Product Type: Focus Multimedia in Infotainment
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Get full marks on your theory test
Driving Test Success All Tests DVD-Rom
Member Name: helenc72
Driving Test Success All Tests DVD-Rom
Advantages: Easy to use, interactive, get used to hazard perception, tracks your progress
Disadvantages: Voice over is annoying
When I first started to think about taking my theory test I bought the official DSA theory book. It was okay, but I found a few aspects of it quite irritating (for example, you constantly have to flip to the back to check the answers) and I never really felt motivated to pick it up and study my theory. My driving instructor recommended me the Driving Test Success CD-rom as an alternative. She thinks it the best product out the there when it comes to preparing for the theory test, as it is interactive and uses exactly the same format as the real test. After using it, I agree that it is excellent and far better than the DSA official material.
Installation was easy and whenever I put the disc in it asks whether I want to check for updates, so it seems they keep it up to date with any new questions.
The CD rom has three sections: theory test, hazard perception test and practical driving lessons. As I was using this to prepare for my theory, I used the first two sections a lot but did not try the practical driving lessons section.
=== Theory Test ===
The theory test section contains every official question from the DSA, covering all 14 of the test topics such as road signs, attitude, what to do in an accident etc. You can do the questions in pre-ordered sets, meaning that if you wanted to you could systematically work through every single question. When you are in this pratice mode, you are immediately shown whether or not your answer is correct and an explanation is provided. Alternatively you can take unlimited randomly generated mock tests of 50 questions and this mode has the exact same format as the real test. When you use the mock test mode you do not immediately see whether the question is right or wrong, but when you submit you can see the incorrect answers are marked in red and you can go back and review the question to see the correct answer. There is also a separate road sign test area within the theory section so you can take a mock test focussing only on the road signs.
I found these tests an ideal way to practice as it is more fun than using a book because it is interactive and the program keeps track of your score, so you don't have to keep checking to the back of the book for the answers. The program also allows you to see your progess over time, showing a graph with how your percentage score has progressed and it highlights the topics in which you are weaker or stronger to make you aware of where you should focus.
The only thing which slightly annoyed me about the mock theory tests was the voice over. There is a very loud voice over which reads all the questions and answers. Apparently this is optional but I never managed to turn it off, even when I went into the settings and turned the sound off, the voice was still there. I usually just turned my speakers off to avoid it, but this meant I couldn't listen to music on my computer while learning my theory.
The program told me that in total I had attempted 800 practice questions and I had not failed any mock tests on the multiple choice section, so I felt very confident when I went in for this part of the test. I actually passed the real one with 100% so obviously Driving Test Success had prepared me very well!
=== Hazard Perception ===
First of all I was a bit worried about the hazard perception section of the test because I didn't really know what to expect. My driving instructor had told me that the hazard perception part of Driving Test Success was really good as it includes videos in the same style as the test, allowing you to practice and get used to it. This was the main thing which attracted me to buy it.
Like the theory section, you can either work through pre-set groups of videos or you can take a full mock test of 14 video clips, as you would get in the real test. I have used both of these modes and the only difference is really the number of video clips, as the practice sessions are much shorter than the mocks.
The videos include a very wide range of scenarios, including country roads, busy cities, residential streets, motorways, night time scenes, scenes with bright sunlight, and just about every possible situation you could think of on the roads! In the hazard perception part of the theory test, you have to watch the videos and click the mouse when you see a "developing hazard", which is something which causes you to slow down, change direction or stop. The faster you react to the hazard, the more points you get. There is a time window in which you can get points, ranging from 5 points if you are very quick, to 1 point if you are slower. You get 0 points if you are too slow or miss it entirely. The reason I am explaining how the scoring works is that it is sometimes slightly flawed. Occasionally it is possible to be too quick and click just before the time window opens, meaning you should have got 5 points but in fact you get zero. My instructor warned me about this and said that if you have seen the hazard very early, you should wait a second and then click again just to make sure you get the points. You will get the points for your first click, so if the 5 had registered then there is no harm done. I had kind of taken this on board from my instructor telling me, but a few times I saw this "error" in action on my practice tests and got a zero when it really should have been a 5. After experiencing it myself a few times, it really drummed into me that I would have to make sure I clicked again on my real test if I had been too quick. I think this was really invaluable as I was able to get to grips with this slight bug in the test system.
In my opinion the harzard perception tests are not difficult but they definitely take some getting used to. When I first started practicing with the CD I did get some poor marks on a few videos and occasionally missed the hazard completely. By the time I had my real test this week, I was scoring 4s and 5s and passed with a good mark, so the practice had paid off.
The CD shows graphs and analysis of your results on the hazard perception too, as with the theory, and informs you which situations are your strong and weak areas. For example, it tells you which times of day you perform better in (for example I was scoring lower in dusk time videos), which types of road you score better on etc. This enables you to get enough practice in the areas which need it.
=== Highway Code ===
The CD also includes a full and up to date edition of the High Way Code, which is easy to search. This is useful when you just want to check something such as a road sign, stopping distances or rule. I didn't use it much, because I found it easy to learn most of the information from the practice tests as I went along.
=== Overall ===
This CD rom is so easy to use and really helpful when it comes to learning the material and getting used to the test format, which is especially useful for the hazard perception. I would recommend it to any learner driver and I think it is much better than the DSA theory test book. I was able to go to my theory test with full confidence after using this and was able to pass with ease.
Driving Test Success costs £5.99 on Amazon with postage included, which I think is great value for money.
Summary: Ideal way to prepare for theory test
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