The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program has made a significant change in its Basic Rider Course and that change will likely find favor among those who do not like taking multiple choice tests.

The test students used to take at the end of their classroom sessions has been eliminated. In the past, students had to attend the classroom sessions, participate and score at least 80 percent to pass the course. Now they must attend the classroom sessions and participate to pass – there is no test. Students also still must attend the range motorcycle range sessions and pass a riding skills test in order to pass the class – those requirements are unchanged.

In Pennsylvania, the Basic Rider Course is a licensing class for those who have permits, which means permit holders who pass the class get their motorcycle license. As a result, it was only natural that some express concern about cutting one of the requirements to pass the course. As it was explained during the annual training class instructors must take, the thinking is that permit holders have already passed a knowledge test to obtain their permit, so why have another test?

Instructors were told they could use the classroom time typically devoted to taking the test for supplementing classroom topics or taking more time with those topics. I have handled this in different ways. I have sometimes used the time to have the class discuss important topics in greater depth; other times I have used the time for the class to review important concepts. In the future, I may administer the test just to give the students an idea of how they would have done.

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