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Used this product for about a month now and have found it incredibly useful. The mock tests on the disc are good for practicing on, as all the conditions of a real test are on there.
The revision sheets are also useful. However these can be dull, due to them just being pages of text and I have failed to learn much from them due to the lack of interactivity.
There is also practice tests on there which as yet I have not used as am fine with the mock tests.
The hazard perception disc is useful with all the necessary parts being on there.
There is also a few extras such as highway code included.
Also this is probably the most expensive disc available so it may be worth trying some others.
Overall I find this to be all you would need to pass the test first time, although some elements lack interest.
I have already passed my theory test once but as this was over three years ago and I did not manage to pass my driving test in time which means I had to take it again before I can sit my practical. My driving instructor informed me things had changed a little since I last took the test and there were new questions which had not been published to make sure that people really knew there highway code rather than just the questions from the mock exams I thought I better brush up before I retook the test.
What you get for your money
I purchased this set from wh smith for around £15 regular retail is around £20 but to be honest everywhere I looked for it had some type of discount so do shop around to find the best deal. I received a DVD rom and a DVD the DVD rom being for practise of the whole test while the DVD shows you clips of the hazard perception and what types of things you should be looking out for and it gives you the best idea of when to click by highlighting when the hazard begins and how many points you get for the amount of time it takes you to notice this hazard. This DVD in all honesty was not used a lot I found it easier to practise on the computer while the children were watching a film although with the few times I did use it I found it handy to have the clips on a larger screen.
When you load the DVD rom you get the option to set up a profile by simply entering your name this means you can track your progress over time and see if you are actually getting any better this is all based on the results you get from your mock tests in both hazard perception and the theory questions. These two are split up into different sections so that you can see what you need more practise in it even gives you details of what you should practise next for example if you continually get road signs wrong it will suggest that you revise this a little more which I think is fantastic as you can see where it is you are going wrong.
There are a lot of videos on the DVD rom that show you day to day driving as you would do with your driving instructor that actually help you practise for the practical test. At the same time as giving you driving tips it brings up things that would be brought up in your theory test so pelican crossings, stopping distances what to do if there is an accident. I did find these a little tedious and some of the videos are rather long but they do help in making you remember things as it is shown as if you are driving rather than just showing you a bunch of facts on paper. There is also large sections of the highway codes which have notes with them that help you remember what you are taking in there is not too much information in one section so you can easily take in small amounts at a time without being overwhelmed by a bulk of information.
These were probably the most useful to me the whole set out is exactly how it was in the test you have a set amount of time to answer the questions and there is someone talking reading the questions out to you. I choose to practise with the sound off as I usually have the sound muted on my computer but this is great for anyone who might struggle a little with reading or just prefer to have the questions read to them. They are set out identical to the questions on the real test with multiple answers and a small diagram on them relating to the question everything on the DVD rom is what you will get in the test although of course you are sitting at home rather than a test centre. When you finish your test this is where the difference begins you are then told how many questions you got right and all the wrong questions are flagged up so you can go back to them and see where you went wrong and relook over the information as to why you got it wrong so the next time it sticks in your head about how you come to the correct answer.
Ease of use
It is very easy to use to navigate the program there are clear descriptions for each area and really are dummy proof. There are lots of different options for revising then the actual tests but at the same time it is not over complicated and laid out well. The hazard perceptions and theory are in two different sections keeping them different from each other so you can track results on each which I found to be perfect for not confusing the two. The charts for showing you how well you are doing are great they are put on a graph but are also written down in percentages of increase in correct answers so that whichever way you want to analyse the information you can. It is very easy to load on to your computer simply put it in the disc drive wait for it to load and then you will be given the option of having a shortcut on your desk top so each time you want to use it you just click this and it takes you straight in to the program.
It can be used by more than one person and the information kept separate which is great if there is more than one person in the house practising for their test. The only thing I found a little strange is the hazard perception clips are on a DVD and there are not as many as I would have liked although you do get the general idea of what you need to do and as I have already sat the test once and passed I was already confident with the hazard perception part. Another downside to the hazard perception is in the real test you get marked down if you click too much and the test with this kit does not seem to take that into consideration I once answered the door to the postman and when I came back in my youngest son had my mouse and was clicking continually and he managed to score points although it should have been obvious that actually it was just being clicked continual.
I really liked this disc it prepares you for your exam by making you learn the theory rather than just the questions that are going to be brought up in the exam which I think is great as this is the whole reason the test was changed. There are a whole range of revision aids that make it easy to learn what you need to and the mock question papers change each time you complete them so that you are being asked the same sort of questions but in different ways. A lot of the questions that came up in the real test were on this DVD rom practise tests and the ones that were not had been asked in the practise runs but just worded in a different way so I was still able to answer confidently.
I am pleased to say that I passed my theory in March this year and I do feel that this package really helped me in feeling confident and passing. The questions were not too different from the first time around and a lot of it does still seem like common sense to me but I went there in the right mindset as I had revised using the tools available on this set now for the hard bit and for my practical once I have had little one.
**Originally written May 2012**
I bought this for passing both my motorcycle and car theory, yes they are two separate things stupidly but you've got to do it so that's what i aimed for.
I mainly got this for the hazard perception as i thought i was fairly brushed up on the theory although this turned out to be opposite, the hazard perception bit of this disc is really good and gives great perspective of what you're going to get on your test and i found it really did help. However im not a fan of the theory section, i have done most of the several thousand questions that are on the disc however i have failed my bike theory twice :( and in combination of both times i did that test i have seen 2 questions that were given on this disc. I will mention that bike questions are different from those on the car but still i was a bit shocked that out of 2 tests i got 2 questions provided on the OFFICIAL theory and hazard perception disc. For the car i did find that doing the questions were helpful and would recommend it to others however for bike i do not thing this is useful at all apart from your hazard perception.
For Cars - Buy it, definitely worth it
For Bikes - Pointless, Questions never arise
I should start off by saying that I just passed my driving theory this morning. Yey!
The only material that I used to pass the test is the official DSA driving theory pack which has a CD for the multiple choice questions and another CD for the hazard perception part. There are a back of questions that are used in the tests and so no other questions apart from the ones on the CD can be asked.
The multiple choice question part of the test consists of 45 questions out of 50 and the remaining 5 questions are case studies. Examples of case studies are also given in the material but I found that the case studies did not require the application of knowledge so it was pointless. The case studies are like the multiple choice questions.
There are 14 chapters which include things like road signs, attitude, vehicle documents, road handling ect. First you should read about the topic and then revise for it by answering questions that are from the question bank. These are the same questions that could be asked in the real thing. What I did is I answered all the questions and then did it a second time to ensure that I had got at least 90%. Then I would move on to the next topic. I found that a lot of the questions where asking the same thing but just worded a little differently. After doing all the chapters I took the mock theory which is 50 questions that are taken from all 14 chapters. I did this at least 20 times and I could answer the question by just skimming the question. This is because when you revise for the test all the questions that could possibly be asked are on the CD.
The hazard perception CD is also in this pack. It has 8 chapters which goes through how this part of the test works, what to expect and how to prepare for it. It does say that taking lessons will help with the hazard perception but I had not taken a single lesson and I got 58 out of 75 which is pretty good as the pass mark is only 44 and it is quite hard. There is a practice part to the CD where you get a score. My CD froze a lot with this but when I used it on my brothers computer it worked perfectly for some reason. There are not enough clips to practice on. There are only about 8 clips but in the real thing there will be 14. But once you have gone through a clip it makes it easier to understand what you should be looking for.
I think that this interactive version is better than the book. My aunt has the book and I personally found that it was much slower to learn from. Also it was the old book and as the test has changed a little it is definitely worth purchasing the newer version. The one I have is for all tests up to september 2011. My brother is also taking the test so it is worth it and as you have to pay £31 for the test it is better to pay £14.00 for this CD and pass first time. I got it from amazon and as I had a £10 gift voucher I got it for £4.00
I brought this after my driving instructor advised I start looking and thinking seriosuly about taking the theory exam. I had a look at the theory DVD's and books that were in W H Smith, but before I brought anything I decided to have a look on Amazon. I was glad I did, because on Amazon I got this for about £17 rather than the recommended retail price at £19.99 in W H Smith. It is produced by the DSA which are the people who set the theory test, so I assumed this would be a good dvd to get.
It is a 2 disc kit which contains the official DA theory test ("the closest experience to the mnultiple choice part of the test") and also the offical guide to Hazard Perception ("fully interactive DVD to boost your hazard perception skills"). It's in a normal sized dvd box with a second layer inside the box for the 2nd dvd. It's cover is bright yellow and really stands out at you and really advertises the fact that it's two dvd's in one, because it has apicture of the hazard perception dvd in a separate box from the theory test. It also has an advert on the front for "Win a Car!".
The theory test DVD has options for revising specific areas, in which case if you click those it will bring up about 90 questions per topic for example, rules of the road, motorways, safety etc. When you have completed those, you can chose the option to take a customised test. When you do this, it identifies the questions you got wrong and gives you a new test of just these.
When you are feeling confident that you can answer all the questions, it gives the option to take a practice test. This gives you the timer as it would in the exam (although these are way longer than is actually needed for most people) and gives you the results. It brings up a screen showing what you got wrong and the correct answer. It then gives you an overall mark out of 35. (But the exam is now 50 questions).
The screen for each quetion is a yellow screen with grey borders. The question is written in black and the instructions for the question i.e. "mark one answer" is written in red. It gives you multiple choice options which if they are words, it has a large grey button for you to click on, but pictures can also appear, for example road signs. Along the bottom are options to choose "previous question" (as you can go back and forth throughout the test), "turn voice off" (You can have the questions read out to you if you require), "save progress" (if you want to come back to it later), "check answer" (you have to do this before you can progress to the next question during the revision session, but obviously in the actual test this button doesn't exist), and "next question". The revision section also has a copy of the highway code, but it is just a PDF of the actual book, and I found it annoying to scroll through but I had the actual book anyway.
The Hazard Perception dvd has a long section before the actual clips so that it can tell you how to work the dvd, what to look for when identifying hazards. It tells you how to work the DVD however I thought it was perfectly self explanatory and found I was skipping some of the instruction. It also tells you what to expect when you get to the test centre. After you have watched all of these sections, it gives you a pin number to access the question clips. There are 14 of these in the test and marked out of 5 for how soon you respond. Each of the clips except one have just one hazard that develops, but one of the clips has two so you have to be constantly on the lookout as you do when you are driving. You click when you see a potential hazard and again when you see it developing, however if you click continuously you will fail and a screen appears saying "you have responded to this question in an inappropriate way", and you receive 0 marks for that question.
The things I didn't like about this dvd were:
1. The video clips on the hazard perception, it limits your viewing, almost like you have tunnel vision. I found this completely unrealistic because for example going on roundabouts when you are actually driving you can look to the side etc but the dvd only shows you what is straight ahead.
2. The dvd gives you 35 questions and leads you to believe the current test comprises of this many questions. However when I watched the dvd that came with my confirmation for the test a few days before I took it, I found it had increased to 50 questions and the DVD's still being sold by the DSA contain only 35.
Operating system: Windows 98/Me/ NT4/ 2000/ XP
CPU type and speed: Pentium II 400 or better
Hard drive space: 100Mb minimum
Memory: 256 MB
Graphics: 800X600x 16 bit or higher
CD rom speed: 8x or faster
Region Code: 2/3/4/5/6
Disc format: DVD-5
Picture format: PAL 4:3
Subtitles: English for hard of hearing
Duration: Approx 60 minutes
Interactive software to help learner drivers to pass their theory test.