So you’ve spent weeks, perhaps even months, working towards passing your driving test, studying your theory alongside practical lessons. The time for you to finally take your theory test soon comes around. No matter how well prepared you are and how well you understand the material, you may still feel nervous when it comes time to actually sit the test.
So here’s a quick guide as to what to expect, to help dispel any doubts you may have and help you feel as well-prepared as can be.
First of all, though you are technically able to book – and sit – your theory test at any point once you’ve turned 17 (there is no minimum number of lessons required in order to be allowed to take the theory), we really recommend completing the bulk of your practical lessons before you take your theory test, even if you have been studying the theory since well before you started lessons. This is because the practical experience of driving you accumulate during your lessons (and, of course, your additional practice time on the roads) will really help you understand the Highway Code and the driving theory you have studied, as you will be applying what you have learned in real life situations on real roads whilst actually driving.
Using the theory for yourself in a practical context will really boost your recollection of it when you are outside of the car. You will be able to get through the questions more quickly and with less hesitation/doubt. This should also help you boost your scores on the hazard perception testing.
Note that you will however have to pass the theory test before you take the practical test. Though the theory test only costs £23 to book (as of the time of writing), it is still worth ensuring that you are as well-prepared as possible for the theory so that you are not held back by having to re-book and retake it.
Just as with your practical, the only real secret to success is simply that practice makes perfect. So: practice, practice, practice!
There is only the one theory test that you will ever need to pass (unless you wish to get licensed to drive further categories of vehicle, other than cars, such as motorcycles or heavy goods vehicles). However, as a road user, who will eventually be driving in many different scenarios on many types of public road (amongst many other road users and vehicle types) it is certainly worth learning the Highway Code inside out in any case, in order to best prepare you as a future driver.
The official government website offers some useful advice on what books to read (see www.gov.uk/driving-theory-test/preparing-for-the-theory-test) to help you prepare and to deepen your understanding.
We have also created the first WeDrive app specifically to help new learners to practice theory questions and hazard perception – and to prepare for the test. Visit https://www.wedrive.fun for details.
So what exactly happens during the driving theory test?
Though you don’t need to have completed a particular number of lessons (or any at all), you will need to possess a provisional driving license – and remember to take your physical provisional license with you to the test on the day.
The theory test is divided into two sections: hazard perception and multiple choice. In total you should expect the test to take approximately 2 hours. The multiple choice questions will take you around an hour. The rest of the time is allocated to viewing video clips for the hazard perception section of the test.
First you will be asked to answer 50 questions on a mixture of topics, selected in a random order from the DVSA’s master bank of DVLA questions. The question bank covers every possible topic. You will be asked about everything from stopping distances, speed limits and road sign meanings to motorway laws and anything from the UK Highway Code. They are multiple choice: you will be given 4 possoble answers to select the correct answer from.
Once you have worked your way through all 50 questions and answered them all, you will be allowed to begin the computerised hazard perception test.
During this section of the test, a series of 14 video clips will be played to you. In order to test your speed and accuracy as part of your ability to perceive hazards, you will be expected to click the mouse whenever you see a ‘developing hazard’. These hazards may comprise any object or event occurring on or off the road which might reasonably result in you having to take an action to avoid (such as reduce your speed or change your direction). You will need to keep in mind that you must ensure that you don’t click too frequently during each clip – as the software will assume that you are trying to hedge your bets or cover all bases, and will mark you as incorrect for that question!
Our WeDrive app will help you prepare from both sections of the test. It includes ALL questions from the official DVSA question bank, including video clips for the hazard perception exercise, and links to the Highway Code. Free to download and available on all devices – you can even access your profile across different platforms with just one user account! – we believe it is the most user-friendly and efficient tool out there to help you optimise your revision time, and to pass first time!