10 tips on how to pass your 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.


Be prepared:

1. Book your test

It may sound obvious, but you’ll need to book your 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.

2. Hit the books

During the 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 DSA (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.

3. 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.

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Top 10 driving faults

10: Inappropriate speed – You should drive at a speed suitable for each road and not unnecessarily hold up traffic. Driving too slow is likely to marked as a driving fault and driving much slower than necessary is the 10th most common reason for failing the driving test.

Learners License Pic

9: Turn in the road – People messing up on this exercise is the ninth most common reason for failing the test. You should be able to carry out this manoeuvre showing good control with all round observation, including the rear view check on reversing which is often missed.

8: Lack of steering control – You will need to steer at the correct time for the speed you are driving at with enough steering to maintain control and road position. The tighter the turn then the slower the speed, with the correct gear selected. Hitting the kerb can also be marked as a steering fault.

7: Reversing around a corner – In at number seven is the exercise which requires reversing into a side road on the left. Like all manoeuvres good observations all around is very important and you must stay reasonably close to the kerb on this exercise without hitting it or going too wide.

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10 top tips for passing your driving test

PASSING a driving test is a passport to freedom for many, so it’s a pretty important rite of passage.


These tips should help make things easier.

1. Practice. A lot

The Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency suggests that learners, on average, need about 45 hours of professional training plus 22 hours of private practice. Make sure you learn with an instructor you feel comfortable with, from a reputable driving school – and practise with an experienced friend or relative to hone your skills.

2. Warm up

Book a lesson near the test centre just before your test appointment time, so you don’t drive ‘cold’ when you have to get into the car with the examiner. It can also helps to scope out any obstructions such as potholes, local congestion or new roadworks, so you’re prepared if you encounter them during the test.

3. Relax

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about taking your driving test, so take the pressure off yourself by not telling many people beforehand.

On the day, take deep breaths, count to 10 and exhale just before entering the test centre. Do this a few times and you should find yourself calming down and ready to drive.

4. Think positively

Before you enter the test centre, believe that you’re going to pass. Try some creative visualisation, which involves closing your eyes and imagining yourself driving well over the route, making flawless manoeuvres and seeing all the potential hazards.

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