Learner drivers hoping to get behind the wheel from April this year will have to pass a new type of theory test designed to make the system fairer for everyone, including those with learning difficulties.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency said new theory test changes will kick in on April 14 for learners across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Under the current system, you have to answer 50 multiple-choice questions within 57 minutes and then pass a hazard perception test to pass the assessment.
As part of the Q&A, learners have to read a case study and then answer five questions – based on the rules of the road.
However, from Spring 2020, you'll be asked to watch a short, silent, video clip instead, which you'll then have to answer three multiple-choice questions on.
Learners will be able to watch the video clip as many times as they like during the multiple-choice part of the theory test.
The video clip will show a situation, such as driving through a town centre, or driving on a country road.
DVSA chief driving examiner Mark Winn said: "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."
The change follows a DVLA report that found that learners with reading difficulties and disabilities felt more comfortable with video scenarios than written ones.
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."
What types of questions will I be asked?
You’ll answer questions like the following:
For each of the three questions, you’ll have to choose the correct answer from four possible answers.
The change will affect all learner drivers who choose to take a test after 14 April 2020 including those who have to retake after passing the first exam.
What’s not changing
Despite the changes, you'll still need to study the same books and software to prepare for your theory test.
As part of the test, you'll still need to:
- Answer 50 multiple-choice questions within 57 minutes
- Get 43 out of the 50 questions right to pass the multiple-choice part of the test
The hazard perception part of the test is not changing. This is where you watch video clips to spot developing hazards.
Tests that are not changing
The change will not apply to the following theory tests:
- Bus or coach
- Approved driving instructor (ADI) part 1
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