10 tips on how to pass your theory test
Ugh, the theory test. As if preparing for the practical driving test wasn’t pressure enough, you’ll also need to pass the theory test before you can get your full driving licence. To help you achieve top marks, we’ve got 10 top tips for success.
Book your theory test
It may sound obvious, but you’ll need to book your theory test at one of the 160 test centres nationwide. Visit the official government site to find your nearest centre and book your test.
Make sure you have your provisional licence and a credit or debit card to hand, because it’ll cost around £30.
Hit the books
During the theory test you’ll be given 50 multiple choice questions from a bank of more than 1000 and you’ll need to get at least 43 correct to pass.
The good news is that the DVSA (Driving Standards Agency) has produced a theory test handbook which is packed full of useful tips and example questions. Make sure you get your hands on a copy and take some time to revise.
From 14th April 2020 they'll be some changes to part of the multiple-choice test. Here's all you need to know.
Brush up on your hazard spotting
Once you’ve made it through the multiple-choice questions you’ll move on to the hazard perception test. It’s made up of a series of video clips featuring a variety of driving hazards. You can get loads more information on the hazard perception test here.
To make sure you’re fully prepared, visit Drive iQ where you can practise scanning the road effectively, identifying distractions and looking out for cyclists with their interactive video clips.
You should complete at least 20 hours of revision to make sure you are fully prepared for your theory test.
Driving Standards Agency (DVSA)
Put in the hours
Yep, when it comes to revising there’s just no substitute for putting the hours in. Your theory test questions will be picked at random, so you need to be confident answering ANY of the questions in the DSA Theory Test Handbook - that’s around 1000 possible questions!
And don’t forget to practise your hazard perception. You need to get a minimum of 43 out of 50 on the multiple choice and 44 out of 75 on the hazard perception test to pass.
Practise answering under pressure by asking friends and family to quiz you, bearing in mind that in the real test you’ll have 57 minutes to answer the 50 questions.
Top tip: Take a look at our review of the best theory test apps so you can practise on the move.
Take a mock test
Think you’re ready for your theory test? Head over to the government-run Safe Driving for Life website and try their mock tests - though they only offer the multiple choice part.
If your mock test doesn’t go quite as well as you hoped, you can reschedule your theory test up to 3 days before your test date. If you’re not feeling confident of a pass, it’s best to take a rain check and squeeze in some extra revision!
If you're worried about hazard perception, get an app that lets you practise. See what we thought of the top theory test apps.
Leave plenty of time
Chances are you’ve not been to the theory test centre before, so leave plenty of time to get there and minimise stress on the day.
Don't forget your provisional licence photocard
You must have your photocard driving licence on the day of your theory test. If you forget it, you won’t be able to sit your test and you’ll still have to pay the test fee.
Use the practice time
You get 15 minutes before your test to get used to the touch screen and the layout of the questions. Take your time and if something doesn’t look like it’s working properly, raise it before your test starts.
Flag tricky questions
In the test you’ll have 57 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions. Stuck on a tricky one? Not to worry. Hit the flag button and it’ll mark the question as unanswered, so you can easily go back to it before the end of the test.
Take a breather
You get a 3 minute break between the first and second part of your test. You’re halfway there (YES!) so take a breather, have a quick stretch at the desk and focus on the next part of the test - hazard perception.
On the day:
Top tip: You need to be at the test centre 30 minutes before the start of your test.