Top 10 tips to pass your theory test

Here's our top 10 tips to help you pass your theory test first time - from swotting up beforehand to how to handle the Multiple choice Hazard Perception parts.


By Marmalade Author

Updated on Dec 3rd, 2020

As well as getting to grips with driving for the first time, you need to get your brain into gear to prepare for your theory test. Hopefully you’re already covered with learner driver insurance and getting some private practice in a friend or family member’s car. The theory side will give you confidence while practising too, so it's worth cracking on and getting it out of the way. We've created some top tips to help you to pass your theory test first time!

Grab a copy of The Highway Code

The Highway Code is a great source of information - after all, it is what the Theory test is based on. There are also lots of revision aids available online and in the shops to help to learn and practise at home for the test. The DVSA have a handy section on their website on Theory test revision and practice.

Swot up

It goes without saying that you've got the best chance of passing if you put time and effort into studying. It's better to pace your study, rather than cramming at the last minute - especially as what you learn will give you a grounding for becoming a good driver for life.

Practice makes perfect

There's loads of resources available to get a proper feel for how the Multiple Choice and Hazard Perception parts of the test work. Taking some practice tests, or getting a friend or parent to test you, will not only increase your confidence but will highlight the areas you need to go over again! You can practice the Multiple Choice part of the test and watch a video on how the Hazard Perception part works on the DVSA website.

Book your theory test

It's worth checking out how long the wait time is to book a test . You can check and book your test on the Government website - there's normally about a two week wait time to book it in. You'll need to be mentally prepared on the day, so it makes sense to book it on a day when you are not going to be rush - or cramming for another exam the next day!

Get out on the road

Everyone learns in different ways - using and testing what you are learning whilst you are in the car will help - even when you're a passenger! While you are behind the wheel you'll be concentrating hard, and although you'll be using your knowledge, it may not be the best time for a supervisor to test you at the same time - but if you're in the car with a parent, why not ask them to test you on scenarios, or spot road signs and hazards as part of your trip.

Be prepared on test day

Get a good night's sleep the night before so that you'll be fresh and alert. On the day, check - and double check, that you have your driving licence with you - or there will be no test, and no refund!). You'll need to be at the test centre half an hour before your appointment, so make sure you leave plenty of time to get there.


You'll get 15 minutes to get used to the screen and the system so take this time to settle in, get used to how it all works, and ask any questions you have. You'll also get a few minute break between tests so use this time to re-focus and take a deep breath (and pop to the loo if you need to!).

Multiple choice questions

You'll have 57 minutes to complete 50 multiple choice questions- you need to score 45 out of 50 to pass. There's a few possible answers to each one, so make sure you take the time to read each question thoroughly. If you get stuck on a question, you can flag it, carry on, and come back to it later. Often, looking at it afresh will help you identify the right answer. Once you've completed all the questions - if you have time, it's worth going back and and checking your answers, as you can change them at any point. We've written a handy guide to the theory test questions, which gives more advice.

Hazard perception

Before you start this part you'll watch a video about how it works. You'll then watch 14 clips featuring every day scenarios. Each features a developing hazard, but one will contain two. Points are awarded for spotting developing hazards as soon as they start to happen. You can earn up to 5 points per hazard - the earlier you spot the hazard, the more likely it is you will get a high score (bear in mind if you click continuously, you won't score any points). If you're nervous about the this part of the test - read our guide to the Hazard Perception part of the test.

Don't fear failure

Have faith in yourself - in the wise words of Mum (or Dad) - you can only do your best! We hope these tips will get you off to a flying start to ace your Theory Test - but don't worry if you don't pass first time - it takes people, on average, two times to pass. The test will highlight the areas you need to work on, so the best thing is to get your next test booked in ASAP and get some more study in while it's all fresh in your mind. Good luck!

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Put that theory into practice by getting extra driving practice with a friend or family member in their car - with no risk to their No Claims Discount!

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