Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Psychometric testing: Driving Test upgrade

A private consultancy has at last been awarded the government contract to add psychometric testing onto the theory part of the Driving Test. The paper won’t be added to the theory exam until the autumn of 2011, and we understand that there are some teething troubles with the consultant, but here’s a copy of the prototype which was itself tested in January and February 2009 on would-be drivers from the Vale of Glamorgan, Fleetwood and Fylde, and the Cromarty Greater Metropolitan Area.

Driving Test Psychometric Test.

The following questions are intended to discover your suitability to drive cars, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles on the country’s roads. By answering them and examining the results you will acquire a better understanding of your readiness or otherwise as a driver.

Scientific studies have shown that the human race is divided into two broad personality types or categories. As you work through the test, ticking letters A or B as you go, we will build up a picture of which sort of human being you are.

Don't be afraid: both types have their own needs and capabilities and at the end of the test we will make recommendations as to what steps you should take to improve your road use.

Please tick only one answer to each question.

Which of the alternative versions of the following proverbs is true:

A) A woman's work is never done.

B) A woman's hair is never done.

A) A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single shoe shop.

B) A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single stag party.

A) If wishes were horses I’d have a palomino.

B) If wishes were horses then Gypsy Princess would have definitely won the 2.45 at Chepstow.

You are in an unfamiliar city and the time before a very important job interview is running out.

Your map book doesn't seem to match the instructions you downloaded yesterday and your Sat Nav isn't helping. Perhaps the building and its postcode are so new that they don’t yet register. Who knows? You park up - briefly but illegally - down a side street. Your watch is telling you that your chance at a highly-paid job with great benefits will be gone in twenty minutes.

Suddenly, you notice that a young man is walking towards you on the pavement on your side of the street. Do you:

A) roll down your window and ask him if he knows where the building is - or at least the street that it stands on - so that you can attend the interview because nothing bad ever happens to obviously lost visitors all alone in unfamiliar territory, or

B) ignore him completely because he might think you’re threatening him and attack you; or he might think you want to buy drugs and his hidden crew may prefer a little impromptu mugging, murder and car theft from an obvious out-of-towner to actually selling their merchandise; or he might think you want to hire him for immoral purposes and in fact there’s a Vice Squad sting operation going on; or he might decide to slash your tyres with his clandestine sheath-knife and so you determine instead to drive the streets of the city at random, hoping that The Force (which is strong in you) will lead you to your destination?

You have a dream. A screaming nightmare, in fact.

You envision a post-apocalyptic wasteland where all the buildings are deserted, burnt to the ground, snow-covered and suggestively stained with a million fading brown hand prints. Drifts of skulls litter the landscape of what one was a city, and half-seen scuttling things giggle and gibber in your peripheral vision and mutter obscenities into your mind. In some places the ground opens up to reveal cracks into chthonic fire and from which noxious fumes and the hopeless, agonized screams of the damned rise into an empty, sunless sky.

You awake; shuddering and soaked in cold sweat, and you try at once to interpret the dream and to see if it possible to avoid this terrible tragedy. Do you:

A) dread in your heart of hearts that this awful and bleak future must have derived from so much human folly and wickedness that you are unlikely to have any influence on it and so instead you resolve to live your life a little better and be a little kinder to your fellow creatures so that the world will be - for however long it may last - a slightly better place, or

B) think about the dream for a moment and then go back to sleep: relieved and secure in the knowledge that this terrible future will never come to pass because you are never, ever going to let her have the TV control?

You have been shopping for your home with your spouse.

You have jointly bought some DIY product or other: a shower curtain with fittings perhaps, or a flat-pack book case, or paper, paste and paint for the guest bedroom/games room.

The shopping trip is over very quickly/after a lifetime and you get it all unpacked from the car. Do you:

A) Anticipate how nice it’s going to be having a shower without worrying about splashing the whole bathroom or having more space once the books are finally shelved or imagine the fun of finally being able to invite your friends to stay at the weekends, and so you unpack your purchases, clear yourself a space in which to work and get cracking, or

B) Recognizing that home improvement materials are like fine wine or cheese and need to mature for months - or better yet years - in the dark stillness of some secluded place such as a garage, spare room or coal cellar, you resolve to let benevolent Mother Nature take her course as football season is succeeded by cricket season, and cricket season turns once more into a fresh new football season?

Your spouse has finally begun that home improvement project.

After a long and far-ranging discussion concerning your respective skills/technical educations/complexions' vulnerability to industrial chemicals/enthusiasm/relative upper-body strength, it has been decided that your spouse will do most of the front-line work whilst you support with advice, encouragement and refreshments.

But all is not going well: perhaps the curtain rail screws aren’t going into the wall very easily and your better half would prefer to improvise for an hour or so using the wrong size drill bit than go back into that damned shop ever again, or the flat pack instructions are translated from the Swedish by a Tagalog speaker and the illustrations will be drawn by a robot from the far future that will assume that Twenty-First Century humans have both X-ray vision and the ability to visualize objects in four dimensions, or the paste just isn’t sticking the tissue-thin and highly expensive wallpaper to the unsanded and unfilled wall.

Do you decide to help and encourage your spouse by taking their mind off their current stress by:

A) discussing the similar experiences of some friends of yours – a couple about whom your spouse knows nothing but whose comparatively rapid and complete success at a similar task should be an inspiration; or by offering advice about the quality of work that they have already achieved; or by praising your spouse on work that you say is going beautifully even though it’s clearly not; or by offering some physical demonstration of affection and gratitude such as a kiss or a cuddle at the exact moment of the tensest and most technical part of the job so far, or

B) just putting the bloody tea down and shutting up.

And passing the screwdriver – no, not that screwdriver, the other screwdriver, no, no; the other other screwdriver - the one that they obviously need but which they can for no apparent reason neither describe to you clearly nor show you with their laser-pointer nose?

A) They have a hangover.

They’ll be so grateful to you and feel encouraged if you get on with something constructive so why don’t you multitask for a while? They’ll like that. So, start to clear long-dated items out the fridge and drop all the uneaten party snacks and furry-topped sauce bottles and mostly-empty jars into the kitchen bin as the water fills up the sink. What your beloved needs is a little conversation: perhaps a humourous narrative of what they did or said last night, and to whom; with amusing sound-effects, funny voices and hand motions describing trajectories and splatter-patterns. Or perhaps they need to know the content of one particular private conversation you had with a mutual friend about their complicated love-life. Remember: this will only take your better half’s mind off your spouse’s aches and pains if they concentrate on your words, so be ready to ask questions about what you’ve said so far and to ask for their opinion throughout the narrative. Discussing food and cooking and the imminent purchase of consumer durables for your home is particularly diverting at this time for the poor dear, so don’t bin those catalogues yet.

B) They have a hangover.

Bacon sandwiches. Coffee. Toilet. Bed. Dark. Silence.

Self-checker results.

If you scored mostly As.

Unfortunately you are emotionally unprepared to drive solo and you must equip yourself better for life on the roads. You especially need to build up your confidence; particularly in situations where stress and conflict are likely to occur. May we recommend that you strengthen your character by the bracing practice of picking up hitch-hikers and setting your will against theirs in arguments about religion, politics, and the battle of the sexes? Start this exercise easily by taking on passengers at remote rural locations in beautiful forests or sweeping moorlands, before moving on - if possible - to disused industrial areas or busy container ports and warehouse districts by night.

If you scored mostly Bs.

Congratulations! You already have what it takes to travel the roads safely and with confidence. We recommend that - once you have passed the practical part of the Driving Test - you put theoretical considerations aside forever and throw your whole strength into mastering the full power, speed, acceleration and cornering potential of man in tune with machine.

But remember: you will by now be by far the best driver on the road.

In addition to your obvious natural talent at high-speed driving and all manner of hazardous weather and night-time road skills, you will possess the most recently - and therefore the most professionally- trained reflexes and road-sense and other road users will notice that and envy you.

Be alert and ready to respond immediately at the very first sign of illegitimacy or coercion from inferior road users. Please exhibit complete determination and be prepared to demonstrate who exactly is the master here.

Because you own the road.

Happy motoring to you all.

2009© Lecter Psychological Profiling, Plaza d De Mayo, Buenos Aires.



Anonymous said...

On the way back from the airport I was told by the taxi driver that the government has brought in a NVQ course for taxi drivers, and that in the near future all taxi driver's will need to have this qualification.
Can you imagine the PC questions on customer care and health & safety?

James Higham said...

I was Bs on the top ones. Psychometric, eh? And who's qualified to administer them? No one I'd trust. Then again, I trust no one.

North Northwester said...

Hello Anonymous and thanks for your comment.
What is the PC way to say 'I had Britney Spears in the back of my cab,' anyway?

Hi James !And who's qualified to administer them? No one I'd trust. Then again, I trust no one.'
You're very wide; especially considering my consultant of choice...

Anonymous said...

where did you see that, i can't find the story?

WomanHonorThyself said...

Scientific studies have shown that the human race is divided into two broad personality types or categories..ah I thought there would be hundreds..:)

North Northwester said...

Welcome WomanHonorThyself, and thanks for your comment.

Nope: long years of study have convinced us that there are only two types of people: those who can see that soft furnishishings are in disarray, and those who can't...


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