The driving theory test, a rite of passage for many in the UK, helps thousands of Brits build up their confidence and independence. Your friends and family might talk about the driving theory test like it’s a walk in the park, but compared to other countries’ tests, Britain’s isn’t easy: zuto.com calls it the 16th hardest in the world. It requires practice and preparation, but these tips should give you the tools to pass your theory test with flying colours.
Know Your Enemy to Pass Your Theory Test
Like any test or exam, understanding the structure and requirements gives you the best chance of success.
1- Booking and Paying for the Test
The standard driving theory test costs £23, so make sure you have the funds in order before clicking ‘book test’. Alternatively, some learners opt to earn a Safe Road Users Award to prepare for their theory test, which lowers the price to £18. This qualification developed by the UK government teaches learners safe and considerate road use over 80 hours of teaching, providing useful driving life skills.
2- Understanding the Test Format and Mark Scheme
The test creates two sets of challenges: a 50-question multiple-choice section, and a hazard perception section comprised of 14 one-minute video clips. The questions, from a bank of 1,000 facts about road signs and driving protocol, require 43/50 correct answers to pass your theory test. The hazard perception gives a maximum of 75 points for predicting and identifying hazards, and also requires 43 correct answers to pass your theory test. Simple as that.
How Best to Revise for your Test
Preparation is integral to passing any test, and anyone saying otherwise is either unreliable or unreliably lucky.
3- A ‘Pass Your Theory Test’ Action Plan
When you’ve booked your test and know what’s involved, it’s best to schedule your revision time to ensure you’re prepared by the date in question. Authorities recommend a minimum of 20 hours, so pencil in time to cover all the info. You’ll thank yourself later!
4- Get the Right Tools for the Job
The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) get their driving theory questions from the Highway Code and the Official DVSA Guide to Driving. Getting your hands on this information before the test thereby gives you all the knowledge required to pass. The DVSA also provide a helpful handbook with example questions and other tips. It’s worth buying or borrowing this book or downloading an equivalent app to familiarise yourself with the material.
5- Vary Your Revision Styles
Variety is the spice of life, and it’s also the seasoning required to cook up successful revision. Everyone finds revision dry sometimes, so find ways to breathe life back into the books. Consider creating some mnemonic word games, rhymes, or acronyms to learn road signs or stopping distances. Applying theory questions to real-life also helps foster a durable, real-world understanding of the material. Ask your instructor, friends, and family to share their experience and quiz you during driving lessons. When you’ve earned a break from the pages, apps and videos can also help prepare you for the test. Just searching hazard perception or example questions on Youtube or even TikTok can create the well-rounded road safety knowledge required to pass your theory test.
6- Sit Mock Tests
Mocks form the core of any successful revision plan. App stores provide plenty of free driving theory apps that come with mock tests, but be careful of pricey in-app purchases. Video clips on YouTube can also help with hazard perception examples to make sure you know what to expect when you start your test.
Tips to Pass Your Test on the Day
7- Don’t Rush
A well-structured test day complements a well-structured revision plan. Make sure you sleep well the night before the test and plan your route and transport to the centre to arrive at least half an hour before the appointment starts.
8- Bring Everything you Need
Most importantly, bring your provisional licence to the test. Learners who forget their provisional cannot sit the test but must still pay the £23 fee.
Although the theory test might feel daunting, time really is on your side. Take your time and stay calmly focussed to achieve the best results. Make sure you take short breaks and deep breaths. You now have all the tools to pass your theory test first time, but in 2019/20, only 47.7 per cent of theory tests resulted in a pass, so no pressure!