Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Theory test

Originally uploaded by kevin (iapetus)

I passed my theory test today!

It consisted of two parts: The actual theory questions and a hazard perception test.

The first half was quite easy, given that you can buy a CD with all the questions and answers so that it’s “just” a question of memorising all 882 of them. (I got 50 out of 50 in this part, which is why I might be sounding a bit cocky.)

However, from the perspective of giving you knowledge that you’ll actually need as a driver, I’m not entirely impressed. For instance, consider this:

The cost of your insurance may reduce if you

  1. are under 25 years old
  2. pass the driving test first time
  3. do not wear glasses
  4. take the Pass Plus scheme

Isn’t this just an ad for the Pass Plus programme?

Other questions seem to be about the English language rather than about your abilities as a driver, e.g.:

‘Tailgating’ means

  1. using the rear door of a hatchback car
  2. following another vehicle too closely
  3. reversing into a parking space
  4. driving with rear fog lights on

Yet others can be answered with a bare miminum of common sense. For instance:

    You see a car coming out from a side road in front of you. What do you do?

  1. Swerve past it and sound your horn
  2. Slow down and be ready to stop
  3. Flash your headlights and drive up close behind
  4. Accelerate past it immediately

I’m not much happier about the perception test. It’s not just because I only got 61 out of 75 in this part, but I think it’s fundamentally flawed.

They show you brief video clips of a car driving through actual traffic, and you then have to press the mouse button whenever you see a hazard.

However, there are no minus points for clicking too often (unless you really overdo it), and you’re not asked to identify the hazard, so I’m pretty sure you could just about scrape through if you just click every time you see something move.

In an ideal world, you should be sitting next to an examiner, telling them which hazards you spot and why you think they’re hazards, but even within the current system, surely it would be easy enough to make people click on the hazard itself.

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