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January 15, 2013

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Programmer posts driving exam questions

TENS of thousands of aspiring drivers are praising a local programmer for uploading the first study materials for China's new driving examination, which is considerably harder than previous examinations.

"Geek saves the world again!" a netizen posted after an Excel file containing 898 questions and answers was uploaded Thursday night by a programmer surnamed Ren.

Ren's job is programming applications for iPhone in an information technology business in Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area.

The questions relating to Subject I of the 2013 driving test has become a hot topic on the Internet because it is the first study material available since the new traffic law went into effect this month.

National traffic authorities previously had said that no study materials are available. They have not commented on the Excel file.

While more than 100 students have posted on the Internet vouching for the document - which is available at no cost - as having been essential for their passing the exam, its origin and nature are shrouded in mystery.

Test content said to be in guide

At least one test-taker said questions on the actual test could be found in the document. "Thank you, I studied your guide until 1am today and on the test this morning, I found all the 100 questions were from your guide. Thank you! You're so great," one netizen wrote.

Ren, a 26-year-old programmer from Anhui Province, said he also is preparing for the driving test, so he was motivated to find a way to prepare.

Last week, Ren said he found software on the Internet which was like a simulation application of the driving exam.

After downloading the file, Ren, using Microsoft Excel, filtered duplicates among the 2,000 questions in the software.

Ren spent another five hours summing up hundreds of questions from 180 simulation tests and created a final version of the 898-question guide.

The simulation software was found on a Hangzhou-based website for driving study at But the website's staff said they did not know the source of the software.

By yesterday, the Excel file containing 898 questions and answers had been downloaded more than 55,000 times.

Even the police posted the link to Ren's guide. "I think it is a good thing for people to prepare for the driving test," an officer told Shanghai Daily.

Ren's pool was turned to a PDF file to be more reader-friendly by a netizen identified as Ventter on Weibo on Sunday, and that document also had been downloaded hundreds of times by yesterday.

Donations sought for orphans

To prevent scalpers from taking advantage of his work and making profit from it, Ren created a link on to provide a free download as well as the link on Weibo.

Ren said he wants the users of his guide to consider contributing to the China Children and Teenagers' Fund.

He said he has set up a pay link on Taobao for contributions to be sent to him, after which he said he would send the money to the fund.

"I priced the guide at 1 yuan (16 US cents)," Ren said.

"And if anyone wants to download it for free, I would also provide the link."


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