Living in East London, my closest motorcycle theory test centre was Ilford, a quick train over and a sharp Buffalo Fiery chicken wrap from the McDonalds that was practically next door to the test centre and I was ready to go…
Upon my arrival I had to remove every item on my person, bar my driving licence. I even had to turn my pockets out to prove they were empty, side and back of my trousers, roll my shirt sleeves up too!
I was sent to booth (lucky) 13 and sat down in front of the screen. I ran through ten practice questions, which weren’t based on theory but more about how the test will run.
Once the ten ‘practice’ questions were complete, it was into the multiple choice questions…
Get an app to help you prepare
I’d checked out a few different motorcycle theory apps and decided to go with the CamRider app for my revision prior to the test, which had included hazard perception videos. I knew the CamRider brand and trusted that they knew their stuff.
Spending a bit of time the night before, a bit of time in the morning and then as I ate my McDonalds, I topped up my knowledge some more.
The app told me that I’d completed 58% of their practice questions, but they had been repeating and new questions were re-worded versions of previously completed questions.
I’d got ninety-odd percent on a couple of mock exams on the app too. “I’ve got this” I thought.
A few questions in…
Back to the multiple choice part, a few questions in a was flying, then I hit a few where I wasn’t sure of the answer and unlike quite a few I’d done on the app, the answer wasn’t basic common sense, stuff like tram signs!
I applied as much common sense as I could to the ones I was unsure of and cracked on, adding up the questions that I thought I could’ve of got wrong as I went along.
I completed the 50 questions and my count was about five that I wasn’t confident I was correct on. 45 out of 50, that’s still a pass (you need 43 / 50)!
Want to review all your answers?! You have the opportunity to do this…
50 minutes given, 11 minutes taken. If you’ve done some prep, you really shouldn’t need anything close to 50 minutes.
On to the hazard perception part…
I hadn’t done much practice on this, bar a couple of videos in the CamRider app. It seemed simple enough and I’d passed it 12 years ago for my car licence so after that amount of road time my hazard perception abilities shouldn’t have gone downhill too much was my thinking.
I was surprised to learn that I had to watch a whopping 14 videos for this, with a ten second countdown between each one.
Half way through, I’m feeling a little jaded, but the computer generated people and hazards are enough to keep you amused.
The key here is to click when you first see the hazard, if you get it early enough, you’ll score five points for that video.
A little later and it’s four points and so on until, if you catch it just in time you score one point.
You need 44 out of 75 (5x 14 plus one video has two hazards and is therefore worth 10) to pass.
The hazards are pretty obvious once they happen, so don’t over click, but give it couple for good measure, as you can click too early when you spot something in the distance.
Hazard perception done.
Now the screen shows me “Would you like to answer five additional questions to help us for future tests, they won’t count towards your result?”
‘Why not’ I thought, ‘the question part takes no time, I can spare a minute on five more’ how foolish of me…
It was five more hazard perception videos, after completing 14 for the test and losing the will to live after six, I’ve now taken my total to 19!
After two, I get up to leave; this is voluntary so I’ll say I’m pushed for time. Nope, I’m told to sit back down.
Once you’ve said yes, there’s no going back!
After I’d completed them and headed outside the test area, I expressed my view that I’d been misled into accepting another five videos (in a jovial manner) and was met the appropriate level of dismissiveness from the lady sat at the computer desk.
I grab my stuff from the locker and head over to the results desk…
47 out of 50 on the multiple choice questions:
I got one wrong in the ‘Safety and Your Vehicle / Motorcycle’ section; one wrong in the ‘Rules of the Road’ and one wrong in ‘Road and Traffic Signs’.
The pass mark is 43 out of 50, so I still had a cushion!
I got 61 out of 75 in the Hazard Perception.
I scored just one point on one of the videos, which confused me as I didn’t feel like I’d gone really late on anything. Maybe I went too early?
Next up is the practical test; you’ve got to take the piece of paper that they give you at the end of the theory with you. They call it a certificate, but it just a plain old A4 sheet of paper printed out of standard office printer.
Find out more about the motorcycle theory test on the government website.