Get through your MOT assessment – Five tips from the DVSA

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The deadline for MOT assessments is looming, and DVSA advice to make sure you pass first time and on time

With the deadline looming for MOT testers to complete their annual training before the April deadline, the DVSA has five tips for testers to get through the assessment.

It’s crucial testers get it done otherwise they’ll have their ability to test suspended, and with the pass mark upped to 80%, it’s imperative to be well-prepared.

1. Don’t leave it until the last minute

The number one piece of advice from Christopher Price, Head of MOT Policy at the DVSA is to prepare well in advance and don’t leave it until the last minute to cram your revision ahead of the assessment.

“Ultimately, we can switch people off from testing – the aspiration is that training is done early and people complete their training early and learn from it, so we don’t want people leaving it until the last minute. If you fail the test today, take the training and take the test again before the 30th April, otherwise you will be stopped from testing,” he said.

2. Keep on training throughout the year

The MOT annual training takes place each year, and next year’s deadline will be 31 March 2022, meaning MOT testers will have less time to prepare for their assessment, and Price advises testers to learn throughout the year, rather than just before the test.

“What we are trying to drive is professional development throughout the year and you are learning throughout the year, either by reading books, manuals, guides or taking up courses so when it comes to the assessment it isn’t difficult and is fairly easy to pass,” he explained.

The DVSA’s approach is to set aside time specifically for development: “At the DVSA, we are allocated time during the day to complete training and I think garages should adopt this – whereas you might get trained on products, such as a new system – MOT needs to be thought of in the same remit so the modules for the MOT is keeping your skillset high, whether it’s MOT testing or servicing. An MOT is just another string to a technician’s bow.”

3. Ask your colleagues for advice

While guides and books are useful to assist learning, Price said testers should ask their colleagues for tips on how to pass the assessment: “If there are any areas you’re unsure about, have a discussion over a cup of tea with your peers in the workshop, it’s a good place to learn. You often find the conversations you have during a break or in the evening is where you learn the most. If you still don’t know, then it is time to seek further advice,” he said.

4. Use technology to help with your test

Price recommended MOT testers use a screen reader, where the computer reads out the question, while he added the DVSA is actively working to make its guides and manuals more user-friendly: “We’ve done a lot of research and we know there are people who suffer with dyslexia within the motor industry, so we’ve been looking at improving our manuals and guides so they include spoken words and diagrams, rather just being textual all the time. You’re allowed to have people next to you to read the question to you if needs be; they can’t help with the answers but they can help you with the reading and the understanding,” he said.

5. Use a computer to complete your assessment

While it may be more convenient to complete the assessment using your smartphone, the IMI recommends MOT testers take the test on a computer, as the chances of accidently selecting a wrong answer is much lower. “We’ve had feedback where people have said it’s much easier to navigate the test on a laptop or a desktop, rather than a tablet. While it’s possible to navigate on a tablet or a phone, it is much easier to do so via a laptop or desktop,” said Graham Allen, the IMI’s Partnership’s Manager.

Watch the IMI’s MOT assessments in 2021: how they’ve changed and how to pass

Beat the deadline, book your IMI MOT Annual Training and Assessment now.

Need to know what’s required? Check out the Government’s MOT tester training and annual assessments information.