The Observational Ability test is split into 3 parts:

Counting of low tones

The first part of the Observational Ability test is an exercise in which you have to distinguish and count a various number of tones. The tones you have to count are of a low tone. The low tones are mixed in with high tones to make this process difficult. It is important to remember not to count the high tones. The test will always start on a low tone. The tones will be relayed to you quickly and you’ll on average hear around 8 – 20 different low tones per test.

Telephone Directory Search

The next part of the Observational Ability tests is based on searching a fictional phone directory and finding symbols. This test requires a lot of concentration and quick thinking to ensure you find the matching symbols amongst many others within a given time-frame, normally around 45 seconds.

The exercise will begin with a story, normally something along the lines of “Bob has lots of urgent emails he needs to respond to but his computer has broken down. He needs to find a computer repair shop in his local area as quickly as he can”, and so on. This story is designed to distract you away from the task.

Counting Tones and Telephone Directory Symbol Search

The third part to the Observational Ability test is a combination of the first 2 tests. You will once again be given a story about a person needing to find a certain place. You will then look for the corresponding symbols but as you do you will be played a serious of auditory tones. You must count all of the low tones. You are given a set of boxes to mark down each tone you hear, there will be a maximum of 15 but the number of tones played is normally below 10.

The train driver assessment is formed of many different tests such as the Group Bourdon Test and the ATAVT However, unlike these shorter tests the Observational Ability test takes up half a day. It is very important that you do well on this test to ensure you pass your train driver assessment.

Observational Ability Testing Software
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Practising the exercise and tests before your assessment is the best way to increase your chances of passing. How2Become’s Observational Ability Test (OAT) testing tool is the best way to enhance your preparation for this key assessment.

The tool includes:

  • Tone counting (Stage 1) – You will be presented with a series of high and low tones. You have to count how many low tones you hear.
  • Telephone Directory Symbol Search (Stage 2) – similar to technique preparation for the actual assessment test.
  • Tone counting & Directory Search Tests (Stage 3) – You will be presented with both the directory search test and presented with a series of high and low tones. You need to take note of all the low tones.
  • Practice questions based on real tests – be fully prepared for your assessment by practising a similar test beforehand.
  • Unlimited tests – the tests are randomised each time meaning your training will always be a new challenge.
  • Test results – Find out if you passed! And find out what you need to improve on.

The Observational Ability Test software testing tool is the best way to prepare yourself for the telephone directory search and tone counting.

The tool will help you improve:

  • Concentration
  • Attentiveness
  • Familiarisation with the actual test

The software will give you a percentage score on completion and alert you of missed answers and tones. Our test has a high difficulty level that is harder than the actual test, greatly improving your chances of success and preparation. This product has been created by How2become with unique content specifically designed to help you pass your train driver assessment.


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