Web-based training for the driver's license written test. HamTestOnline

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the DriversTestOnline website?

The DriversTestOnline™ website provides -on-line computer-based training for the Driver's License written examinations.

What makes the DriversTestOnline website so special?

Our special The Software that Knows You™ programming tracks your progress and uses "intelligent repetition" to help you learn.  Like a patient tutor, it repeats each question optimally — ones that give you trouble appear more often, while ones you have fully learned are reviewed infrequently.  It focuses your study time where you need it. 

The DriversTestOnline™ database tracks the progress of each student on each question.  It remembers your personal data even if it's been weeks since your last study session.

The website is programmed with relationships between questions— your response to one question affects the scores for all related questions on the same concept.  For example, if you always answer questions about the STOP sign correctly, then all questions about the STOP sign will soon have high scores and will be seen infrequently.  Why waste time on a concept you have already mastered?

It is the only website that uses immediate feedback, "intelligent repetition," and question relationships to help you learn the materials.

Does the DriversTestOnline website simulate the actual test?

The DriversTestOnline™ website does not attempt to simulate any actual test, because simulated tests are not an effective way to learn.

In a simulated test, you spend 10-15 minutes guessing and filling out the form, without learning anything.  Then you spend 2-3 minutes reviewing the questions that you missed.  Only a small fraction of your time is spent learning!

Simulated tests jumble all the material together, with no respect for logical question order and question relationships.  Simulated tests do not give you information beyond what is found within the questions and answers.

Since simulated tests do not track your question history, you can take, for example, 100 randomly generated, simulated tests and still not see all available questions.

How is the DriversTestOnline website better than a flashcard program?

When you're just starting to learn the material, flashcard programs are great.  You learn something new with every card.  However, as you progress, you start seeing too many questions that you've already mastered, and too few that you need to focus on.  Since flashcard programs don't keep track of what you know, they waste much of your study time on easy review.  You can't afford to waste time!

Does the DriversTestOnline website replace books and courses?

The DriversTestOnline™ website focuses on helping you learn the material needed to pass the license test.  It does not take the place of any state driver's manual or driver's handbook.

Does the DriversTestOnline website use the actual questions from state exams?

The DriversTestOnline™ website does not include questions from state exams.  States currently covered do not make their exams available for public preview.  If and when a state makes an exam available, those questions will be included and identifed as such.

Are all of these questions really on the test?

The content for DriversTestOnline™ is drawn from the states driver's manual/handbook.  The actual tests may have only 20 questions.  Of course, since you don't know which material will be selected for your test, you need to study all of the material to be prepared!

Is the DriversTestOnline website easy to use?

"Ease of use" is one intent of the website. One single click on your answer choice gives you feedback on your response and automatically presents the next question.  It couldn't be any easier!

Suggestions are welome and can be submitted by using the the Feedback or Contact us links at the bootm of the page.

To make the program as easy to use as possible, you do not have to click directly on the radio button for the answer; you can click anywhere within the answer text region.

How does the DriversTestOnline website decide which question to present?

The program uses proprietary formulas (or algorithm) to calculate a "score" for each question.  This includes an internally calculated estimate (on a scale from 0% to 100%) of how well you know the answer to the question.  Some of the factors that go into this calculation are:

  • Your correct and incorrect answer history for the question.
  • How many times you use the Show answer and 50/50 buttons to get hints.
  • Your answer history for related questions.
  • How difficult other students find the question.
  • How quickly you learned other questions in the same subtopic.
  • How long it has been since you last answered the question.


The program presents questions based on their current scores and on the elapsed time since they were last asked.  It tries to avoid repeating any question "too" soon.  It repeats questions with low scores sooner than questions with higher scores.  As the score for a question increases — as you start to master the information — you see it less often.  The "intelligent repetition" algorithm matches the way people learn.

Do I have any control over the question scores and question selection process?

You cannot directly edit a question's score, but you can affect it by consistently answering the question correctly (or incorrectly).  If you want to see the question scores, select the Show question scores option on the Options screen. The scores are displayed before the question text in Study mode.

The Options screen also includes a Repetition delay factor option that influences the program's question choosing algorithm.  Increase this factor to increase the time lapse between question repetitions.  Decrease it to see questions sooner.  Regardless of this setting, the program still uses "intelligent repetition" and shows you questions with low scores sooner than questions with high scores.

What if the DriversTestOnline website asks a question I don't know the answer to?

If you don't know the answer, press the Show answer button.

What does the Show answer button do?

The Show answer button shows you the correct answer, along with all explanatory information available for that question. 

Read all of the explanations, and try to learn the correct answer. Then, click on the correct answer to move on.  The program does not give you credit for a correct answer this time, but keep in mind that the important thing is to learn the material.  When the program repeats the question a few minutes later, you will know the answer!

What does the 50/50 button do?

Just as on Who Wants to be a Millionaire? the 50/50 button eliminates half of the wrong answers.  If you get the correct answer after pressing 50/50, you get partial credit for the question.

What does the Skip this question for now button do?

Skip this question for now allows you to temporarily delay dealing with a question.  For instance, if you are just not in the mood to deal with questions about pavement markings, you can skip them.  However, the program continues to pester you about them periodically, so you may prefer to learn them and get them out of the way!

Is guessing bad?

It's OK to try to guess at the answer.  If you're wrong, the program tells you and gives you a chance to try again.  For some questions, it explains why your guess was wrong. 

An incorrect guess lowers the score for the question, which causes the program to present it more often in the future.  Since it's clearly a question that you have not yet mastered, that's exactly what you need.

In fact, if you really want the program to drill a specific question more frequently, you can intentionally answer it wrong, even though you know the right answer. You can be certain that the question will appear again!

What are topics?

Questions are presented in what one may argue as a reasonably logical order by topic.  Some topics are further divided into sub-topics to further seperate study materials.   The Choose topics screen allows you to select or de-select questions by topic and subtopic.

How are topic scores calculated?

Topic scores are simply a rollup of the scores of the questions in the topic and all its subtopics.  Your topic scores start out at zero.  As the question scores increase, the topic scores increase as well.  If the scores for all questions under a particular topic reach 100%, then the score for that topic becomes 100%.

Topic scores are a good way to get an idea of your progress through the material.  Once your score for topic DriversTestOnline™ reaches 90% or more, you have a good chance at passing the written exam!

(When you get a perfect score on the driver's written exam or in your derivers education program, please tell everyone that you studied with the DriversTestOnline™website!)

The topic scores are shown in square brackets in the blue topic header bar at the top of the Study screen, as well as on the Choose topics screen.

Why do my topic scores sometimes go down without me doing anything?

As time passes, information fades from memory. The scores, which are the program's estimates of your knowledge, decrease over time to reflect this process. If you want your knowledge and scores to stay at 100%, you have to keep coming back to review the material.

Why do I have non-zero scores in topics that I have never enabled?

Questions may be repeated, either identically or with slightly different phrasing.   The DriversTestOnline™ website knows the full or partial relationships between identical or similar questions and gives you full or partial credit for related questions whenever you answer any one in the group.

So, while you may only be studying the questions for one subtopic, you are actually learning material that appears in one or more subtopics, and the program reflects this fact in your scores for those questions.  As you move onto other other subtopics, the material you have already learned will appropriately be treated as review, rather than new material.

What is the Session score?

The Session score, displayed in the left-hand side of the screen, shows how many questions you answered correctly, without assistance, the first time they were presented in the current login session.

Please note that the Session score only changes the first time you answer a particular question in a session.  Subsequent responses leave the Session score unchanged.

Expect your session scores to be low at the beginning, since the program focuses on your weak areas! Once you have begun to master the material, your session scores will rise.

Why should I create an account?

Create an account so our The Software that Knows You™ database can track your personal progress, and next time you visit, you pick up studying  where you left off.

Please note that free trial accounts are deleted after 90 days of inactivity.  To keep your free trial going, you should login and answer a few questions at least once every 90 days.

Do I have to supply my name?

The View user list screen is similar to a Top Scorers screen in a video game. It lets you compare your progress against the progress of others.  Your name is displayed next to your score on this screen.  You have to supply a name for display in this field.  We encourage you to supply your full, real name.  However, some people enter only their first name, nickname, or initials. 

Why does it ask for my birthday?

We use the birthdays to calculate the age of each user.  It's fun to see people's ages next to their scores on the View user list screen. 

While we encourage you to enter your birthday, you are allowed to leave the field blank, which causes your age to display as 0.

Can I share my username/password with others?

We do not recommend sharing accounts.  If you share your account with anyone, your question history would be a mixture of responses and not reflect the knowledge of any one person, nor would the system present questions in a manner for either person to learn effectively. 

A shared username would not allow The Software that Knows You™ to know you!

None of the above answers my question.

Please send questions to moderator@driverstestonline.com.

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