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New format to be introduced for driving theory test


By Kyle Ritchie

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Video clips will replace written scenarios in the car driving theory test, which aims to bring the assessment up-to-date and make it more accessible for everyone.

The new video clips in the multiple-choice part of the test will show up to a 30-second scenario of different driving conditions.

This includes driving through a town centre or on a country road. Learners will then need to answer three questions about the clip.

The changes follow research done with people who have reading difficulties and disabilities. It showed they felt more comfortable and confident with video scenarios, rather than written ones, as they were better able to process the information on screen.

They will be introduced in tests from Monday, September 28.

Below is an example of a video clip.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) chief driving examiner Mark Winn said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving.

“Being able to drive can be life-changing and the DVSA is committed to helping everyone access the opportunities driving can offer.

“We have worked closely with road safety experts and learners to create a theory test which fully tests a candidate’s knowledge of the rules of the road and is more accessible.”

As well as making the test more accessible the DVSA said the changes make the test more realistic, as it mirrors the way candidates take in and react to information while driving.

It worked with the National Autistic Society, the British Dyslexia Association and British Deaf Association among other stakeholders to develop the changes.

John Rogers, from the Disability Driving Instructors, said: “A picture paints a thousand words, especially for candidates with special educational needs.

"Having to go back and forth between the text in the written scenario and the written questions and answers was a big obstacle to understanding what was required.

“Video scenarios should prove much easier to follow and the questions will hopefully appear more relevant.”

Previous improvements made to the theory test to make it more accessible, include the added option of taking the test with a pre-recorded voice-over, and specially trained members of staff acting as readers.

Learners can practice for free in using the new video clips by visiting The Stationery Office's website here

The Official DVSA learning materials also include new video clips to help learners practise this part of the theory test through the app and learning zone.

It is estimated that over the last 10 years, 17 million theory tests have been conducted in the UK. The introduction of the new video clips only applies to the car theory test.

The new video clips will not replace the hazard perception part of the theory test. Learners will still sit a multiple-choice and a hazard perception section. The rest of the test is not changing.

Learners will still be asked 50 multiple-choice questions in total; need to get the same pass mark; and get their result at the test centre after taking the theory test.

A mock driving theory test can be done at www.gov.uk/take-practice-theory-test



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