Studying for the Italian driver’s exam
Studying for the Italian driver’s exam will take a lot of time…that is, if you want to feel confident of passing your first time. Remember, many Italians don’t pass the exam the first time so it’s not simply a matter of clearing the language hurdle. A mountain of signs, road rules, technical workings of the engine and brakes, etc. all require that you learn and retain the particularities of driving legalities in Italy. And, each and every exam administered on the computer is a unique combination of randomly generated questions (a set number from each general category) – translation: no two exams are the same. And, so many variations of how the same information can be asked lead to more than 3,000 possible exam questions.
Before you freak, as I did, there IS good news. A mobile app called Quiz Patente 2015 is free and available for your smart phone and your tablet. And, it is a ton of fun. My partner told me about this app, after three months of my having cobbled together a study strategy of using the manual, the workbook of tests, and a few websites. The websites (listed below) were indeed useful, but more cumbersome in accessing the information. Quiz Patente 2015 really does simplify the learning process and makes it fun. The mobility of it was the biggest Godsend, since I could take my studying anywhere, including a few long transatlantic flights back and forth to the U.S.
Quiz Patente gives you many options for studying. You can go right to the theory, or you can go right to taking sample tests. You can test yourself by basic tests, tests comprised of questions you’ve never seen before, and tests that include questions that you just missed on a previous test. In other words, this app keeps track of your learning progress. It also provides you with stats of how many questions you’ve seen and how prepared you are. By the time I took my exam, I had taken over 330 sample tests.
When you take the tests, and click on “submit” to get your test results, you can go back through each question and, if you want better reference information for a particular question, you can click in the bottom right corner on an icon that will open a mini-window with an excerpt from the driving theory that pertains to that topic. Be forewarned that in a small percentage of cases this information isn’t comprehensive.
Quiz Patente 2015 is an application in Italian, not in English, so you might want to have a dictionary close by, if you’re not fluent already in Italian. I have the Ultatralingua Italian-English dictionary on my iPhone and my iPad (available for $19.99 for mobile devices, and you can also do a 10-day free trial). I’d recommend keeping a list of the words you’ve had to translate. A flash card app for my iPad and iPhone was a great complement to Quiz Patente. Flashcards by NKO was the app I used. Almost every night, before going to sleep, I would sit propped up in bed, doing the sample quizzes and going through my flash cards. I then made certain I slept at least 8 to 9 hours to as to allow my brain to file the information away in the long term memory banks.
The above strategy of studying and testing myself greatly accelerated my learning, and I begin to look forward to studying.
Other studying tools available online (and utilizing Google Translator – like me, you’ll probably find yourself toggling back and forth between English and Italian translations):
As you become more comfortable with understanding the driving theory and content, be sure to complement that with more time in the classroom. I’d also advise showing up early and taking some sample tests before your class, when the instructor can go over your results with you. It will also provide the best simulation for taking the actual test.
When I finally walked into my test, I did so with a great deal of confidence, thanks to the materials listed above, and thanks to dedicating appropriate time and mind-space to learning.
An important disclaimer: These are simply my opinions and observations based on my experience of getting an Italian driver’s license, and are in no way meant to be a substitution for your own research and decisions in how to proceed.