The driving Theory Test questions are changing to make the test more accessible for everyone, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced.
The agency have teamed up with the British Dyslexia Association, the British Deaf Association and other stakeholders to make the test more accessible for candidates.
The revised questions in the theory test will be introduced on 1 May 2018 and will be in plainer English. DVSA believe this will give everyone who is capable of being a safe and responsible driver the opportunity to pass their driving tests – both theory and practical.
DVSA has rephrased all of the ‘continuation’ questions in the test. This type of question asks the candidate to choose an answer from a list, to complete a sentence.
The DVSA are changing the wording so that the candidate has to pick a statement to answer the question instead, which will make it easier for some candidates to understand.
An example of how the wording has changed is:
If you use a hands-free phone while you’re driving it’s likely that it will
If you use a hands-free phone while you’re driving what’s likely to happen?
It will make you safer
It will be easier for you to concentrate
It will make you more aware
It will be harder for you to concentrate
They have replaced words such as ‘increased’ and ‘decreased’ with simpler words such as bigger, smaller, longer, shorter. They have also removed or replaced longer words or phrases like ‘consumption’, ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ or ‘medication’ with simpler words.
DVSA has also rephrased questions that contain negative language, to help candidates to understand the questions better. For example, ‘When should you NOT…?’ has been changed to ‘When should you…?’
DVSA trialed these revised questions with over 7,000 candidates to check whether they were easier to understand. Where the results of this trial showed a clear improvement or no significant difference, DVSA has replaced the question. Following the trial, 78 of the 88 revised questions have been used.
Olivia Baldock-Ward, Head of Membership and Training at the Driving Instructors Association (DIA), supports the changes made to the Theory Test Questions.
She said: “We feel this is a good move as the Theory Test is an assessment of a person’s knowledge on the subject and often a common hurdle from the candidate’s point of view is trying to understand what the question is asking them.
“Language used should be accessible to minimise any barriers to understanding the question in the first place.”