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How did I study for my theory test?

Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

February 23, 2018

Driving test Learning to drive Young driver stories 7 min read

The thought of taking my theory test was super nerve-wracking for me. I’m currently doing driving lessons, and I know that if I ever want to take my practical test – I need to get my theory done! Yet still, I found myself putting it off for months and months.

It wasn’t until one day a friend made me book it right there and then! I think they knew that if I didn’t book it soon, I probably never would! So I bit the bullet and booked my test for the next available slot, then the fear set in that maybe I wasn’t ready, or didn’t know enough to pass.

I studied a lot for my theory test, but maybe not as frequently as I should. I would complete a mock test online in about 10 minutes and just assume my practice is over for the day – then reward myself with a nap or a new Netflix binge!

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However, about a week before, I knew my theory test was looming and I needed to really knuckle down and study as much as I could if I wanted to pass. I had a DVD that would give me mock questions, but I found it quite hard to schedule in time to sit at a computer and revise – it felt like I was back at school! Soon after, I purchased the Driving Test Success app on my phone, and it has been an absolute lifesaver! I’ve been practising my theory test and hazard perception on the go, which meant although I wasn’t concentrating as much as I could have been, it drilled a lot of information in my head.

When I had a bit more time on my hands (or knew my concentration span would last for more than 10 seconds) I would head to the internet to look at how others were practising. Finding theory test tips and revision notes helped me a lot – I mean let’s face it – do any of us know the stopping distance of your car travelling at 60mph? Probably not! The tips I found helped everything to sink in, so when the questions came up – I knew I could answer them confidently. The tips also helped me to keep calm before the test. I remembered it doesn’t matter if I don’t pass the first time, I’ll just give it another go.

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The big day arrived!

Ok – I was petrified. The morning of my test and I felt like I’ve forgotten how to write my own name, let alone enough information to pass! My test was at 9 am, so I was up at around 6 am to do more mock tests and as many hazard perception practices as I could. This helped A LOT because all these different questions were fresh in my mind.

When I got to the test centre, I signed in, placed my things in a locker and waited to be called. Surprisingly I felt calmer at this point. There were a couple of other people waiting to start their test too, and they mentioned it was their second and third times trying it. If they didn’t give up, then neither would I!

My name was called and I was shown the screen where I would be taking my test. The second I sat down, I felt more comfortable. I kept thinking to myself ‘I’ve done this before’. The screen looks so similar to the revision DVDs and Apps I’d be using, that I was no longer worried.

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My Theory test

50 questions in 57 minutes! I think all the time I spent practising, I didn’t realise how much time I really had. I would often rush through to try and get it done to see my result, but I knew for the real thing – I had to take my time.

Using the flag option on the test was great! This is where, if you’re unsure of an answer, you can select to flag it and if you have time, you can go back to it at the end! There were definitely a couple of questions I was unsure on, so I flagged them and when I got back around to answering them, I felt more confident with my answers.

Hazard perception

I actually found the hazard perception harder than I thought I would. That being said, the video that is played before the test, to show you how it works helped a lot – because it reassured me of what to do. Before taking the real test, I hadn’t realised that it had been updated to include CGI, so I found this slightly distracting when I saw animated cows crossing the road as a hazard. Never the less, I focused on the surroundings and tried to react as quickly as I could to the developing hazards.

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The result

I left the computer, collected my things and was given a piece of paper and a First Car magazine. The woman behind the desk just handed it to me and say ‘thanks a lot, bye’. Um, what? Have I passed/failed!? I walked out of the building, and had a quick glimpse at the paper – ‘Congratulations, Chloe – you’ve passed!’ I couldn’t believe it!

Whilst I really wish I had spent longer preparing for my test, I’m so glad I booked in and revised in ways that helped me. I’m definitely not one for sitting down and reading the Highway Code from front to back, but the revision I did, helped me to get the pass at the end!

So, it’s on to my practical – I guess… I’m so glad there’s as much help with the practical test online, as there was with the theory! Now it’s time to get those extra hours of private practice in before the test!

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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