In a bid to make the theory test questions more accessible to all learners, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has revised a vast majority of them to make the questions more simple.
Working with the British Dyslexia Association and other organisations, the DVSA has changed 78 out of the 88 questions to make them easier to understand for those who might struggle with the phrasing featured in the old versions – but who are otherwise perfectly capable of becoming safe, responsible drivers.
The type of questions that have been completely revamped include the ‘continuation’ questions; these previously asked the candidate to select the right answer from a list of possibilities to complete a sentence.
In the new version, this approach has been junked – instead, they have now been changed into questions to aid in understanding. Here’s an example of the change:
Old version of theory test ‘continuation’ questions
If you use a hands-free phone while you’re driving, it’s likely that it will…
• increase your safety
• increase your concentration
• increase your awareness
• decrease your concentration.
New version of theory test ‘continuation’ questions
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.
As well as changing questions, the DVSA has also replaced longer, more difficult to understand words such as ‘increase’ with shorter, simpler words such as ‘bigger’ as well as changing more complex phrases and words such as ‘Vehicle Excise Duty’ and ‘medication’.
The agency has also stripped out negative language, so instead of a question featuring “When should you NOT”, it has now been replaced with “When should you”.
The changes have already gone live and Theory Test Pro has been updated so check them out.
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.”
– Olivia Baldock-Ward, Head of Membership and Training, Driving Instructors Association.