10 Tips to Ace Your Driving Theory Test

laptop with a driving theory test question on the screen

1. Learn the Highway Code

The highway code is an essential source of information for any motorists and is especially important to learner drivers. It’s called the ‘highway code’ but many of the rules are legal requirements and you may commit a criminal offence if you don’t follow them. The highway code covers rules for any individual using a highway whether that’s a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorists driving a car or van. There’s a range of resources online for learning the highway code.

2. Know how to keep your vehicle safe

Questions on vehicle safety will test your knowledge of essential vehicle maintenance, like checking engine oil or tyre pressure. You could also be asked on how to correctly use seat belts and air bags, especially to protect children travelling in a vehicle. Knowing what will affect the performance of your vehicle is also important. This could be how to prepare for a long journey or how to drive safely in wet weather.

3. Understand road markings

Road markings used on carriageways will appear in your theory test. Learn the road markings that are used across, along at the side of roads. You should also brush up on your understanding of waiting and parking restrictions, plus kerb and junction markings used in urban areas. 

4. Understand roadside signage

Road signs are in place for the safety and security of road users so you’ll be expected to understand what certain signs mean and where you’d expect to see them. The basics will cover knowing that red signs are hazardous, blue signs mostly give positive instructions, and warning signs are mostly triangular. You should also brush up on direction/route signs so it’s easier for you to navigate without a sat-nav.  

5. Be able to identify road hazards

Road hazards are covered in more depth in the hazard perception part of the test but you may still be presented with a series images from which you will have to identify the hazard in. This could be children walking on the pathway, an animal in a road side field, or a car approaching an adjoining junction. The multiple choice question might ask you which of these hazards will cause you to slow down.

6. Know the types of vehicle used on roads

The theory test can assess your understanding of various vehicle types and how they behave on the road. For example, you may be shown a situation with an articulated lorry and asked how you would respond to a long vehicle manoeuvring. Questions on vehicles could also include how to be aware of buses and other public vehicles like ambulances or maintenance vehicles working on the road.

7. Know the essential driving tips

Essential driving tips needed to pass your theory test cover how to drive in adverse weather conditions, driving techniques for safe overtaking and manoeuvring, and how to properly navigate road works. These are situations which involve an array of relevant hazards and require close attention to the highway code.

8. Practice! Practice! Practice!

You're probably familiar with school tests and exams so you know the importance of practice. The internet has a wide range of learning resources that you can use to prepare for your driving theory test. You can take mock tests for both the multiple choice and hazard perception parts of the test online. These will give you a good idea on what sort of questions are likely to come up and should also highlight any particular gaps in your knowledge that you can then focus more on.

9. Get Out Driving!

If you have access to an insured vehicle outside your regular driving lessons it'll do you a load of good for both your theory and practical tests to regularly get out driving on the road. Understanding the highway code in a practical, real-world setting is undoubtedly one the best practice for your theory test.

10. Research the test format

Your theory test consists of two parts. The first part is a multiple choice test with 50 questions and the second part a Hazard Perception test in which you’ll watch a series of pre-recorded videos that will test your ability to assess real life road situations. The pass mark for the multiple choice test is 86%, which is 43 right out of 50 and the hazard perception test is assessed on your ability to react to the hazards in the video. You can find plenty of mock tests on the internet to have a go at for both parts. At the start of your theory test there will be video tutorial anyway to explain how the test will work, but its best to go into the test knowing how it will work.

What to expect on your driving theory test

laptop showing driving theory test questions and person answering them

The UK driving theory test is made of two part. The first part is a series of 50 multiple choice questions that will aim to assess your understanding of vehicle and driving safety, the highway code and how you deal with road incidents.

The second part is a hazard perception test where you'll watch a series of video clips that will assess how well you recognise and anticipate hazards as a driver. Read more about this on our 'What to expect on your driving theory test' blog.

Looking for help with your practical driving test too? Check out these tips on how to pass your driving test first time.