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Pass the Theory Test with these 5 Simple Steps!

Man in red jumper pumping fists and smiling in celebration

If you want to get a driving licence you have to pass two tests: the theory test and the practical test. While the practical test is the one that most learner drivers dwell on, you can’t even book one of these without first passing the theory test! On top of this, more than 50% of learners fail the theory test on their first attempt. Don’t be like them.

At PassMeFast, we’ve helped thousands of learners to become qualified drivers. In other words, we know what we’re talking about when it comes to driving tests. Here are 5 simple steps that will help you pass the theory test!


1. Know your enemy

Person looking through binoculars
Image source: mostafa meraji via Unsplash

OK, so it might not be super healthy to view the theory test as your enemy. That being said, getting into this mindset will help you approach the challenge with the determination it requires. Do not let the theory test get the better of you. Sure, it’s a bit tricky and you have no idea which questions you’ll be asked on the day, but the more you learn about it, the less intimidating it will seem.

Start off by understanding the structure. The theory test is composed of a multiple choice question section and a hazard perception test. You must pass both sections in order to pass the overall test.

You can get a great understanding of how the hazard perception test works from our Hazard Perception: Dos and Don’ts guide. The question section tests you on information that can be found in three important driving books:

  • The Highway Code
  • Know your traffic signs
  • Driving – the essential skills

These books are available to purchase online and in certain bookshops. There are also free versions of The Highway Code and Know your traffic signs available through the official DVSA website. Handy!

2. Put in the hours

To do book with a timer next to it

Knowing what to expect on the day isn’t enough to carry you over that finish line. To be test-ready and able to pass first time, you will need to do quite a bit of revision. Exactly how much studying you have to do will obviously vary from person to person. There’s no hard and fast rule for this. Only you will know when you’ve reached a point where the information has really sunk in.

If we were to give you a ball park figure, it would be around 10-20 hours of revision. Those of you who just spat out your tea after reading that can calm down. This doesn’t have to be completed in one go! In fact, we would advise against that approach.

Once you have a theory test appointment booked, set aside a couple of hours a day in the run up to it to get your head in those books. We’re speaking metaphorically, of course, because a lot of the revision can be done online or via apps, depending on your preferred learning method.

3. Get everything prepped the night before

Black shoes and bag on floor alongside open notebook and a watch
Image source: Ivan Zhukevich via Unsplash

Even if you theory test is scheduled for the afternoon, it’s a good idea to ensure you have everything you need ready the night before. This can save you a lot of hassle on the big day. Nobody wants to be spending precious last-minute revision time turning their room upside down trying to find their provisional licence! And that’s the main thing you need to bring with you on the day—your provisional.

You might also want to consider packing a bag with a few essentials that will be handy on the day. This could include some revision notes, a bottle of water, a small snack, proof of your appointment and maybe even a good luck charm (keep this last one small—emotional support peacocks are not welcomed by the DVSA).

Do be aware that you won’t be able to take your bag into the test with you. Test centre staff will usually provide you with a locker in which to store your belongings for the duration of your test.

4. Be the best version of yourself

Student passing the theory test

The most authentic version of you may prefer to stay in bed until midday, graze on leftovers from the fridge and stroll up to appointments 10 minutes late. Not on test day, buddy. On test day you should aim to be the best version of yourself. You want to be firing on all cylinders, which means showing up well-rested, clear-headed and eager to give it your best shot.

Once again, a lot of the preparation for this begins the night before. Avoid any mind-altering substances, go to bed at a reasonable hour and set an alarm. Aim to rack up around 7-9 hours of sleep and leave yourself plenty of time to get ready in the morning.

And another thing—sitting an exam with an empty stomach is no fun at all. Concentration requires fuel! Set yourself up for the day with a solid breakfast and make sure you eat something at least an hour before your test appointment.

5. Work on your confidence

'You got this' message written on chalk in road
Image source: sydney Rae via Unsplash

It’s amazing how much nerves can affect performance. Certain people may be able to channel butterflies into a useful shot of adrenaline that powers them through the test, but not everyone is so lucky. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, a little voice in your head will convince you that you’re not really up to the job. If you’ve followed the previous steps, let us assure you that you are definitely ready to ace your theory test.

Now, telling someone to feel confident isn’t very helpful. We’d all love to waltz through life with the self-assuredness of Barack Obama shooting hoops in front of the press corps, but it’s just not natural. There are, however, things you can try that will ease your nerves and encourage self-belief.

It might sound silly, but wear something to your theory test that makes you feel like a winner. Your favourite outfit is a good place to start. Avoid anything too fancy though—you want to be comfortable as you’ll be sat in one position for at least an hour. Another confidence-boosting tip is to think about how far you’ve come and how much you’ve learnt. If you can pass mock theory tests, you can pass the real thing!

Finally, even though it might go against every fibre of your British being, you could try giving yourself a pre-theory test pep talk in the mirror. Hey, if you end up feeling ridiculous just laugh it off—having a giggle will release some of the nerves and tension you’re feeling. It’s a win-win!


With these 5 simple steps you can pass the theory test and move onto the next stage of your driving journey with ease!

To increase your chances of a first time pass, have a browse of some of our other theory test-related tips and tricks:

By Isobel Robb

Isobel enjoys the freedom of the open road and loves driving to new places. She's here to offer helpful hints and tips to improve your motoring skills. When not keeping up to date with the latest driving info you can find her discovering new restaurants or exhausting her Netflix subscription.

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