Taking your theory test is never easy, but with everything that’s gone on in 2020, learner drivers now have to take a few other things to consider.
- Booking a theory test has become increasingly difficult due to social distancing, and tests cannot be taken remotely due to potential plagiarism.
- Huge backlogs of people booking tests mean that you could be waiting up to nine months before getting the chance to sit the test.
- As of the 28th of September, there will be some changes to the theory test, including the addition of video case studies. The change was due to take place in April, but due to Covid, things had to be delayed.
Hopefully, this does not come as a shock to you! And, if you're reading this, and you're lucky enough to have a theory test booked, best of luck!
To help you through this stressful and challenging time, we have written a guide.
We can't pass the test for you, but we can give you all the details you need to know.
Passing your theory test
Prior to the changes, the test involved reading a case study and answering five questions. However, you will now be required to watch a video and answer three multiple-choice questions. You are allowed to watch the video as many times as you like, making things a bit easier.
After the video section of the test you will have to answer 50 driving-related questions, where you are required to achieve a score of 86% or 43/50. You will be capped at a time limit of fifty-seven minutes. This only gives you around sixty-eight seconds per question, which isn't a lot of time, so you will have to be prepared. However, before the test begins, you will have a couple of minutes to complete some practice questions.
The test is entirely multiple choice, but we do not advise guess work.
If you want to ensure that you pass the first time, we highly recommend studying for the test. This might be generic advice, but it's vital you understand this. There really is no substitute for putting in the hours and doing the hard work. You can head the DVSA website where you will find a handbook filled with helpful advice and practice questions.
Once you feel comfortable answering the questions, it's well worth taking a mock exam. You might fail on the first few attempts, but it's better to fail at home for free than coming up short on the big day.
Passing your hazard perception test
To pass the hazard perception test, you are required to get forty-four marks out of a total seventy-five. You will be given fourteen video questions that require you to click when you see a potential hazard. Sometimes there will be more than one hazard appear on a screen, so watch out!
You will be judged on your reaction time on a scale of 0-5, so it's essential to go in feeling fresh and sharp.
To better your chances of passing, we highly recommend that you practice at home. The DVSA have a great DVD-ROM practice test that will help you prepare for the real thing.
Alternatively, it’s a great idea to go on a drive with someone who has already passed their test, and see if you can spot potential hazards in real-time. This is also a great way to discuss road safety with someone who has experience driving.
Getting your test results
You will receive your results on the day you take your exam, so you don't have to sit at home staring at the letterbox waiting for the postman to arrive.
If you are lucky enough to pass, you will be given a number that you will need to take along to your practical test.
If you are unfortunate and do not hit the required mark, you will be given a letter informing you of which areas you failed.
You then have a seventy-two-hour window before you can retake your test. However, it is highly unlikely that you will find a new slot within that time frame due to current circumstances. So, do your best to pass the first time!
If you don't pass the first time it is not the end of the world
Of course, everyone wants to pass the first time, but the reality is, not everyone will. You might not have done enough preparation, or your nerves might have gotten the better of you. Either way, pick yourself up and go again.
Do not listen to the rubbish that people say about driving tests - the test is not designed to fail you, so they earn more money. Nor do they have a quota of how many people they have to fail. This is all rubbish.
Things to remember
1. Get to the test centre early. Set off in plenty of time just in case you get lost on the way; adding extra stress to your day could significantly reduce your chances of passing your test.
2. Don't forget your provisional license. Even if you get there in plenty of time, you won't be allowed to take your test without it.
3. It's essential to be relaxed and calm when you take your test. If you're stressed, you will not perform well.
4. This isn't life or death, so remember to have fun. Learning to drive will be something that you look back on one day with fondness.
We hope this guide has helped you prepare for your theory test and made you aware of the recent changes.
Best of luck on your test!