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DVSA Announces Changes to Theory Test

We’ve all been there, that bane of our learner years; the dreaded theory test. Considered by many aspiring drivers to be a tricky hurdle they need to overcome in the hopes of hitting the road, the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have recently announced that there will be changes to the theory test as we know it from April 14th, 2020.

Currently, learner drivers are given written case studies to read followed by five multiple-choice questions about the scenarios posed. From April 14th, those sitting their theory tests will be shown a selection of short, silent, videos before having to answer three multiple-choice questions about what they just watched.

These changes are being made following research which showed that drivers with reading and learning difficulties struggled with the written scenarios. Currently, the changes will only affect car theory tests, with tests for motorcycles, buses, lorries, and coaches remaining unchanged.

Industry experts welcome theory test changes

Driving instructors, in particular, have responded positively to the changes, as Peter Brabin, head of training at the Bill Plant Driving school said:

“There’s no doubt that the changes coming into effect are an improvement to the theory test; as whilst the majority of the examination remains unchanged, the introduction of video clips in place of written case studies puts students into more realistic scenarios akin to everyday driving experiences.

“As well as this, the implemented changes will prove far more beneficial to drivers with reading and learning difficulties, as well as those who find they learn better in visual scenarios. The improvements, while small, are more geared towards making the theory test more client-centred, leading towards longer-term understanding, rather than shorter-term revision.”

The RAC also welcomes the changes, with spokesperson Simon Williams saying:

“This is a very positive change and should make the driving theory test accessible to many more people as watching case study videos is far more reflective of real-world driving than having to read them and then answer questions.

“We know from RAC research that being able to drive is an important milestone in people’s lives as it allows them to get around more easily. This is particularly true for those who live in more rural locations.”

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