Driving Licence Success

Learning how to handle a vehicle is paramount to a young person's development as a driver, but knowing the road rules inside-out is also a must. And there's perhaps no better way to teach budding drivers the rules than by giving them an easy-to-use program that they can use either at school or in the privacy of their own home.

Driving Licence Success can be used on any Pentium III-class (or better) Windows XP- or Vista-based PC and has at its disposal more than 700 questions for L- and P-plate licences, as well as more than 400 animations that show the dos and don'ts of things like intersections, roundabouts and overtaking.

The program is designed so that users can prepare themselves by reading about each section of the road manual and then take a quiz on each topic. However, the section topics are laid out in a way that makes it easy to accidentally skip the preparation material and jump straight to the quiz. This is because each topic in a section is contained within a drop menu at the top of the screen, while the 'next section' and 'take quiz' buttons are always visible at the bottom. It would be better to conceal the quiz button until all topics within the section are completed.

For classroom use, multiple users can be created. This allows the program to be shared by many users on a single PC. The program will keep track of the individual progress of all users once they log-in and show in detail which areas need improving. Administrator accounts allow teachers to log-in and check on the progress of each student.

Progress is graphed, so users can easily see if they are getting better, and they can also see the specific questions they got wrong for each section and on which attempt. Additionally, the program keeps track of the time it takes to complete each test, so users can challenge themselves not only by trying to achieve perfection, but also by achieving it in the shortest time possible.

The questions aren't exactly the same for each practice run. They are similarly themed, but there are different questions for the same topics, so it's not always a case of memorising answers if you want to pass. Getting a theory question right is as much about comprehension as it is common sense — it pays to practice as much as possible so that you understand what's being asked before going out and applying for your licence at the RTA.

The key with this software is that it makes learning the road rules interesting. Most users will appreciate the myriad graphical elements (such as signs and diagrams) and the animations that are on offer. The program's layout could be better; it could especially do without drop-down menus, and its main navigation icons could use clear labels rather than just tool-tips for identification.

In a nutshell, Driving Licence Success outlines the rules and regulations, as well as penalties, for every state and territory (you select your preference during the installation procedure) and offers a relatively easy and convenient way for users to learn the road rules. It can be used as a stand-alone program on one PC, or over a LAN (by providing a program shortcut to the network machine on which the program is installed), which makes it suitable for classrooms. For only $19.95, this program is worth the investment.

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Elias Plastiras
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