After I had done a couple of driving lessons, I really wanted to get my theory test out of the way so I didn’t have to worry about it whilst I was focusing on my practical. As soon as I started studying, it filled me with dread as I struggle with my nerves as it is. I was reminded of what 16 year old me felt like during my GCSE’s – I was lacking motivation yet wanted to do well. In the end I decided that, if I’m paying for this test, I want to do it once and I want to work hard. That’s exactly what I did.
I passed just a month ago with 92%.
I read so many articles with various information and tips, and whilst they were all very helpful, I still kept searching for more as I felt it wasn’t enough. I have incorporated all that extensive research into one post, in hope that it may help anybody revising at the moment. Even if it only helps one person to pass their theory, I’ll take that as a win!
Driving Success DVD
I had used a lot of different resources when I was revising and this DVD was the best one I used by far. I found this on Amazon and it was so engaging and thorough. I would probably put this DVD down to the real reason that I passed – it includes so much content and is so easy to use. The content is segregated in to categories to make this very easy to run through everything, or to stop and start on the different sections you need to work on which I found so helpful and it was a lot less overwhelming because of this. It also includes some great content for your practical lessons which I felt really helped me.
Grab a notepad and head to the library
Me being the paranoid individual that I am, I was worried that my DVD wouldn’t include everything. To be sure I covered it all, I went to the library and borrowed an official DVSA theory test book. This is a great way to revise without spending money at all as I worked through all of the questions, answered them on my notepad and then marked them. For any questions I got wrong, I would write them down in a separate notepad, including the answers. Once I had finished a certain category, I would get my boyfriend to ask me the questions I got wrong, until I knew the answers and what I had to work on next. I found this a really great way of revising and getting to know what knowledge I needed to improve. I think the general rule for borrowing library books (in my local one it is, anyway) you get to have them for 2 or 3 weeks, and you can also renew them if you need longer, but I found this was plenty long enough to get use out of them.
Flash Cards (for road signs)
You can obviously use this for any type of question, but I found this most helpful for learning road signs. I drew the sign on one side, and the meaning on the other so I can work independently or get somebody else to test me. If you’re not feeling artsy then you could print out some common signs and stick them on the back for a quicker alternative. This is a really easy way to get a 5 minute revision session in, which I found great if I was feeling tired and didn’t want to go through a whole hour’s work on my laptop.
Get the apps on your mobile or tablet
In the week coming up to my test, I used this app on my phone everyday. There are so many various apps on the store and I downloaded four or five in total (excessive I know). Every time I had a little moment spare, I would do a mock test which really helped me feel mentally prepared – once I had my score in the mid-nineties I was feeling much more confident.
The logo of the one above is just the L Plate shown. As you can see, the all provides loads of helpful information and it is really easy to monitor your progress. I also got the Highway Code app separately because I found this was a little more detailed.
Take advantage of flagging questions
I found this such a helpful tool in both my revision and in my official test. I find that once you have finished all of the questions you are more confident on, coming back to the old ones with fresh eyes makes it possible for you to view the questions from a different perspective and have a better chance of getting the correct answer. In the multiple choice, you have 57 minutes to answer 50 questions which is plenty for you to take a step back and go over the more difficult questions.
The aspect of the theory I struggled to prepare with the most was definitely this part. Obviously there’s only so much you can learn for this, it’s just about applying it at the time. Having said that, practice makes perfect. The more I did the mock tests online and with the DVD, the higher I scored as I felt it made me more aware of hazards further ahead. My method of scoring the most points as possible was:
- as soon as you see a potential hazard, click immediately. (Initially I was doing it too early so I missed out on points, but at least you’re covered)
- a couple seconds after the hazard becomes more apparent, click again.
- click once more once the hazard is practically staring you in the face.
So that’s a total of 3 clicks per hazard. If you limit it to 3, this will be enough to cover the whole ‘mark period’ so if you’re a little early or late, you should still score, but 3 clicks will not be so many that you will score 0 for clicking excessively.
Once I started applying this rule I scored so much higher because if I just missed out on my original response, the other two would still score, and the highest scoring click is the one that is counted out of all of your attempts.
Most importantly – Relax!
I was quite tense once I got in the test room, but as I started to relax I felt so much more focused and I was able to apply my knowledge that I had worked so hard for. Work hard, sleep well the day before, and remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t pass first time!
If you’re taking your theory test soon, I wish you luck and hope that this has been helpful!