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To be a good safe driver you need to understand the rules of the road and with that, the DVSA requires you to pass a theory test. In our opinion, there are two very good advantages to doing this either before you start taking lessons or immediately as you do.
Well the first reason is simple and I just mentioned it at the start, if you know the rules it makes you safer, a major part of driving is about anticipation and knowing what other drivers are allowed to do or what they may do and even who has the right of way, this is by far the most important reason.
As a driving instructor myself, I have taken so many students out on their first lessons and they haven’t read the highway code, even though I always advise them to do it! I tell them if they can’t answer some questions on their next lesson from the highway code, they will not be driving very far, this usually works.
The second reason is that once you have passed your theory test then you can plan ahead with booking a test date. Remember there is always a waiting list for test dates so you want to be booking ahead, your driving instructor will advise you on this but if you haven’t passed your theory test you could end up spending more on lessons than you needed. So simple advice do it before or at least straight away when you start learning.
In my experience with students, it takes about 1-2 weeks to learn. quite often students will give themselves a month to learn it but in reality, what they are doing is giving themselves 2-3 weeks to think about it and then cramming it in in the last week, my advice give yourself a deadline 2 weeks, if there is a booking slot available and then just get on with it.
Now everyone learns a little bit different from each other but in this case, my tried and tested method is quite simple, give it a go and see how it works for you. There are a few items of learning material which i will highlight with links and references to other blogs with the some useful information in.
So let’s lay this out in steps
Buy a copy of the Highway Code and read it cover to cover, it’s about a one and a half-hour read, when you’ve finished put it down for the day and then pick it up the next day and read it again. Now I am going to give you a suggestion in a minute for an app to use, the app comes with a digital copy of the highway code, buy the book it’s £4.99 from Amazon, the reason being is that when you read the book some sections the diagram and other reference points are on the facing page you can’t see this on a digital version.
Get an App on your phone or tablet, my personal recommendation is Driving Test Success – Driving Theory Test 4 in 1 App (2022 Edition), I find this the most user-friendly one out there and is probably why it’s the UK’s best selling theory test App. The price is £4.99 and is available to download here, the trick here with this app is to just start doing complete tests covering 50 questions, don’t worry if you don’t pass each time to begin with, the key here is to keep doing the tests over and over. This style of learning is called “Rote Learning” it is a bit like learning your times tables when you were younger.
Repetition will make you learn the answers. After about 10 times start looking at the questions you are getting incorrect and then for every question you get wrong go back and read the relevant chapter in the highway code, the App will give you the details. I would say you’re probably going to need to do somewhere between 20-30 tests before you start passing every time, but don’t worry you should be able to do 50 questions in about 15-20 mins. So just a couple of hours every day for a week and you should be an expert.
The Hazard Perception Test – Now this one you need to be a little bit clever on. The “Driving Test Success” app comes with a hazard perception test built-in which is great to get you started, however when you get to the Theory Test Center you will be sat in front of a PC with an old fashion style mouse (it’s even got a cable), you are not going to be tapping any screens. It is best to practice this part of your test on a laptop or a PC and with a mouse.
My Recommendation here is Scribbles Hazard Perception Test you can download it here, it is only £1.99 for the full version. This one is just a case of practicing until you feel confident that you are seeing the hazards and know when to click to show that you have seen them. Another good resource here is on the DVSA website at gov.uk
Is the key to learning, you’ll soon pass your theory test, don’t leave it to chance though, put the effort in and pass first time if you can, it’s not expensive to take the test just £23, but if you don’t prepare yourself and you fail it will soon start getting costly with another £23 to take the test again. Oh, one last good tip make sure you only book your test at gov.uk-book your theory test, there are lots of other websites out there but they will charge you more for the same thing.