A Surprising Number of People Can’t Pass the Written Driver’s License Test

The next time you're stopped in traffic, look to your right and then to your left. At least one of you couldn’t pass the written driver’s test. In fact, nearly half of the drivers who took the test in 2022 failed to get a passing score of 80%. The questions — drawn from state practice tests — covered basics such as signs and rights of way. The questions missed most often involved when to stop for school buses and pedestrians. (You can take the Driver’s License Quiz for yourself to see how you compare.) Women averaged a score of 78%, compared with 71% for men. Experience seems to help, as drivers under 40 scored an average of 67% correct, while those over 40 scored an average of 79%. Only 3 drivers had perfect scores: two women and one man. Despite the relatively simple tests, U.S. failure rates are eye-opening. It’s not just in the U.S. that drivers have a high failure rate. A 69-year-old woman in South Korea took the written driving test 960 times before she finally passed. In fact, she holds the world record for the most attempts.