Learning to drive can be a daunting experience; from booking lessons, arranging private practice and revising for your theory test to working out what kind of insurance you need, you have nothing to fear as long as you revise thoroughly and apply common sense.
Remember, the theory test isn’t designed to trick you or catch you out but to ensure that you’re safe on the roads once you pass your test. We're giving you some of our best revision notes to help you when it comes to taking on your theory test. Have a read through these, apply them and we're sure you'll pass with flying colours.
Top tips for passing your theory test first time
Know your stuff
Theory test questions will have 4 possible answers, but only one of these will be right. The other 3 answers you've given to choose from could also seem believable (it wouldn't be much of a test otherwise, would it?) Sometimes you can just use common sense to find the right answer, but this doesn't mean you can wing your way through the test. Learning and understanding the highway code is the best way to pass your theory test.
Think outside the box
A lot of questions will seem straightforward if you apply the rules of the road in black and white. But life isn’t a simple set of yes and no questions, and nor is the theory test. For example:
If you’re travelling downhill with lorries coming uphill and there’s a parked car on the opposite side of the road the law would say that, because an obstruction is on their side, it’s your right of way and you can pass through. However, if there are lorries coming uphill then it’s safer to slow down and let them pass in case they’re unable to regain the uphill momentum should they have to let you through.
That’s just one example of how thinking outside the box is often safer than applying the rules by the book.
Take practice tests online
Nothing can quite prepare you like taking practice tests online. You’ll probably get some questions wrong initially and it’s these questions you should focus on. If you’re stumped by a question in a practice test then at least you’ve identified a gap in your knowledge - it’s your job to ensure you won’t be stumped if you face it in the real test. You can take a practice test on the gov.uk website as well by downloading helpful apps such as Driving Test Success and the DVSA app!
Make a presentation
If you spend a lot of time reading in preparation for your test your brain can become tired, causing you to forget things you’ve learned. We generally remember 10% of what we read, but an impressive 70% of what we say.
With that in mind, it’s a good idea to write out questions and answers and present them to a friend or family member. Present them as if you were in a meeting and you’re the expert on the rules of the road. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to remember the facts. It doesn't need to be boring notes either, have some fun - make a power point! The more you enjoy it, the more you'll remember.
Ask a friend to test you
Much the same as doing a presentation to showcase how well you know the rules of the road, asking a friend or family member to ask you questions is another good method of learning and will help to keep your mind fresh. It doesn't have to be a 'sit down and quiz me' thing either. Getting a random theory test question thrown your way every now and then will keep your brain active and help you learn.
Remember your stopping distances
Many people are caught out in their test by thinking that braking distance is the same as overall stopping distance. It’s a good idea to have this clear in your mind before taking the theory test.
- The thinking distance is the distance travelled in between the driver realising that he or she needs to brake and actually braking. During this time the car carries on moving.
- The braking distance is the distance taken to stop once the brakes are applied.
It’s worth remembering that different factors can increase stopping distances;
- Tiredness, alcohol, drugs and other distractions
- Poor road conditions (icy, wet)
- Greater speed
- Car conditions such as poor brakes, bald tyres and a car full of people
Multiple choice tip
A lot of theory test questions seem to have two right answers but only one point available. When confronted with a question like this calmly think through what you would be most likely to do in the situation. If there are seemingly two right answers and it’s not clear which to plump for consider which would be the safest option to choose. More often than not that will be the right one.
We hope that the above will help you to prepare and pass your test. You can also check out our Top 10 Tips to help you with your theory test too. We know you can do it, work hard and prepare and you'll be just fine!