Driving Theory Test – UK ishtyle

I had my theory part of my driving test today – as I already announced to the whole world a couple of days ago – and then had panic attacks of, what would I do, if I flunked it!! Then, thought of the bright side – I could always make a post of it πŸ™‚

The theory tests here in the UK, have 2 parts – a multiple choice test, and a hazard perception test. Now, the multiple choice is pretty straighforward and simple and easy to clear.. Hazard perception, was a different ball game altogether.. Now, the way it works is, that they will show you 14 clips, each of which contains atleast one ‘developing hazard'(One of them will contain 2)Β and you have to identify it correctly – within the scoring window.. The earlier you spot it – the more points you get and if you click before the window starts or after it ends – no points.. The first time I tried, the concept of developing hazard itself was vague to me.. So had to practise a fair bit until yesterday afternoon, when I realised that I knew all the 72 clips so well, that I was aceing all tests – simply out of too much practise!! I knew by heart, where every hazard in the clips were! AndΒ it would have helped if I actually got one of those clips, but knowing my luck…

After I had given up practsing, decided to chill out and re-read Midnight’s Children, instead πŸ™‚

This morning, I woke up promptly at 5:00 – without even an alarm, and reached the exam centre nice and early πŸ™‚ Only to realise that quite a few of my fellow exam takers were equally prompt.. And the exam centre had a huge notice saying – Centre will Open at 7:45 ONLY’ And there were still people pressing the bellΒ a bunch of times! Reminded me of drivers in India, honking when the signal is red!!!

A man came down on the dot at 7:45, opened the door and handed instruction leaflets to everybody who had not been there before.. There was a bunch of people who had been there earlier – would that mean that they were here for second or third attempts? The thought just did not cheer me up 😦

We all stood in a file, like children in school and all of us were asked to show our provisional license, which was scanned and our details just ‘popped up’, I presume..and were asked just one question – Could I give you the exam in English – Can you read English’? Wow!!! How many languages do they offer the test in??? Well, I checked it when I got back – and apparently they offer it in 20 languages(Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kurdish, Mirpuri, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushto, Spanish, Tamil, Turkish, Urdu and Welsh.)!!! Now I know why I come across so many cab drivers who don’t understand English!!!

Well anyways, we were told to lock away our valuables in a locker, with the centre taking ‘no responsibility’ for any losses… and I was finally given a terminal to take the test,.. TheΒ multiple choiceΒ Β seemed alright. I needed to get 86% – 43 out of 50 questions right.. And then started my nightmare – the hazard perception… They had a tutorial – and I took it just to get a little oriented.. And in the very first question, managed to click ‘in an unacceptable manner’ and was give ‘zero marks for this clip’. So the next 13 clips, I was extra, extra careful, so I definitely did not invalidate any more clips but was not sure if I missed the window in being ‘extra careful’. After the exam was over, I was told to ‘wait ‘ till they finished ‘evaluation’ and in a second, a lady came over and told me that the results were waiting for me at the reception..

I almost raced over, only to be told that I needed to clear my locker before they gave me the results. Why? Have I failed it? Are they scared that if I got the results I would not clear my locker? Anyways, I did as bid and got back to the reception in record time! Finally, I was out of misery – I had cleared it!!!!

Yippee!!! I do have the practical test – which would be a couple of months from now – but one step down!!!!


38 thoughts on “Driving Theory Test – UK ishtyle

  1. Congrats smitha..
    You remember each and every detail so clearly!!
    one down and one more to go..all the best for that πŸ™‚

    Thanks πŸ™‚ And remembering all those details – that’s just coz it just happened this morning πŸ™‚

  2. Congrats smitha.
    Lol so many languages and that too tamil πŸ™‚

    All the best for ur practical test

    Thanks Varunavi! I know I was stunned to see the list too!!! The mutliracial aspect of UK amazes me πŸ™‚

  3. Congrats Smitha….Wow what a description!!! ..I felt like it happened right before my eyes..:)

    Oh thank you!! And welcome here Sree:)

  4. Congratulations! This post is like a good story! You can always write a good post! Knowing that exams can be written in Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil …..nice!

    Thank you Sandhya – You are too kind to me πŸ™‚ I was amazed to see that we can take the exam in so many languages too…

  5. congrats!!!!! now did you got learners license??? can you drive now?

    I can drive with an instructor or somebody over 21 and holding a UK license for more than 3 yrs.. So now I have to take driving lessons and take the practical – before I can drive here 😦

  6. Hey congratulations…u did it. One hurdle over, now start taking the practical lessons and i am confident that you will pass that too with flying colors. Good to see a post after a break of 2 days, and that also so detailed…Keep it up πŸ™‚

    Thanks Nids!

  7. Congrats Smitha! I knew you’d pass somehow. πŸ™‚ Call it a gut feeling. πŸ˜‰

    Reading your story reminds me on the day of my test. Althogh I had mines in the afternoon. And I was failing it when doing it at home 😦 Dad said its ok if you fail. You can retake it if you need to. Don’t worry about it. Walk into the center relaxed. BUT I was thinking I CANNOT FAIL and look bad/stupid in front on my Indian relatives. (See my dad’s sister & BIL had came to visit from India at the time of my test. And in their eyes I was an A* student due to ALWAYS getting above 80% in exams so failing a stupid theory test would’ve been REAALY EMBARESSING. Hence more pressure. 😦 ) BUT somehow on the day, I did well and passed. πŸ˜€

    Thank you Badz!!! Am sure all your wishes would have counted πŸ™‚ I know the worst thing about failing would be having to tell everybody that I failed 😦 Thank god I did not πŸ™‚ But you were right – it was definitely not too bad πŸ™‚ Now for the practicals πŸ™‚

  8. yay!!knew you would do it!and you wereacing it! πŸ˜€ awesome!padhoge likhoge banoge nawaab abd all that eh? πŸ˜‰

    I am so zapped to know that they offer it in so many languages :O

    (((hugs)))all the very best for the second part now

    ace that one too gurl! πŸ˜€

    Thank Indyeah – though I seriously believe that it was just good luck πŸ™‚ and all your wishes too πŸ™‚ Yes, 20 languages – in a country smaller than our UP!!

  9. Congratulations Smitha πŸ™‚ I had an idea you’d clear it anyway πŸ™‚ Enjoyed reading the details!
    And Midnight’s Children is great for chilling πŸ™‚

    Thanks IHM ! I love re-reading books πŸ™‚

  10. YAY! See everyone is not like OG. Women are smart. *Hoping OG never reads this*

    Now go woman! get a handsome instructor (not your hubby) and get behind wheels.

    LOL !!! Women are smart or just lucky…

    Handsome instructor sounds like the best idea I have heard so far πŸ™‚ Off to do some research now;)


      Solilo, dont touch my driving skills….. πŸ™‚ I am an excellent driver…… πŸ™‚ and I love to drive!!!!!!! I come in the first group LOL πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› and LOL about second line!!!!

      Ajit – Don’t worry – I am sure you will be vindicated when I flunk the practs 😦 Hubby failed the first try and he is very good – so there is very little chance that I will clear it in the first go πŸ™‚

    • LoL! I 2nd, 3rd and 4th you on that. We are the best. πŸ˜† Unlike some men (OG) who have to retake their test. πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

  11. Hi Smitha,

    Congratulations on passing the theory, am sure the practical will be a cake-walk too!!!! All the best in advance!!

    Can’t believe a driving test is such a big deal outside of India – *thinks of how people pass these tests here* —- hmmmmm


    Deepa – Not really sure that the practs will be a cakewalk πŸ™‚ but I sure hope it is πŸ™‚ Yes, driving tests sure seem to be a big deal outside India.. And I guess it makes sense too, you know, as bad drviers cause so many accidents…

  12. congratszzsszzz!!!! Glad that the monkey is finally off your back.

    I presume this is just the beginning. when do you start driving lessons?

    Yes!!!! Masood – this monkey is finally off my back πŸ™‚ I start lessons next saturday πŸ™‚ Can’t wait πŸ™‚

  13. Wow….that is an elaborate proceedure.

    Great you shall soon be entitled to zoom across the highways. Congratulations are in order.

    Driving across UK (whenever I am there) on an international license was a breeze for me, especially after the chaotic Mumbai roads..(reputedly most disciplined in India). I now shudder to think – what if I had to apply for a license?

    Guess – the next time the wander bug bites you, all you need to do is to zoom away. Happy driving and happy touring across UK.

    Yes, very elaborate and they still feel that it needs to become stricter! Apparently the UK driving tests are the toughest in all of the EU…

    You can use your Indian License for a year after you first come here.. So most of us take full advantage of that πŸ™‚ And since we were in London – cars were more or less unnecessary.. Now, its a different story 😦 Yes, can’t wait to get my license πŸ™‚ And hubby is already browsing to see which car he can buy next – I am getting a hand me down 😦

  14. Smitha, congratulations on passing the theory part of the test! And best wished for the second part…

    BTW- Great post!

    Thank you so much Manju, for the congrats, wishes and the compliment πŸ™‚

  15. Congrats Smitha!! u have done it:)

    AS for the languagees..yesterday we were in Salzburg and when the guide asked how many people speak English..there were 4-5 only, rest Gerrman, and I was really surprised as I thought majority will be english speaking:)

    Thank you!
    Yes, English is not so common in most parts of Europe – though you can still manage if you know English.. But I was surprised to see that UK had provisions for so many languages πŸ™‚

  16. woah!!! way to go girl, congrats!!!! am sure u’ll do well in the pracs too πŸ™‚

    so many languages offered! wow!! lol @ ur “clear ur locker” scare! πŸ˜€

    Thank you Crafty – I do believe it was all luck and all your wishes πŸ™‚

  17. Lovely post πŸ™‚ u made a simple test sound so entertaining.

    Congrats πŸ™‚

    BTW how is the Rushdie book?

    Thank you Smita πŸ™‚

    And the book is fantastic – atleast I like it πŸ™‚ I am re-reading it πŸ™‚

  18. YAY!! U cleared it…:-)
    Congratulatins & Celebrations πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

    So wheres the treat..there shd be online party for all of us who sent their wishes to u πŸ™‚

    And what a detailed write up abt test…i felt as if i know all abt uk driving tests now πŸ™‚

    Thank you Rashmi πŸ™‚ No celebrations yet – will celebrate once I get my license πŸ™‚ after I pass my practs as well πŸ™‚

  19. Congratulations!



    nd when are they adding Malayalam? πŸ™‚

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!!

    As for Malayalam – I will check with them πŸ™‚ And you know what – they have swatagam in malayalam in places like doctors surgeries and libraries! My parents were pleasantly surprised to get Malayam books in the libraries here – something they never found in Jamshedpur πŸ™‚

  20. Nice. 86% seems like a high passing score though!

    Also, they make you wait a couple of months before you can give the driving test? That’s a long time!

    86% is high – but it was not too difficult – the hazard perception was the tough part.

    They don’t make you wait – I can take the exam as soon as I get a date for the exam -but I prefered to go for classes and then attempt the exam.. so 2 months is just tentative.. might take it earlier..

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