The theory test changes that should make the exam easier for some learners

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 7:43 am
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 7:44 am

The driving theory test will change later this month with the introduction of video clips to replace written questions in some sections.

The DVSA, which oversees driving testing, says the changes will bring the test up to date and make it more accessible for more learners.

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From September 28, written questions in the multiple choice part of the test will be replaced with a video clip of up to 30 seconds showing different driving conditions, such as driving through a town or on a rural road. Candidates will then have to answer three questions about the clip.

Learners can practise for free using example videos released by the DVSA here.

The video clips will cover a variety of driving scenarios

The DVSA’s 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.” 

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The changes, which will apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, follow research done with learners who have reading difficulties and disabilities. It showed learners felt more comfortable and confident with video scenarios, rather than written ones, as they were better able to process the information on screen and it mirrors the way candidates take in and react to information while driving. 

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

John Rogers, who represents the Association of 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.”

The new clips are the only changes to the theory test and don’t replace the hazard perception section, which also uses video clips to test learner’s awareness.