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Oral Language Modification (OLM)

Oral Language Modification is described as the rephrasing of the language used for questions in examination papers. The Oral Language Modifier must not explain technical terms or subject-specific terms, the ability to understand these terms is part of the test.

Explanation of the DVSA OLM process

This is the information that DVSA should be sending out to all candidates who have had an application for OLM accepted.

How the OLM will work with you

The OLM can change the wording of the multiple-choice test for you. They can simplify some questions and answers to make them easier for you to understand.

They won’t be able to change everything – there are some words, phrases or technical terms that you should know because you’ll need them to help you to drive safely. These are words like:

  • contraflow
  • merge
  • traffic calming
  • dual carriageway
  • single carriageway
  • hard shoulder
  • ford

When you arrive for your test

The OLM will introduce themselves to you. They’ll ask you how you want to be supported. They can:

  • change the words for you straight away
  • read the words as they are on the screen – and wait for you to ask if you want them changed
  • let you read the words yourself – and wait for you to ask if you want them changed

You need to decide which of these will work best for you. You can always change your mind during the test – just let the OLM know what you need them to do.

The OLM can use the mouse for you if you’d find that helpful. They’ll ask you about this before you start the test.

The OLM will help you to move through the test.

You’ll have a maximum of 1 hour and 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. You can ‘flag’ any questions you’re not sure about and come back to them at the end of the test. The OLM will remind you about this during the test.

Near the end of your test, you will answer 3 questions based on a short video clip. The OLM can help you work the video clip and continue to support you with the questions.

During the course of the test the OLM can show you some pictures to help you with some of the questions. They’ll tell you if there’s a picture, they can show you. To see these pictures go to: DVSA OLM support cards

The OLM shouWhen you’ve answered all the questions you can review (or check) them. When you’re happy with your answers (or when you run out of time) the OLM will help you to start the hazard perception part of the test (HPT). If you have time left, you can use it to take a short break. The OLM will ask you about this.

Your test might be watched by someone from the DVSA. They will sit at the back of the room. They are just making sure that the OLM does a good job of supporting you.

Updated: 21.03.2024