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The driver theory test became harder in recent years as, in addition to the multiple choice part of the test, you are now also tested on hazard perception (since November 2002) and both parts need to be passed at the same time. Also, since the 1st September 2007, the pass mark for the multiple choice has been raised to 44 out of 50 questions (30/35).
As a qualified driving instructor, for many years I have seen many pupils struggle with the driver theory test side of learning to drive. Here are my tips and advice for passing your theory test as painlessly and as quickly as possible.
Don’t wait until you have had driving lessons before starting your study. Both the theory test studying and practical driving lessons go hand in hand. You will find that the knowledge you have gained from your theory test study will help with your driving lessons and actually driving on the roads will help you learn things for your theory test. Start learning for your DSA theory test as soon as you can. The last thing you want is to get your driving to driving test standard but you cannot take your practical test as you are still trying to successfully pass your driver theory test. This will also be a waste of money whilst you are continuing with your driving lessons.
You cannot sit your driver theory test before your 17th birthday but you can make a theory test booking beforehand. Use this time to study the learning materials you have. Apart from simply reading the Highway Code, it is imperative that you also use other training material available. The Highway Code will tell you the rules but will not provide the reasons behind them. If you have access to a computer, you really should get some of the CD ROMs that are available. You will then get a feel for how the Hazard Perception Test will be when you get to the test centre and therefore more prepared for what is ahead.
You have 57 minutes to complete the multiple choice part of the theory test. Use this wisely. Flag questions that you are not sure of and come back to them at the end. You will be surprised at the amount of time you will have left over after completing the questions you definitely know. Do not ‘speed read’ the questions. It can be very easy to read what you want to read rather than what is actually on the computer screen. Read the questions at least twice and do it slowly.
On the day of your DSA theory test, make sure you have all the required documents to hand. You will need your full driving licence (both parts) and your appointment card. If you have the old style paper licence, you will also need to take an acceptable form of identity.
Remember driving theory tests are simple if you have prepared. If you have skimped on this, you will find any driver theory test hard.
You will need to know the following to pass the theory test:
The Highway Code - Is essential reading for all drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrian, and even equestrians. Those who use the road absolutely must know the rules and safety laws. The code contains the most recent and up-to-date advice and information on road safety laws.
Traffic Signs - The ability to read and follow all traffic signs.
Theory Test Questions - Read the latest copy of the theory test questions published by the DSA. Since these questions change occasionally you should be sure to pick up the most recently published version of this handbook. The most recent theory test questions will be in this book and it serves as a mock theory test practice handbook. As with all tests, being familiar with a test before taking it can help.
Hazard Perception Test Preparation - Those who have access to a computer can pre-study for this portion of the test. Simply find a website or two which provide theory test information or CD’s available. Then, simply practice your hazards perception skills in advance of taking your DVLA test.
Upon passing your test you will have two choices. The first choice is to receive your full driving license and have it issued to you immediately. If you already own a driving license that has been issued after March 1st of 2004, then the examiner will need to have your old license. They will scan the information off this license into a computer and send it into the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Then you will be handed a certificate that you have passed your test. Your new license should arrive by postal mail after three weeks if you have successfully passed and requested the license.
If you old license was issued before March 1st of 2004 or you want to wait on obtaining your license you may do so. Your examiner will still provide you with a certificate proving that you have passed your theory and practical tests. This pass certificate contains instruction on the back that will explain to you how to proceed. This means your license will need to be sent to the DVLA. They will check your application and send you a full license.
Remember, if you fail any portion of your driver’s license testing ask for feedback from the examiner. This feedback will help you properly prepare for your next testing session since it will help you determine where you have made mistakes. You have to wait 10 business days between testing sessions before you are allowed to schedule a new one.