Once you have got used to the feeling of being behind the wheel of a moving car during your first few driving lessons (did anyone else feel 30mph was way faster the first time they started driving than when they were a passenger?) you’ll find that you become more relaxed in your lessons. You get to know your instructor, you get the hang of manoeuvres, and you start to enjoy driving!
Then your practical test comes creeping up.
Although you wouldn’t immediately think, driving during your practical test is a totally different experience to driving during lessons — after all, it’s likely the first time you’ve driven with someone other than your instructor, and with, well, their instructions! It’s natural to be nervous.
Additionally, there is the added pressure of being back at a desk for your theory test. You need to have studied up to pass this and, unlike in school, if you fail you’ll have to pay to take the test again!
The best case scenario would be to Ideally pass both parts of your driving test first time. Give yourself the best possible chance by making use of the resources available to you. We’re joined by Pass N Go, who have driving schools in South Shields and across the North East, to look at the best free and paid apps to prepare you for your theory and your practical. While you’re still taking the bus or train to work or school, these apps are a great way to squeeze in some studying during your commute!
Theory test: paid app
If you’re thinking of parting ways with some cash, make sure it’s the best possible. Look no further than the Official DVSA Theory Test Kit. This app is written by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, who also write the test you’ll be sitting. If you want to get familiar with the style of questions that’ll show up on the exam, this is the best app for that.
The app is bustling with every theory test revision question possible, so you’ll be equipped for facing anything the real test throws at you. It also includes 20 hazard perception videos to help you prepare for that section of the theory test too — many apps don’t include this, or it is a separate purchase.
Not only do you get every question and the hazard perception videos, you get a free copy of The Official Highway Code as part of the app. This will help familiarise yourself with road signs and laws.
Theory test: free app
A good free app to complement the ones requiring a fee is the Driving Theory Test Genie on the Apple store, but it’s the same app, don’t worry. If you’re feeling the pinch after paying for lessons and booking your tests, take a look at this free driving theory test app from Elegant eLearning.
The practise exams offered in this app are built up from the 2018 Highway Code manual, so they’re as accurate to the test as possible. Plus, you can change the difficulty from “Easy” to “Exam” as you build your knowledge and confidence. Like the official DVSA app, you’ll also have access to a copy of the official Highway Code with this app.
The app contains a whole host of questions, 725 to be exact, which is really good for a free app! As an added bonus, the app works offline too, saving you precious data.
Practical test: paid apps
Virtual Learn – Manoeuvres — £2.39 on Android
Unfortunately, this app is Android only. Techradar spotlighted this app as being noteworthy as it’s one of the rare apps that deal with the practical side of your test, rather than the theory.
The handy thing about this app is that it shows manoeuvres from both outside and inside the car, allowing users to see what they need to do behind the wheel, as well as how it looks from the outside. The virtual world videos work offline too, with more than 20 clips to help you practice everything from reverse parking to simple turning.
Simdrive — £4.99 on iOS
For iPhone only, this innovative app claims to offer users the UK’s first interactive driving lessons, according to an article from Metro. The app contains videos of driving, with the user tapping where to check and what to do as if they were in the driver’s seat themselves. For example, the user gains points by correctly inputting the Mirrors, Signal, Position, Speed, Look routine.
The app provides a lot of constructive criticism on any missed checks, what you are good at, and what you need to work on.
As well as the above, the app contains mock driving tests for London’s test centres, so you can familiarise yourself with the routes you may be asked to take on the day!
Practical test: free app
Techradar has sourced another impressive app – this runs in the background of your phone or smartwatch while you’re taking your driving lesson. Making use of GPS technology, the app monitors the movement and speed of the car you’re driving. After the lesson, boot up the app and it’ll feedback how you did on key areas like acceleration and cornering.
Depending on how you score, the app will offer tips on driving safe, including tips for the weather conditions you faced!
Before the test: preparation app
Not directly driving related but nevertheless important. Feeling a bit nervous before your test? Take a few minutes to go through some meditation techniques in order to get your mind and your nerves settled. Calm is a brilliant app for this, packed with tips and exercises for lowering anxiety levels.
The app goes beyond its expectations by containing a specific music programme for focusing or relaxing, whichever you feel you need. Or, boot up a quick breathing exercise to prepare before you take your test!
Study, prepare, and relax! The effort you put in will be rewarded at the end.