Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have. It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.
When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.
As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.
Yeah, and I think it was that very situation too; people who'd learned in an auto, then switched to manual, and couldn't get the hang of pulling away uphill without rolling back.
Here, the default is to learn in a manual. You can learn in an auto, but then you only have an automatic licence and can't legally drive a manual without taking a manual test. The hill start is also part of our driving test.
Slight hijack, sorry!
Perpetua, I'm not sure where you live, but I'm guessing it's not the US. My cousin lived in England for several years and eventually got a driver's license there--she said it was way harder than getting a license in the States.
My driver's test consisted of answering 15 questions about things like right of way and where to stop behind a stopped school bus, and 15 minutes on the road with an inspector in the passenger seat. We never went on a highway, just drove around some more or less residential streets--I had to turn and get into the correct lane, stop at a stop sign, stop at a traffic light, and make both a left and right turn. I mentioned upthread that I had to make my driving instructor teach me parallel parking--I was asked to parallel park, but it was behind a car that had tons of empty space behind it, so it was easy. I also had to back into a parking spot when we got back to the DMV. That was about it.
I found out later that the inspectors don't normally ask for parallel parking, but I had drawn the toughest inspector they had, and apparently he was looking for something to downgrade me a little on. (Which he couldn't. Apparently, I was the only 100% score he'd given in years, according to the person who took the photo for my license.)