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Mata
post Jul 29 2009, 12:39 PM
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I took my driving theory test yesterday. For those not in the UK, this is 50 questions about law/safe driving and a 'hazard perception' test. Of the 50 questions, you need to get 42-ish to pass, and I got 47, so that's no problem.

... However, I 'failed' the hazard perception test. There are two things that I should mention here:

1. My driving instructor says that I'm a fast learner and that my hazard perception skills have always been highly developed.

2. I make computer games for a living, so I can respond to on-screen stimuli pretty fast and accurately.

The instructions say that you should click whenever a situation occurs or develops, and a situation is described as something requiring you to change speed or direction that is caused by anything with legs or wheels.

You get to watch 14 clips and you have to click a mouse button when anything that matches the description happens. 1 of the 14 clips has two 'situations' in it, the rest only have one.

I've practised these a lot before and always passed, my average score was over three, enough to give me a pass mark, except that three of my clips were disallowed. Apparently I had double-clicked and that had disqualified my response, meaning that I scored 0. As stated above, I work with computers a lot. I know what is described by the rest of the world as a double click - I didn't do that. More to the point, what blooming idiot decided 'ah yes, you've spotted that danger, but you've spotted it emphatically so you're obviously cheating'?

Anyway, I aksed for a human to review my three disallowed clips and I'll get the result in nine days. I'm most irritated. I hate badly designed systems generally, but ones that are funded by the government, which I could improve with about half an hour of coding, and that I'm charged £31 to use? I really despise those.

Grr.


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froggle-rock
post Jul 29 2009, 12:48 PM
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Grah.

Hope the human lets you one stop closer to being legally allowed to mow zombies down.


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Mata
post Jul 29 2009, 12:58 PM
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I personally believe I now have the essential skill set for mowing down zombies when the dead rise. I don't need government approval for that!


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Cath Sparrow
post Jul 29 2009, 01:09 PM
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Yeh I got very close to failing my theory as well (mine costed £90) because of the Hazard Perception I passed by 1 point and also had a clip disqualified for over clicking (you need 57 for an ADI).


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Moosh
post Jul 29 2009, 01:47 PM
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Ah, I remember that. I didn't have any problems with it, other than thinking it was silly and clicking at everything "a tree, that's a hazard, it could fall on you", "a graveyard, definite hazard, zombies could come out of it" kinda thing. I think the easiest way to get through it is just to click constantly, but not in a rhythm.

I'll have to do it again at some point having run out of the two years you have after taking the theory to pass the practical, so I'll see then.


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Cath Sparrow
post Jul 29 2009, 04:39 PM
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It really isn't there is a limit to how many time you can click before you get kicked off. It is actually pretty easy to see the hazards they want you to click on I found the piece of soft wear that was reconmended to me a big help but not because of useing it to practise (which did help) but there's a section in it (not sure if it's just the ADI part) that shows you where you clicked and where it is in relation to the scoreing bar which helped me no end in that it helped me figure out what to look for properly.


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Mata
post Jul 29 2009, 10:27 PM
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I've got software that does that, and it just made me see even more clearly how incredibly ridiculous the whole thing is. There was one time where a car slowing 15 meters in front of me wasn't considered a hazard, but another one where a car slowing 40 metres ahead was a hazard.

There was one where I clicked at the right time, but for the wrong thing: I was approaching a narrow road with a very thin piece of pavement. For some reason, a person had leaned their bike against the wall on the pavement and was using it as a step ladder. Apparently, that was not a hazard, but the parked car 50 metres away was! It's a flipping parked car! It wasn't likely to suddenly topple from being precariously balanced on a bike and fall under my wheels!

I got so paranoid about clicking too much that I think I probably wasn't clicking enough by the end of the test so probably missed a few points for that. Dammit.

While I'm not fuming about this, I'm quietly extremely irritated. I don't mind failing tests, that's just the nature of life, but I get really irritated by utterly arbitrary tests where you have to second-guess the examiner.


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Cath Sparrow
post Jul 29 2009, 11:01 PM
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Yeh I do agree that it does show you how pointless it is and make you paranoid about clicking. I managed the ADI version with and absolutely stinking cold I was dosed to the eyeballs and coughing and sneezing the full works I had to ask if it was possible to have some water somewhere seeing as they wouldn't allow me to take a bottle in with me.


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SPEAKERfortheLOS...
post Jul 29 2009, 11:30 PM
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For reference, I work on those systems from time to time... Not the UK ones, but the US ones... Where the system is entirely different from location to location... And let me just say this, all of them are 'secured' because they are so botched up that no one in their right mind would touch them and hope that what they were doing would work... I feel for ya Mata. Good Luck.


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Hobbes
post Jul 30 2009, 09:35 AM
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Sounds to me like they created a computer-marked test that really needs to be marked by sensible humans. I also despise such things, Mata, but fortunately when I did my theory test (almost a decade ago!), I just had to answer about 40 multiple-choice questions, and that was it. At least one of the questions was about hazard awareness; something along the lines of:

What is a potential hazard in this picture:
a.) The grass in the neighbouring street
b.) The cumulonimbus cloud formation in the next county
c.) A discarded crisp packet trapped within a white picket fence
d.) The small, unpredictable boy currently running out into the road DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU to fetch his ball. His shoelaces have been tied together as part of a hilarious prank, his foppish-fringe has swung into his eyes obscuring his view, and someone has discarded a banana skin which now lies in his path.

Those blades of grass looked awfully sharp to me.
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Usurper MrTeapot
post Jul 30 2009, 11:29 AM
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QUOTE (CheeseMoose @ Jul 29 2009, 02:47 PM) *
I think the easiest way to get through it is just to click constantly, but not in a rhythm.


Mine was a similar affair, I was told the same advice and it was the best result I'd ever achieved compared to the home software.

I considered it a little obstacle which was preventing me from learning the real lessons of driving.


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post Jul 30 2009, 12:42 PM
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I'm ashamed to admit that I failed my hazard perception the first time round. I don't even have a proper excuse; I apparently completely missed one of the hazards! In my defense, I took the test at 9am, a completely unrealistic scenario. Strangely, I actually scored full marks on the other part of the test.

Since then, I've retaken the test and passed... and then failed my practical, run out of money and given up on the whole thing. My certificate has now expired, meaning I'll need to do the whole thing again once I get a job and can afford to get some more lessons. It's really frustrating that after pouring so much money into learning they will fail you for the littlest of things, but like Mata, I am glad that I will at least have a better chance of survival in a zombie apocalypse!

The thing about the hazard perception that always struck me as really stupid was that it penalises you for clicking too early, i.e. when it is a possible-possible hazard instead of just a possible hazard. This is stupid. It's not responding to something that isn't there or being overcautious, it's simply being more aware of your surroundings. It shouldn't matter when you notice the hazard, as long as you do so with enough time left to respond to it.


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Cath Sparrow
post Jul 30 2009, 01:17 PM
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From my perspective I'd rather have people failed for the smallest thing because of trainning to be an Instructor I've started paying more attention to other people driving and there's some scary F**kers out there. If you end up taking more lessons because of a small mistake* you've a slightly smaller chance of becoming one.

*driving rather then theory


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Mata
post Jul 30 2009, 10:26 PM
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I agree that it's better to fail for good reason, even by a small amount, but failing because the test is flawed is not a good reason.

Currently I suspect I'll want to go on and do the plus pass course as soon as I can. I hate spending extra money on things like insurance when I could be a safer driver and get long-term savings instead!


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gothictheysay
post Aug 1 2009, 02:12 AM
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Did someone say something about getting tested again after two years? We need to average our driving laws. Depending on where you are, the test can be VERY easy to pass. However, I think one of the big dangers is that once you get your license, unless it gets revoked for some reason, you never get tested again! This leads to a lot of unfortunate accidents with elderly drivers - I don't have statistics or anything, but hearing about an elderly man running over a second-grader as he leaves the voting station at the school is rather heartbreaking. My test felt rigid enough, but before they changed the laws, you took the written test (pretty easy) and then went out with someone who told you to do a 3 point turn and then passed you. And we have a computerized permit test, but none of this silly clicking stuff. That sounds like an eyesight exam.


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Hobbes
post Aug 1 2009, 08:44 AM
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As far as I am aware about England's rules, if you pass your theory test but don't pass your practical examination within two years after, then you have to retake the theory?

As for retesting existing drivers, I have a vague idea that when one reaches a certain age (70? 75?), then you have to sit the test again? Presumably to see if "you've still got it". As gothic said, some of the worst drivers on the road are the elderly - most of whom wouldn't have had to even sit a test to get a licence.

There is always a lot of media talk about the English practical examination being made harder, or changing the format. Recent speculation included the idea that you would sit in the car with your examiner, who would then say, "Please drive me to the train station and back." You would then have to drive your way there, taking whatever route you wished.

A new addition to the practical that I didn't have to do ten years ago is a short test whereby you are asked to identify different parts of the car's engine (i.e. oil cap, windscreen wash reservoir, etc.). In some ways I think this is a good idea, as I know several people that can drive, but would keep chugging along without oil if you let them. On the other hand, knowledge of the car's mechanics doesn't constitute an ability to drive.

Having said that, I went through a 'Stop' sign without stopping during my practical test, which is normally a major fault and thus an immediate fail. Indeed, it happened within the first two minutes. However, as I approached the junction, someone else had broken down right where I needed to be, so I ended up moving into the oncoming lane. Seeing the amount of people preparing to pull into the road I was now blocking, I decided to just carry on and clear the way. At the end of the test, the examiner explained that going through a 'Stop' sign within stopping is ordinarily a fail, but that he could see the circumstances were difficult and out-of-the-ordinary, so he gave me a minor fault instead. I passed (first time!:)). You can imagine that, were a computer marking my process, there would have been no sympathy at all and I would have failed.

Humans rule! smile.gif
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Cath Sparrow
post Aug 1 2009, 11:37 AM
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QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 1 2009, 09:44 AM) *
A new addition to the practical that I didn't have to do ten years ago is a short test whereby you are asked to identify different parts of the car's engine (i.e. oil cap, windscreen wash reservoir, etc.). In some ways I think this is a good idea, as I know several people that can drive, but would keep chugging along without oil if you let them. On the other hand, knowledge of the car's mechanics doesn't constitute an ability to drive.


Yeh this parts called 'show it tell it' it's about basic car maintenance should be pretty easy because if you dont know it you shouldn't really be driving in my oppinion because what the point in running a veichal you dont even know the basic of how to maintain (I'm not saying you should always be the one to do this just have the knowledge how to do so if you need to). It's all oil levels, tyre pressures etc., it goes with better driving practices they're aiming for (lower emissions etc.) So it does count towards your driving abilty.


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LoLo
post Aug 1 2009, 03:35 PM
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QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Jul 31 2009, 07:12 PM) *
Did someone say something about getting tested again after two years? We need to average our driving laws. Depending on where you are, the test can be VERY easy to pass. However, I think one of the big dangers is that once you get your license, unless it gets revoked for some reason, you never get tested again! This leads to a lot of unfortunate accidents with elderly drivers - I don't have statistics or anything, but hearing about an elderly man running over a second-grader as he leaves the voting station at the school is rather heartbreaking. My test felt rigid enough, but before they changed the laws, you took the written test (pretty easy) and then went out with someone who told you to do a 3 point turn and then passed you. And we have a computerized permit test, but none of this silly clicking stuff. That sounds like an eyesight exam.


I think that all depends on where you are at. In Cali I believe they start testing you when you're over 65-70 when it's time to renew your license. Some people don't have to, but those are ones who haven't had any accidents in the recent past. They also require eye checks occasionally.

That being said, they randomly test younger drivers as well, and the same thing, if you've been in accidents they will probably test you again.

Also when I moved to Tennessee I turned in my Cali license and they just gave me a Tennessee license because Cali's tests are harder. When I came home to Cali I handed in my Tennessee license and had to retest to get my Cali license back. Since I had formerly had a Cali license, the test was shortened, but I still had to retest none the less.

So yeah, anyway I guess my point was it just all depends on what State you live in here.


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Cath Sparrow
post Aug 2 2009, 02:18 PM
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They dont do retesting over here you just have to state that your in good enough health to continue (or something along those lines I'd have to look it up to get the proper info) but this was one thing that's been discussed on my course and the reason there isn't any retesting is they could never get enough examiners there isn't really enough for the normal testing as it is, so to get the numbers to cover these extra tests would be verging on the impossible.


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theorytest
post Dec 14 2009, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the posts and nice to hear your experiences.

[Rest of post deleted - you know it's rude to advertise on a site without asking prior permission of the site's owner, don't you? Perhaps you might also considering paying to advertise too, since that's clearly why you came here, supporting the community rather than exploiting it. - Mata]


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post Dec 18 2009, 06:28 PM
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Being a new driver I really enjoyed reading this thread!

I passed theory 2nd time but the 1st time I had passed the hazrd part surpringly but failed theory by 5 mark. 2nd time I over did the revision and passed! I agree with you Mata it is silly the way the compuetr marks it, you must have passed by now right?

Wow Hobbes you had a nice examiner, your lucky you passed 1st time that seems to be rare although both my sisters and cousin did too! biggrin.gif
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post Dec 30 2009, 10:53 AM
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Guys...no need to worry at all if you fail theory test...Just next time do lots of practice and concentrate more on hazard perception par where generally people think its difficult..Take online help from websites available...


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post Dec 31 2009, 01:44 PM
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Maaaan what's going on with these human spam bots! Grrr dry.gif

Anyway, I passed my test years ago and we didn't have to do a theory test although I wish we had as I firmly believe there are enough morons out there that don't have ANY idea how to drive or park or generally control a vehicle because all they had to do was answer 3 questions while sat in a car at the end of the test! rolleyes.gif I saw someone yesterday who CLEARLY had no concept of right of way on roundabouts. What with that!! dry.gif If I'd had my copy of the highway test book on me I would have got out of the car and smacked them round the head with it laugh.gif


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Mata
post Jan 1 2010, 08:46 PM
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Every time I've been out in a car I've seen people breaking the law. It's incredible that anyone can drive anywhere considering the lousy standard of most drivers.


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Hobbes
post Jan 2 2010, 01:16 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jan 1 2010, 08:46 PM) *
Every time I've been out in a car I've seen people breaking the law. It's incredible that anyone can drive anywhere considering the lousy standard of most drivers.


The only time I don't see other drivers breaking the law, is when it's about 2am and I'm the only car I see for several minutes. And then it's just me breaking the law! :/

Despite increased penalties, the number of drivers caught using their mobile phone whilst driving has increased. I'm happy for people to use their "hands-free" devices, but watching people traverse my local set of mini-roundabouts whilst keeping a phone to their ear is both funny and frightening.

Although I am still yet to understand why smoking whilst driving isn't focused on a little more.
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