Passing the theory test is vital to your prospects of gaining a full UK driving licence, as you must have passed it before you can take your full test.
Therefore, taking the time to know what to expect and ensuring your knowledge is up to scratch can be the difference between getting rid of your provisional licence or not.
There are two parts of the test: multiple choice and hazard perception. In the first part, you have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions. If you’re struggling with a question you can flag it and return to it later, which is useful for ensuring you answer all the questions you’re confident are correct within the time allowed.
The hazard perception test involves watching 14 video clips. Each has a ‘developing hazard,’ while one clip will have two. Your job is to spot the hazard and click the mouse when you spot it.
The Government's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) defines a developing hazard as:
“A car is parked at the side of the road and isn’t doing anything. It wouldn’t cause you to take action, so it’s not a developing hazard.
“When you get closer, the car’s right-hand indicator starts to flash and it starts to move away. You’d need to slow down, so it’s now a developing hazard.”
Here we’ve outlined seven valuable ways to ensure you pass your driving theory test.
1. Be prepared
When taking the test, you want to feel as relaxed as possible so you can focus your mind on the task at hand. The best way to do this is to prepare everything you need well in advance of the big day.
First of all, ensure you know exactly where the building where you’ll be taking the test is located. Then figure out how you’re going to get there and how long it will take. When deciding what time to leave, make sure you allow extra time in case you can’t find the entrance or get held up en route.
Once at the testing location, you’ll need to take your provisional licence card with you. If you forget it you won’t be able to take the test and won’t get your money back, so make sure it’s safely in a bag or wallet before you leave.
2. Set a revision timetable
This is especially important if you’re easily distracted. Test day might seem a long way off in the distance, but it’ll quickly sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
The best thing to do is figure out how many days you have until your test and set a revision timetable around it. It’s important to be realistic here and set an achievable schedule. In reality, you’re not going to revise for two hours straight every evening for the next three months.
Instead, block out regular small chunks with rest time in-between and you’ll quickly soak up all the knowledge you need.
3. Take advantage of available resources
There are countless resources online that can aid you in your mission to pass your theory test.
It’s a good idea to check out the official DVSA books and DVDs, as they’re the ones who set the real questions so you know it will be relevant. There’s also an official theory test app for iPhone users, which costs £4.99.
If you really can’t stomach spending your hard-earned pennies, spend some time searching online for free advice and mock tests instead.
4. Read The Highway Code
This is the most important thing you can read as a driver, as it contains everything you need to know to get around on British roads.
There’s everything from how to read road signs to knowing if you and your car are fit for the roads. From a practical standpoint, it also outlines important procedures for how to interact with other road users such as buses and cyclists.
Questions will pop up referencing the road rules outlined here, so get reading.
5. Learn what traffic signs mean
There’s a whole section of The Highway Code dedicated to traffic signs and what they mean. It’s important to get these memorised as they can be tricky to guess on the day.
With many of the road rules there’s an element of common sense in the answer, so even if you can’t remember it specifically you can make an educated guess.
A good base knowledge of what traffic signs mean will stand you in good stead. For example, if you remember a particular sign with a red circle around its edge means no entry, other signs with the same red circle are probably based on not allowing entry to a particular type of vehicle.
6. Hazard perception
If you only buy one DVSA product in the build-up to your test, we’d recommend the hazard perception DVD. The reason is that this section is a computer program, so it’s important to learn exactly how it works ahead of time.
As explained above, you’re required to watch video clips and click the mouse as soon as you spot a hazard developing. Although you don’t lose points for clicking incorrectly, you can have your score wiped if you click too often or in a pattern.
Getting a feel for what a developing hazard looks like in these clips could be the difference between a pass and a fail. Is a speed camera considered a hazard? You can't be sure until you've practiced.
7. Go out in the real world and ask questions
The internet is a fabulous resource and will give you access to all the knowledge you could ever need, but getting out in the real world and asking questions will keep things fresh.
Whenever you’re out in the car, whether it’s driving or as a passenger, ask the person in the car with you to point things out and test you. They could ask what a traffic sign means, or ask you to explain the road rules that are relevant in a particular situation.
It forces you to think on your feet under pressure, which is exactly what you’ll be doing on the day.
Do you have family or friends who are about to sit their driving theory test? Share our article on social media to help them pass with flying colours!
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.