10 years here, we finally had our first child and got an economy car to putz around in, makes it easier to juggle life with a kid. Since then, and 16 years later, we’ve had three other cars, mainly to facilitate a “soccer mom lifestyle” that my wife & kids desire. I really only drive on the weekends if we all go out somewhere, which has become far less frequent since Covid. Other than that, I take BMW everywhere (Bus, MRT, Walk).
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by bak_kwa » Thu, 03 Feb 2022 2:09 pm

malcontent wrote:
Thu, 03 Feb 2022 1:06 am
bak_kwa wrote:
Tue, 01 Feb 2022 4:27 pm
Debbieyuan2003 wrote:
Fri, 29 Oct 2021 12:36 pm
Manage to passed BTT on my first attempt.
Any tips that you could give me on clearing the BTT as you did in your first attempt?

Unfortunately, the last I drove any vehicle .... 2 Wheeler or 4 wheeler....was in 2005. After I came to Singapore on work, I simply did not make an attempt since the public transport was so good that I decided not to drive....also, not to mention....the "intimidatory" traffic on the road here put me on the "back foot" #-o

Now, due to family requirements, I think I need to start driving a car. Hence now I am forced to re-think my original decision :-k

Thanking you and regards :)
I converted my overseas license within 1 year of my arrival, even though I had no car and had no expectations of ever owning a car here — a drivers license is something I did not want to be without in case the need arose. Back then no BTT was required, but from what I have heard from those expats who took it — if you don’t study, you will fail.

During my first 10 years here, I can only recall driving once. It was the time a Japanese friend of mine went back to Japan for a week and gave me his car to use. It was his own private car but paid for by the company.

After 10 years here, we finally had our first child and got an economy car to putz around in, makes it easier to juggle life with a kid. Since then, and 16 years later, we’ve had three other cars, mainly to facilitate a “soccer mom lifestyle” that my wife & kids desire. I really only drive on the weekends if we all go out somewhere, which has become far less frequent since Covid. Other than that, I take BMW everywhere (Bus, MRT, Walk).
I think I too would be aiming at exactly what you are doing right now and that is use the car as and when I need to viz. taking the family out on any outings etc. and use the public transport otherwise. The other thing which may not necessarily not go in my favour is that I have not driven at all since coming to Singapore in 2006 :-k

Hence, I am curious to know what you did different to clear the supposedly difficult BTT in the first attempt considering the fact that not all may clear it in the first attempt even by studying for it? :-k

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Feb 2022 7:22 pm

bak_kwa wrote:
Thu, 03 Feb 2022 2:09 pm
malcontent wrote:
Thu, 03 Feb 2022 1:06 am
bak_kwa wrote:
Tue, 01 Feb 2022 4:27 pm


Any tips that you could give me on clearing the BTT as you did in your first attempt?

Unfortunately, the last I drove any vehicle .... 2 Wheeler or 4 wheeler....was in 2005. After I came to Singapore on work, I simply did not make an attempt since the public transport was so good that I decided not to drive....also, not to mention....the "intimidatory" traffic on the road here put me on the "back foot" #-o

Now, due to family requirements, I think I need to start driving a car. Hence now I am forced to re-think my original decision :-k

Thanking you and regards :)
I converted my overseas license within 1 year of my arrival, even though I had no car and had no expectations of ever owning a car here — a drivers license is something I did not want to be without in case the need arose. Back then no BTT was required, but from what I have heard from those expats who took it — if you don’t study, you will fail.

During my first 10 years here, I can only recall driving once. It was the time a Japanese friend of mine went back to Japan for a week and gave me his car to use. It was his own private car but paid for by the company.

After 10 years here, we finally had our first child and got an economy car to putz around in, makes it easier to juggle life with a kid. Since then, and 16 years later, we’ve had three other cars, mainly to facilitate a “soccer mom lifestyle” that my wife & kids desire. I really only drive on the weekends if we all go out somewhere, which has become far less frequent since Covid. Other than that, I take BMW everywhere (Bus, MRT, Walk).
I think I too would be aiming at exactly what you are doing right now and that is use the car as and when I need to viz. taking the family out on any outings etc. and use the public transport otherwise. The other thing which may not necessarily not go in my favour is that I have not driven at all since coming to Singapore in 2006 :-k

Hence, I am curious to know what you did different to clear the supposedly difficult BTT in the first attempt considering the fact that not all may clear it in the first attempt even by studying for it? :-k
I was told that you can pass it… IF you study for it diligently. My wife got it on her first attempt, but again, she did study for it.

The T is BTT is theory, so not sure why your having not driven since 2006 would make any difference. If you don’t pass it, just take it again a month or two later. Not a big deal.

When I got my license here, it was not just to be able to drive here — my wife and I really love road trips. One of our first vacations after moving to Singapore was Brisbane-Gold Coast-Sydney-Melboune-Great Ocean Road, all in one trip and 100% coastal roads, no expressways.

I remember at the time I hadn’t adjusted to driving on the right and hit lots of curbs… good thing it was a rental!
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 03 Feb 2022 9:42 pm

To get an idea how things have changed over the years, I got my license converted in 1983 (I arrived here in June of 1982). I went down to the old Maxwell Road Police HQ, stood in line, when is was my turn I gave them my Louisiana Driver's' license. They looked at it and then took it in the back somewhere and when they came back out, they gave me an identically qualified license with one exception. My Louisiana drivers license (As I was working in the diving industry both inland and offshore) qualified me to drive literally ANYTHING with wheels under it and also with chauffeurs license for Taxis & Buses as well as a Prime Mover license. Singapore doesn't have a chauffeurs licence, per se, and the only thing they wouldn't give me was the Class 5 prime Movers license. When I asked why they explained that in order to drive one on Singapore roads you needed a Work Pass of some sort. Oh, I forgot to mention, I lived here for 11 years on a bog standard 30 day SVP (90 days visa came much later). Back in those days, you could get a Singapore drivers license while on a Social Visit Pass (In fact, I married, had two children and owned three cars while on a SVP as I work in the offshore Oil exploration industry and was offshore for 2 months then back on off time in Singapore for 1 month but always did crew change after 4 weeks. Not so easy now.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by malcontent » Thu, 03 Feb 2022 10:11 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thu, 03 Feb 2022 9:42 pm
To get an idea how things have changed over the years, I got my license converted in 1983 (I arrived here in June of 1982). I went down to the old Maxwell Road Police HQ, stood in line, when is was my turn I gave them my Louisiana Driver's' license. They looked at it and then took it in the back somewhere and when they came back out, they gave me an identically qualified license with one exception. My Louisiana drivers license (As I was working in the diving industry both inland and offshore) qualified me to drive literally ANYTHING with wheels under it and also with chauffeurs license for Taxis & Buses as well as a Prime Mover license. Singapore doesn't have a chauffeurs licence, per se, and the only thing they wouldn't give me was the Class 5 prime Movers license. When I asked why they explained that in order to drive one on Singapore roads you needed a Work Pass of some sort. Oh, I forgot to mention, I lived here for 11 years on a bog standard 30 day SVP (90 days visa came much later). Back in those days, you could get a Singapore drivers license while on a Social Visit Pass (In fact, I married, had two children and owned three cars while on a SVP as I work in the offshore Oil exploration industry and was offshore for 2 months then back on off time in Singapore for 1 month but always did crew change after 4 weeks. Not so easy now.
Yep, on the back of my DL it shows a test pass date of 1997… they didn’t require the test back then, and I never took it.

That seems to be one unrelenting consistency here… things only get harder, not easier. I guess it’s just the nature of the beast.

I was also able to open a savings account at OCBC back then with just a tourist stamp — not gonna happen nowadays.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 04 Feb 2022 1:52 am

I originally opened a HKSB account but it was too troublesome with me working offshore so switched to Citibank but didn't like them either for the lack of ATMs back in the early 80's so went with POSB/DBS and have been with them every since.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 04 Feb 2022 9:21 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Thu, 03 Feb 2022 9:42 pm
To get an idea how things have changed over the years, I got my license converted in 1983 (I arrived here in June of 1982). I went down to the old Maxwell Road Police HQ, stood in line, when is was my turn I gave them my Louisiana Driver's' license. They looked at it and then took it in the back somewhere and when they came back out, they gave me an identically qualified license with one exception. My Louisiana drivers license (As I was working in the diving industry both inland and offshore) qualified me to drive literally ANYTHING with wheels under it and also with chauffeurs license for Taxis & Buses as well as a Prime Mover license. Singapore doesn't have a chauffeurs licence, per se, and the only thing they wouldn't give me was the Class 5 prime Movers license. When I asked why they explained that in order to drive one on Singapore roads you needed a Work Pass of some sort. Oh, I forgot to mention, I lived here for 11 years on a bog standard 30 day SVP (90 days visa came much later). Back in those days, you could get a Singapore drivers license while on a Social Visit Pass (In fact, I married, had two children and owned three cars while on a SVP as I work in the offshore Oil exploration industry and was offshore for 2 months then back on off time in Singapore for 1 month but always did crew change after 4 weeks. Not so easy now.
I have a West Australian licence for all classes of trucks. They offered to convert up to the prime mover but I declined less Frank Vespa forced me to drive his trucks around! I converted for cars and bikes only. I noticed the date was 2nd June 1992 that I converted. It was similar to you Ken but I had been arrested for driving a G plate on an Aussie license and that made it a bit messier.

You can't drive anything but a car or bike on a foreign license here (no G, Y, W, or X plate vehicles).
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: How difficult is the Basic Theory Test (BTT)?

Post by malcontent » Fri, 04 Feb 2022 11:00 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Fri, 04 Feb 2022 1:52 am
I originally opened a HKSB account but it was too troublesome with me working offshore so switched to Citibank but didn't like them either for the lack of ATMs back in the early 80's so went with POSB/DBS and have been with them every since.
When I first moved here I had wanted a UOB account because they were right across the street from where we lived, but whenever I went in there and asked a question I’d get a different answer - plus they had an obvious fetish for unnecessary red tape (continues to this day).

By contrast OCBC runs things a lot more fast and loose, so its easier to get things done, and quickly (as the recent scams have exposed). One fine day they started charging me a fee and didn’t tell my they had changed the account terms. After they grudgingly reversed the fee, I closed the account shortly thereafter.

Since then I’ve been with DBS, and although it often feels like dealing with a government agency, they do give straight answers and are probably the most reasonable & reliable of the three. Their SMS queuing system is good too.

One thing I wish they would accept is other forms of ID other than a passport book for those without an IC… but they have let me get away with using my DL if I tell them I applied for a visa so my passport is unavailable. But they always warn me — this time only, next time I must bring my passport! The last time my passport book expired, I tried to update them using my passport card instead (easier, fits in my wallet), but they rejected it — it’s passport book or IC, period!
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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