The Driving Standards Agency recommends that you should undertake at least 20 hours of revision, prior to taking your driving theory test. And that’s something that we’d go along with. There are more than a 1000 questions to get through, and there will be 50 to answer on the day. The questions will be completely random, so you have to be prepared for any of the 1000 appearing.
Believe it or not, examiners are just human beings doing their job. They are not completely unapproachable. If you have a question, or don’t hear them properly during the test, just ask them to repeat themselves. They’ll be more than happy to repeat the instruction. They’re not there to fail you; they are there to make sure that you can drive safely.
If it’s possible, and safe to do so, you should always keep your speed close to the speed limit of each road you drive on during your test. If you drive well below the speed limit the examiner may judge you to be an unsafe driver that lacks confidence.
Examiners pay careful attention to whether you are using your mirrors correctly. Be sure to frequently check your mirrors when overtaking or making turns.
Candidates are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start time of the test in order to have time for the preparation process. If you are late for your test, it will be marked as a "No Show" and you will have to book and pay for another test.
If you wish to make a complaint regarding your theory test, you may do so by contacting the DVSA. Please have the following information at hand:
- The type of test you took (theory or practical)
- The date, time and place you took your test
- What your complaint is about
- What you would like to happen
You will also need to provide two out of the possible three pieces of information:
- Your driving licence number
- Your theory test pass certificate number
- Your practical or theory test booking reference
DVSA theory test complaints telephone number: 0300 200 1122
Address: DVSA, PO Box 381, M50 3UW
Learner drivers are often are eager to pass their driving test straight away. You can take your theory test for a motorcycle as soon as you are 16, and a car test once you turn 17 provided you have a provisional driving licence. Of course, this means you can start practicing before you turn 17, and even book a test on the your 17th birthday!
Be aware that the test is only valid for 2 years, which means you have to pass your practical in that time. For this reason, some candidates choose to wait until they have started having driving lessons so that they can make the most of this 2 year period.
There are over 160 theory test centres throughout the UK. Browse our test centres page for a list of all the test centres and their addresses.
Theory tests are conducted between 8am and 7pm during the week, and usually 8am - 10am on a Saturday, although some centres offer a Saturday afternoon or late morning. Specific theory test centers may run on a part-time basis in rural areas, and may even be operated from a mobile testing booth.
Often a diesel varient is likely to be more efficient than its petrol equivalent. Opt for something with a smaller engine, perhaps a 1.0L or a 1.2L as this will often cost less to insure. After you pass your test, think about taking an advanced driving class such as Pass Plus to improve your confidence at night, in adverse weather and on the motorway, and this can also reduce the cost of your insurance premium.
Take official practice driving theory tests - for free
Here you can take official practice theory tests from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), free of charge.
A mock driving theory test will help you to prepare for the test and highlight the areas where you can improve. Most will provide you with your score and flag up the questions you answered incorrectly. This will help you focus on all the areas where you need to brush up your knowledge, so you can hit the test centre feeling confident of passing first time.
During the real test, you will only have 57 minutes to answer all 50 driving theory test questions. This can seem quite daunting, especially if you get off to a slow start. A great way to prepare is to get your friends and family to randomly pick 50 questions for you to answer. Get them to put more pressure on you by setting time limits to answer each driving theory test question.
Whilst you’re going about your daily business, you’re sure to encounter many different road signs. When you spot one, say what you see. If you don’t recognise it, make a note and find out what it is when you get back home. This will help you build your knowledge of common road signs in no time!
It may sound obvious, but the more time you spend practicing driving the better. If you are making short journeys with your friends or family, ask them if you can drive. Every minute counts when you’re preparing for you driving test, all those short runs down to the shops might make the difference on the day of your test.
When you’re travelling as a passenger, be sure to study how other drivers react to certain scenarios on the road. This will vastly increase your road awareness and help you prepare for any unexpected issues that may arise on your test.
The examiner on your test won’t expect you to be a fully qualified mechanic, but they will expect you to know the basics. The ‘show me / tell me’ part of the test is quite often forgotten about prior to the driving test, so it could panic you if the examiner suddenly lifts the bonnet and asks you where your water coolant goes. The layout of car engines tend to differ from car to car, so it’s definitely worth spending 10 minutes looking ‘under the hood’ of the vehicle you will take your test in.
If you fail one of the manoeuvres on your test, it’s pretty much game over. So getting them right is essential. A good driving instructor will spend a lot of time with you on each maneuver, so you feel confident when asked to perform one on test day. Use every opportunity that you get to practice them.
Okay, this one is easier said than done, but try to remain as calm as you can throughout the test. If you do something wrong, don’t worry too much, regain your focus and carry on driving. Chances are it could just be a minor mark on the examiner’s scorecard, which means that you can still pass your test if you keep it together for the remainder of the test.