Dyslexia and Driving

Theory Test

A Driving Theory Test must be passed before you can apply for a first provisional licence. The test is based on the Rules of the Road and current legislation. It is done on a computerised workstation in a Test Centre. You do not need to be computer literate, as there is no keyboard. It is all touch screen, and there is a simple tutorial for you to follow. If you make a mistake there is a simple way to cancel your answer and try again. In the standard test, you are given 45 minutes to answer 40 questions. There is on online test preparation tool where you can practice the exam in the exact same format as the test is presented – https://www.theorytest.ie/online-test-preparation-resource/.

If you have a disability such as dyslexia or are unable to read or write, you can apply for special arrangements to take your test. You will need to provide a letter of evidence from a professional (e.g. your assessment report or a letter from a teacher/school) to verify your literacy difficulties and need for assistance during the test. The arrangements available include extra time, and in certain cases a specialist reader can be provided. The specialist reader must read the test items out verbatim. However, if an item of vocabulary is unknown, a direct synonym may be provided to enable the Candidate to access the question. A lexicon of such terms was agreed with Prometrics (the company who operate the Driver Theory Test).  Synonyms can only be provided for words in the agreed lexicon.  Knowledge of some technical terms is deemed necessary, so an alternative word cannot be provided in all cases.

Practical Test

Dyslexia does not prevent people from learning to drive. However, some people with dyslexia may take longer to learn the skill of driving and develop automaticity. They may need to concentrate harder, and so may not be able to talk with a passenger while driving.

One of the major difficulties people with dyslexia can have which affects driving is a difficulty remembering right and left. In this case, it is quite ok to ask the practical test examiner to point out or indicate the directions to you.

Contact the Road Safety Authority for information on the Driving Test. (www.rsa.ie)