DVSA Theory Test – Specific/Special Educational Needs Support

Do you or your child have needs that will affect their learning for the Theory Test or ability to take it?

Over recent years the DVSA have improved and become more accepting of Specific Educational Need (SEN) requirements. But we have to admit that the situation is far from perfect. Many individuals still struggle with the test, finding wording, understanding or reading the questions a challenge.

In our experience at Better Driver Training we find the vast majority of these individuals (if not all) have an excellent understanding of safe driving, road rules and requirements. It is the format of the test and the questions, often arguably irrelevant, that cause them a challenge. This is a challenge we are here to support and meet!

There are many tools and aids available to help you succeed at your driving theory test, it is just about knowing what is available and how to access them. Unfortunately many driving instructors do not understand needs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, autistic spectrum, etc. They fail to cater to them and either leave them to struggle, or hand them a DVD saying "Come back when you are ready". This works for some, but especially those neuro-diverse individuals who see the world through different eyes.

At Better Driver Training we teach everyone as an individual, offering client centred training designed to meed their needs. EVERYBODY has these, some of our most intelligent (High IQ) pupils have really struggled with the practical skills involved in driving - and appreciated the understanding and support of Better Trainers. Others have struggled with literacy and vocabulary, and been equally supported.

How can we help?

Better Driver Training provide FREE Theory Test training to every driver. Anyone taking lessons with us will be provided full access to a dedicated online theory training package. The training software is available both online or via an app, providing maximum access and flexibility. Your Better Trainer can then access your scores and see where they need to help support you and your learning.

We also offer 1:1 or 1:group training as required. These can be delivered in car, in coffee shop, or in classroom depending on the number.

Better Trainers understand your individual learning needs and will do whatever they can to help you achieve success.

Ways to study?

There are two parts to the Theory Test. You can find some general guidance to how to tackle those here:

Multiple Choice Questions

Hazard Perception



Before you decide which of the study approaches to consider we recommend looking at two factors:

  1. What help and allowances are you/the candidate entitled to for the theory tests? If you will be making use of the voice over option, then learn/study using a similar method.
  2. Ask the expert - the person taking the test. Having spent at least 16 years in your own shoes, you are always the best resource on how you work/learn best. There are loads of ways to learn, study and revise, but which work best for you?

So whether it be 1:1 training with one of our qualified trainers or head down in front of a computer, you will give yourself the best chance of success.

What do the DVSA offer?

ANY individual candidate can request a voice over (Theory Test Pro and the DVSA Apps have a voice over for practice). One problem many find with the test voiceover is the voices change in every question, male, female, and accents. A lot find this hard - especially those with multiple challenges.

If the candidate can provide proof (usually from a Dr or a school/college) they can request additional help. The options are:

  • Extra time.
  • A separate room with a reader.
  • A separate room with a recorder.
  • The reader/recorder can be separate or combined

A new and less know option is an Oral Language Modifier (OLM) who (Ironically) is allowed to reword the question to make it easier. They cannot help with technical terms (e.g. ABS or Catalytic converter) but can offer some assistance.

To get these they/you need to book a test requesting help and the DVSA will call back. If you miss the call expect to have to chase them. (Not always but often the case)

You/They then send evidence (We recommend including a letter from their Instructor) and await a reference number. Tests then have to be booked over the phone. If using a separate room expect the wait to be longer.

Our main bit of advice is - Listen to/Read the question, listen to/read the answers, listen to/read the questions again.

Are you a Teacher or School? Theory training classes are available on request.

We tailor these sessions to 15-17 year olds to enable them to maximise their understanding and learning, best preparing them for a safe future on the road. Not only does it help with their driving, it also helps with their education.

Driving develops skills and habits that are often not learnt in the 'on demand' modern culture. We regularly travel towards junctions having left no time, or failing to plan, and ask when they do their holiday homework or revision. Though driving they learn how to plan, risk assess, and understand others - as well as themselves. Driving actually grows their brain along with their mind. As you may be aware the frontal lobe develops up to the age of 24 and is one of the reasons young people do not see danger or risk. With structured training approaches and real life experience we can aid the development, instilling responsibility, critical thinking and judgement that is not developed in a classroom environment.

We appreciate the demands on modern education, but with such huge benefits being demonstrated we see a cooperative future for those willing to embrace it.