For learner drivers confident in their practical lessons, a driving theory and hazard perception pass certificate is the green light to book a practical driving test. Taking any kind of exam can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not used to having to revise. RED Driving School, one of the UK’s leading national driving schools has created five top tips for driving theory test success.
1) Source good revision materials
Reading and understanding the Highway Code is an important part of learning the theory behind safe and legal driving practice. The Highway Code contains the fundamental knowledge required for the multiple choice aspect of the driving theory test, including everything from road markings, signs, motorway driving and rules for different road users, to breakdowns, incidents and first aid on the road. To become familiar with the test format and revise a selection of official questions, students can take a practice multiple choice test on the Directgov website.
2) Create a revision plan
Avoid the stress of last minute revision by creating a study plan as soon as the driving theory test has been booked. Work backwards from the date of the test and schedule sessions to cover all areas of driving theory. Use a Driving Standards Agency approved theory test revision application to utilise spare time on-the-go. Bus journeys, waiting rooms and lunch breaks can all be transformed into valuable revision sessions. Ask a friend for help revising particularly tricky subjects, create question and answer cards to keep revision focused.
3) Put theory into practice
Hazard perception is an important part of safe driving practice, so if you’ve started practical lessons your driving instructor should encourage hazard awareness in each lesson. Make the most of driving lessons by pointing out hazards to the instructor as you drive and ask your driving instructor to quiz you on road signs to improve your learning. To familiarise yourself with the on-screen format of the test, try watching The Driving Standards Agency training DVD, “The official guide to hazard perception”.
4) Take steps to manage your nerves
Exams can be intimidating, especially if you are out of practice. Leave plenty of time to get to the test centre before your test, allowing for a few minutes to settle your nerves once you arrive. Try to get a good night’s sleep beforehand, make sure you have eaten breakfast and take a bottle of water with you to stay hydrated; this way you won’t be distracted by tiredness, hunger or thirst during the test.
Studying and following a good revision plan will ensure confidence in the subject, but if you have a tendency to feel nervous, breathing deeply and allowing a moment to clear your head before starting the test can help to calm your nerves.
5) Tips for the test
Before the theory test students can choose to take a quick practice test, this is a good way to adjust to the format. At the end of the multiple choice test you have the opportunity to review your answers. Click to add a ‘red flag’ to difficult questions as you encounter them so that you remember to return to them later; 57 minutes are allocated to answer 50 multiple choice questions, so save some time to review answers before completing the exam. Read each question and answer carefully and consider the reasoning behind your chosen response before committing.
Between the multiple choice test and the hazard perception assessment, you can choose to have a break of up to three minutes. This time can be useful to mentally prepare for the next stage, think about the types of hazards you are likely to encounter while driving and remember that even minor hazards count. You will be asked to click the mouse when a hazard appears on the screen. Don’t click too frequently during the hazard perception test, but remember that multiple clicks are required to indicate the seriousness of a developing hazard.
Dominic Cohen of RED Driving School, comments: “Putting a robust revision plan in place ensures that students approach the driving theory test and hazard perception from a well prepared, educated perspective. Aside from the certificate, driving theory knowledge represents the fundamental aspects of safe driving practice.”
Notes to editors:
• More information from www.reddrivingschool.com/
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