66% of Teens in Alberta Fail Written Test for Learner's Permit

Some young drivers in Calgary want to know why they're flunking the beginner's test more often than teenagers in other provinces.

Alberta's failure rate of 66 per cent is higher than it is in B.C, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, statistics revealed. In Ontario, the failure rate is only 35 per cent, and in Manitoba, it's 39 per cent, officials in those provinces said.

Calgary teenager Kate Tompson, who failed the exam five times, said Alberta's test didn't seem fair.

"And they ask you really weird questions,'" she said. "I had one question that was like, If you're 16 and married can your parents take your licence away from you?' And I was like, what's the point of that?"

Each attempt at the written test for a learner's permit, which most people take online, costs $17 - more than in other provinces.

The high failure rate is simply due to people not studying enough, said Alberta Transportation spokesman Don Wilson.

"What I'm hearing is that some of them are saying that 'it's just a driver's test, so I'll go in and give it a shot,'" he said. "And then they're finding out that it's a little bit more. And if you haven't taken time to read that handbook, it's challenging. There's no doubt about that."

But Wilson said his department is unable to explain why more young drivers are failing in Alberta than in other provinces.


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