Monday, 1 November 2010

DSA - No more theory test Q&A availability

Latest update from the DSA:

DSA to stop publishing questions used in theory tests
  • Candidates need to understand theory
  • End to memorising answers
  • Unpublished questions used from 1 January 2012
The Driving Standards Agency is to stop publishing the multiple choice questions and answers used in theory tests, Road Safety Minister Mike Penning announced today.
This will help to ensure that new drivers learn the principles behind driving theory rather than just learning answers.
The move follows the introduction of independent driving into the driving test and the DSA's decision to stop publishing test routes in October 2010, to make sure the test assesses a learner's ability to drive and not their capacity to memorise routes.
Mike Penning said: “The driving theory test should help to prepare drivers for real life on the road - good driving is not just about vehicle-handling skills, but also about having the knowledge and understanding of safe driving theory.
“No longer publishing these questions and answers will mean that successful candidates will have to understand the theory rather than simply memorising answers.
“I believe that this - along with the other changes we are making to the driving test regime - will lead to better drivers and safer roads.”
In September 2011 DSA will change the format of books and other learning materials available to help people prepare for theory tests. This will take place at the same time as more challenging case studies are introduced to car and motorcycle theory tests.
Then, from 1 January 2012, DSA will create theory tests using questions which will not be published.
Practice questions and answers, not used in theory tests, will still be available to help candidates with revision.
Other companies which publish products containing DSA theory test questions will also no longer have access to the questions used in the tests.


What I find of concern with this is that some of the multi-choice questions are, well, 'odd'.  May favourite example is - for car drivers [probably] - this:
"What should you do when driving into a tunnel?"
I won't give you the full list of options, but the answer is 'Turn on your car radio' . . .
I can assure you that I didn't know that until I read a theory test Q&A book!



Kevin Williams / Survival Skills Rider Training said...

If they're not going to publish the answers, they can thin out the question book, and remove the odder ones (I've not seen your particular example!), and also some of the questions with the more ridiculous answers:

What should you do when parking on a hill? "Park with your bumper against the bumper of the vehicle behind you" or something along those lines.

It might get taken slightly more seriously then.

KW said...

PS - that's parking up against the bumper is the wrong answer... I think a 5 year old would spot that!