One of the things we had to do as part of my school Transition Year was to learn a new skill. As I already play guitar and drums and enjoy skateboarding and art, I figured I’d like to do something a little different, and perhaps that I might get some longer-term value from. I therefore decided to look at learning to drive but discovered that, before you can do that, you need to pass a test about the theory of driving, so I decided to do that instead. Here is what I learned in doing so.
Theory Test Practice Pack
It turns out that you can buy a special CD (issued by the Road Safety Authority) that allows you to practice the theory test (as many times as you like). It costs around €22 and you can buy it from most bookshops or from your local library. The CD contains all the questions that you could be asked in the real test, along with the correct answers and other information.
Each time to take the test, it asks a random selection of 40 questions (from an overall pool of over 800) and you need to get 35 or more correct to pass. You are allowed 40 minutes to complete the practice test. The program also tracks your progress over time, which is very helpful in building up your confidence for taking the real test.
You can buy a Rules of the Road book as well. At first, I didn’t think I’d need this but I ended up buying it anyway (it only costs €5) so I could look up some of the answers that I didn’t know.
If you want to install the testing program on a laptop, you will need to have a CD drive installed, both to install the program but also to run it. There’s a special security feature built in (to avoid people copying the CD) where you need to have the original CD inserted every time you want to take a practice test.
Although not officially issued by the RSA, there is also a mobile app you can buy (costing €7) called iTheory Driver Theory Test, which is available for iPhone or Android. It is regularly updated to stay in sync with the official set of questions used in the test and is also an effective way to build up your skills and confidence to get ready for the real test.
My advice for preparing for the real test is to take a practice test once per week, to keep your average score near (or above) 35. Then, once you know when your test date will be, you can increase this to once per day (around 2 weeks beforehand) and then maybe twice per day in the days right before your test. Once you get your pass rate up (above 35), you should be able to take each practice test in around 30 minutes.
You can book your official test here, so best of luck!