5 Signs You’re Not Ready For Your Theory Test

Close up of red traffic light

Did you know that the theory test is actually a lot harder to pass than many learners assume? Avid readers of our blog no doubt will, because it’s something we mention quite often!

At the risk of venturing into broken record territory, we at PassMeFast have noticed that the theory test is one of the biggest challenges our students face when attempting to earn a licence. A lot of learners view this test as a minor hurdle they must clear before focusing their attention on the more important matter of the practical test. And, if you put in the work, that’s all it needs to be! The thing is, though, plenty of people underestimate what it takes to pass the theory test. Indeed, the current theory test pass rate sits at 47.1%. Yep—over half of the people who sit the test end up failing!

Worried that you might not be ready for your theory test? Before you trot off to the test centre, make sure that none of the following signs apply to you!

1. You reckon you can just wing it

Rubber duck with sunglasses on in swimming pool
Image source: Alex Perez via Unsplash

Don’t get us wrong, we love a confident learner driver. If this is your attitude towards the theory test, though, you clearly don’t grasp what it actually entails. This is not a straightforward test that you can blag your way through with basic driving knowledge and lucky guesses. The theory test is designed to ensure that learners have a thorough understanding of the rules of the road. As such, it can be hard to pass if you don’t put in the work.

So, if you’re aiming for theory test success, you must approach it with the focus that it requires. You don’t exactly have to be able to recite road regulations word-for-word, but you do need to seriously swot up on what they are. Some theory test questions can be quite tricky and, as you won’t know which ones you’ll get, it’s important that you revise everything.

As for those whose cockiness knows no bounds, be our guest and march in without studying a thing. At the end of the day, it’s your time and money that will be wasted!

2. The Highway Code means nothing to you

Driving Law

Those rules and regulations we were referring to? They’re all laid out in a very handy document known as the Highway Code. If this is your first time hearing about it, then we, err, suggest you put the brakes on any immediate plans to attend a theory test appointment.

As you should already know, the theory test is split into 2 sections: multiple-choice questions and a hazard perception test. The Highway Code provides the basis for the multiple-choice section. It isn’t exactly a page-turner, but if you want to pass the theory test you will need to familiarise yourself with its contents. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to go about this. If you’re not the kind of person who retains information by reading and taking notes, for example, there is a plethora of theory test resources on the market that might help—including quizzes and games.

3. Spotting hazards is not your strong point

Hand holding magnifying glass up to path through trees
Image source: Steven Wright via Unsplash

In order to earn a theory test pass certificate, you must earn a pass mark on both sections of the theory test. So, even if you’re an expert on road signs and the Highway Code, it won’t be enough if you cannot pass the hazard perception part.

On test day you’ll be presented with 14 video clips, during which you must click every time you spot a developing hazard. Clicking at random and hoping for the best is not going to get you very far!

Start thinking now about the type of scenarios you should be anticipating. We’re feeling generous so we’ll start you off: developing hazards include things like pedestrians attempting to cross a busy street, or cyclists emerging from a side road. If you think you need a bit of help to hone your hazard spotting skills, check out our guide to passing the hazard perception test.

The more you know…

  • The pass mark for the multiple-choice section of the theory test is 43/50
  • The pass mark for the hazard perception section is 44/75

4. You can’t always pass the mock tests


One of the best ways to ensure that you are ready for the theory test is to take a few mock tests. You can find both free and paid versions of mock tests online. Why not start with this government-approved practice theory test from Safe Driving for Life.

Now, as we’ve mentioned, there’s no way to know which specific questions you’ll face on the day. As a result, being able to scrape a pass on a couple of mock tests doesn’t necessarily translate to being able to waltz into the test centre and pass with flying colours. You need to take quite a few mock tests that present you with a variety of questions. Aim to study for your theory test at least a few times a week and round off your revision sessions with a mock test. Once you can consistently achieve a good pass score you should be good to go!

5. You don’t feel ready

Wait sign at pedestrian crossing
Image source: Anthony Young via Unsplash

This is the real tell, folks! Your gut is pretty savvy and a lot of the time it pays to listen to it. If you just don’t feel ready for your theory test yet, there is a good chance that you’re not ready for the theory test. Buckle down and keep revising.

That being said, it’s important to differentiate between a lack of confidence brought on by nerves and a lack of preparation. The former can affect quite a lot of learners and those with certain personality types may never actually feel fully ready to take their theory test. As long as you’ve done plenty of revision and the 4 signs listed above do not apply to you, it’s likely that you are in fact test-ready!

Sadly, not everyone can muster the self-belief to feel super confident on test day. Nerves don’t always have to be a bad thing, though! A lot of the time that nervous energy will convert into useful adrenaline to keep you energised and focused once the test centre clock starts ticking. If you’re really worried about how you will handle the big day, have a read of our tips for avoiding test day nerves.

And there you have it! If any of the above signs ring true for you, it’s worth taking a new approach to your theory test. Thankfully, the PassMeFast Blog is full of articles that can help you with this!

Having the same worries about the practical test? Here’s 5 Signs You’re Not Ready For Your Driving Test.

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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