Ben Hayward September 16th

Driving theory tests in the UK are about to undergo another shakeup as video clips are set to replace written questions.

In a move to make the examination more accessible, from September 28th, 2020, learner drivers will watch a couple of 30-second videos depicting different scenarios, such as travelling through a town centre, approaching a roundabout, or driving along a country road, before being presented with three questions about each clip.

The update comes as part of Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) efforts to modernise the testing process while also supporting those with reading difficulties and other disabilities.

However, the new clips will not be replacing the classic hazard perception aspect of the theory test, and learners will still have to sit the multiple choice section, the DVSA has confirmed. 

The agency says feedback has shown that people feel more confident with video scenarios rather than written ones, as they allow them to process the information much more easily.

Speaking about the changes, DVSA Chief Driving Examiner, Mark Winn, said they had been considering them for some time and were part of a long-term strategy to make roads more accessible for all drivers.

Mr Winn said: "DVSA's priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. 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."

Agencies involved in the process include the National Autistic Society, the British Dyslexia Association, and the British Deaf Association - among others.

John Rogers, from the Disability Driving Instructors, said it was a welcome change and stated it now makes the test much more realistic and linked to the act of actually driving a vehicle.

He 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."

If you would like to take a look at the videos and see how the new system will work, you can practise here.

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