The DSA as of February 2012 is removed the questions bank of theory questions from the public domain. This is a good idea as it will encourage learners to learn correctly. There is much controversy over this and some criticism for learning challenged groups. Experience instructors will know how a pupil can come to you having passed a theory test and have no understanding or application of it on the road.
Pupil theory training
Trying to persuade your pupils to do their theory is often difficult. You need to understand how they learn, most will simply cram the learning in at the last minute and some will want to go over every detail. It is good to have a variety of learning methods. 1st 4 Driving associates have access to fully structured theory training lessons. It contains 12 lessons centred on the Highway Code and gives the reading material loosely based around your normal lesson syllabus. Encourage your pupils to use this as it helps them to learn things cognitive (by understanding) rather than by just remembering the answers to multiple choice questions. A copy of this is included in appendix two.
Most pupils will happily complete two lessons between driving lessons however it has been split into 12 so those slow learners do not feel they are making slow progress. You will find some of your learners will love it straight away and others will not. Others will show their friends who too will want a copy and wonder why their instructor does not do something similar. They also have access to fully functional on-line theory training with the complete question bank and dozens of working hazard perception clips. Pupils are able to do real mock tests on both theory and hazard perceptions clips. There are companies out there that provide this service too, some better than others but whatever you do, you need to have the theory test covered. Parents expect us to cover it and so does the pupil. I know many instructors who do this with them on laptops over cups of tea. The pupil will pay for this if they need the support. Offer the service as like many other services 20% of customers will always take you up IF the service is offered.
Snapshot of pupil theory training
Instructor theory training
In the structured pupil theory training I first wrote over 12 years ago and re-did in 2007 after the Highway Code was updated, is a supplement to the pupil theory training and has been written to provide you with questions that you can test your pupil’s study of their structured theory training. It comes in the same 12 lessons. You do not need to necessarily ask every question and you will find during the first few weeks your pupils may not do their homework, however as their theory test gets closer, and if you have booked it as talked of earlier, and then they will tend to swot up nearer the time. You will notice that the answers are not given only the rules from the Highway Code to where the answers will be found. Do not tell your pupil’s the answer but give them the Highway Code and get them to look it up in the car. This helps them to learn how to study and promotes that cognitive (learnt) pattern.
A snapshot of this is shown below.
- What does the HC say you must do if you have a health condition that could affect your fitness to drive? Answer HC rule 90
- Driving while tired can greatly increase your chance of a collision; name three things you can do to avoid this? Answer HC rule 91
- What is the minimum distance you will be required to read a number plate in good day light? Answer HC rule 92