Another step closer – I passed the Hazard Perception part of my PCV Driver Theory test today.
Following the advice of several people who have taken the test recently, I tried to perfect the technique of clicking the mouse at the right time to score highly. The practice DVD from the Driving Standards Agency was a great help and I watched the introduction to the test today twice, just to be sure of my strategy.
There were 19 separate video clips, each filmed from the roof of a van (I saw it reflected in a back window once!). They showed a variety of scenes, some in town, some on country roads and one on a motorway. Each contained several potential hazards plus one that developed into a situation where the driver needed to take avoiding action. One clip had two fully developed hazards.
Highest points were scored when I recognised potential hazards early and clicked again if they developed. There were 100 points to be gained, the pass mark is 67 and I scored 75. Not flying colours exactly, but comfortable.
With the date of my bus driver Theory Test drawing closer, I thought I’d take the simulated Hazard Perception Test that’s provided on the DSA training DVD. Having watched the tutorial part of the programme earlier I went through the simulated test today. This is a series of clips recorded out on the roads, showing different real life hazards, both in the country and in town.
I thought it would be quite easy, having been a car driver for more than 30 years. I always try to be careful and observant on the road but I was disappointed to only score 1 out of 5 in the first section. What could have gone wrong?
I dutifully clicked my mouse when a hazard presented itself but, when I only scored 2 out of 5 in the next section I realised that I wasn’t identifying the potential hazards early enough. After each section the clip is re-run with a commentary to identify where all the hazards were. I soon found out that, not only was I late in clicking, I was missing simple things like a muddy road surface and warning signs beside the road.
After changing the timing and frequency of my mouse clicks, my scoring gradually improved until finally scoring 5 out of 5 on the penultimate clip.
Suitably pleased with my score, I moved on to the second practice Theory Test.
This evening I booked my bus driver Theory Test. That’s only three weeks away – gulp!
I’ve been revising from the official Driving Standards Agency (DSA) text books for drivers of large vehicles and earlier this evening ran through one of the practice theory tests provided by the DSA on their website. The actual test will consist of 100 multiple choice questions but the online practice test has 50 sample questions. I scored 47 out of 50 which was quite encouraging!
To be honest, most of the questions are common sense and all but the most irresponsible driver would score quite well without any revision. Previous experience as a conductor helped a lot because that has given me an awareness of what a driver of a large vehicle has to face.
I’ve also had a run through the DSA Hazard Perception training DVD (see photograph above) because that test has to be taken at the same time as the theory test. There’s also a simulated test session on the DVD which I’ll tackle next.
Just to explain, the young lady on the steps of the coach on the screen is the public face of the DSA training DVD!