Learning to drive can be terrifying. You’re in control of a big scary vehicle and all the power is in your hands… that’s a big deal! After many months, I passed my driving test 2 weeks ago and I am loving life. The stress and tears that went into learning to drive were completely worth it for the independence I now have (driving to college when it’s chucking it down with rain outside is the best).
However, before you can even apply for the practical driving test, you have to get past the theory test. It’s a short test taken at your local centre (you can find all that info out on the DVLA website) that you need to revise for. It’s comprised of a series of multiple-choice questions and a “hazard perception” section, but I’m sure you already knew all of this!
My first piece of advice is to book your theory test early. I delayed mine and it got to the point when I needed to book my test (because the waiting time was about 3 months) but I still hadn’t taken my theory test. So, learn from my mistakes, avoid a long waiting list for both your theory and driving test, and book your theory as soon as you get your provisional in your hands.
Now for advice on revising for the actual test. My bible was the DVLA Theory Test App. It cost me £4.99 but was beyond worth it. You are able to read through all sections you may be tested on and then complete “Quick Tests” where you just answer some quick questions based on the subject area you just studied. I did this for all subject areas until I could answer nearly all the questions correctly. I did find it helpful to have a Highway Code book to hand though, just to clarify details, as the app didn’t always have all the applicable information. However, the best thing about the app is the practise Hazard Perceptions. You can literally practise what you have to do in the exam! What other app lets you do that? It was perfect and super handy to help you get used to how the test would work. Personally, in the days leading up to my test, I completed all of the potential questions that could be asked (there was a lot) but that meant when I took the test I only got 2 out of 50 questions wrong! The Mock Test feature is also great to help you calm your nerves when getting close to your exam date.
In terms of what happens on the day, I rolled up to my local test centre early (just to be safe) and was greeted by a woman at the front desk who gave me a form to fill out then told me to put all my stuff in the free lockers provided. You have to turn your phone off and you cannot take anything into the test with you, not even a pen, as it’s all done on computers. Once it was my turn I was greeted by another lady who confirmed all my details, told me exactly how the test would work (FYI on Hazard Perception, you don’t need to click on the hazard, you just have to click on the screen at the right time… The cursor also disappears! Oh, and on one clip there are two hazards instead of one) and then sent me on my way.
During the test you can flag questions that you’re unsure of and go back to answer them later, as always, I would recommend never leaving a question blank – especially since it’s multiple choice. If you’ve revised properly, you’ll breeze through the test.
Once done, you just have to exit the test room and immediately pick your results up from whoever is working on the front desk.
One final tip: start learning to drive at least a little before you sit your test. Make sure you have a rough idea of how to drive before you go into the technical details that the Theory Test examines you on!
I promise it’s really not scary at all… In fact, it’s pretty chill. It’s certainly nothing worth worrying about. I revised for my entire test over a course of about 3 weeks and came out with 48/50 on the multiple choice section and 62/75 on the hazard perception second – On 7 clips I scored 5/5, on 3 clips I scored 4/5, on 2 clips I scored 3/5 and on one clip I scored 2/5.
Do you have your theory test coming up soon? How do you feel? How are you revising? Be sure to let me know in the comments or tweet me!