How to pass your theory test
Last updated: 11/03/2022 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
So you’re a learner driver and are looking to get on the road! Nice one.
Getting behind the wheel is both exciting and scary - you may already be looking for cheap car insurance for your new motor. But before you do that – and before you can even book your practical driving test – you’ll need to know the theory to safely apply those practical skills.
This guide will explain what’s involved in the driving theory test, and what you can do to best prepare yourself for a pass.
In time, the mechanical side of driving vehicles becomes more natural and automatic – it’s muscle memory. Yet your brain never stops working to ensure you do it safely. This is what the theory test is for. It’s an intensive exam, and knowing what to expect is the first step to ensuring success.
Your theory test entails understanding traffic signs, being able to detect hazards and being familiar with the Highway Code. It also assesses your comprehension of maintaining a vehicle that’s safe to drive.
In a nutshell, it makes certain that you keep yourself and others safe on the road, and ensures you comply with legal obligations. If you are looking for more information, you can find out even more about the ins and outs of the theory test here.
It’s a two-part test taken on a computer, made up of multiple choice questions and an interactive assessment to test your hazard perception.
In this component you’ll be shown 14 one-minute video clips which include at least 1 potential, developing or actual hazard, and you’ll need to identify them. These could be, to name but a few:
The multiple choice component is marked out of 50, and you’ll need to answer at least 43 questions correctly in order to pass. You can return to questions if you’re unsure, but bear in mind you have only 57 minutes to answer them all.
For each hazard perception video you’re shown, you’re given a time limit to identify the potential hazard and the faster you respond, the more points you get (up to a maximum of 5). You do this by clicking on the hazard with your computer mouse. 75 points are on offer for 15 hazards, and you’ll need a score of at least 44 to pass this bit.
To take your theory test, you must be at least 17 years old and have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 185 days of the past year.
Once you’ve received your provisional licence and got clued up on all the theory, you’ll need to book a test, which costs £23. You can book online, but the test must be taken at an official DVSA Theory Test Centre. You must take your licence with you to the centre.
So, you’ve paid the fee and made your booking. You now want to ensure you’re prepared as can be so you can be one step closer to getting your wheels on the road!
The more work you put in, the more likely you’ll pass, so recognise that passing the driving theory test takes a commitment to learning.
Heed our top tips for getting that pass rate:
We know how devastating it is to not get the result you want – especially if you’re feeling pressure to pass. But take it as a learning experience. Remember, around half of people don’t pass their theory test the first time – and that’s okay! The test is designed to ensure you can become a safe and proficient driver, so even if you fail, you’ll be more prepared for the next one.
Unfortunately, even if you’re a whizz with the practical side of things, you’ll need to book your test and pay the fee again before you can take your actual driving test. This’ll need to be at least three days after your initial test. So be calm, focused and get clued up – you’ve got this!