Thursday, 23 July 2015

How to pass your theory test first time


I PASSED MY THEORY TEST! Two weeks ago today actually, but I've been on holiday and I wanted to save the news until I had written this post. I was incredibly nervous, and I honestly thought I'd failed it so I was delighted when I walked out of the test room and was handed that piece of paper that said I'd passed!

In the UK, before you are allowed to drive unsupervised you must pass two tests: the theory test (£25) and the driving test (£62). You must also have a provisional license, which you can apply for three months before your seventeenth birthday. Before you can book your driving test, you must pass the theory test.

The theory test is actually made up of two sections: the theory test and the hazard perception test. To pass the overall theory test you need to pass both sections.

The theory test has 50 multiple choice questions which you are given 57 minutes to complete (I don't think it would take anyone this long, I took about 15 minutes but I'm a fast reader). The pass mark for this part is 43 out of 50, or 86%. That is really high, huh!? Don't worry, with enough practice it's totally doable. I got 49, and I was so annoyed, trying to think which question I had gotten wrong.

Most people who fail the theory test, fail on the hazard perception test. I found this section really hard, and thought I had failed because it came up that I had clicked wrongly and would score a zero for one part. During this part of the test you are shown 14 video clips which are each about one minute long. You have to click when you see a hazard developing, like a vehicle swerving into your lane, or a cyclist or pedestrian moving out in front of you. It's harder than it sounds! The pass mark for this is 44 out of 75 (each hazard is scored out of 5). I got 57, which included two zeros...oops!

For more information on the theory test click here or here.

Phew. Now all that is out of the way, here are my tips for passing the theory test on your first attempt - after all, nobody wants to chuck £25 away!:
1. Get your hands on a copy of a theory test book. I recommend the AA complete test book (£12.09) because it has information about both the theory test and the driving test, as well as practice theory questions and a copy of the highway code.

2. Get your hands on a Hazard Perception DVD (my instructor lent me one for free). I recommend the official DSA one (£4.96).

3. Practice the theory questions until you can answer them without thinking. The questions that come up in the test will be really really similar to those you've practiced.
For practice questions online click here or here.

4. Get as much hazard perception practice as possible. The videos that come up will be computer drawn, not real life but the skills used are the same. I've also found that the DVD and online tests give you a much higher score than the actual test, so be aware of this.
For practice hazard perception clips online click here or here

5. On the day, be calm, you will know if you've worked hard enough to pass. If not, don't be discouraged and try again.

Good luck!