How to Pass the Theory Test

The driving theory test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, randomly selected from a bank of around 900, which may seem a little daunting at first given that you have a time limit of 57 minutes. If you’re wondering how to approach your preparation and how to pass the theory test, we have prepared some useful tips and pieces of advice that should help you to get your hands on that all-important theory test certificate.

Before the Test

Start studying a few weeks before your test

Give yourself ample time to study before booking your test. If you choose to book your test before you start your learning, make sure you choose a date which will give you enough time to prepare sufficiently. Don’t make the mistake of leaving your preparation until the night before; there is a large amount to cover so cramming everything in at the last minute is a recipe for disaster. You will feel a lot more confident and less stressed on the day of your test if you’ve prepared properly.

If it’s been a while since you’ve studied for anything, organise your study time into short periods and take lots of breaks. Gradually increase the time of your study sessions as the date of your test approaches. Implement a study timetable and stick to it if you feel it would be beneficial. You can also ask your friends and family to help you. If you know somebody else studying for the test, ask them to be your study buddy and help each other learn. Try using a number of different approaches, especially if you’re someone who finds it difficult to concentrate.

Prepare using this website

One of the best resources you can use to prepare for your driving theory test is this very website –;. We have everything you need to pass your driving theory test at the first time of asking including mock tests, case studies, hazard perception practice and valuable advice. The best thing about it, it’s free! Register for an account to keep track of your theory test progress.

Study using books

If you prefer studying the old-fashioned way, there are a few books which will help you with the multiple-choice part of the theory test:

  1. The Official DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers – the official driving theory test book, containing the entire theory test question bank including answers and explanations
  2. The Official Highway Code – the theory test is based on The Highway Code, so it’s definitely worth a read before your test
  3. Know your Traffic Signs – a valuable source of information, not only for your theory test, but also for your driving career

These books are available to purchase online or from high street shops. Your local library should also have copies which you can borrow, free of charge.

Ask your driving instructor if you’re unsure about anything

Your driving instructor will have years of driving experience and vast knowledge of driving in different scenarios, so make sure you seek clarification from him or her if you’re unsure about anything related to your theory test revision. The chances are your instructor will have heard it all before and will be all too happy to help. You may want to have a quick glance at some theory test revision materials before each lesson and try to identify any areas you are unsure of, ready to ask your instructor for advice.

Know your way around the test

Make sure you know how the driving theory test works and what it involves before heading to the test centre. It may be unsettling if you sit in front of the computer at the test centre not knowing what to expect. We have provided an in depth description of the driving theory test so make sure you read this to get a good idea of what the driving theory test involves. Our practice tests also have a very useful Test View option, which closely mimics the official driving theory test interface. At the test centre, remember to take advantage of the practice test before you start; this will help you get to grips with the test software. There will also be a member of staff on hand who will be able to assist with any difficulties you may have.

Watch the official theory test guide produced by the DVSA below:

YouTube video

Be in the right frame of mind

As your theory test approaches, try not to let nerves get the better of you. Stress affects concentration and may lead to you making uncharacteristic mistakes. Plan your journey to the test centre and arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of your test so you don’t feel rushed upon arrival. Make sure you’re well rested on the day of your test. Although it may be tempting to stay up late getting in some extra revision, try and get a good night’s sleep the day before the test. You will be spending about 2 hours at the test centre so it’s a good idea to have something to eat beforehand, although you should avoid having a large, heavy meal.

During the Test

Keep calm!

It may be easier said than done, but staying calm and composed throughout the test is the key to success. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time and ensure you have your driving licence photocard to hand. Remember to give yourself time to store your personal belongings in a locker as you will not be allowed to take them into the test room. Use the restroom beforehand if you need to. Take advantage of the practice test to settle your nerves and get yourself used to the layout of the computer system.

Take your time

Although 50 questions may seem like quite a lot, the test has been designed so that it can be completed within the time limit. There is no need to rush through it; you should have enough time to read each question carefully, think about your answers, and complete the test with time to double check your answers. Remember that you can flag a question and revisit it at a later stage if you don’t know the answer.

Don’t spend too long on a question

Although you’re advised to take your time, don’t take too much time. Each of the 50 questions carries the same number of marks, so you should spend an equal amount of time on each question. There are 50 questions in total, which must be answered in 57 minutes. This works out to 1 minute 8 seconds per question, so you should aim to spend 1 minute to answer each question. If you don’t know the correct answer immediately, move on to the next question and return to the question later, time permitting. Always answer the questions you are confident of first and don’t waste too much time on a question you don’t know the answer to. You will run the risk of running of out time.

Read the question carefully

Read the question carefully and understand what it’s asking. Try and think of the correct answer before looking at the four options. If the answer you thought of is listed, then you should be confident that it is correct, so select it and move on to the next question.

Process of elimination

If you are not immediately sure of the correct answer, try using the process of elimination. There may be some answers that are quite clearly wrong which you can discount, giving you fewer answers to choose from. Check the wording of the question and answers carefully as it may give you an extra clue as to the right answer.

Double check your answers

If you’ve managed your time well, you should have enough time before the end of the test to go back and double check your answers. If there were any questions you weren’t sure of, now is the chance to spend a little more time on them. You may find that looking at the question afresh will help you find the right answer. If you were in two minds about an answer, you should generally stick to your first choice.

Have a guess if you’re unsure

You don’t lose any points by giving an incorrect answer, so it is worth guessing if you’re struggling to work out the correct answer. The review screen will tell you how many questions you haven’t answered, so make sure you go back and choose an answer for each question you haven’t answered. You have nothing to lose by guessing and have a one in four chance of being right. Remember the pass rate is 43 out of 50, so you’re allowed seven incorrect answers.

Have faith in yourself

By following these tips on how to pass the theory test, you will find yourself better prepared and more confident when taking your test. If you fail the first time, don’t worry too much; statistics show almost 50% of people fail the theory test. You will get a letter at the test centre telling you which parts you didn’t score enough points on, so you’ll know what you need to improve on for next time around. Remember that the theory test has been put into place to make you a safer driver, and when you finally get your licence, all the stress will have been worth it!