Your journey to a full driver’s licence and the independence it provides begins with the theory test. While it might seem scary, we have all been there. With a bit of preparation and effort, you will be on the road in no time. The driver theory test is a multiple-choice exam that will test your knowledge on:
- The rules of the road
- Risk perception
- Hazard awareness
- Good driving behaviour
So, to get the wheels in motion, we have put together our expert tips on how to pass the theory test.
Theory test tips to help you pass on your first try
The first step to passing your test is booking the right category. First-time learner drivers can only apply for a category B test, this covers cars, tractors, and work vehicles. The total cost of the exam is €45.
Getting organised for your test
Before you book your theory test, you will need to have the correct form of ID accepted at test centres.
It might seem simple but it's something that can easily be forgotten. If you arrive for your exam without the correct ID, you will lose your fee and space on the exam. To avoid facing any extra obstacles on the day make sure you have one of the following IDs:
- Public Services Card
- Passports (valid for international use only or up to maximum 24 months expired)
- Irish Passport Cards
- National Identity Card from EU/EEA Member States or Switzerland
Be prepared for delays
Booking your Theory Test
You can reserve your space using the RSA’s online theory test booking system. There are 40 test centres around the country so you can choose whichever location suits you best.
The RSA is currently running a pilot scheme to allow candidates to sit their exam online. This option has limited space and requires candidates to have Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 PC with a Google Chrome Browser. You can find out more about booking your driving theory Test on our blog post. If you want to learn more about how to book your theory test, check out our useful guide here.
How to study for the Driving Theory Test
We recommend you start revising before booking your test, especially if you want to pass on your first try.
You will need to get revision material to prepare for your test, they are available on the official Driving Theory test site. The revision material is available by downloading the app on your phone, logging into the online portal or buying the CD- ROM and book. You can choose whatever format you prefer.
Our best advice for studying is to put in the time for revision and get plenty of mock theory tests in. Practice theory tests are available with any of the digital study resources.
To help build up your confidence get a family member or friend to quiz you. You can even test your knowledge of the road on a drive as a passenger, this can help you get to know different roads signs and scenarios drivers face every day.
Stay calm and pass your test
Keeping a cool head on the day might be harder for some than others but try your best to stay calm and focused. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time to the test centre – it is recommended to arrive 30 minutes earlier than your theory test starting time. If you follow our tips, put in the time for revision and pass enough practice tests, you should feel confident with your knowledge on the day.
How many questions in the theory test?
The driver theory test for a category A or B licence consists of 40 multi-choice questions. The theory test questions aim to assess your knowledge of the rules of the road, risk perception, hazard awareness, eco-driving, and driving behaviour. You will need to answer 35 questions correctly to be successful.
For a category B licence the test is completed within 45 minutes. You will have to answer 40 questions and you must get at least 35 correct to pass.
Extra support available for the Theory Test
If you need extra support for your exam, you can request extra assistance on the day. The support that is available includes: •
- Reader recorder service (a staff member will read the questions and answers to the candidate and record their answer on-screen)
- Dyslexia support professional
- A voiceover option can be selected upon booking your theory test.
- ISL Video Clips or
- SL Interpreter
Some of these services are temporarily suspended due to COVID 19 restrictions. If you would like to book one of the support services, we recommend you contact the RSA Driver Theory Test ahead of your test date.
Applying for your Learners Permit
If you pass your Irish theory test on the first attempt, you will be given a pass certificate, this can then be used to apply for your learner permit.
A learner permit allows you to start practising driving as long as you meet the minimum age requirement for your vehicle category. The minimum age for a holding learner permit for mopeds, motorcycles with an engine capacity below 125cc, work vehicles, light quadricycles, and motor tricycles below 15kW is 16 years. Learn permit holders can start driving cars at 17 and other commercial vehicles from 18 years of age.
The pass certificate is only valid for 2 years so remember not to lose motivation and keep progressing towards your full license. We’ve included everything you need to know about applying for a Learner’s permit here.
How long do you have to wait if you fail your theory test?
If you don’t pass on the first try don't worry, your preparation won't go to waste. You can sit your next test within 3 days of failing. Anything you missed in the first exam, will be highlighted for you to use as revision.
Best of luck with your theory test, although we feel with our extra tips and plenty of revision you won't need it!
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