Top 10 tips to ensure you pass your Class 2B TP Test!
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Today’s post is for the motorheads!
Having passed my Class 2B with a near perfect streak (see previous post here), I thought that it might be good to document down some tips & tricks I used for myself when I was working towards my Class 2B license. I was never a good student academically, so it was very fun and rewarding to have done decently well in this area of my life. These tips are in no order, and will cover everything from your lessons to your actual TP test.
Hopefully by keeping them in mind, you’d get a better chance of passing and getting your coveted dream to riding in Singapore. Have fun!
Tip #1 – Understand the lesson syllabus before every practical lesson Throughout all my practical lessons, this was something I followed very closely. Reading the lesson syllabus the night before every practical lesson helped me mentally prepare for what I was expected to achieve. If there were steps I was unsure of, I would youtube / google them.
Tip #2 – Wargame through each topic and obstacle until it comes naturally Lessons can get very stressful sometimes. I’ve found that depending on your luck that day, the instructors can either be pretty fierce, or not be good at explaining things. Coupled with the fact that you’ll need to execute the movements for the lessons properly, there really isn’t enough time to mentally and consciously break down each step while you’re on the motorcycle. What I’ve found to help is to ‘wargame’ each obstacle in the course so that there is one less thing to worry about. Wargaming is basically a catch-all army term where we put ourselves in different scenarios, observing and thinking through the possibilities of what may happen, and prepare for them. The (cheapest) way I was taught to do this is to just literally close our eyes and think through every step of the process, and making sure we have everything covered. Some great questions will turn up from each wargaming session, such as ‘do I check blind spot or signal first?’, and for those you're not sure of, you can ask and seek advice from the instructors (also Tip #4 below).
You should wargame as much as possible. Eventually, when you’re qualified to register for the TP test, you should be able to seamlessly wargame through the entire the TP test (both circuit and road portions). Yes, I am that kiasu.
Tip #3 – Go for lots of self-practice sessions As you progress through the different stages, you’ll start to ‘unlock’ different types of practice sessions. One of the most important ones is the self-practice session, which you’ll be able to book after completing the evaluation for the entire circuit.
In the SP session, you’ll be able to ride anywhere within the circuit unaccompanied, and you’ll be free to practice whatever your desire. This is by far my most FAVOURITE type of session.
It is a great time to practice what you are bad at. I have literally spent HOURS on just the narrow plank course as I was really bad at it (and also the only obstacle that ruined my perfect 2B streak). There were SP sessions where I just did the narrow plank over and over and over again. The tip here is to keep redoing your worst obstacle until you can complete it without consciously thinking about the steps.
If nothing else, think of the SP sessions as a real-life arcade where you pay a few dollars to be allowed to ride a real motorcycle for 45 minutes 🙂
Tip #4 – Ask, ask, ask This is a simple one. Keep asking questions. Yes, Singaporeans don’t really like to ask questions, but unfortunately for the instructors, I do. I know sometimes the instructors are quite fierce, but they are really fun and knowledgeable people to be with once you’ve spent enough time with them. None of the instructors have scolded me for asking questions before, and they have all been very helpful in clarifying doubts I had.
Tip #5 – Recce the test-route beforehand Okay, this is another kiasu thing I did. Not content with just wargaming through the outside test route, I drove (yes I also have a Class 3 license) around the test-route a few times to make sure that I know exactly where the route was, where the turns were, and where the potential trouble spots could be at. Could I have paid for a proper outside practice session?
Yes, I could. But just driving around a few times for ‘free’ is always a better option for me. If you don’t have a car, just bring a bicycle and ride that route. Even better, it’s a great chance to practice your blind-spot check as well as you can ride your bicycle on the road. Just be careful to observe traffic rules, remember to wear your helmet, and bring along your blinkers!
Tip #6 – Pick a date where there is high chance of great weather for your TP test This was something I also did when I went for my Class 3 license many, many years ago. I found this to be potentially a make-or-break thing, so please bear this tip in mind. As you know, we get rainy weather in Singapore toward the end of the year, and the middle of the year gets really hot.
Since we always want to have good weather for our test, June-August is probably your best bet for your TP test. This ensures that you don’t get sudden downpours halfway during your test, and making the conditions of the roads and obstacles worse.
Tip #7 – Practice in a variety of riding conditions As I’ve got a full-time job, my riding slots are severely limited. I’m only able to attend lessons at the first or last slot of each weekday. As such, my lessons were mostly at first light (~6.45am) or at night (~9pm). As the TP test would be in the daytime, it would be good to also remember to schedule lessons at midday to get used to the riding conditions at that hour (i.e. to get used to braving hot weather). Also, try to pray for rain for a few lessons so that you’ll get to experience riding with your rain gear on, and being used to navigating through your obstacles in slick wet conditions. The handling of the bike can get quite different as we tend to ride slower in the rain. And in case you’re wondering, nope, the timings for the obstacles remain the same!
Tip #8 – Eat before the actual TP test This was something that I did not do, which I regret. Eat something before the actual TP test because the entire duration of the test can get super looooong. I think mine ended just before noon, and I was starving by the time I got to the outside test route. Bring along a chocolate or energy bar. It will REALLY help!!
Tip #9 – Earmark a few good motorcycles early and try to get them during TP test As you’ll eventually know, not all motorcycles are the same. Some will have a very loose clutch, some will not throttle well until you crank that bad boy up. As you may have already realized by now, a lot of the strategies I’m sharing is chiefly about eliminating as many variables in the system as possible. During the course of your lessons, if you find a good bike that you really can perform well in, remember the bike’s serial number. By the time you get to your TP, you would have had a few choice bikes in mind. Try to ‘chope’ them on the actual day by getting to them first. This may seem insignificant but it does wonders in giving you that extra boost of confidence you need, knowing that the bike you’re on has and will perform well for you. Remember to give the bike a pat and a ‘thank you’ when you’ve completed the test!
Tip #10 – Make friends! Ultimately riding can and should be a social activity, so try to make some new friends while you go through this Class 2B journey. As you learn (and struggle) together, it really helps to have a group of people to rant and laugh at when the going gets tough (or easy). And trust me, if you’re in the same class with familiar faces, the lessons tend to be a lot more fun!
Even if the duration of your friendship only lasts during the few months at the driving centre, that’s okay.
These were the top 10 tips that I practised during my road to the Class 2B license. I hope that they will go a long way to help you to achieve your dream of getting yours as well.
All the best as your embark on this journey, and do share any other tips that you have in the comments section!