The success rate for passing the new restricted licence test has been halved.
After nine weeks under the harder tests, nearly 9000 tests have been conducted and the overall pass rate is 41 per cent.
It was 80 per cent under the old system.
NZTA spokesman Andy Knackstedt said learner drivers will have to put in a lot of practice to pass, and will need to appreciate the test is a lot harder.
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"More practice and preparation is needed for people sitting the test, and that's our clear message to learner drivers, that this test is more challenging.
"We fully expect that with a more challenging test that the pass rate will drop. We also expect that gradually, over time, as that message filters through that more preparation and practice is needed, it will begin to rise.''
Andy Knackstedt said learner drivers need to have 120 hours' practice under their belt before sitting the test.