If, like me, you’ve been driving an age – 22 years for me – it’s easy to feel like you know most things about driving. So here’s a challenge – try taking an official practice theory test (links below), and see if you pass.
Back in the day, when I took my driving test to get a car licence, the theory test didn’t exist. Yet as I’m starting the process of getting a motorbike licence (see our Cheap Motorbike Insurance guide), the first step was to take the official theory test last Friday. I already ride a scooter but I want to get rid of the L-plates and get something with a little, though not too much, more power.
As is usual for me, I’d no spare time, so detailed revision wasn’t really on the cards and as my plan was theory test first then lessons after, the only rehearsal I did was a few practice motorbike theory tests the night before.
Try these tests
- Motorbike Mock Theory Test (50 questions – should take 15-20mins, but you have up to an hour).
- Car Theory Test (I didn’t try this, but I presume it’s similar to the above).
In my first practice I did manage to pass, but only just, scraping the 43 needed out of 50, with no safety margin. While many of the questions were obvious, I didn’t have a clue about different types of pedestrian crossings (eg, toucan and puffin), the official stopping times, tooting your horn times, and definitely not motorcycle maintenance things.
So some cramming was needed, but at least after the mocks I knew where to focus. That was enough and thankfully on Friday I passed the test with 48 points.
While to say I found the whole thing an eye-opener would be too strong, I do actually feel like it was a worthwhile exercise. I would encourage other long-standing drivers to give it a go, to see where your knowledge is and what you’re missing.
Do let me know if you try and what your score is below.
PS. The theory test isn’t just the Highway Code stuff – there’s also a hazard identification video section, which you play by clicking when you spot a hazard. The concept’s easy but the instructions are confusing.
For example, a child about to walk across the road is an obvious click, but is heading for an empty mini-roundabout when the camera you’re viewing can’t see the exits? I passed, but they could do with clarifying that.