Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency
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Improvements to theory test

Improvements to theory test

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 03 September 2009

* DSA introduces case studies into the theory test

* Candidates to be tested on understanding as well as knowledge

* Case studies are widely used in education to put learning into context

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) will start to introduce case studies into the driving theory test from the end of this month, it has announced today. From 28 September 2009, one case study will be included in the exam for car drivers, moped and motorcycle riders.

As part of the multiple choice section of the test, the case study will assess candidates' understanding of driving theory, whilst the multiple choice questions will continue to assess their knowledge of the subject.

The introductory theory test case study will take the form of a scenario, or short story, on which five questions will be based. Candidates will answer the questions in the same way as they do now, using either the touch screen or mouse.

DSA's Director of Driver Education and Learning, Jill Lewis, said: "Case studies are widely used in education to put learning into context and test comprehension of a subject, so many candidates will have encountered this type of question before.

"Initially we are introducing one case study based on existing questions in the theory test question bank, to get candidates used to the concept. It will also allow us to monitor any impact on the theory test. Over time, we plan to introduce more case studies into the theory test to assess candidates' understanding of what they have learned."

Changes to the theory test are part of Learning to Drive, a long-term programme of major reforms that will progressively strengthen the way that people learn to drive and are tested. This approach received general support from the almost 7,000 people who responded to the consultation.

For further information or to request an interview, contact Joanna Roberts on 0115 9366138 or email: | |

Notes to Editors:

1. The theory test contains 50 multiple choice questions and a 14-question Hazard Perception Test.

2. Newly-qualified drivers and their passengers accounted for one in five of all car deaths in Britain in 2006 (300 deaths). Statistics reveal that one in five newly-qualified drivers have a collision within six months of passing their test, and another 70% report near misses in the same period.

3. By 2008 the number of young car drivers killed or seriously injured had decreased by 43 per cent compared with the 1994-1998 average. However, young drivers continue to be over-represented amongst road deaths and injuries.

4. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is one of the Executive Agencies that forms the Motoring and Freight Services (MFS) group, within the Department for Transport.

5. DSA's vision is "Safe Driving for Life" with a mission to contribute towards the Government target of a 40% reduction in riders and drivers killed or seriously injured in road crashes, in the age group up to 24 years, by 2010.

6. Information on road casualties is available from

7. DSA promotes road safety through setting standards for drivers, riders and trainers, testing drivers and riders fairly and efficiently, maintaining the registers of Approved Driving Instructors; Large Goods Vehicle Instructors; Fleet Trainers; Driving Instructor Trainers and Post Test Motorcycle Trainers; supervising Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists; and driver education and the provision of learning resources.

8. DSA is a trading fund with planned turnover of £199 million in 2009/10, largely funded through fees and revenue from other road safety initiatives. It delivers tests from over 400 practical driving test centres and 158 theory test centres.

9. DSA employs over 2,700 staff, of which some 2,000 are driving examiners. In 2008/09 DSA conducted 1.72 million practical car tests, 84,000 vocational tests and 105,000 motorcycle tests. A total of 1.5 million theory tests were carried out. At the end of the year there were around 44,768 people on the Register of Approved Driving Instructors.

10. DSA was one of the first Government agencies to introduce an online booking service at



DSA Press office

Joanna Roberts
Phone: 0115 936 6138

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