Driving test theory exam to be made more difficult

The days of cramming for the driving theory test may be over after it was announced that the exam's questions and answers will no longer be planted in revision books, in a bid to stop learner drivers "simply memorising" the correct responses.

The changes come in reaction to Driving Standards Agency (DSA) fears that drivers were "learning by rote" and mean that the old system, under which many of the questions featuring on the test were reproduced word-for-word along with the answers in revision materials, will be swept away early next year.

"It is about getting people to actually understand the knowledge behind the driving theory, as opposed to just learning an answer and regurgitating it when the candidate recognises the corresponding question," said a DSA spokeswoman.

She added: "We want to avoid the situation where people are able to sit down and recognise a question then write down the answer."

The spokeswoman said that the changes, which will come into effect on 23 January 2012, were in response to a consultation with driving instructors who said that the current testing system encourages learner drivers to just use their memories, rather than actually reflect on the reasons behind pieces of driving theory.

The consultation, carried out in 2008 but only acted upon now, also revealed instructors' fears that learner drivers viewed the theory test as "just something to get through before the real driving started".

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