Driving theory test

Test changes mean pupils will not be able to learn answers from pre-published material

23 January 2012

Test changes mean pupils will not be able to learn answers from pre-published material

Test changes mean pupils will not be able to learn answers from pre-published material

Changes designed to make the driving theory test harder have been brought in as the AA reveals one in four drivers don’t know who has priority when traffic lights are out.

This was one of a selection of questions put to drivers ahead of the changes that are being implemented on January 23, 2012, to try to stop learners memorising pre-published official questions and answers.

The AA/Populus poll of 11,361 drivers showed:

  • 23% thought the correct answer was traffic going straight on
  • 3% said it was those turning right and,
  • 2% those turning left

The correct answer is that nobody has priority though with a quarter of motorists not knowing this, it could easily result in accidents and road rage.

Flashing amber

When asked what a flashing amber light at a pelican crossing means, 18% of respondents claimed it meant they should stop and wait for the green or red light.

Thankfully 54% knew this meant to give way to pedestrians already on the crossing, though 28% would give way to pedestrians waiting to cross.

Younger drivers, aged 18-24 were the highest age group to get this correct with 68% answering correctly while only 41% of drivers over 65 got this right.

Learners should not unduly worry about the changes to the test. The new test calls for greater understanding, which can be gained from professional tuition and some time spent revising

Mark Peacock, head of AA Driving School

Comment

Mark Peacock, Head of AA Driving School said: “Knowing the theoretical rules of the road is really important for drivers.

“It’s encouraging that young drivers did better in the poll questions than older – perhaps a sign that those who have recently taken a theory test have a better understanding of driving theory than those who took it a few years ago.

“Learners should not unduly worry about the changes to the test. The new test calls for greater understanding, which can be gained from professional tuition and some time spent revising; both of which would have been needed to pass the theory test confidently before the changes.”

Tips on passing your theory test

1. Boost your memory

Use mental associations by making lists and creating visual associations. For example for every road rule attach a visual picture to it, eg a mental 'snapshot' of a scene where the rule has been applied. And for every traffic sign imagine yourself taking the right action.

2. Repetition is the key

On test day you'll really appreciate all the work you put in going over theory information and practising your manoeuvres again and again.

3. Study with a friend

Studies show that people learn faster with a study buddy, so team up with a friend and test each other with questions and tricky scenarios.

4. Observe other people driving

Not for tips (as people with licences may have a few bad driving habits), but to test yourself on real-life scenarios so you can think about what you would have done if you'd been in the driving seat.

5. Use relaxation techniques

Everyone worries that their minds will go blank in a test, so if you start to panic, focus on your breathing (most of us forget to breathe when we're nervous or scared). Take three slow deep breaths – this will calm the body, lower adrenaline levels and relax any tense muscles.

6. Don't pile on the pressure

Keep the test in perspective. It's not the end of the world if you do something wrong or even fail. You can take it again.

7. Deal with stress

Don't let stress drive you. If you feel panic creeping over you, slow down, take a deep breath, tell yourself you can do it and simply focus on the questions.

8. Get a good night's sleep before your test

Being tired can really affect your memory recall.

9. Read the questions

Focus on what the question is asking and don't be afraid to spend a few minutes re-reading to make sure you understand it.

10. Ask your instructor

Your instructor is one of the best people to ask if you are revising for your theory test and come across something you are unsure of. Make use of your lesson time to ask anything that has you stumped.

 

(2 February 2012)

AA/Populus poll received 11,316 responses between 17th and 24th August 2011