Part 3: My driving journey – My experiences of the theory test

In Part 3 of this blog series, I will be talking about my experiences of the theory test. When it comes to learning to drive in the UK, you have to pass the theory test before you can book the practical test. There are two parts to the theory test, which are the multiple choice questions and hazard perception questions. The pass mark for the multiple-choice questions is 43 out of 50, and the pass mark for the hazard perception questions is 44 out of 75. You have to pass both sections to pass the theory test. More details of the theory test can be found here.

When it came to the theory test, I admittedly was quite disorganised about it. During the first 2 months of my driving lessons, I didn’t study at all for the theory test, and I didn’t think about booking it either. My instructor had to chase me to get the theory test booked, and I booked the test for 2 months time. Once I booked it, I took revision quite seriously. This is because I knew it would most likely be another couple of months until I could retake it if I failed. I also knew that I couldn’t book my actual practical test until I passed my theory.

When it came to revising for the theory test, I didn’t spend much time in reading and learning the content from the Highway Code. Whilst learning the content was useful, there was too much of it to know absolutely everything. Therefore, I prioritised having a broad understanding of the concepts rather than having a deep understanding of everything. For the multiple-choice questions, I practiced questions early on in my revision, and this was more useful in helping me understanding the content. For the hazard perception, this was something that you can’t learn by reading a book. Therefore, I practiced questions for this immediately, and my practicing more and more questions, I developed muscle memory in identifying hazards in good time. For practicing questions, I used the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App, which lots of people use.

The day of the theory test wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t too nervous for it, as I put a lot of work in revising for it. I used the train journey to practice more questions so that everything was fresh in my mind. For the multiple-choice questions, about 85% of the questions were the same as the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App, with a few new ones. However, all of the hazard perception questions were different to those in the app, but they were the same difficulty and style to the ones on the app. I passed my theory test comfortably, with a score of 47 out of 50 in the multiple choice, and 61 out of 75 in the hazard perception.

When it comes to the theory test, a few tips that I would give are:

Book it before you start driving lessons

As mentioned in the second paragraph, I was pretty disorganised when it came to booking my theory test, and I booked it very late. In my opinion, you should book your theory test as early as possible, and ideally before you start driving lessons. It’s fine if the date of your theory test is whilst you are doing driving lessons, but you should have it booked before you start driving lessons. One of the advantages of booking your theory test before starting driving lessons is that the knowledge you gain from revising can help you in your first few driving lessons. Furthermore, you have to pass the theory test before you can book your practical driving test. Due to the pandemic backlog, you may have to wait up to 6 months until you take your practical test once you have booked it. Therefore, you want to be getting your theory test done as soon as possible, and not hang around with it.

For the multiple-choice section, keep practicing questions until you are getting close to full marks

The good thing about the theory test is that you don’t need to do anything special to pass it. For the multiple-choice section, the key is to keep practicing questions until you are getting 49/50 or 50/50 in every mock test. Around 85% of the multiple-choice questions in the actual theory test are the same as the ones in the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App. Whilst you can understand the Highway code which the multiple-choice questions are based on, it is hard to fully understand the answer to every single multiple-choice question on the app. Therefore, you have to rely somewhat on remembering some of the answers, and the best way to do that is to keep practicing questions.

Focus on understanding the answers to the hazard perception questions in addition to simply doing them

The hazard perception test is important, and preparing for it well can help in your driving lessons. This is because every time you drive, you drive as if you are in the hazard perception, as you are constantly in the lookout for hazards. Therefore, when you revise for the hazard perception test, the focus shouldn’t purely be on doing lots of questions. You should also look to fully understand the answers. In the Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App, the answer clip will highlight both potential hazards that doesn’t actually develop into a hazard, as well as things that actually develop into a hazard. You should understand why each situation does or does not develop into a hazard. This understanding will help you greatly in your driving lessons when it comes to identifying and reacting to hazards on the road.

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5 thoughts on “Part 3: My driving journey – My experiences of the theory test

  1. My daughter just passed her driving test yesterday so I’m very interested in how things work in other countries.

    Here in Ontario, Canada, you have to pass the written test before you can get behind the wheel or start lessons. Once you pass the written test, you can drive only with an experienced licensed driver. You have to wait a year before you can do your first road test, but that is shortened to 8 months if you take an approved driver training course. Once you pass the first road test, you can drive alone with some restrictions on the number of younger passengers you can carry when driving between midnight and 5 a.m. You have to wait another year before taking the second road test which is mainly focused on highway driving. Once you pass it, you have a full license with no restrictions.

    Liked by 1 person

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